Sony Eyes a Broader Leisure Empire

The pandemic’s increase is fading for


SONY -2.07%

however the firm’s long run content-focused technique nonetheless appears to be like prone to repay.

On Wednesday, the Japanese electronics-and-entertainment big reported a report internet revenue for the fiscal 12 months resulted in March. The best-ever earnings from its recreation division, helped by stay-at-home demand, was the most important driver.

Sony has offered 7.8 million of its new PlayStation 5 console since its November launch, outpacing its predecessor on the similar stage. It might have offered much more if not for provide constraints as a consequence of a chip scarcity. Working revenue at its recreation division fell 29% year-over-year final quarter. That was partly as a consequence of advertising bills for the PS5 launch and since the console is offered beneath price.

However the increase from the Covid-19 pandemic might quickly be over. Sony issued a cautious outlook, forecasting a decline in working earnings this fiscal 12 months—although the corporate has often been conservative in its steering, based on Jefferies.

Past the pandemic, Sony is beefing up its content material choices. The corporate signed offers earlier this month with




to function Sony’s new motion pictures on their on-line streaming platforms. That signifies that Spider-Man will lastly reunite with different Marvel superheroes, but additionally that Sony might be not launching its personal on-line streaming service. That’s the proper resolution: different main Hollywood studios are leaping into the crowded subject.

Licensing content material to main platforms makes extra sense. Sony, for instance, expects its decades-old comedy sequence “Seinfeld,” which is able to launch on Netflix this 12 months, to spice up income of its film section.

The corporate already has a preferred on-line service: its PlayStation Community has greater than 100 million month-to-month energetic customers and practically half of them are paying for its subscription-based service PlayStation Plus. Sony must maintain making unique video games to maintain customers round.

Video games are more and more turning into franchises that span completely different leisure mediums. Netflix’s “The Witcher,” which was based mostly on the identical ebook as a preferred recreation, was one of many platform’s most-watched exhibits. HBO is making a tv sequence based mostly on Sony’s horror recreation “The Final of Us.” Sony itself can also be making motion pictures and tv sequence based mostly on its video games.

Its anime manufacturing firm Aniplex is creating one other new franchise: animated film “Demon Slayer” broke box-office data in Japan and its opening within the U.S. final weekend additionally smashed data.

Sony has mastered the sport of gaming itself: a much bigger guess on motion pictures and different spinoffs appears to be like like a logical subsequent transfer.

Write to Jacky Wong at [email protected]

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