Throughout 2016, Sony announced numerous PlayStation 4 games – including God of War, Days Gone, The Last of Us Part II, and Spider-Man PS4 – but they didn’t give us any firm release dates or a release window, choosing instead to say they’re in development for PS4.
As part of a panel at PlayStation Experience 2016 this past weekend, Sony Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida explained why they aren’t giving out concrete dates for upcoming titles, and why they’ve had to delay so many PS4 games so far:
We definitely have learned by our mistake of announcing release dates too early. So we will be more cautious doing so because these days, making games on PS4 generation… the ambition of the teams are making the game much bigger and more complex and takes much longer time to… the game might get to Alpha stage – everything is in – but getting them to the Beta stage – the game’s being tested and tuned and polished – takes much longer than before.
So the teams are learning as they work on this generation that what they had learned before cannot apply the same way this generation. So that’s why we, unfortunately, have to move release dates on many titles in the past and made people disappointed… and you are not nice to us; of course, that’s totally fair. So we have learned from that. And going forward we will be much more cautious and wait until the time that we are really confident to hit the date.
Recently, Gran Turismo Sport was delayed from November 15 to an unspecified time in 2017, while early 2017 titles Horizon Zero Dawn and Gravity Rush 2 were previously expected this year. This year also saw delays to The Last Guardian and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.
During the PlayStation Showcase, Sony announced remasters of PaRappa the Rapper, LocoRoco, Patapon, and WipEout. Asked if they’re using them to gauge interest in potentially reviving the franchises, Shuhei said they get many requests to bring back many of their IPs, but their resources are limited and they tend to like to work on new IPs like Horizon Zero Dawn and Days Gone.
“So we have to make balance of how we manage our resources,” he continued. “And when we see some opportunity like this time with a complete remaster of PaRappa, Patapon, LocoRoco, and also WipEout, we think this is a great opportunity to be able to give something back to the people who were asking for. So, of course, when these games do well, that means there are lots of people who still like these IPs, so we might be able to come up with something.”