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

DaGwaphics

Gold Member
And Disney refuses to put the new Doctor Strange on Disney+ day one. Because... that sweet sweet global cinema PROFITS.

Probably more about the actors contracts. It was rumored they did bigger numbers with Black Widow than they ever anticipated doing from the box office (thanks to those new subs and that additional $30 charge required to see the film -- a fee that was all theirs and not shared with AMC, etc.). Of course, we know how that all turned out. LOL The issues there were never about the film not making money.
 

DeepEnigma

Gold Member
Probably more about the actors contracts. It was rumored they did bigger numbers with Black Widow than they ever anticipated doing from the box office (thanks to those new subs and that additional $30 charge required to see the film -- a fee that was all theirs and not shared with AMC, etc.). Of course, we know how that all turned out. LOL The issues there were never about the film not making money.
I covered that. Tied to proffit sharing. Which means, they make more money not on streaming via traditional box office launch sales.
 

DaGwaphics

Gold Member
Every individual has the choice to sign up to PS+ Premium or not. If GamePass is so amazing, sign up to that, don't sign up to this - vote with your wallet as you say.

But if you actually look at what he's saying, it's that gaming subscription services won't reach the level of Netflix/Spotify. And guess what, the available evidence suggests he's right. As much as people wax lyrical about GamePass it's nowhere near 200m subs - and that's even with various promotions running, and the service being cheap as chips.

Not sure why so many people are getting triggered at such a simple statement. Oh wait....

Maybe because that's not even what Ryan is saying here. LOL

He's not talking about number of subs, but dominance in the space. Streaming dominates revenue in music and tv. He's saying he doesn't think subscription will dominate over traditional sales by revenue, number of subs has nothing to do with it. There were only about 120m PS4s in existence, obviously they wouldn't have 200m subs for a PS rental service. However, a rental services could still dominate that platform by revenue (if 50 or 60m subbed to these higher tiers it absolutely would considering how low attach rates are). He's just saying he doesn't think that will happen.

Comparing TV and Music subscriber counts to gaming is a fools errand, billions of TVs, and devices to stream music from vs. 200m consoles.
 

SlimySnake

Member
Never say never. I think the only way to get that Ready Player One VR only/persistent online future is by having ONE single sub where everyone pays a monthly fee and has access to everything.

Sony will then have to share it with everyone while each individual game would have its own microtransactions. Otherwise, any kind of persistent online world would fail without everyone having access to every game.

It will likely be a F2P future, but that service will basically be the entry barrier similar to how PS+ works today.
 

Yoboman

Member
Movie studios said the same about streaming , so did the music industry.. 🤣👍🏻 Dinosaurs.. etc
Imagine the quality of movies if theaters didn't exist and it was just netflix movies

Thats the situation for full priced games vs a streaming future

Or better yet, just look at what the quality of mobile games is. Games for cheap = low quality and high monetisation
 

Hezekiah

Member
Maybe because that's not even what Ryan is saying here. LOL

He's not talking about number of subs, but dominance in the space. Streaming dominates revenue in music and tv. He's saying he doesn't think subscription will dominate over traditional sales by revenue, number of subs has nothing to do with it. There were only about 120m PS4s in existence, obviously they wouldn't have 200m subs for a PS rental service. However, a rental services could still dominate that platform by revenue (if 50 or 60m subbed to these higher tiers it absolutely would considering how low attach rates are). He's just saying he doesn't think that will happen.

Comparing TV and Music subscriber counts to gaming is a fools errand, billions of TVs, and devices to stream music from vs. 200m consoles.
I've already quoted what he said, maybe try reading it. Number of subs is not the only metric, but it absolutely plays into it.

Oh I'm sorry, is GamePass Ultimate not available on billions of smartphones and tablets lol. Anything stopping from Sony doing something similar.
 

DaGwaphics

Gold Member
I've already quoted what he said, maybe try reading it. Number of subs is not the only metric, but it absolutely plays into it.

Oh I'm sorry, is GamePass Ultimate not available on billions of smartphones and tablets lol. Anything stopping from Sony doing something similar.

