Xbox Game Pass seems like a pretty sweet deal. For a relatively low monthly cost, Microsoft’s subscription service grants users a generous catalog of high-quality games, which include titles from first-party publishers (e.g., 343 Industries, Playground Games) on the day of release. We’ve been wondering whether PlayStation gamers will be getting a similar service, but according to PlayStation boss Jim Ryan, that’s not happening.
In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Ryan suggested that a “PlayStation Game Pass” isn’t really something that Sony could afford. The executive pointed out that first-party titles cost them a ton of money, so if the company were to go the Microsoft route (e.g., letting gamers play something like God of War: Ragnarok on day one for five or ten bucks a month), it’d be financial suicide.
“For us, having a catalogue of games is not something that defines a platform,” Ryan explained. “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.”
“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.”
That’s disappointing for PlayStation fans, but if this means that PlayStation Studios can continue pumping out quality, big-budget titles, so be it. Sony is definitely paying attention to Microsoft’s long-time strategy and how Xbox Game Pass is working out so far, though. During yesterday’s PS5 showcase event, the company revealed the “PlayStation Plus Collection,” a curated bundle of PS4 games for PlayStation Plus subscribers who are jumping on the next-gen train. It’s pretty clear what prompted that.