Elder Scrolls VI won’t be coming to PS5 whenever it finally debuts. Though you might’ve already filed this news under “well, duh,” it’s now clear as day courtesy of official documentation from Microsoft.
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Originally announced at E3 2018 (which Bethesda’s own Todd Howard thinks was perhaps a tad too early), The Elder Scrolls VI will mark the first single-player entry in the fabled Elder Scrolls series of big-ass open-world RPG romps since the undying colossal success that was 2011’s Skyrim. News on the TES6 front has otherwise been very quiet, and Bethesda only just released its other epic, long-in-development RPG, the space-themed Starfield. New reporting from Axios’ Stephen Totilo, however, makes it clear that TES6 will be an Xbox and PC exclusive.
The Elder Scrolls VI targets a 2026 release
PlayStation-owning fans of Bethesda jams have been holding out hope that despite Microsoft’s purchase of Bethesda in 2020, Elder Scrolls VI might still come to a Sony machine. CEO of Microsoft gaming Phil Spencer has said as recently as September 6 that the company considers exclusives on a “case-by-case basis” and that it “wants to make sure that [its] games are available in so many different places.”
As per a post on X (formerly Twitter) from Stephen Totilo of Axios, Microsoft’s communications during the FTC case concerning its controversial Activision merger spelled out that The Elder Scrolls VI is coming to Xbox and PC only. In a Microsoft-confidential chart that saw release due to the legal proceedings, The Elder Scrolls VI clearly has a big ol’ red X in the “Released on PlayStation?” column.
The same chart indicates that The Elder Scrolls VI is aiming for a 2026 or later release date. Given the size and scope of Bethesda games, they do take a long time to make. After The Elder Scrolls VI, Bethesda is expected to release Fallout 5.
So, sorry PlayStation Skyrim fans. But, hey, at least you got a head start on Baldur’s Gate 3. And given TES6’s likely release window, at least you’ll have enough time to save up for an Xbox or gaming-worthy PC? Hey, don’t look at me. I’m just the messenger.
The head of PlayStation is stepping down, Sony announced in a press release today. Jim Ryan, Sony Interactive Entertainment’s CEO, is retiring after just four years on the job. The massive shakeup in leadership comes as the PlayStation 5 breaks sales records and as Sony has doubled-down on prestige blockbuster games like The Last of Us Part 1 and Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.
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“After 30 years, I have made the decision to retire from SIE in March 2024,” Ryan said in a statement. “I’ve relished the opportunity to have a job I love in a very special company, working with great people and incredible partners. But I’ve found it increasingly difficult to reconcile living in Europe and working in North America.”
Ryan will officially leave the position in April, 2024. Hiroki Totoki, Sony Group Corporation President, COO and CFO, will help with the transition and take on the role of interim CEO of PlayStation once Ryan leaves, and will help with the search for his successor. The news was first reported by Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier.
A 30-year veteran of Sony, Ryan was promoted to the top PlayStation job in 2019 after a re-organization saw head of CEO of Worldwide Studios, Shawn Layden, step down, and President of Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida, transition into a more background role working with indie game developers.
As head of PlayStation, Ryan oversaw the launch of the PS5, which despite pandemic-era shortages, is now on pace to break sales records thanks to an ongoing lineup of first-party exclusive blockbusters like Horizon Forbidden Westand God of War Ragnarök. His tenure also included the launch of PS VR2, as well as a major pivot by the subscription service PS Plus to more directly compete with Xbox Game Pass’ Netflix-like library of games.
The unexpected departure comes just a couple months after Sony signed a 10-year agreement with Microsoft to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation following the tech giant’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Despite a vicious regulatory fight in the U.S. with the Federal Trade Commission and in the UK with the Competition and Markets Authority, both of which included testimony by Ryan, the historic deal is likely set to close beginning in October.
“Jim Ryan has been a great contributor to our industry and a fierce leader for PlayStation,” Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer tweeted. “I wish him the best in what he does next. Thank you for all you’ve done for the community over the last 30 years, Jim.”
Here’s the full press release:
Sony Group Corporation and Sony Interactive Entertainment (SIE) today announced that SIE President and CEO Jim Ryan has made the decision to retire in March 2024 after almost thirty years with the PlayStation business. To support Mr. Ryan in his transition, Sony Group Corporation President, COO and CFO Hiroki Totoki will assume the role of Chairman of SIE effective October 2023. Effective April 1, 2024, Mr. Totoki will be appointed Interim CEO of SIE while he continues his current role at Sony Group Corporation. Mr. Totoki will work closely with Sony Group Corporation Chairman and CEO Kenichiro Yoshida and the management team of SIE to help define the next chapter of PlayStation’s future, including the succession of the SIE CEO role.
Jim Ryan joined Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Europe-based legal entity, Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe (SIEE) — which was then Sony Computer Entertainment Europe — in 1994. Since then, he has held a number of senior positions at the company including President of SIEE, Head of Global Sales and Marketing at SIE and Deputy President of SIE since January 2018, before being appointed SIE President and CEO.
