Following Sony’s unveiling of its heavily-rumored PlayStation Plus revamp, which combines the features of Plus and those of PlayStation Now into three different tiers, PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan revealed that players should not expect first-party games to launch on the service.
Seemingly alluding to the fact that Xbox Game Studios titles launch day-one on Xbox Game Pass, Ryan said if PlayStation were to do this, it would break the company’s “virtuous” release cycle. This news comes by way of a new interview with Ryan over at GamesIndustry.biz, who spoke to the CEO about today’s PS Plus news.
“We feel like we are in a good virtuous cycle with the studios where the investment delivers success, which enables yet more investment, which delivers yet more success,” Ryan told GamesIndustry.biz. “We like that cycle and we think our gamers like that cycle.
“[In terms of] putting our own games onto this service, or any of our services, upon their release…as you well know, this is not a road that we’ve gone down in the past. And it’s not a road that we’re going to go down with this new service. We feel that if we were to do that with the games that we make at PlayStation Studios, that virtuous cycle will be broken. The level of investment that we need to make in our studios would not be possible, and we think the knock-on effect on the quality of the games that we make would not be something that gamers want.”
However, despite Ryan saying publishing first-party titles on PS Plus would break the company’s virtuous cycle, the CEO won’t go as far as to say “never,” noting that the industry is constantly changing.
“The way the world is changing so very quickly at the moment, nothing is forever,” Ryan said. “Who would have said even four years ago that you would see AAA PlayStation IP being published on PC? We started that last year with Horizon Zero Dawn, then Days Gone, and now God of War – a hugely polished and accomplished PC version of that game. [We’ve had] great critical success and great commercial success, and everybody has made their peace with that happening and is completely at ease with it. I look back four years and think nobody would have seen that coming.
So I don’t want to cast anything in stone at this stage. All I’m talking about today is the approach we’re taking in the short term. The way our publishing model works right now, it doesn’t make any sense. But things can change very quickly in this industry, as we all know.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Ryan touches on the pricing of the company’s new PlayStation Plus tiers, alluding to the fact that when looked at as an annual charge, the tiers offer better pricing than Xbox Game Pass (although, of course, there’s an argument to be made about which service is the better deal in terms of content).
“It is a fact – for our services, at least – that the great majority of people subscribe through a 12-month subscription,” Ryan said. “It’s more than two thirds who subscribe that way. That is an area of value proposition that we have looked at very hard. What we are delivering is that, for a 12-month subscriber, and that is the great majority of people, the monthly subscription rate for PlayStation Plus Extra will be $8.33. And for PlayStation Plus Premium, it will be $9.99. We think, for what people are going to get, this is a terrific value proposition. And one that simply wouldn’t be possible if we were to put our studio’s games into the service upon release.”
Ryan said “every major publisher” will be present in the service, including indies, big games, and “things that celebrate our heritage.” He also said the Premium tier isn’t for everybody but that “once we can share the line-up with the world, we think there’s going to be a lot of interest in that.”
“It’s about rounding off the offer that we have,” Ryan said. “With platforms, it is seldom just one single thing that makes a platform really attractive. It’s a combination of many things. And having a really strong service proposition definitely helps.”
For more, read Game Informer’s breakdown of today’s PlayStation Plus news.
What do you think of the new PlayStation Plus tiers? Let us know in the comments below!