In an interview with Russian media outlet Tass, PlayStation Boss Jim Ryan was asked about his thoughts on the rival company’s game subscription service, the Xbox Game Pass. Ryan interestingly said, “There is news to come, but not just today.”
It’s unclear whether he meant that PlayStation is already developing a new game subscription service to rival Game Pass or whether we will hear an announcement in the coming days. After the question ended, Jim Ryan also talked a lot about the PlayStation Now. Therefore, there’s also that added to the mixed thoughts.
By any means, if you think Ryan meant that a new service ready to battle game pass would release soon. It doesn’t add up because the last time he was asked a similar question by GamesIndustry.biz. Ryan discouragingly said PlayStation wasn’t in favor of a subscription model.
“For us, having a catalog of games is not something that defines a platform,” Ryan told Gamesindustry.biz. “Our pitch, as you’ve heard, is ‘new games, great games.’ We have had this conversation before – we are not going to go down the road of putting new release titles into a subscription model. These games cost many millions of dollars, well over $100 million, to develop. We just don’t see that as sustainable.”
Ryan further added that PlayStation’s primary focus is to make “games bigger and better,” and adding those games to a subscription model “doesn’t make any sense.”
Well, it’s very obvious that Sony cannot afford to add AAA blockbuster titles like God of War and Last of Us Part 2 on a subscription service from day 1. Also, It’s worth noting that Xbox Boss Phil Spencer thinks quite the contrary. In a recent interview, he said that Xbox Game Pass is sustainable and that people who think “they are burning money left and right” are wrong.
“Game Pass for us right now is a good business,” Spencer told Stevivor. “It’s something that we’re comfortable running the way it is, and it’s more than doubled in size, year over year. It’s on a great trajectory.”
“I know some people — I’ve seen it — some people say, ‘Oh, they’re just kind of burning money left and right to gain customers so they can trick you into raising the price later. There’s no model like that for us.”
Understandably, PlayStation cannot take the risks Microsoft and Xbox can. However, I won’t be surprised if, in coming years, PlayStation releases a similar subscription service like Game Pass with non-exclusives. There are also a decent amount of chances that they further expand the PlayStation Now service to battle Xbox Game Pass.
Sooner or later, Sony will have to do something about it because with games like Starfield and ES: VI launching from Day 1 on Game Pass. It’s only a matter of time that Xbox takes the competition to the next level.