Game Pass has become central to Microsoft’s gaming efforts ever since its introduction, driving the company to a much more platform agnostic approach. Interestingly enough, however, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan doesn’t seem to be a big fan.
A Q&A between Ryan and analysts from 2022 is one of several things to have emerged from the recent, massive Microsoft leak, and during the Q&A session, when asked about the company’s efforts with Game Pass, the PlayStation boss said that Microsoft’s initial approach “did not work at all”, which has “driven them to make large acquisitions.”
Ryan further added that publishers in the industry have told them they view Game Pass “value destructive” not only for individual releases, but for the industry as a whole. Interestingly, he also remarked on Microsoft’s last update for Game Pass’ number of subscribers – standing at 25 million as of January 2022 – and said that at nearly 50 million subscribers, he views PlayStation Plus as a more “meaningful” service.
“I can say with a very high degree of certainty that Microsoft has tried the first path and it did not work at all. That has driven them to make the large acquisition,” Ryan said (via Reddit). “I’ve talked to all the publishers, and they unanimously do not like Game Pass because it is value destructive, not only on an individual title-basis, but also on an industry level. The recent number of subscribers that Microsoft announced in January was 25 million. I am sure everyone has their own views on this, but I personally was expecting a larger number given all the money they have spent. We have close to 50 million PS Plus subscribers. We believe we have a meaningful subscription service.”
Interestingly enough, it also emerged from the leak that Xbox boss Phil Spencer is hoping to see significant growth for Game Pass in terms of its subscriber count by 2027, failing which Microsoft might even consider exiting the gaming business. Read more on that through here.