Achievement 1: Securing Exclusivity for Second and Third-Party PS2 Games
Although the PSOne had well and truly put Sony on the map, its continued success in the next console generation was far from assured back in the year 2000. Of course, we all know how things played out: the PS2 would go on to completely dominate the era. But its market share was forged on much more than just goodwill from the previous generation. As Sony led the charge with its hotly anticipated PS2, Kazuo Hirai had a game plan to keep the console’s library stocked with quality exclusives.
During the PSone’s inception in the early nineties, Sony had placed a huge priority on working with fledgling game studios to compete with Nintendo’s inhouse first-party teams. Hirai expanded on this approach for the launch of the PS2, not only acquiring studios such as Naughty Dog, but importantly, also securing exclusivity for anticipated third-party titles. Games like Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and Grand Theft 3 would only be available on the PS2, which would prove to be a massive incentive for gamers to get onboard with the new console. Hirai also supplemented this by establishing so-called “second-party” studios such as Sucker Punch, who worked exclusively with PlayStation, developing hits like Sly Cooper and Ratchet and Clank.
Hirai’s decision to prioritize this initiative was instrumental in maintaining the PS2’s reputation for a diverse range of quality games.