PlayStation may be one of the pioneers in the console market, but its offerings for the multitude of mobile devices are quite picturesque. However, with the hiring of a former Apple executive, PlayStation is looking to change the script on its mobile projects.
The prevalence of mobile gaming over the last decade is a boom like never seen before. It effectively removed the incentive to buy portable gaming devices like the PS Vita or Nintendo 3DS, as with the flourishing of phone and tablet technology a new kind of mobile gaming emerged, a more passive experience built on simple, tight game loops.
Earlier this year, PlayStation announced its plans to expand to mobile devices, after testing the waters with infrequent releases in the last decade. With this announcement, PlayStation also confirmed that it was hiring its head of mobile position to help lead the adaptation of its most popular franchises. Discovered by VGC's Tom Ivan, PlayStation has hired Nicola Sebastiani to help lead the company's journey to the mobile market. According to his LinkedIn experience page, Sebastiani is currently Vice President and Head of Mobile Devices at PlayStation Studios, joining the company in July. Sebastiani spent the last eight years at Apple, the first five as Head of Business Management for Games on the App Store team and the last three as Head of Content at Apple Arcade.
This is the position PlayStation was previously hiring for, which means Sebastiani is working to adapt PlayStations' own franchises for mobile devices. It's been some time since the last major PlayStation mobile release. In the run-up to God of War 2018, PlayStation released God of War - Mimirs Vision, an interactive AR game that allows fans to get their first glimpse of the then-new world of Midgard. There are other titles like the puzzle game, Uncharted: Fortune Hunter, and the endless runner, Run Sackboy! Run !, but PlayStation has mainly been releasing companion apps for its console titles or its PlayLink initiative, where users play a game on their PS4 or PS5 via their phone or tablet.
Sebastiani's hiring is a great sign for PlayStations mobile searches as he is a figure who clearly understands the mobile gaming market. It's a bit ironic that Nintendo, which has proven to be a bit behind on the features of its console, is perhaps the most integrated in the mobile market with its blockbuster games like Mario Kart Tour and Super Mario Run. PlayStation recently announced Wipeout Rush, a card-based racing game coming in early 2022, whose formula changes quickly disappointed Wipeout fans. Hopefully, with Sebastiani, PlayStation can gain ground in the mobile market and offer truly unique experiences.