Former PlayStation CEO Thinks Video Game Industry is Unsustainable

PlayStation video game industry

A conversation with Shawn Layden, who was CEO for PlayStation until 2019, offered details about topics such as the video game industry’s current and future path and Capcom’s Deep Down. According to Layden, current practices within the video game industry are unsustainable due to higher budgets per game. [Thanks, Bloomberg!]

Despite rumors of the real reason behind his departure, Layden stated that the launch of the PlayStation 5 was a good way to leave the company after feeling burned out. In regards to the current state of the video game industry, Layden said that with each generation of consoles, the budget for each game rises. PlayStation 4 titles were costing $100 million, and so he predicts that it will cost companies $200 million to make PlayStation 5 games.

As a result of high budgets, companies will start to focus more on existing franchises with an established fanbase, resulting in multiple sequels in series such as Call of Duty. Additionally, companies may also focus on genres that are making millions of dollars already–for example, the wide open combat of PUBG or Fortnite–which will then lead to an oversaturation of a genre or series. Layden was part of the reason for why certain gamers expect bigger worlds and more polished graphics with each passing year due to his own involvement with games like Ghost of Tsushima.

In regards to what happened to Deep Down, Layden stated, “I have no idea.” Deep Down, announced in 2013, was supposed to be a single-player or co-operative dungeon crawler game that would be exclusive on the PlayStation 4. Yoshinori Ono, who was a Capcom producer and in charge of Deep Down, left Capcom in 2020.

Currently, the CEO of SIE Worldwide Studios after Shawn Layden is Jim Ryan. Katsuhiro Harada and Masahiro Sakurai have also discussed their thoughts on the video game industry on Harada’s Bar.

Stephanie Liu
Stephanie is a Canadian writer, translator, anime fan, and gamer. She only exhibits her true power at night.