Former PlayStation boss Shawn Layden has argued exclusive games are a studio’s “Achilles’ heel”.

The 62-year-old businessman - who was the President and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment America from 2014 to 2019 - criticised the trend of companies keeping specific titles for their consoles, because it “it reduces your addressable market”.

During an interview with VentureBeat, he said: “Exclusivity is your Achilles’ heel.

“It reduces your addressable market, particularly when you’re in the world of live service gaming or free-to-play.”

Shawn then pointed to ‘Helldivers 2’, which is available on both PlayStation 5 and PC, as an example of successfully porting a title over to another platform that ultimately allowed it to grow in popularity.

He said: “Another platform is just another way of opening the funnel, getting more people in. In a free-to-play world, as we know, 95 per cent of those people will never spend a nickel.

“The business is all about conversion. You have to improve your odds by cracking the funnel open. ‘Helldivers 2’ has shown that for PlayStation, coming out on PC at the same time. Again, you get that funnel wider. You get more people in.”

Layden then explained that it was a bad idea to keep expensive multiplayer games in particular exclusive to any given platform, as that only limited the potential revenue that can be generated from those titles.

He said: “For single-player games it’s not the same exigency. But if you’re spending $250 million, you want to be able to sell it to as many people as possible, even if it’s just ten per cent more.

“The global installed base for consoles - if you go back to the PS1 and everything else stacked up there, wherever in time you look at it - the cumulative consoles out there never gets over 250 million. It just doesn’t.

“We’re [PlayStation] not doing enough to get heretofore non-console people into console gaming. We’re not going to attract them by doing more of the [stuff] we’re doing now.

If 95 per cent of the world doesn’t want to play ‘Call of Duty’, ‘Fortnite’, and ‘Grand Theft Auto’, is the industry just going to make more ‘Call of Duty’, ‘Fortnite’ and ‘Grand Theft Auto’? That’s not going to get you anybody else.”

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