Comment from Kenichiro Yoshida
“Jim Ryan has been an inspirational leader throughout his entire period with us, but never more so than in overseeing the launch of PlayStation 5 in the midst of the global COVID pandemic. That extraordinary achievement made by the entire SIE team has been steadily built on and PlayStation 5 is on track to become SIE’s most successful console yet. I’m immensely grateful to Jim for all his achievements. Respecting Jim’s decision to finish his long career at Sony leaves me with an important decision regarding his succession given the significance of the Game & Network Services business. We have discussed intensively and have determined the new management structure. We aim to achieve Sony Group’s further evolution and growth through bringing even greater success to the Game & Network Services Business.”
Comment from Jim Ryan
“After 30 years, I have made the decision to retire from SIE in March 2024. I’ve relished the opportunity to have a job I love in a very special company, working with great people and incredible partners. But I’ve found it increasingly difficult to reconcile living in Europe and working in North America. I will leave having been privileged to work on products that have touched millions of lives across the world; PlayStation will always be part of my life, and I feel more optimistic than ever about the future of SIE. I want to thank Yoshida-san for placing so much trust in me and being an incredibly sensitive and supportive leader.”
Comment from Hiroki Totoki
“I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Jim Ryan for his outstanding achievements and contributions over his 30-year career at Sony, including the great success of launching the PlayStation 5. The PlayStation business managed by SIE is an essential part of Sony Group’s entire business portfolio. I will work with Jim and the senior management team closely to ensure our continued success and further growth. I am also looking forward to creating the exciting future of PlayStation and the game industry together with everyone at SIE and its business partners.”
Update 9/28/2023 2:02 p.m. ET: Added a tweet by Phil Spencer.
A video game-themed collectible storefront claims Sony ordered it to destroy all of its licensed PlayStation-themed merchandise, chief among them being statues based on The Last Of Us Part II, God of War, and Bloodborne.
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On Tuesday, Hong Kong-based collectible storefront Gaming Heads posted an open letter on its official Twitter account and on the home page of its website alleging that Sony had suddenly requested the destruction of its PlayStation collectibles, which Gaming Heads claims Sony had already received royalty payments for. In the open letter, which states that Sony offered no reasoning for the decision, Gaming Heads name-dropped PlayStation’s commercial partnerships manager, including her email address and encouraging customers to reach out to her about their “(now canceled) order, payments, refunds.”
“We have worked with Sony PlayStation for more than 10 years to bring you some of the best video game collectibles and have been trying hard to get them to change their mind,” Gaming Heads wrote. “They know you have paid your hard-earned money for items that are ready to ship to you or that are in production but unfortunately, after doing all that we can, they have told us not to ship your orders to you – ‘our business priorities remain unchanged’ (a recent direct quote from Sony).”
Kotaku reached out to Sony and Gaming Heads for comment.Despite Gaming Heads’ assertion that “this is Sony PlayStation’s decision, not ours,” some customers replied to the company’s post in anger at them, saying they’re the ones being scummy for trying to route refund inquiries to Sony, the licensor, instead of handling it themselves as the storefront they had purchased the collectibles from.
“When I preordered the Joel and Ellie statue, that was a transaction with Gaming Heads. Not Sony,” Trevor Adams replied on Twitter. “You need to refund the money we all gave Gaming Heads to produce these products. Don’t tell us to go to your licensor to get it. What you’re doing is illegal.”
“Telling customers to contact Sony for refunds and giving out Judy’s email address seems very shady and unprofessional,” Twitter user NextGenPlayer wrote. “Customers transacted with your company, not the licensor Sony. This reeks of fishyness and isn’t the whole story here.”
“Customers made business with Gaming Heads, not with Sony. So you guys have to refund. It’s as easy as that,” Thomas Mueller wrote under Gaming Heads’ open letter Facebook post.
“Refund YOUR customers!! They have nothing to do with Sony. They bought a product from you. Not them. How dare you make your problem the customers’ problem!!” Melanie Willems wrote.
Gaming Heads responded to many comments of this nature on Twitter and Facebook, asking customers to reach out to Sony about refunds.
Updated: 10/02/23, 10:15 a.m. ET: Article was updated to remove the name of a Sony employee at the company’s request.
Today, Sony announced a new app coming to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 consoles that’ll offer PlayStation Plus Premium and Deluxe members access to a bunch of Sony Pictures Entertainment films.
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Sony Pictures Core, a rebrand of Sony’s streaming service Bravia Core, will let PlayStation users purchase or rent up to 2,000 Sony films “straight from your console.” The offerings include big-name titles like Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Uncharted, Bullet Train, and Ghostbusters: Afterlife. You can download the Sony Pictures Core app in the Media section of the PS Store on your console. And depending on your Playstation Plus subscription tier, a select assortment of those may be available to you for free.
