Today, during Sony’s quarterly conference call for investors and analysts, chief financial officer Hiroki Totoki talked about the performance of the PlayStation business.
Totoki-san explained that the total gameplay time of PlayStation users in December 2021 declined by 20% year-on-year due to the comparison with the PS5’s launch year. Yet, compared with December 2019, gameplay time increased by approximately 7%, so Sony considers this a solid performance for a quarter in which there were few major new releases.
On top of that, Sony expects engagement to increase further in the current quarter (between January and March) due to the launch of Horizon Forbidden West and Gran Turismo 7.
We then heard that due to the shortage of semiconductor components, Sony had to lower its forecast of PS5 units sold for the full fiscal year (ending in March) to 11.5 million, compared to the previous forecast which predicted the shipment of over 14.8 million units. Incidentally, Sony already shipped 9.5 million units during this fiscal year, so this sets the target for the period between January and March at a rather conservative 2 million units.
These shortages are expected to continue going forward, but PlayStation will make every possible effort to meet the strong demand for PS5.
Totoki-san also talked about the acquisition of Bungie, confirming the 3.6 billion dollars and clarifying that the conclusion of the deal is subject to conditions including regulatory approval.
He explained that the strategic significance of the acquisition lies not only in obtaining the Destiny IP and the “major new IP that Bungie is currently developing,” but also in incorporating into the Sony Group the expertise and technologies that Bungie has developed in the live service games space.
Sony intends to utilize that know-how when developing game IP at PlayStation studios as they expand in the live service games area. Thanks to the close collaboration between Bungie and PlayStation Studios, the company intends to launch over 10 live service games by the fiscal year ending in March 2026.
It’s worth mentioning that this doesn’t mean that all of these games (if any) will be developed directly by Bungie.
Totoki-san added that Sony views the deployment of IP on multiple platforms as a major growth opportunity as proven by the success of God of War and other first-party games. With the acquisition of Bungie, the company intends to acquire new users and increase engagement on platforms other than PlayStation and further expand the ecosystem of Sony’s gaming business.
Following the acquisition of Bungie, Sony intends to grow its first-party games software revenue, aiming to more than double it by March 2026.
If you’d like to learn more about Sony’s financial performance on top of official shipment numbers for PS5 and PS4, you can check out our dedicated article.