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Sony Investing 'Aggressively' in First-Party Studios, Exclusives

Sony aims to step up its exclusive PlayStation offerings this year.
Sony aims to step up its exclusive PlayStation offerings this year. / Photo courtesy of Insomniac Games/Sony

Sony plans to put another $183 million into its first-party studios in addition to building out partnerships with third-party studios.

Sony chief financial officer Hiroki Totoki detailed the plan during Wednesday's Sony earnings call.

"In terms of costs, we plan to increase development, personnel and other costs in our in-house studios by approximately [$183 million] year-on-year as we further strengthen out in-house produced software," Totoki said.

Sony recently mothballed Japan Studio, one of its oldest first-party development studios. Reports indicated the studio's Japan-first approach chafed against the larger company's ambitions for global hits and caused some to worry that Sony was moving away from developing smaller, riskier games in-house.

Totoki also cited Sony's recent partnership with Assassin's Creed creator Jade Raymond's new studio, Haven Entertainment Studios, as an example of the kind of partnerships the company is pursuing.

"To enhance our software offering, we intend to continue investing in or partnering with external studios in addition to aggressively investing in our in-house studios," Totoki said.

The spending outlined in Sony's earnings call reflects Sony CEO Jim Ryan's recent claim that the PlayStation 5 will have more exclusive games any previous generation of Sony console.

"We have been quietly but steadily investing in high-quality games for PlayStation, and we will make sure that the PS5 generation will have more dedicated software than ever before," Ryan told Nikkei last week.

"We have repeatedly engaged in mergers and acquisitions, including Insomniac Games in the US," he said. "We will not rule out that option in the future."

Exclusives are a key piece of Sony's strategy for this console generation, and they're undeniably a major reason for the PS5's runaway success even in the face of manufacturing struggles. The next two exclusives coming down the pike are Return on April 30 and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart on June 11.