Back in May, Sony Interactive Entertainment President and CEO Jim Ryan explained on a financial call that nearly half of PlayStation’s upcoming published games were live service games. This statement came just after Sony had acquired Destiny developer Bungie. Ryan had noted that the existing Destiny live service was not included in the 12. Also, he added that MLB The Show is PlayStation’s lone live service game. With that, we can assume the yearly MLB releases only account for one. So what are the 12 live service games in the works over at Sony?
What We Know For Sure
After years of rumors, The Last of Us and Uncharted developer Naughty Dog announced they had expanded The Last of Us II’s multiplayer component to its own stand-alone game. What they had initially thought to include alongside The Last of Us II, now had become a AAA live service game.
On March 21st, 2022 PlayStation formally welcomed newly formed Haven Studios into the fold. The team is comprised of former Stadia and Ubisoft developers making a “AAA multiplayer experience with a vision to build a systemic and evolving world focused on freedom, thrill, and playfulness that will keep players entertained and engaged for years.” This is according to their post over on the PlayStation blog. The team started working on their new IP sometime in early 2021. It is unclear how much, if any, of the project they were able to bring over from their time at Google.
In the Spring of 2021, Sony announced that it had partnered with a brand new development team in Deviation Games. Work on their game started the year prior on a brand new original IP. With the team’s previous work on classic Call of Duty titles, it is a safe bet to assume they are working on a live service shooter. Their game entered full production sometime this year. The studio is on a massive hiring spree and has expanded to a second location in Canada. Deviation Games is clearly working on one of the 12 live service games.
Live Service Smoke
Sony London, Media Molecule, and Guerrilla Games have all posted jobs for work on live service games. Sometime from 2017 to 2018 former Rainbow Six: Siege developers joined Horizon and Killzone studio, Guerrilla Games. They are working on a secret project. Since then a number of other developers tied to multiplayer shooters have been hired at the studio. The unfounded rumor mill has pointed to SOCOM, Killzone, and a Horizon multiplayer game.
Bungie could be working on as many as three new games. They have been tied to an Overwatch-like hero shooter, a mobile game, and of course the continuation of Destiny. Of course, Jim Ryan mentioned that Destiny, as it stands today, does not count towards the 12 live service games. Yet that does not eliminate a Destiny 3 or an all-new MMO set in the Destiny universe. It is safe to assume that as many as two games from Bungie could count towards the 12 live service games.
At this point, it is almost a foregone conclusion that PlayStation is working on a live service Twisted Metal. News outlet VGC has done a fantastic job detailing events behind the scenes with the franchise. In January, they reported the UK-based Sony studio Firesprite had been handed the keys to a live service Twisted Metal reboot. A Twisted Metal TV show is set to air on Peacock sometime in late 2023 to 2024. It is likely Sony plans to release a new game alongside the show.
Likely Live Service PS VR2 Games
There is almost no way that Sony launches PS VR2 in 2023 without a live service game. There are around 20 games in preparation for the hardware launch, all funded by Sony. At least two of these tiles should be multiplayer live service games that fall within Sony’s first or second party. A strong candidate is likely a sequel to beloved PSVR shooter Firewall: Zero Hour.
If Sony has funded an exclusive sequel, it could fall under the first and second-party teams referenced in the financial call. Although previous AA and indie VR games from external developers have fallen under other leadership at Sony. With that, I think it is safe to assume that Sony plans on releasing at least two PS VR2 games over the next four years that are in the live service category. If that comes true, as it should, that would bring us to 12 live service games. If Bungie is only working on one live service game, then that means there is a mysterious game in development within Sony’s first party.
Confirmed Live Service Games
- MLB The Show
- The Last of Us Multiplayer Project
- Haven Studios Unannounced Title
- Deviation Games Unannounced Title
Unconfirmed Live Service Games
- Sony London Unannounced Live Service Title
- Media Molecule Unannounced Live Service Title
- Guerrilla Games Unannounced Multiplayer Shooter
- Twisted Metal Reboot
Conceivable Live Service Games
- One or two live service games from Bungie
- PS VR2 shooter
- PS VR2 live service games