It’s still in the dark whether Sony is developing its own game plan to charge against Xbox’s Game Pass Subscription Service. Sony is still committing to releasing games as premium titles. PlayStation’s PS Plus Service is expanding with each passing day but is it really bringing anything new to the forefront? Find out in today’s news.
Sony PlayStation’s PS Plus Won’t Get Day One Titles
PlayStation’s Head of Independent Developer Initiatives Shuhei Yoshida is planning the expansion of the PlayStation Plus service and its motives on adding new titles to the service upon launch. This was reiterated at a discussion at GI Live 2022 on Wednesday.
Yoshida and Sony believe in the release of premium titles at launch. This is an indication of how modern digital games’ life cycles are pretty much similar to how a film is released to theatres and then shelved to digital streaming service’s in the proceeding months.
The new PS Plus has tiers and essentially it’s like the old PS Plus, we still release two or three new games every month, and a new tier, Extra, has a catalogue of hundreds of games for people to play. For Extra, our approach [is] we like to help the publishers [with] lifecycle management.
I was managing first-party [at PlayStation] so I know that it’s like in the movies — a movie comes out at the theatre first, then goes to pay per view, or a subscription service, or free TV, every time generating new revenue and reaching out to a broader audience.
“In the same kind of way, we believe in the premium release of a title at launch and after maybe six months, or three months, or three years, when the game’s sales come down, inclusion into this service, PS Plus Extra, can help introduce these games to new, broader audiences.
Some people might have missed these games when they came out and it’s a great chance to play and generate word-of-mouth or if there’s DLC or a sequel going, we can help elevate interest to a broader audience about the franchise. So we are encouraging publishers to make use of these services in managing the lifecycle of each title. – Yoshida
Late into the discussion, Yoshida followed up with the fact that subscription services are still in experimental stages at this point over at Sony but he stated that Stray was an example of a release day PS Plus Extra which found success by going for a day and date subscription release.
While first-party titles don’t make it to PS Plus on day one anymore, there are a few notable indie titles that have found success doing so. This is a trend that has been going on for the notable life of the PS Plus Service. Notable examples are Fall Guys and Rocket League which launched exclusively on the platform.
Earlier this year, Jim Ryan, CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment stated that games could potentially suffer if they were included in PlayStation Plus on day one.
When Jim Ryan was asked whether Sony could bring first-party tiles to PS Plus the same way Microsoft does with its Xbox Game Pass service, the company’s CEO said:
This is not a road that we’ve gone down in the past. And it’s not a road that we’re going to go down with this new service.
We feel if we were to do that with the games that we make at PlayStation Studios, that virtuous cycle will be broken. The level of investment that we need to make in our studios would not be possible, and we think the knock-on effect on the quality of the games that we make would not be something that gamers want. – Jim Ryan
Jim Ryan isn’t the only person that shares this view. Most AAA publishers are somewhat reluctant to pass their titles off to subscription services on Day One. But the counterargument is pretty valid. A game, if passed onto a subscription service the likes of Xbox Game Pass could garner tens of millions of players on day one and the game could indeed benefit if it includes in-game monetization and micro-transactions.
While Jim Ryan is pretty pragmatic in his perspective, PlayStation’s position on this matter could change in the future.
[We’ve had] great critical success and great commercial success, and everybody has made their peace with that happening and is completely at ease with it. I look back four years and think nobody would have seen that coming. So I don’t want to cast anything in stone at this stage.
All I’m talking to today is the approach we’re taking in the short term. The way our publishing model works right now, it doesn’t make any sense. But things can change very quickly in this industry, as we all know. – Jim Ryan
Xbox’s Game Pass is pretty lucrative with its current pricing and line-up of games and it’s very well threatening Sony and its perspective in the game subscription service sphere. With three tiers of PS Plus, it comes out to be pretty expensive with fewer benefits compared to its Game Pass counterpart. We’ll have to wait and see what moves Sony makes in the future in regards to the PS Plus Subscription service.
So, what do you think of Sony’s stance on releasing premium titles first and bringing them to PS Plus later? Will they regret this decision and change their stance in the future? Let us know your views in the comments below.