Sony: Nurturing Creative Talent Is Not as Simple as Throwing Money At It

PlayStation boss Jim Ryan has been talking a little more about Sony’s approach to the new console generation, and what it’s doing differently with the PlayStation 5 when compared with the PS4

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43d ago Replies(14)
Orchard43d ago

I must've missed the part where they 'nurtured' and didn't 'throw money at' Insomniac, Naughty Dog, Bend Studio, Guerrilla, Sucker Punch, Media Molecule, Evolution (RIP), Zipper (RIP) etc. And I probably missed a few more too.

Rimeskeem42d ago

Have you ever used google before?

Those developers made games with Sony publishing them (aka a partnership) and were later acquired by Sony after said partnership. They don't just buy studios they want, they help them create a project and if it goes well, give them an offer which the dev can take or reject. Given the success of their studios and how many they have, I can only guess that partnering with Sony is a good pathway to a successful studio with lots of resources. There is a reason Kojima went with Sony to develop his first independent title from Konami.

So yah, you did miss the times they partnered with studios which they ended up acquiring later.

OtterX42d ago

Exactly. My first Insomniac game on the Playstation platform was actually Disruptor back on the PS1 in the 90s.

Banthis42d ago

Same with Bethesda no? they have work with Xbox for a while

dbcoops42d ago

There's no time for research and educating one's self when one feels the need to make a knee jerk reaction fanboy troll comment.

NotanotherReboot42d ago

And Bethesda had Doom3 and Morrowind on Xbox

alb189942d ago (Edited 42d ago )

What's the big deal?
SONY have his way to do things and is working for them and MS seems to be going in the right direction right now. So everyone is happy.
I'm very excited about Avowed, Starfield, Fable, Everwild, Hellblade 2, Outterworld 2, Forza H México, Halo Infinite and wondering about Evil within sequel and Wolfenstein.
I know all the success that SONY has with all their titles and I hope they keep going in that direction but there isn't just one way to arrive to the same place. Two companies can have different approach and both have success.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 42d ago
buffig42d ago

Dreams took about 8 years to develop and was started again from scratch, something like 3 times. They didn't even know what to do with the tools they'd created for a long long time. Sony stuck with MM through it all and trusted them. I genuinely can't think of another company that would have allowed this to happen.

Applejack42d ago

Let’s not forget about The Last Guardian. That took just as long and Sony didn’t decide to can that project.

DOMination-42d ago

But they did can the development studio after it released.

Just like they binned off the following studios:
Studio Liverpool
Guerrilla Cambridge
Japan Studio

I could be wrong but I feel like Dreams wasn't much of a commercial success. Certainly not worth the R&D costs that went into it. I don't think Media Molecule are in any immediate danger but they may be under some pressure to deliver something quicker for PS5.

This whole Sony White Knight perception needs to stop. They nurture talent right up until it stops making them money.. just like any other business.

hectorius41d ago

DOMination-3h ago

lol See your list and raise you...

***Sold or spun off
Access Software/Salt Lake Games Studio/Indie Games — Links series — Sold to Take-Two Interactive and renamed Indie Built
Bungie — Halo series — Became independent
Lift London — Removed from Microsoft's games business[97]
Twisted Pixel Games — The Gunstringer, LocoCycle, The Maw, 'Splosion Man series — Became independent

Closed or consolidated

Aces Game Studio — Microsoft Flight Simulator series — Closed
BigPark — Kinect Joy Ride, Joy Ride Turbo — Consolidated
Carbonated Games — Closed
Digital Anvil — Brute Force, Freelancer — Consolidated [98]
Ensemble Studios — Age of Empires series, Age of Mythology series, Halo Wars — Closed
FASA Studio — MechWarrior series, Shadowrun, Crimson Skies series — Closed
Function Studios — Kinect and HoloLens games — Consolidated
Good Science Studio — Kinect Adventures, Kinect Fun Labs, Kinect Star Wars — Consolidated
Hired Gun — Halo 2 PC port — Consolidated[99]
Leap Experience Pioneers (LXP) — Kinect and HoloLens games — Consolidated
Lionhead Studios — Fable series, Black & White series — Closed
Microsoft Studios Victoria — Closed
Press Play — Max: The Curse of Brotherhood, Kalimba — Closed
Soho Productions — Consolidated
State of the Art (SOTA) — Kinect and HoloLens games — Consolidated
Team Dakota — Project Spark — Consolidated
Xbox Live Productions — Consolidated (Publishing arm)***

DOMination-41d ago

haha yep fair point mate, although that list from Wiki is a little misleading on some of those entries, MS certainly have a rich history in closing down studios too!