According to the PlayStation blog post, PS Plus Premium and Deluxe subscribers will receive the added bonus of an ad-free, curated list of 100 films like Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV and Resident Evil Damnation, which will be updated “periodically” to stream as part of your membership. Sony also announced that Sony Pictures Core will have an “early access” window where folks can purchase films like Gran Turismo, the app’s first exclusive movie, before they become available on any other on-demand home video service.
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Toward the end of the blog post, Sony teased “additional benefits” to come for PlayStation Plus members in the future, saying:
We hope you’ll enjoy Sony Pictures Core and all the films that will be accessible through the app. It’s part of our shared goal with Sony Pictures Entertainment to bring together this curated collection of wonderful films to elevate the PlayStation experience. This is just the beginning, and we plan to evolve the offerings and benefits of Sony Pictures Core over time—including a selection of hit anime content from Crunchyroll. We’re looking forward to more exciting things to come, so stay tuned!
The app is available today. Bravia Core will officially rebrand as Sony Pictures Core next year.
Sony has proclaimed Spider-Man 2 is the fastest-selling PlayStation Studios game in the company’s history. The PlayStation 5 exclusive sold 2.5 million copies on launch day alone.
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Released on October 20, Spider-Man2 is Sony’s first major first-party blockbuster to launch only on the PS5, rather than cross-gen on the PS4, which has over double the install base. With just over 40 million PS5s sold so far, that makes the initial sales success of the web-slinging sequel even more impressive.
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Reviews have been glowing so far, including Kotaku’s. Despite some misgivings about bloat and a lack of experiementation, I mostly loved my time with Spider-Man 2. The game currently has a 91 on Metacritic, making it one of the most posivitively recieved of 2023. A post-launch update coming by December is expected to add more features like a new game plus mode.
The original Spider-Man released in 2018, selling 3.3 million units in three days. That narrowly edged out God of War’s record at the time of 3.1 million in the same period. God of War Ragnarok reclaimed the title of fastest selling PlayStation Studios game last year with 5.1 million sales in its first week. We’ll see if Spider-Man 2‘s 24-hour record leads to even greater sales over that same period.
Sony is currently aiming to sell 25 milion PS5s in the current fiscal year, which would itself be a record-breaking number of new console sales. It’s no doubt relying on Spider-Man 2 being a “next-gen” exclusive to help drive those sales throughout the holiday season, despite competition from a number of other stellar games this year. A new “slim” model dropping in November might also help, despite an increased price tag for the all-digital version.
Insomniac Games hasn’t yet revealed if Spider-Man 2 will be getting future DLC or a bigger expansion in the vein of Horizon ForbiddenWest’s Burning Shores adventure. The studio did say it’s checking fan feedback to the game as it plays around with the possibility of a Venom spin-off.
Update 10/10/2023 4:27 p.m. ET: Sony announced in its latest quarterly results this week that Spider-Man 2 went on to sell over 5 million copies in its first-full week. That puts it just behind God of War Ragnarok, but it’s a more impressive stat overall since the new game is only on PS5, where as Ragnarok on PS4 as well.
Bungie is the latest PlayStation studio to face layoffs. While the scale of the cuts wasn’t immediately apparent, multiple, now-former staff members began posting on social media on October 30 that they’d been let go by thebeloved Destiny 2 maker.
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“My heart is breaking for all affected…I am now looking for opportunities,” tweeted Destiny 2 community manager Liana Ruppert. “It’s a strange feeling to wake up in the morning excited for the week ahead, only for your day to begin learning that you’ve been hit with a Reduction in Force and are now on the job hunt,” wrote recruiting lead Amanda R. on LinkedIn.
The scale of the cuts and which teams or departments are most impacted isn’t yet clear. They come the same month that fellow PlayStation studio, Naughty Dog, cut dozens of contractors across art, production, quality assurance, and other disciplines. The downsizing comes in a year that’s seen publishers like Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Take-Two, and Embracer all lay off hundreds, consolidated teams, or closed entire studios. PlayStation rival Microsoft has imposed severe cuts at current first-party Halo studio 343 Industries near the beginning of 2023.
Sony acquired Bungie for $3.6 billion just last year amid an acquisition frenzy across the video game industry. In addition to the popular sci-fi MMO shooter Destiny 2, Bungie is also working on the extraction shooter Marathon as well as another original IP. Bloomberg also previously reported that the studio was involved in an internal evaluation of Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us 2 multiplayer spin-off that stopped the project in its tracks. Kotaku reported earlier this month that the game, while not fully cancelled, had effectively been put on ice.
Sony and Bungie did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Update 10/30/2023: Bungie CEO Pete Parsons called today a “sad day” on Twitter. “What these exceptional individuals have contributed to our games and Bungie culture has been enormous and will continue to be a part of Bungie long into the future,” he wrote.