The Game Pass model is doing wonders for Microsoft right now, but while it’s become central to Xbox’s strategy, Sony has remained adamant that it has no intentions of releasing premium first party titles for subscription services right at launch.
Speaking last week at GI Live 2022 (transcribed by VGC), PlayStation’s Head of Independent Developer Initiatives Shuhei Yoshida – who was previously the head of Sony Worldwide Studios – reiterated that Sony believes in premium releases for first party titles first, followed by a delayed release on PlayStation Plus after some time has passed.
“We believe in the premium release of titles at launch,” he said. “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.”
Yoshida said that Sony’s model for game releases is similar to films being released exclusively in cinemas and then being made available via other platforms later on. The exec explains that the staggered release of games on PS Plus will allow a broader audience to experience them after sales have slowed down following their premium releases.
“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,” Yoshida added. “So we are encouraging publishers to make use of these services in managing the lifecycle of each title.”
Earlier this year, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan said that while Sony had no intentions of changing its publishing model in the short term, “things can change very quickly in this industry.” Read more on that through here.