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PlayStation says it doesn’t think game subscriptions will dominate like Netflix and Spotify (VCG)

kingfey

Banned

PlayStation boss Jim Ryan has said he doesn’t believe video game subscription models will ever dominate like Spotify and Netflix do in music and film.

On Tuesday, Sony Interactive Entertainment announced its expanded PlayStation Plus service, which includes a library of legacy and classic games, among other features.

One thing missing from the new PlayStation Plus is day-one first-party game releases like those offered by Xbox Game Pass. Ryan has claimed adopting a similar policy would result in lower quality games.

With over 25 million subscribers, the influence of Xbox Game Pass’s subscription model is already becoming significant. However, Sony’s Jim Ryan told GI.biz he was not convinced it would ever become truly dominant like in music and TV.

Microsoft has previously stated that Xbox Game Pass subscribers still spend on full titles outside of the service and on additional content.

“Subscription has certainly grown in importance over the course of the last few years,” he said. “Our PlayStation Plus subscriber number has grown from zero in 2010, to 48 million now. And we anticipate, for our services, that we will see further growth for the subscriber number.

“But the medium of gaming is so very different to music and to linear entertainment, that I don’t think we’ll see it go to the levels that we see with Spotify and Netflix.”

Instead, Ryan said he believed that players would continue to flock toward live service games similar to Fortnite and Call of Duty Warzone. Under his leadership, SIE has started investing more in online games via deals such as its $3.6bn purchase of Destiny creator Bungie.

“Some of the live service [games] that are proving very successful these days, and I’m not restricting this comment to console, they’re effectively subscription services in themselves,” Ryan told GI.biz.

“And they’re very much tailored to the needs of the gamer who loves whatever game that they spend hours and hours with, month after month after month.

“That phenomenon of the live service game… that has, in a very large part, fuelled the enormous growth in the gaming industry that we’ve seen over the last ten years.

“I think that trend towards live services will continue, and if you look for a model in our category of entertainment, which supports sustained engagement over a long period of time, live services games arguably fit that bill better than a subscription service.

“But 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 Fornite or Call of Duty or FIFA, and have their sustained engagement that way, that’s fine, too. Nobody is obliged to do anything.”
 
Movie studios said the same about streaming , so did the music industry.. 🤣👍🏻 Dinosaurs.. etc
I mean...

Subscription has certainly grown in importance over the course of the last few years,” he said. “Our PlayStation Plus subscriber number has grown from zero in 2010, to 48 million now. And we anticipate, for our services, that we will see further growth for the subscriber number.

“But the medium of gaming is so very different to music and to linear entertainment, that I don’t think we’ll see it go to the levels that we see with Spotify and Netflix.”

Instead, Ryan said he believed that players would continue to flock toward live service games similar to Fortnite and Call of Duty Warzone. Under his leadership, SIE has started investing more in online games via deals such as its $3.6bn purchase of Destiny creator Bungie.
This isn't a lie in any way.
Live service games are much bigger than subscriptions for videogames
 
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Dr Bass

Member
Movie studios said the same about streaming , so did the music industry.. 🤣👍🏻 Dinosaurs.. etc
Hmmm .. I don't think so. Happy to see sources on this though.

Streaming/theft is what killed the music industry. Covid hurt the movies. Movies were pulling in massive amounts of money at the theater before Covid hit. Directors hate seeing their movies go directly to streaming. Artists don't tend to like Spotify/AM or what Napster/Limewire did to the perception of the value of music. We are talking about people's livelihood's here, and I don't just mean the mega stars that are going to be fine with their tours and merchandise etc etc.

Just throwing the word "dinosaurs" out there does not demonstrate deep understanding of a market or show cleverness.
 

sinnergy

Member
Hmmm .. I don't think so. Happy to see sources on this though.

Streaming/theft is what killed the music industry. Covid hurt the movies. Movies were pulling in massive amounts of money at the theater before Covid hit. Directors hate seeing their movies go directly to streaming. Artists don't tend to like Spotify/AM or what Napster/Limewire did to the perception of the value of music. We are talking about people's livelihood's here, and I don't just mean the mega stars that are going to be fine with their tours and merchandise etc etc.

Just throwing the word "dinosaurs" out there does not demonstrate deep understanding of a market or show cleverness.
Like I said .. dinosaurs .. try to look at the longer bigger picture .

