LOS ANGELES, CA – JUNE 13: Game enthusiasts and industry personnel walk past the ‘Sony Playstation’ exhibit during the Electronic Entertainment Expo E3 at the Los Angeles Convention Center on June 13, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Sony bringing Horizon: Zero Dawn to PC three years after its release on PlayStation 4 is a smart business move that shouldn’t impact the value of its brand.
Earlier this week, Kotaku reported that Horizon: Zero Dawn will be coming to PC at some point this year. This is obviously a big deal as it would mark the first time a PlayStation-exclusive game from a Sony-owned developer would be released on PC.
While the news upset some PlayStation fanboys who love fueling the console wars with the exclusive games argument, this is a no-brainer for Sony. From a business standpoint, it makes perfect sense.
Horizon: Zero Dawn released in February 2017, nearly three years ago. It was one of the best launches for a Sony-published new IP in PlayStation 4 history, with over 2.6 million copies sold in under two weeks.
In other words, it’s one of the best-selling PlayStation 4 games. It’s currently considered a “PlayStation Hit,” which means you can get it for $19.99; although, it’s frequently discounted to just $9.99 any time there is a PlayStation Store sale.
Point being, after three years of availability, Sony has gotten a ton of value out of the game on the PlayStation 4. Anyone who had an interest in the game probably owns it by now. And if not, releasing it on PC isn’t going to sway them one way or another
By bringing Horizon: Zero Dawn to PC, Sony is expanding the PlayStation brand and its library of games to an entirely new audience who may never have considered console gaming. They are reaching a whole new market that will further add to the value of their portfolio of games.
Not only will its sales on PC add to Sony’s bottom line now, but potentially in the future. Horizon: Zero Dawn could serve as a nice bait to lure PC gamers over to the PlayStation 5.
Let’s say someone plays it on PC now and gets sucked into the quality of PlayStation exclusives. Maybe it convinces them to go out and buy a PlayStation 5 at launch so that they don’t have to wait three years after the inevitable sequel releases on PS5 for it to come to PC.
And let’s put to rest the notion that releasing its exclusive games on PC will hurt PlayStation. I don’t think Sony has any intention of releasing its exclusive games on PS5 and PC simultaneously, as Microsoft does with Xbox and PC.
In all reality, Sony will probably wait a few years between releasing a game on PlayStation and then on PC. They’ll want to maximize their value on PlayStation first.
So no, releasing Horizon: Zero Dawn on PC won’t be a significant blow to the value of the PlayStation 5. It makes perfect sense for Sony to gain additional value out of their games by releasing them years later on PC.
And while this will be the first game from a Sony-owned developer to come to PC, it’s not the first PlayStation-exclusive title to make its way to another platform. Independent studio Quantic Dream self-published its games Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls and Detroit: Become Human on PC without Sony’s evolvement after their exclusive console release on PC. Kojima Productions’ Death Stranding is also coming to PC with the help of publisher 505 Games. Lastly, a recent agreement between the MLBPA, Sony and Sony San Diego will result in future MLB The Show games — normally exclusive to the PlayStation platform — coming to Xbox and Nintendo consoles after 2020.