But that's kinda my point - dev teams that underperform don't survive. With game development costing so much these days, publishers will be less willing than ever to see a studio faffing about on a niche title for an entire generation.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 41d ago
Orchard42d ago

So did they get all of the above studios for free? Otherwise they threw money at them.

This isn’t hard to understand.

BigMalk42d ago

How much does N4G pay you to s**t stir, or are you really this daft?

jukins42d ago

Reach harder please. They got insomniac for 269 million theyre worth over 300 million. Meanwhile microsoft paid 7 billion for zenimax whule being worth $5.5 billion. If you cant see where money was "thrown" vs forming an official exclusive relationship iwth a long term partner you might be a fanboy

Orchard42d ago (Edited 42d ago )

“ They got insomniac for 269 million theyre worth over 300 million. ”

Clearly this is incorrect. No amount of “good relationship” means one party gives the other a >= 71 million dollar discount (The actual purchase was 229 mil, not 269). That’s almost 33% discount lol.

When you sell your company, you sell above the market value.

Also, source on Zenimax only being worth 5.5bn?

dbcoops42d ago

You seem to be having trouble understanding it.

Chevalier42d ago (Edited 42d ago )


You're literally clueless. Idiotic really.

Media Molecule were all from Lionhead originally from Xbox Fable developers. Their original pitch for LBP was to Xbox while they still worked for them and they got turned down. They then made the pitch to Sony who helped them make games they wanted. I don't know about you, but, that sounds a lot like nurturing talent to me. Then to let this developer work on Dreams for 7 years or so? The irony is if Xbox had any eye for talent Media Molecule would be part of Xbox not Playstation. There's a reason they left Xbox when they did. So yeah get a clue because you sound like an idiot.

Orchard42d ago (Edited 42d ago )

@Chevallier Source on Xbox rejecting LBP? The LBP developers shipped a game with Sony prior to LBP so it seems unlikely they ran back to Xbox to pitch LBP after shipping a game with Sony. But I’d love to be proven wrong so please do share your source.

“It was announced on 2 March 2010 that SCE had purchased Media Molecule for an undisclosed sum”

Sounds like they threw money at them - and if they had enough money to throw at Zenimax they likely would’ve tried to compete with MS on the purchase.

mkis00741d ago (Edited 41d ago )

It seems turn of phrase is above your level of understanding?

I imagine you would understand it if Sony had randomly bought Playground games and Undead labs.

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 41d ago
Aquafiniac42d ago

Did you read the article? I don’t think this has anything to do with acquiring studios.

Silly gameAr42d ago (Edited 42d ago )

You must have have missed whole generations, because they nurtured everyone of those studios before they became first party. The difference here is, they all made PS exclusives, and built themselves from the ground up with Sony's help. Sony didn't swoop in in the middle of game devolpment, and say "hey, you know those games you're making Multi-platform"? Stop that now, we own you". I know you were just trying to be a smart ass, but you actually just proved Jim Ryan right.

TheCaptainKuchiki42d ago

Look at Housemarque. Sony has been nurturing them since PS3 days, to the point that they now were able to make their first real AAA game with Returnal. And it was a critical hit. Sony might give them another opportunity then purchase them if they're okay with it.
MS execs just look at a list of studios with their price and randomly decide they're going to buy them.

F0XH0UND92241d ago

It's thoroughly impressive how you can manage to encounter large amounts of information, yet process so little to be able to come to this conclusion.

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 41d ago
Jericho133743d ago

But you’re happy to bury franchises like Killzone, Resistance, Days Gone, SOCOM etc when they don’t get the sales. Sony are no different from any other console manufacturer, but the guy at the top is doing a bad job of spinning it.

Sonic-and-Crash43d ago (Edited 43d ago )

are nt they their franchises?? to do whatever they want with them ....i dont understand your logic ...who asked for a new killzone o Resistance ?....would you develop a whole multumillion game just for the sake of few fans ? ....these IP s were unappealable to the is a fact ...Days Gone was very good indeed but didnt introduce itself right visually and thematically ....and payed the price...i want a spirit succesor of DG

Rimeskeem42d ago

Killzone stopped and they made Horizon, Resistance stopped and they made R & C and Spiderman, too early to say Days Gone is dead imo since the developer hasnt showed anything lately, Zipper is no longer a studio thus Socom is dead. It's called moving on.

