PS Plus should be for old games, not new game releases

If you want even clearer evidence that Sony has no plans to follow Microsoft’s lead of exclusive day one releases on Game Pass, here’s PlayStation’s Shuhei Yoshida, making it very clear how he sees PS Plus in the life cycle. of games on PlayStation:

“For Extra, our focus is that we like to help publishers with lifecycle management,” Yoshida told GI.biz. “I was running first-party, so I know it’s like movies: a movie comes out first in theaters, then it goes to pay-per-view, or a subscription service, or free TV, every time it brings in new revenue. and reach a larger audience. In the same way, we believe in launching a premium title at launch and after maybe six months, three months or three years, when game sales drop off, inclusion in this service, PS Plus Extra, can help. . introduce these games to new and broader audiences.”

Yoshida compares this to the traditional way of streaming movies from the theater to the home, so I guess the counterexample would be that Microsoft is essentially doing what we see in streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, which are debuting big, often expensive. Original movies directly on the platform at no additional cost, providing added value for subscribers. And in that industry, too, it’s hotly debated whether that kind of launch provides enough value to those projects. But it keeps happening, and big Netflix movies like Red Notice and The Gray Man will get sequels.

It’s very clear that Sony wants and probably needs to maintain the concept of selling millions and millions of copies of games that now cost $70 right when they are released, and they believe they can continue to do so as long as their games maintain a high standard. quality. Expect few complaints about needing to buy God of War Ragnarok new, say, this fall.

But on the other side of the road does it I feel like Microsoft is giving the store away with every exclusive release there on day one on Game Pass, along with a PC copy. Sony, for its part, takes months or years to port its games for PC, selling them separately.

While Microsoft claims that the Game Pass strategy works for to them, questions can certainly be raised as to how true that is. Internal reports are that Halo Infinite hasn’t worked out well for Microsoft in general, being released as a separate free-to-play multiplayer Game Pass title, and has had to rely almost entirely on live service microtransactions, which is what which made the game worse. It’s easy to imagine that, overall, Halo Infinite could have generated far more revenue if it had simply been sold as a regular game at launch, compared to the value it generated through Game Pass subscriptions and microtransactions alone.

I understand why both companies are doing what they are doing. It would be pretty silly of market leader Sony to flip a switch and start doing day one releases for big games, given the millions and millions of sales they’d be giving up. But on the contrary, I understand why Microsoft is using its size and ability to absorb costs to push Game Pass and day one releases as an alternative to Sony, even if every now and then a normal release feels like it might have worked. better. for them. things will get Really interest when we start to get situations where Microsoft Call of Duty launches on day one on Game Pass, but sells for $70 on PlayStation, and which one generates more value. I guess we’ll find out soon.

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