I've read the article. He's talking about the place of subscriptions in the overall gaming space vs. their position of dominance in TV and Music. Never mentions Netflix or the number of individual customers they have. LOL

Then he talks about F2P at the same time, because clearly no money is better for game quality than subscription money. :messenger_beaming:
 
Will likely be a regrettable statement. Just look at industries that have pushed subscription models in recent times -
  • TV - used to be free to air then cable boxes and subs dominated
  • Music - well we know how that went
  • Movies - also know how this is going
How about some other industries not so recently -
  • Cars - businesses lease/chattel mortgage far more than outright buying where individuals loan (arguably a sub really)
  • Real estate - Business more often just rent/lease where individuals use mortgages (same deal as above)
  • Education - online subs are popular as now
  • In home fitness - subs such as rentals/leases are very popular now instead of buying high end equipment, especially when talking about business perks
  • Insurance - no one commercially or personally pays for insurance themselves or as a lump sum, basically 100% subs
Gamepass has already shown the proven success early one e.g. first 1-2 years. Sony likely has enough pull to charge full retail on their big day one releases, for awhile at least. As bigger titles from MS/Xbox and their acquisitions become day one Gamepass releases this will likely force Sony's hand. Who knows yet though. Also with Gamepass PC/Ultimate and more subs coming there may be a market oversaturation leading to gamers being more picky or limited to the number of subs they pay for. It's not the case so far so Sony can have a differentiated service for now just fine.

As for my personal take I'm not sure I agree with Ryan's statement about the costs rising and game quality dropping. Considering only a small percentage, by comparison the overall playerbase of Sony, actually buy the big blockbuster games there is more potential for subs to increase by having more titles and some MTX built in for future games. The metrics will change with time but given the last 5 years and how much subs/MTX account for overall gaming revenue one would think putting blockbuster Sony games in their Plus service would lead to more in game sales. Could they have double or triple the number of players from subs over direct game sales? There's other avenues as well e.g. Sony subs get a day one discount to buy tentpole titles.
 
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Rivet

Gold Member
Jim Ryan is right, subscription models won't dominate gaming. One of the differences with movies is it's relatively cheap to buy the few games you want to play every year (generally the best ones or the most popular ones, which usually won't be on a sub), so there's no reason to force yourself to play other games instead, those on the subscription.

Netflix works despite its relatively low average program quality (which in itself is a big problem for subscription models) because people watch tons of movies and TV shows every year and people are interested in tons of different movies and shows. But people generally don't play a lot of different games every year. People don't have time for that, games take tons more time than movies, and most people don't even want to play that much compared to the time they spend on social networks or watching screens. And when they play, they generally want to play THE game everybody and their friends play, not any random game you force on them on a sub. That's why Elden Ring sells 10 million instantly while most indies have trouble reaching a few thousand sales.

Gamepass is a good solution to a problem that doesn't really exist. There are tons of ways to get a lot of great games for cheap or for free, and people already don't care that much about them : Steam sales, Humble Bundle, Epic Store, PS+, every kind of sales...

A subscription model is great only for us, the gamers who play tons of games every year, but we're a small minority (this website is ranked like #41000 on Alexa and still dropping, somebody said the word dinosaurs, well WE are the dinosaurs when we play dozens of games per year...). Subscription models are mostly useless for most gamers who play only a few games per year.

There's a reason Gamepass missed its latest annual growth target : it isn't that successful right now, at least worldwide. I don't think it'll change, but who knows, maybe when a few big hitters release...
 
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DeepEnigma

Gold Member
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Hezekiah

Member
I've read the article. He's talking about the place of subscriptions in the overall gaming space vs. their position of dominance in TV and Music. Never mentions Netflix or the number of individual customers they have. LOL

Then he talks about F2P at the same time, because clearly no money is better for game quality than subscription money. :messenger_beaming:
What the fuck are you talking about LOL 😁😁😁:

"Subscription has certainly grown in importance over the course of the last few years," he concludes. "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."
 

DaGwaphics

Gold Member
What the fuck are you talking about LOL 😁😁😁:

"Subscription has certainly grown in importance over the course of the last few years," he concludes. "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."

Right. He's talking about the dominance not the raw numbers. I guess, in your mind, every PS4 owner could sub to PS+ Premium and buy no other games but it still wouldn't be the dominate model because "they don't have as many subs as Netflix". Give me a break.

