So far, we’ve seen Horizon Zero Dawn and Death Stranding make the jump to PC, with varying levels of success. But they won’t be the last first-party Sony titles to make the jump, according to the company’s corporate report.
Sony’s full year corporate report was published over the weekend Australian time, and as always it covers Sony’s PlayStation division as well as the other units within its business. Naturally, the coronavirus was a big factor, with Sony estimating a ¥68.2 billion loss ($876.3 million) in operating income just from COVID-19.
But gaming has done well for Sony. The PlayStation business now generates more sales and operating income than any other part of Sony:
There’s also a small part further down where Sony estimates they have about 113 million active PSN users and 45 million PS+ subscribers, while their PS Now subscriptions are hovering around 2.2 million.
But naturally, that’s not quite enough. So as part of their plan to drive further profitability, Sony is targeting a growth in “active users”. One strategy to do this is to hit people off the Sony platform, which means bringing more Sony first-party titles to the PC:
Targeted outcomes include growth in active users, stronger retention and a shorter cash conversion cycle, from which expanded cash flow can be expected. We will explore expanding our 1st party titles to the PC platform, in order to promote further growth in our profitability.
Interestingly, it’s the PC that Sony marked as a major competitor in the near-term. The company also said “players from other industries” would also be a key competitor that would force Sony to evolve further:
Competition from online PC games and players from other industries is expected to continue to intensify. The fundamental growth strategy will be to innovate and evolve the PlayStation Platform. To this end, SIE intends to make proactive investments to reinforce content IP, and work to raise brand value, foster communities and user engagement, while enhancing DTC services that get closer to users.
This doesn’t mean PS5 exclusives like Horizon Forbidden West or Spider-Man: Miles Morales will make the jump to PC any time soon, of course. Sony has already been very open about the strength of console exclusives, and that’s not going to change going forward. But it does mean that the company is likely thinking about how titles like Spider-Man, or God of War, can get a second lease of life — and sales.
So I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a more regular cadence for PS5 games making their way over in the years to come. With Death Stranding and Horizon: Zero Dawn hitting the top of the Steam marketplace in June and July respectively, Sony must surely be liking what they see.
You can read Sony’s latest corporate report here.