PlayStation boss believes games as a service are the future of the industry – not subscriptions like Game Pass

Yesterday, Sony reacted by relaunching its less successful counterpart PlayStation Now as part of PlayStation Plus, which in the future will be accessible at three price tiers, the second of which is somewhat reminiscent of Xbox Game Pass.

We think the relaunch was a pragmatic ploy – an attempt to gloss over Xbox Game Pass rather than match or even surpass the popular service – and so suggests Sony Interactive Entertainment boss Jim Ryan in an interview with Gamesindustry.biz, published yesterday. Here, the PlayStation boss states that he doesn’t think subscriptions will have the same impact on the gaming industry that we’ve already seen with music and movies, where it’s the dominant form of distribution.

“Subscription has certainly grown in importance over the last few years. Our number of PlayStation Plus subscribers has grown from zero in 2010 to 48 million now. And we anticipate, for our services, that we will see even greater growth for the subscriber “But the gaming medium is so different from music and linear entertainment, that I don’t think we’ll see it reach the levels we see with Spotify and Netflix” says Jim Ryan.

Instead, Jim Ryan estimates that games as a service will drive the growth of the games industry going forward. Online games with continuous content updates and incentives for microtransactions have become a major part of Sony’s strategyas the $3.6 billion acquisition of Destiny developer Bungie markedly illustrated.

We remember that Sony stated that it would focus on single-player games before and has already criticized the games-as-a-service model in the past. Well, now they decided to bet on it and buy studios dedicated to this type of game.

“This game-as-a-service phenomenon…which has largely fueled the massive growth in the games industry that we’ve seen over the last ten years. I think the services trend will continue and if you look for a model in our entertainment category that supports sustained engagement over a long period of time, games as a service fits that bill better than a subscription service,” explains Jim. Ryan.

About Raju Singh

Raju has an exquisite taste. For him, video games are more than entertainment and he likes to discuss forms and art.

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