Subscriptions dominate Music because paid subscriptions represent more than 50% of the total revenue pie. The subscriber counts are not important.
 
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Hezekiah

Member
Right. He's talking about the dominance not the raw numbers. I guess, in your mind, every PS4 owner could sub to PS+ Premium and buy no other games but it still wouldn't be the dominate model because "they don't have as many subs as Netflix". Give me a break.
"Never mentions Netflix" 😂😂😂

Literally directly mentions it, and right after talking about how many subs his own service has ffs.
 

DaGwaphics

Gold Member
"Never mentions Netflix" 😂😂😂

Literally directly mentions it, and right after talking about how many subs his own service has ffs.

Snl You Do You GIF by Saturday Night Live


But yeah, I should have said he never mentions Netflix's subscriber count.
 
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Shmunter

Gold Member
A run off the mill gamer can spring for a console and literally play for free forever, games like Apex, Warzone, Fortnite…. Arguably the most popular and addictive games on the market. This is the true competition for a gamers time.
 

MonarchJT

Banned
ok i think you are wrong sony and the fact they you had to revisit your subscription service to make it look better compared to the competition say it long ;) blink blink
 
Obviously Jim needs to take this stand publicly. As otherwise he would publicly admit that XBOX might be doing a better job than they are in some aspects.

A good businessman like Jim should know you should hedge for different situations. As there's no guarantee that Game Pass might or might not get as big as other subscription services.

However, games are consumed in a very different conpared to movies, series and music. All the mentioned media are consumed in a passive way. Whereas gaming is an active hobby. Not to mention that people usually don't play games for a few minutes to 45 minutes or sometimes even just 1,5 hour. Gamers usually spend more time on the one game they like and if they like it enough they'd want to see it through till the end.

Meaning people have to spend more time, energy and focus on a single title compared to other entertainment media. Therefor people usually pick and choose, and are more critical on choosing the title they think they'd like.

This is why I think with gaming it's essential to have quality above quantity when it comes to gaming. And with the costs that games come with nowadays to produce or to even just have an exclusivity deal with. For many companies this just isn't viable. Even for Microsoft this is a tough order to achieve.

Do I think that Jim is simply covering his ass publicly? Yes. Do I think that Microsoft may never succeed like Netflix or Spotify? Not necessarily. But do I think PlayStation's approach is more efficient and better when it comes to upholding the quality of gaming, and suits me more personally? Yes definitely.
 
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John Wick

Member
This thread is full of people who are posting as if Jimbo has said that subscription services will fail, or will never take off or that people will reject them and want to pay $70 a game instead or that it is something Sony won't be entertaining.

All he said was that 'it won't reach Netflix and Spotify levels' - which is to say that it won't reach hundreds of millions of subscribers and won't be a must-have for every household. And that's totally right, and there are two limiting factors - one is that whilst gaming appeals to a wide range of people but some couple in their 60s ain't playing no games, but they will listen to music and watch films. Second is time, and the titles you mention, as did he, are titles that take up gallons of time. The more time you invest in one thing, the less value you will see in another.
Well said. Clearly some people don't read and understand what's being stated. I prefer having both ownership and subs service. I'm not a fan of streaming. Sony are well prepared either way.
It's funny no one mentions that Nintendo are finished because they aren't embracing a streaming/subs future?
 

pratyush

Member
Movie studios said the same about streaming , so did the music industry.. 🤣👍🏻 Dinosaurs.. etc
I love when random internet keyboard warrior who has next to no clue calls people who have spent their entire life working in a industry " a dinosaur". If only companies like MS and Sony employ their CEO's from Neogaf, they would be so modern and more profitable.
 

DaGwaphics

Gold Member
ok i think you are wrong sony and the fact they you had to revisit your subscription service to make it look better compared to the competition say it long ;) blink blink

IKR.