porkChop42d ago

Sony passed on Days Gone 2, so it's likely dead for the foreseeable future.

oldenjon42d ago (Edited 42d ago )

Many PS exclusives have sequels though. I think the distinction here is that Sony just has more exclusives. Some series aren't worth continuing, don't make sense from a financial or even development (imagine that!) standpoint. Maybe Insomniac don't want to do another Resistance game.

jukins42d ago

All those franchises last outings were not good. Socom died slow after 2 and really died with 4. Killzone never achieved top tier status beyond graphics, resistance felt disjointed and technival mess after part 1, and days gone just didnt have the polish. Smart decisions to let those games sit out for a bit

BlaqMagiq142d ago

Killzone had 4 main games with spinoffs, Resistance 3 main games with spinoffs, SOCOM 4 main games with spinoffs. Those franchises lasted YEARS before they were retired. Let's not act like Sony didn't give these franchises a chance.

Days Gone is the only one I'll give you.

Knushwood Butt42d ago

I still think Evolution and Driveclub got a hard deal.

Sure, the launch should have been more polished, but I unexpectedly had a blast with that game and all the DLC apart from bikes, that I regret not getting.

There is definitely room inSony's portfolio for Driveclub 2.

BlaqMagiq142d ago

@Knushwood Butt

I wouldn't mind a Driveclub 2 either. Definitely had potential.

SlothLordPootus42d ago

@knushwood Closing Evolution was a bad move IMO. If Motorstorm and Driveclub weren't successful enough they should have had them make a Gran Turismo spinoff like Forza does with horizon, or even just help out with the main series. The amount of talent they lost when they closed down evolution....oof.

Knushwood Butt42d ago

@ Sloth

Yeah, and now that talent has just been absorbed and working on faceless Codemasters stuff.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 42d ago
Teflon0242d ago

Resistance stopped because Insomniac decided they didn't want to make anymore after 3. It wasn't Sony's decision lol. Socom, sure, days gone was trying to greenlight a completely different sounding game, not every game is greenlit and if you think they are you're going to need a reality check lol. Sony is actually the biggest risk taker in the 3. Like come on, LittleBigPlanet was declined by Nintendo and Microsoft and then after Sony and Mm did it. All of a sudden 4 player Mario sidescrollers, Mario Maker drop. Then when they make dreams Nintendo does this garage something game which is essentially another copy. It's really not hard to get it. Killzone has 6 games and you're talking about burying a game because the studio is making Horizon? Lol. Resistance had 4 games and the studio is doing spiderman and Ratchet. Socom to be fair had its studio shut down. Days gone tried to make big changes to the game. Just try something new. Not everything needs 40. games.
Like Killzone
Killzone 2
Killzone 3
Killzone liberation
Killzone mercenary
Killzone Shadow Fall
Resistance fall of man,
Resistance 2
Resistance 3
Resistance retribution
Resistance burning skies

But we'll pretend they don't support their games or trust developers because people are acting like they really care about a days gone sequel when it wasn't even a great game compared to the rest.

P_Bomb42d ago (Edited 42d ago )

“ Like Killzone
Killzone 2
Killzone 3
Killzone liberation
Killzone mercenary
Killzone Shadow Fall
Resistance fall of man,
Resistance 2
Resistance 3
Resistance retribution
Resistance burning skies ”

This guy gets it. That’s a lot of Resistance predating one Sunset Overdrive. The relationship was always there.

SpineSaw42d ago Show
MrSec8442d ago

Guerrilla Games made nothing but Killzone for the PS2 and PS3, one game for PS4, PSP and Vita, they paid their dues, but there has been rumours that the franchise could get a new entry.
Insomniac recently spoke about Resistance 4 having a pitch back late in the 6th gen, but the idea was too similar to tlou in style, they still have an interested in making new Resistance games, so they could happen.
There's nothing concrete that says Days Gone won't get a sequel, Bend have expanded, they're officially making a new IP, but it's not clear that they aren't in pre-production on a DG Sequel.

Finally SOCOM has had rumours surrounding a new game being in development at another team within Guerrilla Games for quite while, basically around the time Horizon Zero Dawn was revealed, Guerrilla has expanded a lot and the game could be in long term development waiting to be revealed once Horizon Forbidden West is out the door.

TBH with the success of Ratchet & Clank it's likely a matter of time and resources becoming available before we see a new Jak & Daxter or Sly Cooper game being made and revealed.
It seemed like when the Sly Cooper movie got revealed that we would also get a new game, so that could be up next as a new Platformer game for PS5 or cross gen.

