Sony has announced a revamped PlayStation Plus that will be launching this June, with additional benefits like a library of over 700 games from all PlayStation platforms being offered on top of existing PS Plus perks across three different subscription tiers. In an industry that’s seen Xbox Game Pass moving from strength and strength and completely changing Microsoft’s approach to gaming, comparisons between it and the new PS Plus are inevitable- though the two services are going to differ in one key way.
Sony has confirmed that, as most had expected, it has no plans to launch its first party games on PlayStation Plus day and date. It’s a position the company has held for a while now, and in a recent interview with GamesIndustry, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan reiterated that stance, saying that Sony’s current model of first party development allows larger investments and, in turn, larger returns. A model that includes day one releases for first party games on a subscription service, according to Ryan, would have multiple knock-on effects on that model.
“We feel like we are in a good virtuous cycle with the studios, where the investment delivers success, which enables yet more investment, which delivers yet more success,” Ryan said. “We like that cycle and we think our gamers like that cycle.”
“In terms of] putting our own games into this service, or any of our services, upon their release… as you well know, this is not a road that we’ve gone down in the past,” he continued. “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.”
That said, that doesn’t mean that Sony is rigidly going to stick to a model and ignore changing market realities, if market realities should change. Ryan says that though Sony’s current business model is the best possible option for the company right now, things can change very quickly in the industry- so never say never to day one first party PlayStation Plus releases.
“The way the world is changing so very quickly at the moment, nothing is forever,” Ryan said. “Who would have said even four years ago that you would see AAA PlayStation IP being published on PC? We started that last year with Horizon Zero Dawn, then Days Gone, and now God of War — a hugely polished and accomplished PC version of that game. [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.”
In the same interview, Ryan also stated that PlayStation Plus Extra and Premium’s collective catalogs of over 700 games will feature titles from “every major publisher”. Read more on that through here. While the full list of these games hasn’t yet been revealed, we do know that it will include the likes of God of War, Returnal, Death Stranding, and more.
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