Either way you read it, this is a somewhat awkward statement. If he's speaking of the market in general and the current position of these rental library services in relation to the whole, this just reads as a naive but mostly accurate depiction of the immediate here and now. If he was referring to Netflix subscriber numbers directly the statement is completely asinine and fails to consider the difference in costs associated with running a service with 15,000 titles at a cost of about $20b per year vs. a gaming service with 700-800 titles that would cost a small fraction of that. 🤷‍♂️
 

billyxci

Permabanned.
i hope for their sake they are right. remember when blockbuster laughed at Netflix? remember when iTunes was the place to get music?

i really think a netflix like subscription i.e gamepass is the way forward. here a Game Pass Ultimate sub works out at about £131/year. even if you get the basic gamepass it's £96/year. that's insane value. i paid £55 for Halo Infinite and £60 for Flight Sim. that's about 88% the cost of an annual Game Pass Ultimate sub, or 119% of a basic gamepass, and i could play both those games and many more. the other day i was about to buy a series x because paying £11/month to access a huge library of games is really tempting. i don't really want to be paying £50-60 or even £70 per game! not a lot of people are going to pass up that kind of saving. Sony might not like the idea of a subscription model that basically gives away games but it looks like they need to in order to compete with Microsoft.

it won't be good for sony but if that's the way the market goes they need to adapt or die. it's a story we've seen many times. good luck sony.
 
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MistBreeze

Member
Most consoles and pc players are hardcore gamers

Console and pc gaming is just fraction of gaming mobile gamers are 10 times bigger install base

Most casual gamers are mobile now

Most console and pc gamers are quite picky about buying their games some are fifa only some are cod only some are mmo … etc and they are content to pay 60 $ to their game of choice

So Im with jim that sub services will not reach Netflix and spotify numbers

add to that people will take advantage of the sub service subbing a month play starfield then unsub

it is quite harmful for the game an the devs
 

ButchCat

Member
There is a difference between it wanting to think that and actually thinking that, I'll let you decide where Sony fits.
 

DeepEnigma

Gold Member
PlayStation is wrong. Seems a silly thing to say while rolling out a subscription service.
Rolling out? They had it, they just consolidated/streamlined it. You know this, and they did it in a complementary way, not a focal point. Hence it's just all part of Plus you have now if you so choose to upgrade.

Even Phil Spencer back pedaled last week on "subs are the future, solely" mantra. Basically telling Pachter to STFU, for Sony. :pie_roffles:
 
I just don't see the point of getting playstation plus without day one exclusives. If Sony just plans to put old games on there after year to two years of release. Might as well just buy them used for ten dollars or less.
 
They are sticking to the business model that makes sense for them, while preparing to adapt should the subscription one really take off...
Nothing controversial in those statements.
Sony will most certainly be acquiring more studios over the next 6/7 years, the way they have been doing so far, however, as it has proven really successful; Their current stable of 17-18 studios is more than enough for a traditional market, but they would need at least a dozen more such studios should they go the subscription route.
 
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Coney

Member
Rolling out? They had it, they just consolidated/streamlined it. You know this, and they did it in a complementary way, not a focal point. Hence it's just all part of Plus you have now if you so choose to upgrade.

Even Phil Spencer back pedaled last week on "subs are the future, solely" mantra. Basically telling Pachter to STFU, for Sony. :pie_roffles:
Yeah, but they're pushing new tiers out to consumers. As a business, you'd want to create optimism and excitement, not doubt. As a consumer, I don't feel like this thing will be 100% supported, so why would I want to subscribe?
 

Swift_Star

Gold Member
You're missing the point that it isn't the creators but the consumers that decide. Consumers decided that streaming would be the primary method of music consumption, much to the chagrin of artists and labels. The same could happen to games. If players decide that's how they want to purchase content in large numbers, that's the way it will be (because the players will just ignore the publishers that don't support the option).

In regards to films, I'm surprised that more movies didn't go the pay-per-view route over the straight streaming services. Seems like that would be a more acceptable next step, buy a ticket for the theater or for your TV.
People like the theater experience. It's also a social thing.
 

DeepEnigma

Gold Member
Yeah, but they're pushing new tiers out to consumers. As a business, you'd want to create optimism and excitement, not doubt. As a consumer, I don't feel like this thing will be 100% supported, so why would I want to subscribe?
But they're happy with selling games, hence not a main focal point.
 

JLB

Member
Rolling out? They had it, they just consolidated/streamlined it. You know this, and they did it in a complementary way, not a focal point. Hence it's just all part of Plus you have now if you so choose to upgrade.

