Sony’s Biggest IPs Begging For Revival Amid First-Party Struggles

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Perfect Time To Bring Back These Beloved Classics!

Story Highlight
  • PlayStation has many franchises with unexplored potential.
  • The gaming giant should add more variety to its first-party offerings.
  • IPs like Killzone, Motorstorm, Resistance, Infamous, and more can still serve as important PlayStation games today.

The PS3 is often seen as PlayStation’s black sheep. Following the revolutionary success of the PS2, this console came with a steep price hike, offered a poor first-party library at launch, and who can forget Sony’s usage of the Spider-Man font?

In many ways, this console was also Sony’s most unique hardware, spawning various IPs that are now associated with its gaming DNA. However, this hardware presented a unique set of challenges, leading to many of its best IPs being left behind once the PS4 was launched.

During this era, franchises like Killzone came into their own, and Sony curated new experiences with releases like Infamous. Many of these games have been abandoned in favor of PlayStation’s new hits, but I believe the time is finally here to bring them back.

Why it matters: PlayStation has become overly reliant on a select few IPs in recent years, failing to acknowledge the rich history of its past library.

PS5 Pro
PS5 Console

Slower First-Party Output

It is easy to see that PlayStation’s first-party output is gradually losing steam.

A few days ago, chairman Hiroki Totoki confirmed the lack of new entries from major existing IPs in 2024. However, I suspect this will become a common trend for Sony due to the cost and time associated with each first-party release.

This is where the older IPs can solve a major problem for Sony. Instead of returning to the drawing board for new ideas, the gaming giant can simply bring back franchises that have been left with untapped potential.

The fact that IPs like Killzone, Infamous, Motorstorm, and Resistance have been left without new games for over a decade would also make them fresh, bringing a much-needed variety to Sony’s first-party output.

Killzone Shadow Fall PS VR2
Killzone’s Last AAA Entry Came Out 10 Years Ago

Return To First-Person Shooters

PlayStation currently owns three major first-person shooter IPs. Both Killzone and Resistance were big names during the height of the PS3’s popularity as Sony tried to compete in the first-person shooter genre.

Killzone Shadowfall was also the biggest launch title for the PS4, debuting as a showcase of the console’s technical capabilities. Meanwhile, Resistance offered another flavor of FPS gameplay from Insomniac Games, a studio PlayStation now owns.

Both games had popular multiplayer elements, making them suitable as potential live-service targets for Sony. Today, Sony is exclusively reliant on Destiny 2 for its fill of the FPS live-service market.

However, games like Call of Duty, Apex Legends, Counter-Strike 2, and more show that there is still room for competitors in the genre. With enough thought and care put into new games, PlayStation could find unimaginable success with new Killzone and Resistance games.

These titles could also offer a single-player power trip rarely found in new first-person shooter games. With PlayStation’s reputation for awe-inspiring single-player narratives, new military/sci-fi-themed story titles would be welcome additions to the FPS genre.

One could argue that Guerrilla Games and Insomniac Games are too busy to work on these franchises today. However, with recent leaks showing that Bend Studio almost led the development of a new Uncharted project, what’s stopping Sony from doing the same with these games?

Motorstorm
Developer Evolution Was Shut Down In 2016

Arcade Racing Needs Games Like Motorstorm

Motorstorm is not the first game that comes to mind when thinking about the best arcade racers. However, I would be lying if I said it wasn’t one of the best options to play on PlayStation at one point.

Created by Evolution, the same team that later introduced Driveclub, Motorstorm placed a greater emphasis on the environment than its rivals, offering rough roads, muddy backdrops, and hazardous race courses.

I previously discussed why Burnout deserves a revival, and much like this EA franchise, Motorstorm carried elements of car combat, implementing vehicle damage and crashes to raise the stakes in each event.

Simply put, very few racing games could rival the experience PlayStation delivered with Motorstorm more than a decade ago. With arcade racing starved for variety, I believe PlayStation has a unique opportunity on its hand to break into an unexplored gaming genre.

Infamous Second Son
Infamous Second Son Was An Underrated PS4 Game

Expanding Single-Player Library

Superhero games are set to explode in popularity soon, with the likes of Marvel expressing more interest in the genre.

Various game adaptations of comic-book IPs are currently in the works, but PlayStation has been sitting on an original superhero franchise for many years. Like the underrated Prototype series, Infamous deserves a revival as Sony aims to diversify its first-party lineup again.

Few games have captured the satisfaction of wielding supernatural powers capable of mass destruction while delivering a compelling narrative at the same time. However, the Infamous games had all that and then some.

Traversal was smooth and satisfying, the open worlds had an unforgettable atmosphere, and the games excelled at letting players loose with the superpowers at their disposal. The last we saw of Sucker Punch Productions’ Infamous series was in 2014.

The developer has found unprecedented success with Ghost of Tsushima today, working on a sequel to this 2020 release. Despite my appreciation for Ghost of Tsushima, I wish to see Sony delivering a modern rendition of Infamous.

Truth be told, PlayStation has too many dormant IPs to discuss at once. Apart from my favorite picks, franchises like Sly Cooper, Socom, and Jak & Daxter deserve new entries in their own right.

However, Sony’s current focus on a select few IPs leaves little room for more experimental projects. Today, PlayStation is laser-focused on blockbuster titles, even if these games are rapidly becoming unsustainable due to large budgets and long release cycles.

With that said, the gaming giant has taken steps in the right direction recently. Classic franchises like Twisted Metal are reportedly being worked on, while Sony is still willing to work on platformers like Ratchet & Clank and fund risky projects like Returnal.

I hope to see this becoming the norm rather than the exception moving forward.

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