Didn't he get the job in 2019? That's not even enough time to get one AAA game out of the door these days. I think people are crediting and blaming him for random things which he can't be possibly responsible for, by the time he took over, the PS brand was a well-managed business for the first time ever, and yes, this is with the PS1 and PS2 era in context as well.
I suppose the pricing strategy for the PS5 launch period was smart, coupled with the 20 free games meant someone was set out to dominate but shortages undoubtedly held the console back and the competition lucked out. Outside of these few decisions that are all related to market positioning and pricing. What else can you trace back to Jim? I can think of few things..
- Buying Bungie and investments in GaAS seems to be a hot issue for some, but the reality is, it would've been incredibly stupid for him not to make these decisions, they are vindicated quickly by MS buying ABK and looking at data generated by console gamers' habits anyway, less money is being spent on new games and more on money is being spent per game, people want to give Fortnite more money and sit on games like Returnal, how is he to blame for this? I think every body agrees that SONY should make their own CoD, Jim is doing exactly that, some people need to make up their mind and pick a lane.
- The new PSN tiers are an extension of what basic tier has been, the first time I subscribed to PSN, there were a collection of over 20 games to immediately add to my library, another 20 games again when I got the PS5. The higher tier models seem to make the model to a more consistent and predictable direction and in-line with what the competition is doing. I don't like the games being rotated "in and out", so I guess not messing up the monthly games strategy up for all tier is... good? No major changes that rocked the boat negatively for me personally.
- Ramping up timed-exclusivity nonsense, this one has to go. Securing games like death loop or Tokyo something is throwing money into the wind, and in this case, money that fell into MS's lap, and I am glad it happened, hopefully someone learned a lesson It's money that could've been invested in creating new IPs, studios, bonuses for staff, etc. It's one thing to come to a mutual agreement through which a game like Bloodborne comes to light, this is fine, but paying for timed-exclusive content for a game that has already been developed is a dumb short-termist business strategy with questionable returns, especially in an era in which gamers seem to spend money on big IPs only, I doubt you're swaying any body in any direction by having a game like death loop "exclusive" for few months. Bad.
- The new controller with the screen, literally a new controller, you can ignore or buy. I am not sure why many has strong opinions about it... it's everything great about the Wii U without it weighing the console down by selling it as an accessory rather than a mandatory part of the experience. Not good, not bad, don't care. It's a low risk investment and provides gamers with a new potentially useful accessory, if it makes them more money, why not?
- PSVR2 lack of first party support. SONY was never able to support two consoles at the same time, this was true for the PSP, Vita, first PSVR and now the second. With MS out with their guns blazing, it would be stupid to direct any of SIE studios towards the PSVR2, it also dictates that future investments will be prioritised for the home console business as well, I don't see the PSVR2 relying on anything but a possible rising tide to carry it forward, which seems to be the case with Meta Quest games being shared with PSVR2. I guess we can thank Meta for this. The eye-tracking tech is insane innovation, good enough for Apple 3k+ dollars headset, so well done hardware team, but everyone else has failed you, including Jim.
- Taking shots at expanding into the movie and TV industry. It seems like this has been a good idea so far? Don't fact check me on this, but GT, Twisted Metal, TLOU have been well received critically. Uncharted revenues put the new Indiana Jones to shame. If this multi-media venture ends up making more money, why not?
- Acquisitions: no idea how they wlll turn out, but it seems that they essentially have helped investing and building those studios before acquiring them, time will tell.
You can definitely criticise him for things he has NOT been doing, which are the same things the PS management as a whole hasn't been doing even before he took over.
The biggest glaring mistake is downscaling investments in Japan when everybody, including China, are looking for opportunity to invest there. I feel like a lot of these decisions were made based on PS3-data sheets which is dumb because the PS3 could sink a titanic with it, and it has had done that on numerous occasions. I have no idea how third parties, including Japanese third parties, continued to support that console and eat up losses when the Wii was right there... but I always made the point that the gaming industry is full of fanboys and idiots at every level A fresh start with fresh data is required in Japan for sure.
Some seem to think PS games are less diverse, I believe they're higher quality. The list of the games some seem to "miss" were never good games imo and never differentiate the PS brand from the rest. The only influential IPs that you can trace back to the highly successful PS1 and PS2 era are God Of War and GT, which is crazy giving that MS managed to come out with a similar number of influential IPs from OG Xbox era despite their console being a failure.
The rest of SONY IPs died for various reasons, either because the games themselves were never that good or because whenever PS had a new IP with potential, it gets milked to death in a short period of time instead of being patient and making a worthy successor. Didn't we like get 4 Killzone games in 4 years? A shame because KZ2 was critically acclaimed and a proper sequel during the PS4 would've done better than the rushed out trash we got, similarly for Twisted Metal, hopefully the revival is well thought out. You have to look at Nintendo and learn few lessons here....
Anyhow, Mark Cerny stage presence is great, he sounds like a smart guy making well-informed decisions, he doesn't get enough credit for how well-built and easy to develop for the PS4/PS5 are, he's fluent in Japanese. He should apply for the job, Knack 3 proposal in the job application will make it bullet-proof
Last edited by LurkerJ - on 28 September 2023