If you want even more clear proof that Sony has no plans to follow Microsoft’s lead of the first launch of exclusive games on Game Pass, here’s PlayStation’s Shuhei Yoshida, making very clear how he sees PS Plus in the games lifecycle on Playstation:
“For Extra, our approach is that we like to help the publishers with lifecycle management,” Yoshida told GI.biz. “I ran the first-party, so I know it’s like in the movies: a movie comes out first in theaters, then goes to pay-per-view, or a subscription service, or free TV, and generates every time reaching new revenues and a wider audience. Similarly, we believe in the premium release of a title at launch, and after maybe six months, or three months, or three years, when the game’s sales drop, inclusion in this service can , PS Plus Extra, help introduce these games to a new, wider audience.”
Yoshida likens this to the traditional theater-to-home streaming trajectory for movies, so I suppose the counterexample would be Microsoft essentially doing what we see streaming services themselves like Netflix and Amazon Prime debuting big, often expensive original movies. directly on the platform itself at no extra cost, providing added value for subscribers. And in that industry too, there is a lot of debate about whether such releases offer sufficient value to those projects. But it’s still happening, and Netflix’s big movies like Red Notice and The Gray Man are all getting sequels.
It’s extremely clear that Sony wants and probably should keep the concept of selling millions upon millions of copies of now $70 games once they launch, and they believe they will be able to continue to do so as long as their games maintain a high standard of quality. . Expect few complaints that God of War Ragnarok will have to be purchased new this fall, for example.
But across the street, it? is doing feel like Microsoft is giving away the store with each exclusive launch day one on Game Pass, along with a PC copy. Sony, meanwhile, takes months or years to adapt its games for PC and sells them separately.
While Microsoft claims that the Game Pass strategy works for them, questions can certainly be asked about how true that is. Insider reports are that Halo Infinite has generally not performed well for Microsoft, which launched as a Game Pass title with separate free multiplayer, and had to rely almost entirely on live-service microtransactions, which made the game the worst. It’s easy to imagine that, overall, Halo Infinite could have generated much, much more revenue if it had just been sold as a regular game at launch, compared to the value it would have generated through Game Pass subs and microtransactions alone.
I understand why both companies do what they do. It would be pretty stupid of market leader Sony to flip a switch and start launching big games all day long given the millions upon millions of sales they would give up. But I, on the other hand, understand why Microsoft is using its size and ability to absorb costs to push hard for Game Pass and the early releases as an alternative to Sony, even though a normal launch from time to time may have done better for them. Things will get For real interest when we get into situations where a Microsoft Call of Duty launches on day one on Game Pass, but sells for $70 on PlayStation, and which of those brings more value. Think we’ll know soon.
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