Hermen Hulst talks about the future of PlayStation: more live service, more PCs, new franchises…

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For a while now, the PlayStation brand has been evolving. The word “PlayStation” has ceased to mean simply the console that sits under the TV, and is now applied to movies, TV series, or even the brand’s exclusive games that appear on PC.

Now, in an interview with various media outlets, the head of PlayStation Studios, Hermen Hulst, has outlined a little more of what awaits PlayStation in its future.

A clear pillar of PlayStation’s business strategy going forward is live gaming service, as already demonstrated with the acquisition of Bungie by Sony, worth 3.7 billion dollars. According to Hulst, Bungie’s role in the PlayStation family will be in part to model how to handle the live service model.

“I’m a long-time fan of Bungie,” the executive told GQ. “They speak our language and that’s why they’ve been doing this for a decade since the original launch of Destiny. So the battle scars they’ve earned, coupled with their absolute transparency means I can’t think of a better partner to have in that space. “

The head of PlayStation Studios also said the narrative-driven single player games aren't going anywhere.

Meanwhile, Hulst told Axios that PlayStation has greenlit a total of 12 projects in the live services space. This figure matches what Sony CFO Hiroki Totoki said in February, when we learned that PlayStation plans to release more than ten live service games before March 2026. At the time, Totoki also noted that the acquisition of Bungie was one of the main reasons it was possible to develop, release, and maintain so many live games in that time frame.

PlayStation’s live service offering is likely to be a mix of new IPs and established franchises. Hulst told GQ that PlayStation has “about 25 titles in development,” and that roughly half of the projects in development are new IPs. He also said PlayStation “doesn’t exclude bringing some of our beloved existing franchises to live services.”

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Sony’s Latest AAA Proposals have largely dispensed with multiplayer, with games like The Last of Us Part II, Horizon Forbidden West, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, and the upcoming God of War Ragnarok as solo experiences. However, there are exceptions, as Ghost of Tsushima Legends and Returnal have multiplayer support after launch.

As we know, some Sony studios are developing independent multiplayer projects, instead of bundling them with single-player experiences. We know that The Last of Us is getting a standalone multiplayer title, and the latest rumors suggest that a multiplayer game is in the works for Horizon.

Although Sony will start devoting more resources to live multiplayer service offerings, Hulst seems remain committed to Sony’s flagship single-player titles, and has told Axios that narrative single-player games aren’t going anywhere. However, they seem to be taking longer to arrive, with a history of delays for Horizon Forbidden West and God of War Ragnarok, while Spider-Man 2 is currently the only major Sony-published exclusive on the 2023 schedule, outside of those. company’s PSVR 2 plans.

As the wait for new exclusives on PS5 continues, PC gamers are finally beginning to experience some of the best games PlayStation 4 has to offer. Recently, franchises like God of War, Spider-Man, and Uncharted have started appearing on PC, which seems to continue in the future.

Hulst told Reuters that “further investments in areas that will bolster expansion into PC” are a real possibility.

As of now, however, it’s not just about PS5 and PC. In the interview with Axios, Hulst also mentioned the possibility of bring more games to PS4 “case by case” and talked about increasing Sony’s “internal capacity” to create mobile games. Earlier this year, Sony created its PlayStation Studios Mobile division to start work on existing and new IP-based mobile games.

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Finally, when Hulst spoke to Reuters about Sony’s recent investment in Elden Ring developer FromSoftware, he said it’s “not unthinkable” that PlayStation Productions could work on an entertainment adaptation of a FromSoftware property. FromSoftware is the developer of Elden Ring, Bloodborne, Sekiro, and the Dark Souls series.

If you want to know more about PlayStation, check out Sony’s plans to build 2 million units of PSVR 2 for launch. Or read how PS5 has apparently been released, and people have already installed Hideo Kojima’s PT.