Sucker Punch Productions is a studio that has made a name for itself by developing the Sly Cooper and Infamous franchisees. Having proven himself to be an asset to PlayStation, the studio decided to take on a new challenge by creating a new IP and, after years of development and research, Ghost of Tsushima was released in 2020. An open-world title set on the Japanese island of Tsushima, the game was a smash hit, selling over eight million copies worldwide. The game’s depiction of Tsushima Island is so stunning that the game’s directors, Nate Fox and Jason Connell, have been named tourist ambassadors for the island’s real-world counterpart. To satisfy fans eager to see more of Tsushima and its samurai, a movie is also in the works.
Part of Ghost of TsushimaThe appeal of is its compelling narrative, which centers on Jin Sakai, a brave samurai who finds his beautiful homeland under attack by Mongols. To drive out the Mongols and bring peace to the island, Jin must learn new ways to fight, even if it means turning his back on customs and traditions that have been around for generations. The dilemma of tradition vs. change that Jin faces resonates with many gamers, and it mirrors the history of PlayStation as well. Although the company has established ways of working for a long time, in recent years the company has been forced to employ new strategies to cope with a rapidly changing world.
The samurai becomes a ghost
Jin is mentored by his uncle Lord Shimura, who teaches him how to be an honorable samurai. According to Lord Shimura, a good samurai never forgets his values and always fights in a noble manner, even when his competitor employs dirty tricks. Being a noble samurai involves facing opponents head-on and looking them in the eye when they commit suicide. Sneaking up on opponents or taking low blows is considered a sign of cowardice and is highly frowned upon. Jin embraces Lord Shimura’s lessons because he respects his uncle and sees the value in tradition.
When the Mongol invasion hits Tsushima, the values taught to Jin are challenged. The Mongols have long studied the samurai on the island and know how the samurai fight. Consequently, Jin finds his old fighting style to be ineffective against the Mongols, who can anticipate his moves and use his values against him. As he sees his home overrun by invaders, Jin decides he will adopt a new fighting style, which the Mongols do not expect.
Jin uses stealth and cunning against his enemies, using long-range weapons, smoke bombs, and the element of surprise to get the best out of the Mongols. He tiptoes across the rooftops of buildings, killing while out of sight until he builds a reputation as a ghost who cannot be heard or seen, but can strike at any moment. Using these tactics helps Jin in his fight against the Mongols, but it also causes him to face internal strife as he is aware that he is breaking the code of honor that Lord Shimura taught him.
Sony shakes up tradition
PlayStation falls under Sony, which is a proudly Japanese company. However, in recent years PlayStation has placed less emphasis on its eastern roots in favor of the western branch of the company. In 2016, Sony announced that Sony Interactive Entertainment would move its headquarters from Tokyo to California. Sony has also expanded its footprint in the West by acquiring more Western studios and focusing its video game development there.
This led to the closure of Japan Studio, which was responsible for PlayStation titles such as Monkey Escape, Astro’s Playroomand Gravity Rush. Not all of the studio’s talent was lost, as much of Japan Studio was absorbed into Team Asobi and other Sony Interactive Entertainment studios. The increased Westernization of PlayStation is to be expected to some degree because, as the Computer Entertainment Supplier’s Association explains, the Japanese console market has shrunk considerably of late. However, this represents a detour from the traditions and origins of the company.
PlayStation’s focus has also changed drastically in recent years. For a long time, the company focused on getting gamers access to its platform by convincing them to buy PlayStation consoles. Sony has offered a catalog of awesome exclusive games that can only be experienced on PS3/PS4/PS5. Things have changed lately and Sony has been much more permissive about landing its games on other platforms. Many PlayStation titles have been ported to PC, including Horizon Zero Dawn, Days gone, God of the warand Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End to name a few.
Sony’s commitment to releasing more of its PC games aligns with the company’s push into the cloud gaming market through the introduction of PlayStation Now, which allows gamers to stream a catalog of PS2 games. , PS3 and PS4 on PlayStation consoles and PC. The deluge of PC ports, combined with Sony’s investment in cloud gaming, means gamers are no longer dependent on PlayStation consoles to play PlayStation games. While that might seem ridiculous just a decade ago, Sony may be looking to a future where its resources aren’t focused on traditional console gaming, but instead try to connect with gamers regardless of platform. shape they prefer.
PlayStation’s future is quite different from what gamers might have imagined when it launched the company’s first home console in 1994. From a Japanese company focused on console gaming, PlayStation has slowly taken on an identity more western and extended its reach beyond the borders of its consoles. Like Jin, the change in approach may represent a rejection of certain traditions for PlayStation, and that may be concerning for some players.
However, the changes also leave the business better equipped to deal with the challenges of the future, proving that while rapid change can be a problem, static traditions can also outlive their usefulness and ultimately become an inconvenience.
Ghost of Tsushima is available on PS4 and PS5.
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