Following the recent United Kingdom regulators’ blockage of the Microsoft-Activision merger, Sony is still apprehensive about its big FPS problem, which won’t go away even if the deal doesn’t work out. Sony had a time when they had first-party first-person shooters released regularly; although none of them were as famous as Call of Duty, Killzone, and Resistance gave variety to the brand’s portfolio. For many players, Killzone and Resistance became reasons on their own to purchase a PlayStation 3. The PS3 was a pretty sweet deal as it could play both Call of Duty and Sony’s augmented FPS titles. The online service was free.

Fast forward to 2023, and it’s been almost a decade since Sony’s last major FPS release: Killzone Shadow Fall. As an initial showcase of PS4’s power, it was a solid entry but wasn’t well received as the PS3 installments. Sony closed the door on the series and encouraged Guerrilla Games to pursue a new IP. At the time, this decision made sense, since Guerrilla had been stuck playing with the Helghast since the PlayStation 2 era and no company wanted to be stuck working on one property. However, Killzone didn’t deserve such an unceremonious death.

Naughty Dog’s triumphant success with Uncharted 3 and The Last of Us at the tail end of the PS3 generation spelled trouble at the Sony camp for anything that wasn’t a cinematic, third-person action-adventure game. These changes in the overall strategy didn’t happen overnight. From 2013 for the next ten years, big-budget experiments became scarce, some genres were nuked entirely from the portfolio, and Sony doubled down on “prestige” third-person titles that are both self-serious and expensive. Although hard to argue against their accomplishments, it feels like a lot of value has been lost over the years as the platformers from Sony’s stable, outside of Ratchet & Clank, are nowhere to be found.

Sony’s world-famous Horizon Zero Dawn, which was released in 2017, quickly became a hit due to its unique setting and focus on natural exploration, combat against big mechanical creatures, and big-budget design; it fit perfectly into Sony’s plans of making the largest and shiniest games in the industry. Since then, Guerrilla has been stuck working on Horizon and nothing else, even though a new Sony-exclusive FPS is desperately needed.

Insomniac should be left out of the first-party FPS conversation entirely, as its focus is now on Marvel property and, probably, a follow-up to 2021’s Ratchet & Clank banger, which is still one of the few genuine PlayStation 5 exclusives. As for Naughty Dog, it may contribute a half-solution to Sony’s pressing problem if the long-teased standalone The Last of Us multiplayer game delivers.

The ongoing drama and creatives bleeding over at Halo head studio 343 Industries are taking some weight off Sony’s shoulders, and the Sony acquisition of Bungie should give them a new high-value IP sooner rather than later. The goal here shouldn’t be to go against Halo, which has fallen comatose, but to build up a new generation of AAA shooters that can inject some variety back into Sony’s portfolio. There’s no need to start rebuilding from scratch when long-dormant properties like Killzoneare an option.


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The material in this article is written on the basis of another article.

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