If it was up to people we still would only have horses as transportation . It’s all for future proof .. in a couple of years even Sony will embrace it , but probably to late.
 
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IDKFA

Member
Looooool.

Only a matter of time. Soon, the only way we'll be able to play games is via a subscription and streaming service. Won't even be the option to download games or buy physical discs either. All AAA games will release on a stream/sub service from day one and that will be the only option. The price will be astronomical, but I think we'd all be cool with it if the services offered every game ever made, all future games day one and the guarantee no game will EVER leave the service.

Even games purchased now that you have in a digital library will only be accessible if you sign up to a streaming subscription service, otherwise kiss goodbye to your library.

That's my prediction for the future of gaming.
 

Astral Dog

Member
Of course they still want to sell $70 games and live service monsters, they aren't going to try throwing everything at a subscription like Microsoft does(since Sony has more to lose) as long as their audience is willing to buy millions of their games(and they won't stop) day one.
 
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kingfey

Banned
Look at how much money publishers do from subscriptions and live service games and tell me what's the future lol
Subscription service does both, unlike live subscription.

EA makes alot of money from EA play.

5$ initial subscription, plus mtx sales on their games.

You can have both. Ff14 and Wow are the 2 games that make alot of money from the 2 models.
 
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sinnergy

Member
And look at the crappy music we have nowadays... for example. So yeah he kinda has a point, it did lowered quality.
But the real question is, Between EA, Ubisoft, NFTs etc can the gaming industry get any lower in quality?
I think we have great music 😀 I found great new artists by using Spotify .. genres I would not have listened to because of ease of use ..
 
Game subscriptions like game pass provide more value to consumers because of the cost of video games. A new PS5 game cost $70, that can get you 7 months of game pass access at $10 per month. Even if you prefer owning games, at some point you can't ignore that value. I would have saved so much money through the years if something like game pass existed sooner.
 

Zeroing

Gold Member
I think we have great music 😀 I found great new artists by using Spotify .. genres I would not have listened to because of ease of use ..
Since taste is personal and not up to discussion, how much filler do you have to go trough to find good things? yeah I dunno about you but I sure also get amazed when after 10 min I find something interesting.
Tons of things is not a sign of good things.
 

NickFire

Member
Movie studios said the same about streaming , so did the music industry.. 🤣👍🏻 Dinosaurs.. etc
You may be right. But I don't see anywhere close to an apples to apples comparison with gaming here. The complexity and sheer number of man hours needed to make the big games goes up all the time. Contrast the other services. They changed the game in terms of how to sell products, but the man hours to make the products hasn't changed all that much beyond inflation. Gaming seems to be on an island of its own in terms of how much harder it is to get things made with advances in technology, at least IMO. This is the variable that leaves my unconvinced in either direction.
 

Spacefish

Member
Seems to boil down to Subscription vs GAAS, either are shitty if they end up dominating. He's betting on GAAS being the future but as a fan of novelty, variety and just single player games in general that's the least interesting path to take. Sony's future seems to be more of a cold, hands off tencent style business portfolio than a curated platform holder.
 

Lupin25

Member
Like I said .. dinosaurs .. try to look at the longer bigger picture .

If it was up to people we still would only have horses as transportation . It’s all for future proof .. in a couple of years even Sony will embrace it , but probably to late.

PS Now is older than Gamepass though lol.

If Sony ever thought there was a trend leaning towards subscriptions, they’d be in that same boat. The reality is subscriptions have a much more limited draw in this medium due to the install base.

Subscriptions aren’t a new thing.
If consumers aren’t investing in the success of subscriptions (in the way they have with live-service games) over the next few years after tons of consolidation…

They never will.
 
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People are really not understanding how the market has changed especially since gaming went to digital store fronts.

Sony probably get like 3-5% of game sales on physical games for royalties. They now get 30% of game sales. Every game sold, 30% this is why their revenue is so much higher than Microsoft's and Nintendo's, not because their games outsell Nintendo's but because the collective of games on PS consoles sell more than Microsoft and Nintendo and Sony takes a 30 percent chunk out of that.

I can see Sony returning to the mobile space and selling a for-profit handheld that just runs PS4/PS5 games. Models change all the time.

But subscriptions are very difficult to keep the margins up, especially as content becomes more expensive and the result is the ever-increasing monthly cost.

