Sony Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida does not like where sequels have gone in the video game industry, and he’s not afraid to admit it either. The big boss spoke out at a 2015 DICE Summit event voicing his displeasure.
During the speech, Yoshida unloaded his knowledge of gaming history, saying that sequels haven’t always been the guaranteed success that they are today. With the evolution of the AAA model though, his main complaint about the way sequels are handled is that the middle ground between pushing franchises forward and the marketing and profit halves of the equation simply don’t overlap.
According to IGN, who attended the event, Yoshida called out the marketing executives for franchises like Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed who point towards how annualized franchises can work in the modern world. Both series revel in the multi-millions of profits, but neither seem to be able to shake the reputation and baggage that comes with being an annualized product.
The general atmosphere of both series is that Assassin’s Creed sees an erratic level of quality between solid games and buggy games, and Call of Duty feels like a repackage every year.
Yoshida continued to state that he “hates” how this has happened, with all respect to the developers who make the games. A man after my own heart, but I can’t help but wonder if he hates the profits these multi-million selling franchises and their DLC, microtransactions, and frequent releases bring to Sony.
The PlayStation and Xbox brand names have built their success on the boom in budgets and profits from franchises like these. Yoshida can hate the quality of games, but he can’t hate how it is allowing Sony to scrape by through depending on PlayStation.