Wednesday, March 30, 2022
Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO and President Jim Ryan has confirmed that the ‘all-new’ PlayStation Plus won't have first-party PlayStation releases hitting the service on day one, a la Xbox Game Pass. Ryan explained that PlayStation is currently enjoying a “virtuous cycle”, and to disrupt that could potentially prove harmful to said cycle.
“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. We like that cycle and we think our gamers like that cycle," Ryan explained in a chat with GamesIndustry.biz.
“[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. And it's not a road that we're going to go down with this new service," he went on to explain. “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.”
Ryan added that he wouldn't necessarily say “never” to releasing first-party games day one on PlayStation Plus, noting that the industry can change quickly. “The way the world is changing so very quickly at the moment, nothing is forever,” he 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,” he went on. “[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 about 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.”
Ryan also discussed the three pricing tiers for the new PlayStation Plus, defending the decision to offer a 12-month subscription, and how it breaks down in terms of value, given that PS Plus Premium tier offers a library of PS1, PS2, and PSP games for download, as well as PS3 titles via cloud streaming - making for 700+ PlayStation titles.
“It is a fact – for our services, at least – that the great majority of people subscribe through a 12-month subscription,” Ryan observed. ”It’s more than two thirds who subscribe that way. That is an area of value proposition that we have looked at very hard. What we are delivering is that, for a 12-month subscriber, and that is the great majority of people, the monthly subscription rate for PlayStation Plus Extra will be $8.33. And for PlayStation Plus Premium, it will be $9.99. We think, for what people are going to get, this is a terrific value proposition. And one that simply wouldn’t be possible if we were to put our studio’s games into the service upon release."
Ryan concluded: “It's all about choice. There are obviously many millions of people who are happy to subscribe to PlayStation Plus. We offer them that option on the platform, and we think that we are offering a significantly improved option with the changes we have made. Equally, if people want to play Fortnite or Call of Duty or FIFA, and have their sustained engagement that way, that's fine, too. Nobody is obliged to do anything.”
The all-new PlayStation Plus will be rolling out in June, with Extra and Premium tiers offering access to PS4 and PS5 titles like Death Stranding, God of War, Marvel’s Spider-Man, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Mortal Kombat 11, and Returnal at launch. You can read more about it, alongside pricing breakdowns, here.
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