Sony PlayStation: First Party Studios |OT4| Because we're skipping 3

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MegaSackman

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Oct 27, 2017
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Of course PS/SSM aren't going to release a documentary that portrays them in a negative light but I agree that it didn't seem particularly PR friendly. Schreier has, quite rightly, been very strongly pushing the idea of unionisation and talking about the "unsustainable" industry for a while now though and it may colour his opinion. He probably just wanted a bigger focus on the crunch and pressures involved but I don't feel like it glossed over the sacrifices made either. Just like people who wanted more focus on the actual development of certain parts of the game there is only so much time for each aspect in a 2 hour doc.
I mean, it was pretty obvious to me that they had an enormous pressure to succeed due to the failure of the cancelled game and the investment on a new facility. It was probably an "all or nothing" situation.
 
Jan 10, 2019
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His statement literally contradicts itself. How can it be “PR Friendly” while simultaneously showing the deep amount of sacrifice it takes. They literally dedicate a section to the studio head holding back tears saying she doesn’t want to answer whether the sacrifice is worth it or not at the moment.
Yep. The crux of the doc is the age old debate of whether the art is worth the sacrifice. For such an industry like the games industry, I thought it was very un-PR ish.
 

Brotherhood93

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Oct 28, 2017
1,861
I mean, it was pretty obvious to me that they had an enormous pressure to succeed due to the failure of the cancelled game and the investment on a new facility. It was probably an "all or nothing" situation.
Yes, although at the same time the documentary didn't go into how much crunch was actually required and the morale of the overall studio during that time. On the other hand, nothing would have had drove the point home more than Shannon Studstill's (non) answer to the question about work/life balance anyway. I'm not saying she wasn't telling the truth but Yumi Yang's answer just before is what you'd expect to hear in a PR friendly documentary. I'm glad they didn't just leave it there.

To be honest, you're probably never going to get a fully transparent tell-all documentary on anything unless people are free from consequence, either through anonymity or not reliant on that industry anymore. I really enjoy Danny O'Dwyer's work with Noclip but even as an independent company they have been no less PR friendly than the Raising Kratos one. Documentaries still need to craft a narrative too and given the game's success it was always going to be one that reflected positively.
 

gundamkyoukai

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Oct 25, 2017
7,739
Yes, although at the same time the documentary didn't go into how much crunch was actually required and the morale of the overall studio during that time. On the other hand, nothing would have had drove the point home more than Shannon Studstill's (non) answer to the question about work/life balance anyway. I'm not saying she wasn't telling the truth but Yumi Yang's answer just before is what you'd expect to hear in a PR friendly documentary. I'm glad they didn't just leave it there.

To be honest, you're probably never going to get a fully transparent tell-all documentary on anything unless people are free from consequence, either through anonymity or not reliant on that industry anymore. I really enjoy Danny O'Dwyer's work with Noclip but even as an independent company they have been no less PR friendly than the Raising Kratos one. Documentaries still need to craft a narrative too and given the game's success it was always going to be one that reflected positively.
For something like games there always will be 2 sides some going to think it worth while other don't .
This will also depend on the company you talking about also and how the game turn out .
 

Whittaker

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Jun 21, 2018
254
Sony policy is to pay 1.5x for OT past 8 hrs and 2x for OT past 12 hrs. Most junior and mid level employees get paid an hourly rate instead of a salary for this reason.
Oh good! (This is sadly not universal).

By PR friendly I think he means things like ignoring talking about crunch in too much detail. I see what he means tbh, and I thought the same thing when I watched it.

Don't agree with the eyeroll inducing "unsustainable AAA industry" comment though.
Of course PS/SSM aren't going to release a documentary that portrays them in a negative light but I agree that it didn't seem particularly PR friendly. Schreier has, quite rightly, been very strongly pushing the idea of unionisation and talking about the "unsustainable" industry for a while now though and it may colour his opinion. He probably just wanted a bigger focus on the crunch and pressures involved but I don't feel like it glossed over the sacrifices made either. Just like people who wanted more focus on the actual development of certain parts of the game there is only so much time for each aspect in a 2 hour doc.
I imagine Schreier has had a lot of stories from Santa Monica hit his inbox so, compared to those anecdotes, it probably does feel sanitized and 'PR friendly' (after all, it was tough, but they triumphed right?). But the doc never really shows, say, a senior employee losing their temper and taking it out on somebody, or talks to anybody who left.