Sackboy has also had a new game.
London Studio are supposedly working on something like a new Getaway game for PS5.
Sony also a metric F***ton of spare resources making a lot of unrevealed stuff based on Hermen Hulst's comments about the volume of quality games they have in development exclusive for PS5.

Chevalier42d ago

Bury? Weird letting developers make new IPs they want instead of making the same game seems an awful lot like nurturing studios to me. Insomniacs, Guerilla, Naughty Dog, Suckerpunch all churning out new IPs is 'burying' their old games?

Darkborn42d ago

The problem is Sony has too many IP and they still have to create more. They need like 40 studios to continue the same old IP's and make new ones. They have what 13?

kneon41d ago

Perhaps you would prefer that Sony endlessly rehash their franchises like Nintendo does.

+ Show (7) more repliesLast reply 41d ago
lelo2play43d ago

... and yet, Sony has been "Throwing Money" around to get 3rd party exclusives/timed.

SullysCigar42d ago

And nurturing their talent. Which is the point.

Darkborn42d ago (Edited 42d ago )

They bet on smaller studios and off the wall ideas to see how it goes. If it goes well and they think it's time, they throw an offer to buy them. Some studios take 4-5 games of doing this before they offer to buy.

Insomniac for instance has made like 20+ games for Sony before they were bought.

sourOG42d ago

Why did all of those Sony devs leave for MS new studios? You pay for talent. If you don’t they will go somewhere else.

Lore42d ago (Edited 42d ago )

They’re also probably sick and tired of making simplistic games. A lot of Sony devs have moved on to Bethesda. People should wonder why. Any good artist can make pretty art. But to make a game that has a wondrous world worth hundreds of hours of exploring and character progression takes special talent.

sourOG42d ago (Edited 42d ago )

I’d say simplistic is the wrong word but I agree generally. Sony games tend to have the same feel like any other studio. The same way UBisoft open world games feel the same or Bethesda games feel the same.

But I get your “systems driven” point. Like an arkane game, Sony doesn’t have that anymore and they need to make their own. Returnal is a systems driven game so hopefully that’s a sign that they understand this and I’m sure they do. Even if it’s with third party partners. Like snagging deathloop a systems based game before the acquisition. That was good but they need a new plan.

42d ago Replies(1)
ShadowWolf71242d ago

"“Nurturing creative talent is not as simple as throwing money at it,” he explained. “You also must give them the freedom to be creative, to take risks, and to come up with new ideas.” Ryan pointed to Sucker Punch’s open world smash hit Ghost of Tsushima, which represented a dramatic change of direction for the Seattle studio. “We want [first-party developers] to use our hardware as their creative palette.”"

Read the full quote before making a comment like that. lol

NO ONE said money is not a factor, it's simply not the sole factor. Tossing money and getting big names in a room does not automatically foster a creative or productive environment.

sourOG42d ago (Edited 42d ago )

Does it matter that the Yankees have chemistry when they just pay ridiculous money for the best players? Sometimes it doesn’t matter and chemistry wins, true. They don’t “win” all of the time. I’d say the Yankees have much better odds and make more money as a team and an organization.

Redemption-6442d ago

And am sure no devs ever leave MS right? Just in case you are new to this, devs move from studio to studio. Also, the fact that MS is going after Sony devs, shows just how bad they want to make games like Playstation games

sourOG42d ago (Edited 42d ago )

I mean obviously, it’s a freelance industry mostly. I’m talking about the first party Sony exodus that happened awhile back. That new “AAAA” Microsoft studio (I forget the name because they don’t advertise their shit) moved right next door to Santa Monica and they were bleeding employees. There were a few instances like that.

IRetrouk42d ago (Edited 42d ago )

Santa monica was hit with layoffs in 2014, they didn't leave to join ms, they were fired.....
Also the initiative as a game dev team wasn't announced till 2018....

Redemption-6442d ago

Bleeding employees? Look i get you need to make up lies to deal with reality, but you can at least try to be good at it. You are talking as if Sony lost hundreds of devs, when in reality only a hand full of devs left to work for other studios, which is literally normal. I recall between 5 or 6 devs from Sony leaving to work an MS studio. Is that what you call bleeding? Or do you have a document that can show Sony losing dozens and dozens or even hundreds of employees? How many devs left during this so called exodus? Would love an estimate, with facts to back them.

