At the recent Develop Conference, Sony Computer Entertainment President, Andrew House, revealed that the original PlayStation was viewed “extremely negatively” by large parts of the company, and it was considered a “toy”.
House took a trip down the memory lane in which he mentioned that nobody wanted to volunteer to be a part of PSX, and that upon his volunteering, House’s boss thought he was an “idiot” because no one believed that PlayStation would ever become a major part of the corporation’s business.
Our stated goal at the time was very clear, and it tied back to trying to get people away from thinking of games as just for kids, or a kids toy.
House further explained that he met Sam Houser and decided to support the Grand Theft Auto franchise, particularly to send a message that video games aren’t just for kids.
It was just one of those serendipidous alignments of what Sam and Rockstar were trying to do, it just fitted perfectly with where we wanted to be as a platform. It just made it a really easy discussion and was a perfect alignment. Those moments are very rare in your career. That was a big turning point for us, seeing what the power of a single franchise could do in relation to a platform.
The strategy worked well, Andrew!