What we learned about Sony PlayStation’s new smartphone gaming team

Sony wants 20 percent of new games to be on smartphones by 2025, and last August it announced a new division at PlayStation Studios Mobile to help make that happen. But you should know that what Sony is building no It looks like a new game studio is going to produce its own games, and there is, like, no way to port Sony’s biggest games to phones the way they’re ported to PC.

17 current and former positions indicate that PlayStation Studios Mobile is more than a cross-functional management, strategy, licensing and support team.

They determine what PlayStation IP is best suited for mobile, and help convert licensed IP to internal and external Game studios alike, oversee titles, make sure the final games live up to Sony’s expectations – and may invest or even acquire outside developers if there’s strategic value in them.

Here is a description of the Senior External Producer role, for example:

Become an ambassador for PlayStation, working with the best mobile game developers to evaluate, produce and release PlayStation Studios Mobile games of the highest quality, on time and on budget.

And many roles require prospective employees to have a “proven track record” with free games specifically. I’ve only seen One game designer role To date, her primary responsibility is: “Supporting game design for internal projects and advising projects with external partners on mobile F2P systems, economy management, and retention features.”

Tried and true, at least for the console

Relying on outside studios wouldn’t be surprising: It’s a formula that has worked for Sony in the past. Many praised the first party And Third-party games came from Sony’s PlayStation Studios (formerly Sony Interactive Entertainment Worldwide Studios), even if Sony briefly tried to pretend the brand was only exclusively first-party when the PS5 first launched.

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Besides, this is the third time that Sony has attempted to launch smartphone games, after the failure of the PlayStation Mobile platform and its WayForward studio, which produced only two games (Everyone’s golf And Disgaia RPG) specifically for the Japanese market. (Sony was also preparing to bring its PlayStation Now cloud gaming service to phones, figuring that out in 2021, but let’s not count that because Sony never announced it.)

Some publications describe the group as a “small but rapidly growing team” where “employees wear many hats and contribute to the emerging culture of mobile game design at PlayStation Studios while supporting efforts across the company”.

The job postings make it seem as though there is genuine interest in leveraging Sony’s in-house studios for game production as well, if those efforts are successfully supported. The company’s head of mobile product describes his job as including both externally and internally developed titles:

Responsible for the delivery of PlayStation Studios-quality mobile titles, including internally developed within existing studios, acquired, and developed externally through licensing, co-development, and co-publishing partnerships.

Most current roles for Product Managers and Outside Producers based in San Mateo and Amsterdam; The company also hires a Mobile engineering manager Product Strategy Analyst. Previously, Sony was also looking for Financial Managermanagers Mobile product managementAnd Business Development And studio operationsand a Korean translator in Amsterdam.

According to their LinkedIn pages, Sony’s hires currently appear to include:

  • Nicola Sebastiani, Head of Mobile; Previously, Chief Content Officer at Apple Arcade
  • Olivier Courtemanche as Head of Mobile Products; He was previously Product Manager for Zynga and briefly Head of Content at Meta horizon. Funnily enough, Sony seems to have He built the role specifically for him:
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I hope no one else applies for this job!
Screenshot by Sean Hollister / The Verge

  • Chris Davis as Head of Mobile Business Development; He spent seven years doing this work for Kabam
  • Uyen Uyen Ton Nu as Head of Mobile Marketing; She’s spent eight years doing it with Super Evil Megacorp (that studio, by the way, is working on a project for a Netflix mobile game lineup)
  • Justin Kubik in license. He was former Vice President of Mobile Publishing at NCSoft and former Head of Game Partnerships for Samsung

We’re definitely eager to see what they come up with. Sony previously stated that Savage Game Studios, the first mobile game production group acquired by PlayStation, already has “a new, unannounced AAA mobile game” in the works. they Job postings show that they are looking for experience with Unreal Engine.

Nintendo also recently created a new company with partner DeNA (co-developer of the Nintendo Switch). Super Mario RunAnd Fire Emblem Heroes, etc.) to produce more mobile games. And like Sony, Netflix also relies on third-party partners for its mobile titles, though it also took on Apple Arcade’s strategy of bundling games you previously had to buy into its paid subscription.

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