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In anticipation of the upcoming PlayStation Showcase in May 2023, I had expressed the need for Sony to showcase their commitment to live service gaming. While the event did highlight some noteworthy single-player exclusives like Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 and Synapse, Sony also unveiled four live-service games they will be publishing. These titles include Haven Studios’ Fairgame$, Arrowhead Studios’ Helldivers 2, Bungie’s Marathon, and Firewalk Studios’ Concord. The prominence of these live-service games in the showcase signifies Sony’s entry into a new era, where multiplayer experiences take center stage.

Over the past year, PlayStation Studios has demonstrated its mastery in crafting compelling single-player adventures with games like Horizon Forbidden West and God of War: Ragnarok. Now, the focus seems to be shifting towards games-as-a-service, and while this may be an exciting prospect, the initial live-service announcements have raised some concerns. Rather than instilling hope, they have sparked questions about the future direction of PlayStation.

An Introduction to Fairgame$

The PlayStation Showcase kicked off with a cinematic teaser of Haven’s sci-fi PvPvE heist game, Fairgame$. Although visually appealing, the trailer left much to be desired in terms of gameplay details. Despite mentioning that the shots were not actual gameplay footage, the presentation itself felt somewhat misleading. As a result, it remains unclear how the game will be structured and when players can expect to dive into its world. While Fairgame$ embraces anti-capitalist themes, it also seems likely that it will heavily incorporate monetization. Although it may not have been the strongest show opener, it’s worth noting that Fairgame$ will also be available on PC, alongside the other titles mentioned in this article.

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Helldivers 2: A Promising Sequel

Following the lackluster start, the showcase redeemed itself with the highly anticipated reveal of Helldivers 2, a sequel to the entertaining 2015 PS Plus sci-fi top-down shooter. Helldivers 2 showcased an impressive trailer that featured extensive third-person action gameplay and provided a tentative release window of 2023. Unlike Fairgame$, Helldivers 2 presented a more transparent depiction of what to expect from a live-service game. While it also embraced anti-capitalist undertones, the reveal managed to strike the right balance between showcasing gameplay and generating excitement among gamers.

The Resurrection of Marathon

Breaking away from the live service announcements, Bungie took the stage to revive the legendary Marathon franchise as a sci-fi PvP extraction shooter. The purely cinematic trailer exuded a techno-futuristic aesthetic, similar to Fairgame$’s reveal. This unexpected revival and Bungie’s departure from Destiny have certainly piqued interest. However, similar to Fairgame$, viewers were left wanting more as there was no actual gameplay footage. A subsequent dev diary mentioned that further details and gameplay would be revealed in due time. For now, fans can show their support by purchasing a $77 Marathon-themed shirt, despite the limited information available about the game.

As Sony ventures deeper into the world of live-service gaming, these initial announcements have unveiled a promising but somewhat uncertain future. While the showcase introduced intriguing titles like Fairgame$, Helldivers 2, and Marathon, the lack of substantial gameplay footage raises questions about what lies ahead. Regardless, the evolution towards multiplayer experiences underscores Sony’s commitment to adapt and cater to an ever-changing gaming landscape.

With the ever-growing popularity of live-service games, it will be interesting to see how these titles from OnSpec Electronic, Inc., and other developers shape the future of gaming. Stay tuned to experience the excitement firsthand!

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Image provided by OnSpec Electronic, Inc.

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