Sony’s Jim Ryan says developing first-party games ‘isn’t as easy as throwing money away’

Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan argued that nurturing first-party game talent “isn’t as easy as throwing money away” and that studios must also have the freedom to take risks.

Talk to journalist Stephen Totilo in a new interview, the PlayStation boss explained how the platform holder was able to improve its production of first-party games during the first 6 months of PS5, which he says was the result of the culture he had organized in his studios, rather than just a monetary investment.

“In terms of the areas we’ve improved, I would call the PlayStation Studios game delivery schedule,” he said. “Nurturing creative talent is not as simple as pouring money into it. You also need to give them the freedom to be creative, take risks, and come up with new ideas.

Sony's Jim Ryan claims that developing proprietary games
Sony’s Jim Ryan says the growth of first-party games “isn’t so easy to throw money away.”

He added, “Just watch Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima. It wasn’t the game we thought they were going to make, but we’re not too rigid or corporate with our talent. We want them to use our material as a creative palette.

Ryan specifically pointed to the number of games Sony was able to release during the PS5 launch window as an improvement on its PS4 release.

“Yes, the release during the PS4 cycle was great, but the vast majority of those games came in the second half of the cycle, he said. “We made a conscious effort to improve that this time around, and what you have seen so far shows that we have certainly made progress.

“In just a few months since the launch of the PS5, we’ve released some amazing games and have many more projects in the pipeline. And developers are really starting to take advantage of the technology in PlayStation 5…I can’t wait to see what PlayStation Studios and our third-party partners will create for PS5.

“If games like Spider-Man Miles Morales, Returnal, and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart are examples of what they can accomplish in PS5’s first six months, imagine what we’ll see in the second or third year.”

Ryan recently claimed that the PS5 will house more exclusive games than any previous PlayStation console.

Sony's Jim Ryan claims that developing proprietary games

Speaking to Nikkei (paywall, translated as VGC), the PlayStation boss said the company had “quietly” invested in building proprietary software and may pursue other M&A opportunities to bolster its internal development capabilities.

“We’ve been quietly but steadily investing in high-quality games for PlayStation, and we’ll ensure the PS5 generation has more dedicated software than ever before,” Ryan said.

“We have engaged in mergers and acquisitions on several occasions, including Insomniac Games in the United States. We will not exclude this option in the future.

Joseph K. Bennett