It looks like Sony is planning to expand its operations in China. To facilitate this, Sony Interactive Entertainment has established System Development Department 4 under the Platform Software Department, which is part of the Platform Experience Software Development Headquarters. Despite having an incredibly dry name, this development could have a major impact on the future of PlayStation.
Sony expands Chinese operations as country becomes one of PlayStation’s biggest customers
Sony published new data on the importance of the China market to the PlayStation brand
China is the #6 market for PS5 after 72 weeks and sales of PS5 are 2.7x compared to PS4 in the same time period.
Spend per user and PS+ subs are also notably higher compared to last gen pic.twitter.com/pNA1tsYCqv
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) May 26, 2022
Consoles were banned in China until 2014, so PlayStation didn’t become the sensation there that it did in the rest of the world. The PS4 didn’t do great there, but it looks like Sony is finally hitting its stride with the PS5. Since the PS5 launched, over 670,000 consoles have been sold in China, making it the sixth-largest market for the new hardware.
The top 11 countries with actives PlayStation consoles (via Daniel Ahmad) are:
- United Kingdom
- United Kingdom
- Saudi Arabia
Head of Software Business, China Region, Sean Kelly, will be heading up the new department (presumably as part of his existing duties). He’s been at PlayStation for 21 years and previously served as Senior Director of International Software Development and Localization Services.
With how hostile the Chinese government has been concerning gaming lately, it seems like now might be a bad time to invest in operations there. However, China’s growing middle class is a gold mine that every entertainment company wants to tap into. Apparently, the opportunity is lucrative enough to offset dealing with the draconian policies that those operating there have to face.
It’s possible that the new department will serve as an intermediary to develop Sony’s relationship with Chinese studios. If so, we might see some of the more popular China-only titles making their way west at some point.