If you want even clearer proof that Sony has no plans to follow Microsoft’s example of launching exclusives on Game Pass on day one, here’s PlayStation’s Shuhei Yoshida, who makes it very clear how he is in the lifecycle of PS Plus Playing on PlayStation sees:
“Our approach to Extra is that we love to help publishers with lifecycle management,” Yoshida said GI.biz. “I was a first-party manager, so I know it’s like cinema – a film comes out in theaters first and then goes to pay-per-view, a subscription service or free-to-air TV, generating new revenue every time and reach a wider audience. Likewise, we believe in the premium release of a title at launch and after maybe six months or three months or three years when sales of the game dwindle, adding it to this service, PS Plus Extra, can help those games into a new, broader one to introduce the audience.”
Yoshida compares this to the traditional theater-to-home streaming path for movies. I suppose the counter-example would be that Microsoft is essentially doing what we’re seeing from streaming services themselves like Netflix and Amazon Prime, which debut big and often expensive original movies right on the platform itself at no extra cost, adding value to the subscribers offers. And in this industry too, there is a heated debate as to whether this type of publication offers enough value from these projects. But it still happens, and the big Netflix movies like Red Notice and The Gray Man are all getting sequels.
It is extremely clear that Sony wants, and probably needs to keep, the concept of selling millions and millions of games from now $70 as soon as they come out and they believe they can continue to do so, as long as their games maintain a high standard of quality. Expect few complaints about God of War Ragnarok having to be repurchased this fall, for example.
But on the other hand, it does Feel like Microsoft is giving away the store with every single exclusive tag starting on day one of Game Pass, along with a PC copy. Sony, on the other hand, takes months or years to adapt its games for PC and sells them separately.
While Microsoft claims the Game Pass strategy is working she, surely questions can be raised as to how true this is. According to insider reports, Halo Infinite hasn’t fared well overall for Microsoft, which launched as a Game Pass title with separate free multiplayer, and has had to rely almost entirely on live service microtransactions, which is what the game did worst. It’s easy to imagine that Halo Infinite could have generated much, much more revenue overall if it had simply been sold as a regular game at launch, compared to the value it generated from Game Pass subscriptions and microtransactions alone.
I understand why both companies do what they do. It would be pretty foolish for Sony, the market leader, to flip a switch and start rolling out big games all day given the millions and millions of sales they would be giving up. But in contrast, I understand why Microsoft is using its size and ability to absorb costs to push hard for Game Pass and day-one releases as an alternative to Sony, even when a normal launch looks like this from time to time, like it was better for you. Things will Yes, really Interesting as we start to run into situations where a Microsoft Call of Duty launches day one on Game Pass but sells for $70 on PlayStation and what of that adds value. I guess we’ll find out soon.
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