The new PlayStation Plus will skip Sony’s day one exclusives. A carefully considered choice to avoid hurting PlayStation Studios productions.
The PS+ has announced the overhaul of its offers and will eventually offer three subscription levels. The most expensive of these include PS Now and all current PS Plus benefits, along with trial versions of games. These demos may relate to exclusives, but these will not be available when they are released like the Xbox Game Pass. The CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment justified himself by not closing the door to change.
Get the most out of PlayStation Studios games
Jim Ryan, CEO, and president of Sony Interactive Entertainment refuses to add first-party exclusives in the new PS Plus so as not to make them suffer. When our colleagues from the game industry questioned him referring to Microsoft’s service, he replied:
We feel like we’re in a good virtuous circle with studios where investment is successful, which allows for even more investment, which brings even more success. About bringing our own games into this service, or any of our services, when they come out…as you know, that’s not the route we’ve taken in the past. And that’s not the path we’ll be taking with this new service.. We believe that if we were to do this with our PlayStation Studios games, this virtuous cycle would be broken.. The level of investment we need for our studios would be affected, as would the quality of the games, and we believe this is not what gamers want..
A new future-proof PS Plus?
What could be interpreted as stinginess is basically logical, and also responds to the successful business of PlayStation. We know that AAA requires millions of dollars and time to be developed, and then a real return on investment is needed.
By staying on a classic model at €80 (maximum recommended price), Sony Interactive Entertainment can rest easy if success is there. And thanks to the PS4, it does. A generation that allowed Sony licenses to explode. Games such as Horizon Zero Dawn, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, or Marvel’s Spider-Man have easily exceeded 10 million copies sold. Now imagine replacing this sum with a subscription of ten euros… not to mention the versatility of the system, without commitment, where the player can take a month, play several titles, and not re-subscribe for X time.
Although Sony Interactive Entertainment is the manufacturer that generates the most gaming revenue, the other activities of the Sony group are not as successful. If PlayStation rocks, Sony can rock. The opposite of Microsoft, which has an “unlimited” portfolio, as we like to say in the industry, allows it to rely heavily on a subscription service. Because that’s the whole point: invest massively, to garner subscribers, in order to be profitable one day.
But while exclusives won’t be coming to PS Plus at the moment, that might change in the future:
All I’m talking about today is our short-term approach. With the way our model currently works, it doesn’t make sense (note: add the excluded at launch). But as we all know, things can change quickly in this industry.