Only a matter of time until Game Pass moves to 20 dollars a month to help make up for what they just spent on Activision Blizzard.

It is at least an extra 1.5 billion a year, with the hope that the userbase grows significantly with CoD et all. Let's say you move from 25 to 35 million. That would b bring an extra 4 billion a year... still a long way towards paying off 70 billion dollars though, but that is some benefit to leaving CoD and other games multiplatform.

A game like Spider-Man 2 can probably do 1.4 billion dollars by itself...I'm sure there is a lot of that margin going to Marvel, but you look at a God of War 1-3 remake and if they can all do as well as God of War 2018 that's 3 more games that probably each generate a billion dollars in revenue. Now look at how many studios Sony is putting together and how many games they're looking to make and not every game needs to sell 20 million copies and some will bring in revenue via GaaS individually.

And the more content creators they can add to their team, they'll always be positioned to pivot to a sub-model if the time comes.
 

cormack12

Gold Member
Interesting that he picks out specific game subs. I wonder if the plan is to bring those specific Sony GAAS onto other platforms with individual subs. So instead of a platform service like GamePass, they just offer a sub to a smaller subset of live service games (or just use the larger share of MTX).

But arguably Sonys biggest hitters are single player games you platinum and move on from imo. And historically (and currently) their multiplayer games fall flat generally or develop loyal playerbases but usually fall into 'cult favourites' rather than juggernauts.

Will be interesting either way.
 

ShirAhava

Plays with kids toys, in the adult gaming world
The future is Blu Ray and Blockbuster bundles!

 

SSfox

Lies about why mods reply ban and warn me.
100% agree, but if they believe so then they need to stop copying every random stuffs MS does.
 

Swift_Star

Gold Member
Exactly. This what happens when you have an old whale that doesn’t keep up with the industry and all he think about is short term profit . When he retire it will be too late for Sony to recover from the mistakes they are doing one after the other.
Sony has a subscription service that has plenty of users, is growing and it'll see more investment from now on as stated in the blog post today. Why will it be too late for Sony to recover from nonexistent mistakes (you say they're doing several mistakes but this is FALSE) if they're preparing for any shift that might happen?
 
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kungfuian

Member
I honestly think Jim is right on the money. Everybody assumes that the subscription service will take over gaming but we haven't seen evidence of that. So far Microsoft have attracted about half of their install base and Sony at 48 million users for PS plus is it about 50% of user base. Content is a big part of it and there is definitely room for growth but they will have to fully uncouple their subscriptions from their hardware for real growth, otherwise those numbers will always be tied to and limited by that user base.
 
Exactly. This what happens when you have an old whale that doesn’t keep up with the industry and all he think about is short term profit . When he retire it will be too late for Sony to recover from the mistakes they are doing one after the other.
Funny that no one is saying Nintendo is doomed? When arguablly they are even less invested in subscriptions?

Maybe it is because Nintendo is going at it just fine and that the hole in your argument collapses when it isn't about Playstation?
 
I don't really have a dog in the fight, but I think Sony may be deluding themselves (or just spinning it for customer the benefit of customer perception) in regards to the value of the competition's service to consumers. To be fair, they may not be able to offer what the competition is offering.

I don't like the brute-forcing of the market that comes with deep pockets either, but might sometimes makes "right". (what becomes the default way of doing business)
 

SSfox

Lies about why mods reply ban and warn me.
How do you come to that conclusion? All they're doing is basically changing the name of PS Now (which has been around longer than GamePass) to PS+ Premium while adding more games.
Making Online play not free, Porting exclusives games on PC, making this sub service with a bunch of free renting games...

but yeah let's act like Sony aren't following MS's footsteps

 
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Making Online play not free, Porting exclusives games on PC, making this sub service with a bunch of free renting games...

but yeah let's act like Sony aren't following MS's footsteps

Ok, pay to play online, I'll give you.

But, PS+ monthly games existed BEFORE Microsoft added games with Gold.

PS Now existed BEFORE GamePass. Sony had game streaming BEFORE Xbox.

Let's not pretend even 25% of Sony's first-party games go to PC and zero have ever launched on PC. Regardless, releasing games on PC isn't a Microsoft invention, lol.
 
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Javthusiast

Gold Member
well see scream queens GIF


Same shit has been said all the time about new ways of consuming media. Physical will die soon, music rules in digital form. Streaming services killed tv.
 
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