Former PlayStation Boss Reveals Sony Cancels A Ton Of Games

A former Sony executive admits how many PlayStation games the company cancels without telling the public.

By Jason Collins | Published

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Former president of PlayStation, Shuhei Yoshida, reveals that Sony cancels a ton of games—which is a worrisome statement. But fret not; he’s not referring to any of the upcoming PlayStation 5 exclusives, like the upcoming Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. Instead, he’s referring to the gaming projects the public hasn’t even heard of, prototypes that devs work on and then cancel to save time and money, as games are becoming more expensive.

As Kotaku reports, the company behind massive hits such as God of War (we’re referring to the reboot), and The Last of Us, is canceling a ton of gaming titles to save resources, including time, money, and dev psychological well-being, from being stuck on a project that simply isn’t moving forward for whatever reason. This isn’t a novelty in the gaming industry, but it’s certainly rare to hear a high-ranking PlayStation official discuss the sheer number of games the PlayStation cancels before they even see anything resembling daylight.

While Yoshida stepped down from the position of the president of Sony Interactive in 2019, he remained with the company to help external developers on new projects as head of Sony Interactive Entertainment’s Independent Developer Initiative. So, he’s still pretty much involved in game-making at Sony, which gives him a full insight into all the games PlayStation either approves or cancels during development. According to him, the company assesses every idea, prototypes some of them, and then decides whether to spend time and money on a project or dump it.

god of war ragnarok

PlayStation isn’t the only one that cancels gaming titles at various stages of development. Gaming companies are businesses, and part of any business is to cut costs by eliminating stuff that isn’t working or diminishing the return on investment by a large margin. And this is practiced now more than ever since it has become harder and more expensive to make video games than it was for the sixth generation of home video game consoles—also referred to as the Golden Age of Gaming.

Here’s an example: 2003’s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, the same one whose remake is in trouble, is estimated to have cost approximately $6 million to develop. And we’re discussing a rather short masterpiece of gaming history; by comparison, God of War III cost approximately $44 million to develop, while the latest God of War: Ragnarok cost Sony some $200 million. With so much money involved in projects released in a rather volatile market, even prototyping a game is a financial risk PlayStation has to live with—so it’s no surprise why the company cancels so many games.

Canceling titles before they consume too many resources often saves game makers, such as PlayStation, a lot of money, which is funneled into projects with a higher projected return on investment. It might sound cruel, but that’s how businesses are run. And while PlayStation continues to cancel titles, Sony remains vocal against Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition while acquiring gaming studios left and right, including Bungie, the studio behind Destiny 2, a hit gaming release that just killed a fan-favorite character.