Former PlayStation boss Shawn Layden has criticised rampant gaming acquisitions while speaking up about game preservation. Layden warned that should big acquisitions continue to happen, it will inevitably lead to industry consolidation which isn’t good for consumers. While he spoke positively about some PlayStation acquisitions such as Marvel’s Spider-Man developer Insomniac Games, he added that there comes a point where it begins to stifle creativity.
Speaking on Lan Parties podcast (via Kotaku), Layden spoke up about game preservation and the importance of keeping games for future generations. “This is stuff that should be around for a long time because future generations will enjoy it in the same way that we have, and it’s criminal that we’re not doing more to protect it,” said Layden.
On the topic of major gaming acquisitions, presumably addressing the recent $69 billion Microsoft buyout of Activision Blizzard, Shawn Layden says it’s problematic when smaller teams will have to answer to larger organisations who may have different goals or creative choices in mind, essentially killing the “creativity urge” for developers. Layden also said that the industry has become stagnant with the same few genres being pumped out to sell games:
“If we continue to coalesce around the four or five genres, then we won’t get the new players because those people have already said we’re not interested in your genres. Don’t kid yourself that someone who’s said ‘no’ to Call of Duty for the last 15 years is going to start suddenly saying ‘yes’ to Call of Duty.”
A shake-up at PlayStation will take place next year after PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan officially steps down from his position. Elsewhere, the controversial Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick will also resign in January 2024 – an announcement that came alongside Microsoft finally getting the greenlight to move ahead with its multi-billion dollar purchase of the publisher.