PlayStation had a relatively quiet April, all things considered. With no big game releases and studio acquisitions, some of its most notable news this month came when it invested more in Epic Games and the Metaverse. Rumors also indicate that PlayStation is testing the possibility of selling in-game ads, and most people have greeted this news with as much enthusiasm as expected.
I’m sick of hearing about the metaverse. You’re probably sick of hearing about the Metaverse. The world is tired of hearing about the Metaverse. But sadly, the Metaverse is here to stay. That means we’re seeing video game companies spending even more money investing in it, like PlayStation just did with Epic Games.
With this third round of investments, PlayStation has just invested $1 billion in the metaverse and “the development of new digital experiences for fans”. Please try to contain your excitement. But really, though, it makes sense with PlayStation’s acquisition of Bungie and its growing efforts in the live service vector. Additionally, Epic’s massive hit Fortnite is currently the closest game to a true metaverse.
This news came just days after Epic Games introduced Unreal Engine 5, nearly two years after its initial announcement in 2020. Going forward, more developers plan to use Unreal Engine 5 on their own proprietary technology, like CD Projekt RED, which just announced that the next Witcher game would be built on Unreal Engine. Crystal Dynamics also announced that the next Tomb Raider game is also in the works on Unreal Engine 5.
Is PlayStation about to start selling in-game ads?
Because the future is dire, PlayStation may soon start selling in-game ads, a move that could mimic a feature would be in preparation at Microsoft for Xbox. The new report, from Business Intern, refers to three people familiar with the plans who said Sony had already begun testing with adtech partners. It will supposedly help pave the way for free-to-play developers to monetize their games more effectively, and is expected to launch by the end of the year.
Personally? I hate that. No thanks. Go away. I no longer need publicity in my life. Games are already over $70, and a new console costs at least $400. No. That being said, we’ll have to see how it all pans out, or if it becomes something to worry about to begin with.
PlayStation Studios wins six BAFTA Awards
The 18th BAFTA Games Awards saw PlayStation Studios win six titles for its work on Returnal and Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart. Returnal won Best Game, Audio Direction, Music, and Performer in a Leading Role with Jane Perry’s performance as Selene. Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart also managed to win awards for Animation and Technical Achievement. All in all, it was a pretty good night for PlayStation games.
While there are plenty of award shows throughout the year and PlayStation will undoubtedly win more, the BAFTAs have a level of prestige that others don’t. It’s great to see PlayStation Studios being recognized for their work again.
PlayStation Plus redesign slated for June
PlayStation revealed plans to overhaul PlayStation Plus last month with a tentative schedule for summer 2022. The company has now given target dates by which gamers can expect the overhaul to take effect. From Sony:
- Asian markets (excluding Japan) – targeting from May 23, 2022
- Japan – June 1, 2022 targeting
- Americas – targeting June 13, 2022
- Europe – targeting June 22, 2022
PlayStation also announced the expansion of its cloud streaming access to include Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Republic of Cyprus, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. As streaming becomes more and more important, I’m glad to see Sony stepping up its efforts to make it more accessible.
According to a report by game developer, PlayStation is also reportedly asking some developers to offer a limited 2-hour trial of their games to PlayStation Plus Premium members. Sony would take care of creating the timed trials for developers, and this only applies to developers whose games cost more than $34 wholesale.
And if you happened to rack up memberships before the June revamp in hopes of saving some cash, you’re out of luck. Sony quietly disabled temporary membership stacking before the revamp. It’s understandable that Sony doesn’t want people to rack up 10 years of membership at once, but it’s odd that the company hasn’t made the announcement publicly. Instead, it quietly updated the PlayStation Plus FAQ.
The rest of the year will be…interesting
Although E3 has been canceled, we are preparing for the E3 season. The summer is sure to be full of major game announcements and showcases thanks to the Summer Games Fest and distinct publisher showcases. With God of War Ragnarok still seemingly out this year, we might see it in action sooner rather than later. I’m hoping for a few surprises in the coming months, and given that the rest of PlayStation’s slate this year is pretty barren, I’m excited to see what’s next.
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PlayStation Recap: Sony Invests $1 Billion In Epic Games And The Metaverse