I think the documentary is extraordinary—with an unprecedented amount of access in this context. But it'd be foolish to think a whole bunch of higher ups at Sony had no veto power over what got to stay in and what got cut.
 

TheRulingRing

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Apr 6, 2018
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I imagine Schreier has had a lot of stories from Santa Monica hit his inbox so, compared to those anecdotes, it probably does feel sanitized and 'PR friendly' (after all, it was tough, but they triumphed right?). But the doc never really shows, say, a senior employee losing their temper and taking it out on somebody, or talks to anybody who left.

I think the documentary is extraordinary—with an unprecedented amount of access in this context. But it'd be foolish to think a whole bunch of higher ups at Sony had no veto power over what got to stay in and what got cut.
Yup. I don't see why people are getting defensive over this - of course Sony isn't going to advertise the shady parts of development at their company.
 

Nerun

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Oct 30, 2017
503
Well it received good reviews in Germany and after I finished it and got my platinum trophy I can agree with reviews that are around 8/10 / 8x%, really hoping for a sequel, especially with the story at the end ...

Maybe a bit shorter and less tech issues and it would be an even better game, but overall I really enjoyed it.
 

Brotherhood93

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Oct 28, 2017
1,861
I imagine Schreier has had a lot of stories from Santa Monica hit his inbox so, compared to those anecdotes, it probably does feel sanitized and 'PR friendly' (after all, it was tough, but they triumphed right?). But the doc never really shows, say, a senior employee losing their temper and taking it out on somebody, or talks to anybody who left.

I think the documentary is extraordinary—with an unprecedented amount of access in this context. But it'd be foolish to think a whole bunch of higher ups at Sony had no veto power over what got to stay in and what got cut.
It's possible but I don't think we can presume Schreier has been inundated with stories about Santa Monica specifically. That's just speculation. He may have sources there but more likely he's just more informed about what it's actually like to work on a big AAA game.

I don't think not showing the worst things that go on in a AAA studio makes it 'PR friendly' though, this isn't an expose or a documentary about what it's like to work at Santa Monica. The subject matter is how the game is made and crunch/work conditions is only one small part of that (and I dare say the least interesting aspect to most). To me, there is no value in showing a heated argument or someone losing it if footage of that even exists but there is a few exchanges in there where there seems to be disagreement. Perhaps they could have included more of those to highlight the tension of working on a project like this.

I don't disagree that people would have looked at it to make sure nothing reflected too badly but without knowing what was (or wasn't) cut it is hard to know whether it is a sanitised version of events. It is, after all, a documentary on how one of the games of the generation was made so it having a positive narrative is not out of the ordinary. If you view it with the mindset of wanting to see how hard it is to work in AAA development, however, I can see how you would be left wishing it was more revealing.
 

gundamkyoukai

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Oct 25, 2017
7,739
It's possible but I don't think we can presume Schreier has been inundated with stories about Santa Monica specifically. That's just speculation. He may have sources there but more likely he's just more informed about what it's actually like to work on a big AAA game.

I don't think not showing the worst things that go on in a AAA studio makes it 'PR friendly' though, this isn't an expose or a documentary about what it's like to work at Santa Monica. The subject matter is how the game is made and crunch/work conditions is only one small part of that (and I dare say the least interesting aspect to most). To me, there is no value in showing a heated argument or someone losing it if footage of that even exists but there is a few exchanges in there where there seems to be disagreement. Perhaps they could have included more of those to highlight the tension of working on a project like this.

I don't disagree that people would have looked at it to make sure nothing reflected too badly but without knowing what was (or wasn't) cut it is hard to know whether it is a sanitised version of events. It is, after all, a documentary on how one of the games of the generation was made so it having a positive narrative is not out of the ordinary. If you view it with the mindset of wanting to see how hard it is to work in AAA development, however, I can see how you would be left wishing it was more revealing.
If you want to know how it is to work in AAA games ( hell sometimes it don't even have to be AAA) there much better places\way to find out that stuff.
So no one should expect this Doc to cover something like that .
Truth is the doc don't have to go into certain detail for you to know that certain things can happen when so much pressure is on people .
 

