Former PlayStation executive Shawn Layden has joined Streamline Media Group’s advisory media board and pledges to disrupt the games industry and help small creators.
Streamline made the announcement in an official statement GamesIndustry.biz picked up and Layden made further comments to the publication in an exclusive interview, where he also held up Sony’s business model as more sustainable than Xbox and Game Pass.
“It's very hard to launch a $120m game on a subscription service charging $9.99 a month,” he said, speaking on. You pencil it out, you're going to have to have 500 million subscribers before you start to recoup your investment.”
He said he doesn’t believe Game Pass and cloud gaming are enough to draw people to a platform either, or at least, not until higher quality internet connections become more widespread.
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Shawn Layden Calls Game Pass Unsustainable and Calls for Industry Disruption
“If you can find a way to get the content into people's homes without a box, then yes [it’s a viable model],” he said. “But still, if you have only 250 million consoles out there, you're not going to get to half a billion subscribers. So how do you circle that square? Nobody has figured that out yet.”
However, Layden also believes Sony’s model has sustainability problems. He predicts development costs for PS5 games will eventually reach $200 million, and while that’s not reflective of costs for indie and smaller studios, he said development expenses have risen too high for most makers to keep up with.
While Layden offered no solution to the problem, he said it shows the industry is ripe for disruption, and the way forward is helping small studios bring their visions to life instead of acquiring them.