Skip to main content

Sony is looking at multi-platform pivot to increase profit margins

So, when is that podcast episode coming up?
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

Sony presented its financial results for the third quarter of the ongoing fiscal year, reporting good sales for PS5 and Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. However, the company used the opportunity to correct financial forecasts for the coming months downwards, saying it expects PS5 sales to slow and announced it was not planning on any major releases from existing franchises until after March 2025, which would hamper software sales.

At the same time profit margins for big budget games are getting slimmer due to their massive development cost and required time. President of Sony Hiroki Totoki, who also serves as CFO and COO of the corporation, stated that he wants to push for first-party multi-platform releases to improve those margins – a viewpoint that was possibly helped by the enormous success of Helldivers 2 at the moment.

PlayStation 5 in white and black on white background.

PS5 profit margins are getting slimmer, so Sony is looking to expand the reach of its first-party titles.

The Sony-published co-op third-person shooter launched on PC and PS5 at the same time and comes with crossplay, enabling both player populations to play with each other. According to the developer, sales hovered around a million copies just days after the title’s release. With numbers of above 100,000 concurrent users on Steam, the game has become Sony’s biggest PC launch yet.

“In the past, we wanted to popularize consoles and the first-party titles' main purpose was to make the console popular,” Hiroki Totoki said (as translated by Genki). “It is true, but there is a synergy to it. So if you have strong first-party content, not only with our console but also other platforms like computers, first-party [content] can be grown with multi-platform and that can help operating profit to improve. So that is another one we want to proactively work on.”

“I personally think there are opportunities out there for improvement of margins, so I would like to go aggressive in improving our margin performance,” he concluded.

In addition to the games themselves, the hardware profit margins pose another challenge. Hiroki Totoki explained that parts for the PS5 are becoming more expensive as its life cycle continues – a change from previous generations of the console, which were able to be produced cheaper as time went on.

As Sony tries to make up for these factors, we’re likely going to see more launches like that of Helldivers 2 in the future with exclusives becoming rarer.

Microsoft is set to announce similar changes in a podcast featuring Xbox chief Phil Spencer on February 15, 2024, as it looks to bring its games to more platforms.