Even Phil Spencer back pedaled last week on "subs are the future, solely" mantra. Basically telling Pachter to STFU, for Sony. :pie_roffles:

Spencer never said that though.
 

Coney

Member
But they're happy with selling games, hence not a main focal point.
They can still be content with selling games, but doesn;t change the fact it is a strange strategy to promote this service. If they were truly content selling games, this thing probably wouldn't even exist in the first place.
 

DeepEnigma

Gold Member
They can still be content with selling games, but doesn;t change the fact it is a strange strategy to promote this service. If they were truly content selling games, this thing probably wouldn't even exist in the first place.
That is not how business works with revenue growth.
 

Coney

Member
That is not how business works with revenue growth.
I'm not quite sure what you're getting at. These subscription models are a fundemental pillar for revenue growth, hence why all of these companies are doing them. That's why it's mindboggling they're downplaying its impact.
 

DeepEnigma

Gold Member
I'm not quite sure what you're getting at. These subscription models are a fundemental pillar for revenue growth, hence why all of these companies are doing them. That's why it's mindboggling they're downplaying its impact.
Who is downplaying? They said many times that these services were complementary to their business model, hence you are not going to see a focus as heavy like MS does. MS has been for the past decade, a sub service model company. Sony, not so much at the moment. If they can you get you to sub to Windows OS itself, they will, and it will be coming, me thinks.
 
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Swift_Star

Gold Member
Jimbo,you are an old fart like myself......the thing is young people don't give two fucks about owning shit like movies,music and games and they are more than happy to embrace streaming.
What is amusing about these posts is that, aside from gamepass, gaming subscription is completely ignored as a whole. Apple Arcade and its google counterpart are not really making any changes and mobile are the vast majority of gamers.
Jim is right on the money, I think, GAAS is way more profitable and most gamers play those games, specially if they’re f2p.
 
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do people think Jim Ryan is sitting in his office reading message boards coming up with this information on his own?

Sony obviously has data that is tracking the spending over all of that, that not even these game analysis or sales charts are privy too. They didn’t decide to make 10 GAAS titles out of the blue.
 

Coney

Member
Who is downplaying? They said many times that these services were complementary to their business model, hence you are not going to see a focus as heavy like MS does. MS has been for the past decade, a sub service model company. Sony, not so much at the moment. If they can you get you to sub to Windows OS itself, they will, and it will be coming, me thinks.
Right in the opening post, Jim Ryan is quoted as saying, "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.” And they also don't want first party day and date because it would "result in lower quality games". Eventually their first party will come to the service day 1, you can almost count on it. Then should we be worried because they'll be "lower quality games"?

Microsoft has been ultra successful as a service company, perhaps Sony should take some notes. It just makes me feel like they won't go all in with this thing. Sony is notorious for abandoning services, so it doesn't inspire much confidence.
 

Shmunter

Gold Member
I just don't see the point of getting playstation plus without day one exclusives. If Sony just plans to put old games on there after year to two years of release. Might as well just buy them used for ten dollars or less.
Won’t stop 3rd parties dropping their content on there early. Truth be told, that aspect itself may actually end up bolstering the sonypass option beyond gamepass if sony can get some deals locked up. Couldn’t care less myself personally tho.
 

DeepEnigma

Gold Member
Right in the opening post, Jim Ryan is quoted as saying, "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.” And they also don't want first party day and date because it would "result in lower quality games". Eventually their first party will come to the service day 1, you can almost count on it. Then should we be worried because they'll be "lower quality games"?

Microsoft has been ultra successful as a service company, perhaps Sony should take some notes. It just makes me feel like they won't go all in with this thing. Sony is notorious for abandoning services, so it doesn't inspire much confidence.
Yet MS has also missed their projected target for Game Pass. So it was not as successful as they thought their other services in the timeframe they had hoped... at the moment, and have been seeding that Game Pass is not the only option again.

It has been a slow increase, and why are you asking the gaming market leader to follow 3rd place? That makes no sense. He said said the door is left open because "things can change." That is all he needs to say. PS gamers still buy games in the truckloads. Their focus will be also on GAAS, a much more profitable revenue generator if successful. Hence the Bungie acquisition.
 
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