PlayStation has had what you might name a rising obsession with diversifying the kinds of merchandise that make it cash. The corporate’s first-party video games promote extremely nicely, command the respect of recreation builders and gamers alike, and persistently rank among the many yr’s highest-rated video games.
However there’s an unavoidable drawback that grows in dimension with each a type of the corporate places out: they’re fully single-player video games whose prices rise exponentially with each launch. Tons of of tens of millions spent making video games that gamers end in per week and transfer on.
It doesn’t assist that Sony stays too valuable about its first-party output, refusing to launch video games on competing platforms (although it has clearly softened this stance in terms of PC), and refusing to entertain the concept of following in Xbox’s footsteps and launching something into its personal subscription companies.
Sony’s reply to this dilemma has been to take a position closely into dwell service video games, and the primary a type of is about for launch this yr.
In April final yr, Sony introduced the acquisition of Firewalk Studios, a staff the corporate had been working with since 2021. Although it’s all the time been clear Firewalk is engaged on a multiplayer first-person mission, the sport wouldn’t get revealed till Might. Harmony was unveiled to the world with a short teaser that confirmed off its sci-fi setting and… not a lot else. Whereas the sport all the time had a 2024 launch goal, this wasn’t cemented till a brand new weblog put up that appears to be like forward at PS5’s 2024 video games slate was lately revealed.
We nonetheless know barely something about Harmony, however the truth it’s been confirmed but once more for a 2024 launch means we’re nearer than ever to a correct reveal. Ought to it really arrive this yr, Harmony could be the primary of a number of first-party dwell service video games in improvement on the firm’s varied groups – a lot of which had been particularly acquired to make dwell service video games.
It’s arduous to evaluate the prospects of a recreation we all know so little about, particularly now that the market has began to outwardly reject dwell service video games in a manner it by no means has since, nicely, the craze started with the unique Future. That is additionally the identical market that satisfied Sony to curtail its dwell service ambitions, going from planning to launch 12 video games by 2026 to delaying half of them. Some have been outright cancelled. 2023 particularly gave the impression to be a turning level for dwell service, in that so, so, so a lot of them shutdown in the course of the yr. Some known as it quits simply two months after launching.
All of that’s to say that any dwell service recreation releasing on this local weather, particularly one from a brand new staff, has an uphill battle forward of it. It’s, nevertheless, notably worrisome that Sony hasn’t been making sufficient noise about Harmony for the reason that partnership was initially introduced.
That could possibly be intentional; it’s good to solely communicate when you could have one thing value saying. However there’s additionally the sense that Harmony won’t be seen because the banner beneath which this entire endeavour could possibly be launched.
Though that is PvP shooter – the preferred style – it could possibly be that the specifics might not make it as interesting as shooters usually are. I’ll settle for that I could also be studying a bit an excessive amount of into this, however I feel PlayStation’s first main dwell service launch from a studio it purchased due to its spectacular pitch deserves a bit little bit of an extended pre-release tail.
2024 is wanting particularly gentle on first-party releases from PlayStation, so there’s definitely loads of air within the room. Or perhaps it doesn’t matter, and by the tip of the yr, we’ll all be too busy grinding dailies in Harmony to recollect any of this.