PlayStation fans’ favourite corporate figure, Shuhei Yoshida has had a bit to say on the state of subscription services, and the way with which Sony intends to support the premium launch of titles into the future this past week at GI Live: London. The executive, and head of PlayStation’s Indie Initiative has been covering a lot of land lately as he tours the world in this post-COVID lockdown environment, presumably scouting out indies to join the initiative in the future. At GI Live: London however, Yoshida did choose to engage with a line of questioning around Sony’s approach to the newly updated PS Plus service and the games that we can expect to see joining the library in the future.
Speaking about the tier structure of PS Plus he explained that the added value is elsewhere for developers and publishers with future additions to streaming services like PS Plus Extra/Premium, and Xbox’s GamePass then becoming an additional revenue stream later on in a game’s life, rather than the primary source of income. He likened this to the way with which films hit cinemas before then appearing on Netflix, Disney+, and other streaming services.
The new PS Plus has tiers and essentially it’s like the old PS Plus, we still release two or three new games every month and a new tier, Extra, has a catalogue of hundreds of games for people to play. For Extra our approach [is] we like to help the publishers [with] lifecycle management. I was managing first-party [at PlayStation] so I know that it’s like in the movies — a movie comes out at the theatre first, then goes to pay per view, or a subscription service, or free TV, every time generating new revenue and reaching out to a broader audience.
In the same kind of way, 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 come down, inclusion into this service, PS Plus Extra, can help introduce these games to new, broader audiences. Some people might have missed these games when they came out and it’s a great chance to play and generate word-of-mouth or if there’s DLC or a sequel going, we can help elevate interest to a broader audience about the franchise.
So we are encouraging publishers to make use of these services in managing the lifecycle of each title.
Yoshida went on to discuss the idea that subscription services were still “kind of experimental for [Sony] at this point,” but proceeded to point to Stray as one such example that was a success for both the service and the game itself.
Yoshida’s world tour continues with Australia being one of his next stops for PAX Australia 2022.