Grant us sequels…Micolash, Host of the Single Installment Nightmare
Much to the chagrin of many PC gamers, Bloodborne, FromSoftware’s 2015 dive into madness and eldritch horror, has been exclusively hunting the bloody streets of the PlayStation 4 for five years. But with the recent news that PS4 exclusive Horizon: Zero Dawn may soon be releasing on Steam and Epic Games Store, the promise of dawn may not be far off for PC kin. If that’s the case, then it may be one more sign that Sony has grander plans for the future of this franchise.
Sony’s desire to share its titles with communities outside of PlayStation has hardly been a secret of late. With the release of the PlayStation Now application for PC, it dipped its toes in the water, testing the depths of a playerbase that has yet to be tapped. In the past few months, we’ve learned that first-party studio Media Molecule may allow its upcoming Dreams to have some life on PC, longtime exclusive MLB The Show will soon be releasing on multiple platforms, and second-party studio Kojima Productions has announced Death Stranding for PC. While the rumor that a title as significant (and notably first-party) as Horizon: Zero Dawn may be coming to PC is certainly noteworthy, it’s not necessarily a sign that Sony is abandoning exclusivity entirely, as some have suggested.
Of course, all of this brings into question Sony’s ultimate goal. Some have speculated this is a sign that Sony wishes to widen the audience for the PlayStation ecosystem, promoting the sales of their games rather than pushing consoles by promising exclusive content. However, we already know that Sony isn’t planning on becoming a third party publisher anytime soon. With the PlayStation 5 launching later this year, they’re preparing for another successful platform, and what better way to expand potential console adoption than by giving a new audience a small taste of the PlayStation brand?
Horizon: Zero Dawn, MLB The Show, Death Stranding, Dreams: these are all AAA PlayStation titles with a long future ahead of them. If PC gamers like what they’ve tried from the previous generation, Sony may be hoping that’s enough to sell them a whole new console. Sure, it may become customary for the sequels or updates to these games to launch at the end of a console’s lifecycle (or maybe not), but are there that many gamers who will wait for that unconfirmed possibility when they could pick it up at launch with the right hardware?
It’s likely that these reveals will not be the only PlayStation exclusives to come to PC, which has many speculating (or plain hoping) that Bloodborne may be amongst them. If Horizon: Zero Dawn, a game developed and published by a Sony studio can get the PC treatment, then even more possibilities open up for games not developed by Sony studios. Like Death Stranding, Bloodborne was developed by an outside studio and as such was made under certain publishing agreements limiting its release on other platforms. But like Death Stranding, that agreement may have terms that allow the developer to explore other ventures with its IP or Sony may simply agree to modify those terms to meet their marketing initiative.
So, how does this lead to Bloodborne 2? If Sony releases Bloodborne on PC, it’s one more sign that the franchise still has life as part of the PlayStation ecosystem. We can surely expect that more Horizon: Zero Dawn is on its way to the PS5. It’s a successful, new IP that will draw gamers to the next console generation. If these PC releases are happening and are indeed part of a PlayStation 5 promotion, then releasing Bloodborne to a new gaming audience ahead of the console’s launch signals that we can expect even more from that world.
More than the Totaku Hunter figure, or the Titan Comics series, Bloodborne on PC would show that Sony is invested in breathing life into this property. Porting a game costs time and money, and Sony may need to seriously consider what games would be tantalizing enough to draw a wider audience to its platform. Similarly, if Sony neglects to bring Bloodborne to PC, it may prove that the franchise is even further from a sequel.
FromSoftware has a strong community across the hardware spectrum, and its contract with Sony has been enough for many to buy PlayStation 4’s ever since Bloodborne‘s release. PC gamers have taken advantage of PlayStation Now’s PC access to play the game, and there are still plenty of Souls fans who would join the hunt if not for console exclusivity. Sony certainly knows that few of its properties fuel so much envy across platforms. With that much bait to encourage them, I would lose some hope for Bloodborne 2 if the original were left out of this potential initiative.