GameSpot - in a clear sign of the times, and further indication of the ever-deepening video game crash that I’m firmly convinced we’re already mired in - posted an article yesterday reporting that Sony has reported its eighth consecutive quarterly loss, and worst loss of the past four years. Considering the previous ‘loss record’ was posted in 2008, during the time of the PS3’s disastrous launch and absence of viable software, the actual sum is likely a truly olympian amount. Overnight, Sony’s shares plummeted by over 10%, and were devalued by over a full dollar to $14. Just $4 away from being de-listed. Which, for a massive conglomerate like Sony, is a staggering figure.
It isn’t alarmist rhetoric to proclaim that the industry is currently awash in a third, and particularly potent, video game crash. It’s simple acknowledgment of basic financial facts and figures. Between THQ’s closure, Sony’s massive losses, EA’s stock being de-listed entirely, the lackluster performance of the Wii U (selling a positively pathetic amount in the U.K., particularly) 2012 was not unique in how damaging it was to the industry… it was simply the latest, and most severe, in a long string of miserable annual fiduciary performances.
The seeds that were sown during the ‘down year’ that was 2009 (an ‘aberration’, said the industry’s money-men) have born fetid fruit, and Sony now finds themselves cast in the role of the chirping canary in the mine-shafts of video game commerce.
Yes, their atrocious business decisions have cost them dearly.
Yes, their engineer-centric culture of arrogance is the primary culprit.
But let’s be real, here:
Sony were arrogant in the 1990s. They were supremely arrogant during the PS2’s life cycle, as evidenced by shameful displays like this. They made massive missteps like the PocketStation, dusted themselves off and continued on their merry way. It’s the industry’s current fate that’s leading to the dramatic events we’re now witnessing at Sony, not merely a culmination of corporate dissonance. And it’s with no pleasure whatsoever that I instruct you now to prepare for more of the same.
As an aside, many thanks to ReviewTechUSA for both the shout-out in his recent video about this story… and for calling further attention to this very genuine malady afflicting both Sony, and the industry as a whole.