Pariah

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Oct 29, 2017
2,217
That AAAs are unsustainable is one of his recurrent thoughts. He might be right, there are certainly aspects in need of change. But the key metric for companies is revenue, income, and in that sense, some are faring really well.

In my opinion, AAAs will continue to exist as they are, as long as they're commercially succesful.
 

gundamkyoukai

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Oct 25, 2017
7,739
That AAAs are unsustainable is one of his recurrent thoughts. He might be right, there are certainly aspects in need of change. But the key metric for companies is revenue, income, and in that sense, some are faring really well.

In my opinion, AAAs will continue to exist as they are, as long as they're commercially succesful.
Come next gen companies going to be making even more money thanks to people moving more and more to DD.
This gen they are seeing really good profits .
Sony growing there IP so big this gen give them a lot of room next gen profit wise.
So i expect them to invest more into the studios they have now.
 

Pariah

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Oct 29, 2017
2,217
Come next gen companies going to be making even more money thanks to people moving more and more to DD.
This gen they are seeing really good profits .
Sony growing there IP so big this gen give them a lot of room next gen profit wise.
So i expect them to invest more into the studios they have now.
Yeah, and in theory, the more people working on the same project, the less pressing conditions should be for employees. At least, that's what I hope (R* had a staff in the hundreds and "crunch time" was still ordinary).
 

False Witness

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Oct 25, 2017
2,361
Oh wow, this is a really good video showcasing the variety of Dreams so far and it's still missing tons of unique things I've seen:

 

Nightengale

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Oct 26, 2017
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Malaysia
The documentary was PR-friendly in the sense that it is ultimately a feel-good-story. There were a ton of sacrifices/crunch/etc - but it was all (kinda) worth it in the end because GoW was a critical darling and commercial success that elevated the franchise to new heights.

For every development story like GoW's ( plenty of crunch, indecision, risk, fear, new ideas, success ), there's probably a dozen more that ended up with a mediocre product or a flop.

If Anthem was a 10/10 GotG-caliber game and a huge success - one could've easily seen a similar documentary that praises the "BioWare magic" delivering a magical experience. But it wasn't. So there was no feel-good-happy-ending to fall back to.
 

F4r0_Atak

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Oct 31, 2017
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Though it has its own thread, these are related news: PSVR exclusive The Persistence (published by Sony) is getting the non-VR treatment.

4K, 60fps, HDR, new UI and animations, improved camera... It was pretty well received last year, now, or whenever the patch is available, more people will be able to enjoy it.
Wasn't the game self-published by Firesprite?

EDIT: Yup, it was. (Source: https://www.playstation.com/en-ca/games/the-persistence-ps4/)
Developer: Firesprite Ltd
Publisher: Firesprite Ltd
 

SolidSnakex

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Oct 25, 2017
7,297


With Sony talking about wanting to do better in the multiplayer arena, it's pretty clear that they could really get their foot in the door with whatever property Simon is directing for Guerrilla. Hopefully it's a new IP.
 

modiz

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Oct 8, 2018
8,444
#teamIHaveNoProblemWithMoreMultiplayerTitlesAsLongAsSinglePlayerWillRemainTheFocusAndDevsWontBeForcedToMakeMPGamesTheyDontWantTo.
 

kingkenny76

Member
Oct 31, 2017
185
Oh wow, this is a really good video showcasing the variety of Dreams so far and it's still missing tons of unique things I've seen:

Holy shit some of these are amazing. I can only imagine what games will be like when the community start to collaborate together

Though it has its own thread, these are related news: PSVR exclusive The Persistence (published by Sony) is getting the non-VR treatment.