MS also loses devs to other studios as well. Also, do you want to talk about, The Initiative's Perfect Dark Design Director Drew Murray leaving Xbox's development studio for a role at PlayStation's Insomniac Games. What happened, MS money not enough? How about, Rod Fergusson leaving The Coalition, where he helped lead the team behind Gears 5? Or Rare’s Creative Director for Everwild, Simon Woodroffe leaves the British studio after eight years at the company? Or Chris Lee leaving the role of being the Game Director for Halo Infinite? Lee is the second top director to leave the project in two years as former creative director, Tim Longo, and executive producer Mary Olson both left. So with all that money, MS seemed to be bleeding very high level creative people. Would you not agree?

sourOG42d ago (Edited 42d ago )

It’s not about the number it’s about the talent. Senior folks, not chunky testers. Lies lol. I don’t really care what you believe, honestly.

One person leaving isn’t the same as a bunch of senior people leaving and going to the same studio right down the street. And then assuming people didn’t follow them lol. Especially after making my personal game of the generation in a completely new and innovative take on a beloved franchise. Comparing it to Ferguson who lead gears 5 is a dumb comparison. It could be a number of things. Like you guessed it, more money! In California somewhere instead of asshole North Carolina or wherever they operate.

Redemption-6442d ago (Edited 42d ago )


And with all that money, MS has not been able to keep all those high level devs i listed that left. I will ask you again, How many devs left during this so called exodus? Would love an estimate, with facts to back them. You made a claim and am asking you for proof, whiles also providing you with senior devs who left MS. I guess MS money was not enough to keep them.

Again the people I also listed are literally senior level roles, not some no name QA tester.

sourOG42d ago

I already gave you enough proof to work on and figure it out yourself. My estimate is a bunch. I don’t know a number, I know a bunch of talent left for Microsoft and provided 3 examples. I didn’t remember their names either. You want me to scour the internet to find names that left SSM 4 years ago and for what? Your approval? No offense but f*** you, figure it out lol. Or don’t I don’t care, it doesn’t change the fact that it happened.

Yes maybe the Microsoft money wasn’t enough. It could be a bunch of things when it comes to one person leaving, senior or not. Maybe he had family issues and needed to move, maybe it was a promotion. We don’t know.

When a bunch of seniors move to a “AAAA” studio down the street after making a game like god of war, it’s money. It’s obviously money. What more proof do you need for this?

Redemption-6442d ago


So basically you made a claim, a lie i will say and are unable to back it up? Got it, why didn't you just say so?

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 42d ago
BehindTheRows42d ago

How many devs and for what “studio(s)”?

sourOG42d ago

A bunch. Sony Santa Monica for one.

IRetrouk42d ago (Edited 42d ago )

In 2014 was santa Monica's layoffs... they are expanding right now, along with naughty dog and other first party studios, and to say they all went to ms is just made up bull to be honest, nobody knows where 99.9% of those devs went, let's not forget one or two of em came back to sony too....

IRetrouk42d ago

You think all those santa monica devs in 2014 left and went to ms? All of em? Even the 14 devs that left naughty dog after uncharted 4 wrapped up? What about Japan studio staff, did they join ms too? Made up nonsense.

sourOG42d ago (Edited 42d ago )

“Nobody knows!”

Google knows.


That and it’s right down the street so it’s obvious lol. More money and you don’t even have to move? Why not.

You posted 3 times about 2014 layoffs and it has nothing to do with what I’m talking about. Relax.

IRetrouk42d ago (Edited 42d ago )

Because that's the only thing that resembles an exodus that's happened in the recent past?

So you went from an exodus to less than 5 people you can name? You serious right now?
3 people from santa monica is a bunch of sony studios?

So there was no exodus,
There was no bunch,
You cant name more than a handful,
And they didn't all go to ms new studios,
Glad we could clear that up👌

You say more pay, do you actually know how much each companies pays their various leads? I don't think you do, just another assumption I'm guessing?

sourOG42d ago (Edited 42d ago )

That’s a head start on a google, you’re welcome. I can’t name them personally so they don’t exist 👌 brilliant.

IRetrouk42d ago (Edited 42d ago )

Who said they don't exist?
I'm simply pointing out that for all your bluster, you know very little of who left/got sacked/joined another team, so to be making absolute statements like you are is silly and wrong, like it, dont🤷‍♂️

Chevalier42d ago


Oh you mean like all those guys who left Xbox/Fables/Lionhead to form a whole studio like say Media Molecule 🤔? Oh right that was a mass exodus and yeah they actually became a Playstation studio! Goes both ways. Just idiotic how clueless you are. Ton of high profile guys left Xbox and moved on it happens all the time.