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PlayStation’s boss says the Game Pass model ‘doesn’t make any sense’ for Sony
We won’t put new releases into a subscription model because it’s ‘unsustainable’, says Ryan
PlayStation boss Jim Ryan has said a subscription model like Xbox Game Pass “doesn’t make any sense” for Sony‘s first-party operation, considering its focus on big budget games.
Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz following Wednesday’s PS5 showcase, the SIE president claimed a subscription-type model would be unsustainable for PlayStation Studios, because it often sees its game budgets grow to “well over $100 million”.
On Wednesday Sony announced the PS Plus Collection, a library of PS4 games which subscribers to its online service will receive as part of their service on PlayStation 5. However, Ryan ruled out putting new releases behind a subs model like Microsoft does with Xbox Game Pass.
“For us, having a catalogue of games is not something that defines a platform,” the exec said. “Our pitch, as you’ve heard, is ‘new games, great games.’ We have had this conversation before — we are not going to go down the road of putting new releases titles into a subscription model.
“These games cost many millions of dollars, well over $100 million, to develop. We just don’t see that as sustainable.”
He added: “We want to make the games bigger and better, and hopefully at some stage more persistent. So putting those into a subscription model on day one, for us, just doesn’t make any sense.
“For others in a different situation, it might well make sense, but for us it doesn’t. We want to expand and grow our existing ecosystem, and putting new games into a subscription model just doesn’t sit with that.”
In contrast to Ryan’s comments, Xbox head Phil Spencer has claimed that Xbox Game Pass can be “a real decision-maker” for people evaluating which next-gen console to buy this year.
Commenting on the PS Plus Collection, which includes games like Monster Hunter World and Bloodborne as part of the online subscription, Ryan said he hoped fans were “surprised and delighted” by the surprise announcement.
“The great first-party IPs are all there, the great partner titles, and we’d say that if you are new to PlayStation, or if you didn’t have a PS4 but are getting a PS5, and you’re taking out a PS Plus subscription, you’re basically getting PS4 there for the price of the subscription,” Ryan said.
“We’re delighted to be able to do that. We think that’s really exciting and we hope that people were surprised and delighted by that.”
On Wednesday Sony confirmed that PlayStation 5 will launch starting November 12 for $400 / £360 for the Digital Edition console and $500 / £450 for the standard edition.
The console will release first in the US, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia and South Korea. The rest of the world will get the console a week later on Thursday, November 19, including Europe, Middle East, South America, Asia and South Africa.
The platform holder also confirmed that first-party PlayStation 5 games will retail up to $70 / £70, mimicking an industry-wide trend towards more expensive games on next-gen consoles.