4K, 60fps, HDR, new UI and animations, improved camera... It was pretty well received last year, now, or whenever the patch is available, more people will be able to enjoy it.
I really enjoyed The Persistence, really is a sleeper hit imho
 

EssCee

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Oct 27, 2017
944
Good, Sony should pump out a AAA multiplayer focused game. They have plenty of IP to pull from or could create something entirely new
 

Shakerovic

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Apr 26, 2019
684
I hope Sony doesn't waste 1st party studio talent on multiplayer games, just make a deal with 3rd party developers
 
Oct 25, 2017
28,663
One day we’ll be able to talk about potential multiplayer games in here without ppl acting like Sony gonna drop every thing they doing and assigning all 14? Studios to do multiplayer
 

Electro

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Oct 25, 2017
5,730
Vienna
GTS is a great MP racer.
Driveclub was planned as MP focused racer with lots of clubs...
Tlou2 will hopefully have an amazing MP mode.
Dreams supports MP games in the future.
Death Stranding could have a MP mode.
Some very good Sony MP games for PSVR like RIGS, Firewall or Starblood Arena.

Not that bad imo.
 

F4r0_Atak

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Oct 31, 2017
2,002
Home
GTS is a great MP racer.
Driveclub was planned as MP focused racer with lots of clubs...
Tlou2 will hopefully have an amazing MP mode.
Dreams supports MP games in the future.
Death Stranding could have a MP mode.
Some very good Sony MP games for PSVR like RIGS, Firewall or Starblood Arena.

Not that bad imo.
Out of the three, only one was successful: Firewall Zero Hour. RIGS' devs were closed down back in 2017 and Starblood Arena is having its servers shutdown this summer iirc, which would make the game unplayable. :/
 

Electro

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Oct 25, 2017
5,730
Vienna
Out of the three, only one was successful: Firewall Zero Hour. RIGS' devs were closed down back in 2017 and Starblood Arena is having its servers shutdown this summer iirc, which would make the game unplayable. :/
RIGS was a successful PSVR launch title and the closure of GG Cambridge was known before launch.

And from what I heard, Starblood Arena was very good but not very successful.
 

EssCee

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Oct 27, 2017
944
Sony has alot of good online ips like Warhawk, MAG, and SOCOM they can bring any of those back.
MAG was honestly ahead of its time on the PS3

I think Warhawk would still do well too.

Unfortunately I feel like they messed up the SOCOM brand a lot on the PS3. It could def come back and perform well though since it’s still more recognized than the other two
 

Omnistalgic

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Oct 27, 2017
4,021
NJ
Sony has alot of good online ips like Warhawk, MAG, and SOCOM they can bring any of those back.
MAG was NOT good...

Best chance they have IMO is with TLOu2. Millions are going in for the SP, make the MP amazing and you have a second community instantly off the back of the players there for the story. If it’s really amazing release it standalone.

I think Warhawk is unique enough to stand out. But Socom is dead, COD/BF took that mantle up a long time ago. And Rainbow 6 as well.
 
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TheRulingRing

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Apr 6, 2018
4,070
GTS is a great MP racer.
Driveclub was planned as MP focused racer with lots of clubs...
Tlou2 will hopefully have an amazing MP mode.
Dreams supports MP games in the future.
Death Stranding could have a MP mode.
Some very good Sony MP games for PSVR like RIGS, Firewall or Starblood Arena.

Not that bad imo.
It is bad.

Driveclub was a shambles, and the rest of the AAA games there are primarily single player with MP tacked on. The VR games never caught on and are (from Sony's POV) just inexpensive little projects.

Of those only GTS is a great example.

MAG was NOT good...

Best chance they have IMO is with TLOu2. Millions are going in for the SP, make the MP amazing and you have a second community instantly off the back of the players there for the story. If it’s really amazing release it standalone.

I think Warhawk is unique enough to stand out. But Socom is dead, COD/BF took that mantle up a long time ago. And Rainbow 6 as well.
The MP will need a lot more content than the MP of TLOU1 (and even UC4) to excel as a standalone.
 

Smokey_Run

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
2,221
SOCOM has A LOT of potential in the service model. SOCOM 1 and 2 most of the people I knew just wanted to be milked dry - more maps, guns, skins. It was an e-sport game before it was really a thing. SOCOMBattles > GameBattles > MLG, most people don't realize that. Dance emotes? The community was already doing them 16 years ago now. Skins, sometimes unconventional for the theme? Already used to it.

A true sequel to SOCOM 2, small-scale CQC with 8v8 matches, asymmetrical maps with dedicated modes.

I still get text messages from people I used to play with over a decade ago asking if I know of any SOCOM news since I follow game news and used to know some people with inside information. The thirst is still there.
 
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