Yes they are certainly basing their entire strategy in Japan on hope, must be the reason they were able to keep ahead of PS3 there, they lucked out.
Sony is not catering to any single market, they were always about all markets at once since PS1 that is the reason they won so many times. Certainly it isn't hoping that cater to USA would work out on the rest of the world (MS focus on NA and had the exclusive deals for Fifa to help on Europe how much have that helped they in Europe or RoW?)
Yes I would classify 1886 as a failure, RaD didn't made a sequel or received another attempt to make a new IP exclusively nor got purchased by Sony (rumor at the time was that if the game done well they would be bought).
I guess DC made the studio shut down not because of sales (it done well enough and as you said got a spin-off) it was more on the issues the game had (besides several delays) and possibly the mistakes the studio done while making the game. Guess we won't know the full story.
PS3 was also heavily reliant on 3rd parties. Again, Sony doesent make games Japan cares about.
In fact, Sony made games for Vita geared towards Japan. How did that do? Not well. Apparently its not as simple as Nintendo makes it look. Sony was also trying to fill the void of losing Monster Hunter on portable.
During the 7th gen MS moneyhat and paid for development of exclusives to grow interest in Japan. It didn't really work, they sold more units than usual, but it wasnt financially worthwhile. At best it got more Japanese studios working on Xbox.
I feel Sony and MS make the NA and Europe their primary focus because thats where a vast majority of sales are. If you disagree, fine.
PS4 is ahead of Xbox One's entire userbase in NA and Europe alone. The other regions PS4 sells is a nice bonus but less important. I believe their NA sales alone is bigger than Others and Japan combined. Japan is a pretty good market but they dont care about 1st party games.
I actually hoped 1886 would be Sony's answer for Gears of War and I believe potential was there from a gameplay perspective, the story was like a dumb modern action movie. I have no idea why they felt such a story driven experience was a good idea. But that has been a focus of Sony games to an extent. Also the advertising suggested it was more action focused than reality.
There were certainly positive things about Driveclub. It was gorgeous visually, gameplay was fine but they could have leaned into arcade racing with a few tweaks. They already invested in creating the engine and assets so a sequel could have just been added content and tweaks like Forza 6 vs 7. That could have potentially sold a few million.
When it comes to delays Polyphany is king. GT likely missed a ton of sales for them taking so long to release GT Sport. One release this gen, not really seen as full game and it didnt do great critically. Some people consider Gears 5 getting an 84 critical failure. But GT Sport did considerably worse. I guess it sold well, but GT had its worst sales this gen and rightfully so.
Last edited by Mr Puggsly - on 09 January 2020