Sony PlayStation Gaming Division Boss Explains Why They Dropped E3 This Year

Sony has dropped E3 this year with reports of a new console reveal for PS5 happening. It is possible that they have other plans. Now they have explained the reason behind their E3 decision in a new interview.

Speaking with CNET, Shawn Layden, head of the gaming division at Sony PlayStation, explains the reason why they decided to drop E3 support this year and what they are planning to do with it in the future.

When we decided to take video games out of CES, back in 1995 during the PlayStation 1 era, E3 served two constituencies: retailers and journalists.

Retailers would come in — you’d see a guy come in, and he’d say, “I’m from Sears, and I handle Hot Wheels, Barbie, VHS and video games. So what are you about?” There was a huge educational component.

Then you had journalists who had magazines and lead time and jockeying for position on the cover. And there was no internet to speak of. So a trade show at that time of year for this nascent industry was exactly what we needed to do.

Now we have an event in February called Destination PlayStation, where we bring all retailers and third-party partners to come hear the story for the year. They’re making purchasing discussions in February. June, now, is just too late to have a Christmas holiday discussion with retailers.

So retail has really dropped off. And journalists now, with the internet and the fact that 24/7 there is game news, it’s lost its impact around that.

So the trade show became a trade show without a lot of trade activity. The world has changed, but E3 hasn’t necessarily changed with it.

This goes in line with their decision now to make fewer games that are bigger but offer more content.

Shawn Layden was also open to acquiring new game studios just like Microsoft is doing with their gaming division. He explained the criteria on how they decide to pick a studio.

If your title is going to be “first” and creating a genre, or “first” and creating a new game activity, let’s look at that. If you’re going to make an action adventure game, It better be “best” in class. And we have the third category called “must,” which is we must support the platform, we must be present when new technology comes out.

Sony has a lot of talented first party developers like Naughty Dog, Sucker Punch, Santa Monica Studio and Guerrilla Games. All of them have proved that they are capable of delivering big games that are a critical and commercial hit. It will interesting to see what studio ends up next with Sony PlayStation.

Danial Arshad Khan

Founder of GearNuke.
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