Business news PlayStation Game Pass: What impact on Sony’s strategy?
If you’re interested in PlayStation news, you probably haven’t missed the weekend’s news. The untenable Jason Schreier claims that Sony is indeed working on an offer in response to the Game Pass. A news which concretizes a lot of rumors and which leads us to ask ourselves a simple question: what impact this could have on the strategy of Sony? So here is our answer.
Since the rise of Xbox Game Pass, many wanted to know what Sony was up to on the counterattack. Well it seems that the journalist Jason Schreier, specialist in indiscretions of all kinds, has the answer. In the pages of Bloomberg, he claims that PlayStation is working on a monthly subscription that gives access to recent and classic games, scheduled for next spring on PS5 and probably on PS4. The latter would be divided into three levels: a first with the standard advantages of the PS Plus, the second with in addition a choice of PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 titles, the third with even more demos, streaming play and a whole lot. hits from PS1, PS2, PS3 and PSP. A sort of mix between the PS Plus and PS Now, a cloud gaming service which would also disappear, blending into the new offer. The remote gaming platform is quite low-key, with 3.2 million subscribers.
Unique offer, same vision
This new service – which could still change according to Schreier – would symbolize a welcome union of forces, within a single entity, as Xbox did with Game Pass Ultimate. A way to put forward the PlayStation offers with a few small novelties without changing course. According to information from the Bloomberg journalist, Sony still does not intend to integrate its exclusives from their launch, contrary to what Microsoft is doing. An approach that refers to about by Jim Ryan, head of the company’s video game division, last year, on the pages of GamesIndustry: “These exclusives cost several million dollars, well over $ 100 million, to develop. (Bring them day one into an offering), we just don’t see it as sustainable.”.
I have to say that exclusives occupy a very important place in the influence and strategy of PlayStation, perhaps even more than at Microsoft (Nintendo is a special case). It is thanks to series like Uncharted, Horizon or God of War that the PS4 has achieved the success that we know, with nearly 114 million units sold worldwide today. Sony seems to want to cultivate the special aura of its triple-A’s, and “giving” them away in a subscription offer would be counterproductive. This does not prevent the company from distributing its titles much later via its subscription offers – for example The Last of Us Part II on PlayStation Now and Final Fantasy VII Remake on PlayStation Plus – but also on PC, last very important point. Just like buying studios and forming partnerships to create exclusive games.
“Given how incredibly special and valuable some of our proprietary IPs are, we just want to treat them with incredible care and respect, and make these launches clean and pure” – Jim Ryan, CEO of SIE, at GamesIndustry (2019)
Have it under your feet
While we have just learned of the existence of the new subscription offer, Sony seems to be on an upswing : The company bought four studios in 2021, two of its biggest titles (Horizon Foribbden West and God of War Ragnarok) will arrive next year, not to mention the all-new PSVR and acceleration in cloud gaming, like the also writes Schreier. The Japanese manufacturer will give itself the means to achieve its ambitions: “We plan to continue to invest aggressively in our development capacity in the future” Sony’s CFO Hiroki Totoki said recently after the company’s quarterly results were released. “But also take advantage of these studios to increase the development capacity of PlayStation Studios (…) and deploy games on PC and mobile devices”. PlayStation has not finished surprising us, and the year 2022 could be really important.