Sony has delayed half of its upcoming live service games

Sony had planned to release 12 live service games by March 2026.
State of Play playstation live service games plans

Sony has pushed back its plans to release 12 major live service games by March 2026, announcing in a recent investor call that it has reworked its plans to ensure the best possible launches for upcoming projects.

As first reported by VGC, the news was shared by Hiroki Totoki, Sony president, COO and CFO, who fielded concerns about the company’s live service plans.

“We are reviewing this… we are trying as much as possible to ensure [these games] are enjoyed and liked by gamers for a long time,” Totoki reportedly said. “[Of] the 12 titles, six titles will be released by FY25 – that’s our current plan. [As for] the remaining six titles, we are still working on that … mid-to-long-term we want to [push] this kind of service and that’s the unchanged policy of the company. It’s not like we stick to certain titles, but game quality should be the most important [thing].”

Notably, Sony recently announced its portfolio of live service games was undergoing evaluation by Bungie, the developer behind popular live service MMO, Destiny 2. While the results of this “rigorous” review were not made public, it was alleged that it led to multiple projects being scaled back, over quality and appeal concerns.

Read: The Last of Us’ multiplayer spin-off has been delayed

One of the games reportedly impacted by this review was the upcoming Last of Us multiplayer spin-off, which has gestated for several years. A Horizon online multiplayer game is also in the works at Sony, as well as a number of other, unannounced projects.

Six of these are now confirmed to be on track for release by March 2026, with others taking a back seat – although its unclear which of the announced projects are still a focus for the company. All we really know is that Sony is keen to break into the live service arena, and that it’s investing in a major wave of games to do so.

The timing of the push is curious – particularly given the recent challenges facing live service games. While companies like Warner Bros. are also keen to invest in the space, the appeal of live service games has notably shrunk over the course of 2023. Several relatively new titles of the genre have been forced to shutter this year due to a lack of engagement, including  Final Fantasy 7: The First SoldierKnockout CityCrossfireXApex Legends MobileRumbleverseGundam EvolutionEvil Dead: The GameCall of Duty: Warzone Caldera, and more.

More importantly – economic pressures mean that everyone is facing harder decisions about where to invest limited funds. With the ongoing cost of living crisis, folks are more likely to spend cash on groceries and essentials than yet another live service game, so outlining the value and reward of engagement becomes much more difficult.

This has likely formed part of the reason for Sony’s reported game delays. In theory, a good live service game can inspire a dedicated community of players willing to spend cash on gameplay – subscriptions, or microtransactions like cosmetics and weaponry – but in a tough economic climate where job losses are common, launching a whopping 12 live service games and expecting an enthusiastic, sustained audience response is naive.

For now, it appears Sony will play it much safer with a reduced live service offering, and a view to support a smaller, better array of games in the near future.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.