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

For some time now, the PlayStation brand has been evolving. The word “PlayStation” no longer just means the console that sits under your TV, it now refers to movies, TV shows, or even the brand’s exclusive console games that come out on the PC.

Now, in conversation with a handful of media companies, Hermen Hulst, Head of PlayStation Studios, has outlined a little more about what’s in store for PlayStation’s burgeoning future.

A clear pillar of PlayStation’s future business strategy is live-service gaming, as Sony’s $3.7 billion acquisition of Bungie has already proven. According to Hulst, part of Bungie’s role in the PlayStation family will be to serve as an example of how to approach the live service model.

“I’ve been a long-time admirer of Bungie,” the executive told GQ. “They speak our language and have done so for a decade since Destiny originally launched. The battle scars they have sustained coupled with their total transparency means I can’t think of a better partner in this space.”

Meanwhile, Hulst told Axios that PlayStation has greenlit a total of 12 projects in the live ops space. This aligns with the number Sony CFO Hiroki Totoki said in February when we learned of PlayStation plans to launch more than 10 live service games by March 2026. and entertaining so many live service games should be possible in this window.

You can probably expect PlayStation’s live service offerings to be a mix of new IP and recognizable franchises. Hulst told GQ that PlayStation has “about 25 titles in development” and that about half of the projects in development are new IP. He also said that PlayStation “isn’t ruling out bringing some of our beloved existing franchises to live games.”

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

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

Even as Sony begins to spend more resources on multiplayer live service offerings, Hulst appears to remain committed to Sony’s flagship single-player titles, telling Axios that narrative-driven single-player games are going nowhere. They seem to be taking longer to get here, however, as there have been delays to Horizon Forbidden West and God of War Ragnarok in the past, while Spider-Man 2 is currently the only major Sony-released exclusivity in the 2023 books outside of the des Company is PSVR 2 plans.

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

Hulst told Reuters that “further investment in areas that will boost expansion to the PC” is a definite possibility.

From now on, however, it’s not just a PS5 and PC party. Speaking to Axios, Hulst also mentioned bringing more games to PS4 “on a case-by-case basis” and talked about building Sony’s “internal capability” to develop mobile games. Earlier this year, Sony formed its PlayStation Studios mobile division to begin work on mobile games based on new and existing IPs.

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

For even more PlayStation details, check out how Sony appears to be planning to manufacture 2 million PSVR 2 units for launch. Or read how the PS5 has apparently been jailbroken with people already having Hideo Kojima’s PT installed.

Logan Plant is a freelance writer for IGN, covering video game and entertainment news. He has over six years of gaming industry experience with bylines at IGN, Nintendo Wire, Switch Player Magazine and Lifewire. Find him on Twitter @LoganJPlant.

https://www.ign.com/articles/hermen-hulst-talks-playstations-future-more-live-service-more-pc-more-new-franchises Hermen Hulst talks about the future of PlayStation: more live service, more PC, more new franchises

Isaiah Colbert

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