There is still debate about how a launch should occur. Opt for the traditional model? Adopt the trends of Disney Plus or Game Pass? At Sony they are clear… at least for now.
The emergence of Xbox Game Pass was a historic event for gaming, which was accentuated when Phil Spencer announced the direct launches on the service. This is also applicable for third party titles like A Plague Tale: Requiem.
Sony adopted the Game Pass formula with the new Extra and Premium models of PlayStation Plus… albeit with reservations. In fact, Stray (the cute kitty game) is an exception..
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at sony still continue to rely on the traditional model, but things could change as PS Plus Extra and PS Plus Premium develop their launch policies. Shuhei Yoshida, director of PlayStation Indies, speaks on the subject in an interview with GamesIndustry.
Basically, Yoshida sees subscription services as a trial balloon for Sony, which hasn’t quite abandoned the premium release model. That is to say, that the new first and third party games reach the stores as always.
Of course, they highlight that subscription services such as PS Plus or Game Pass are beneficial when it comes to manage the life cycle of a title, or as a boost afterwards.
“In the same way, we believe in the premium release of a title at the time of launch and after maybe six months, three months or three yearsWhen game sales are down, inclusion on this service, PS Plus Extra, can help introduce these games to new and broader audiences.”
The example Yoshida cites is the following: a game is put up for sale in the traditional way, and it sells relatively well. A few months pass and a DLC or expansion is announced.
For Yoshida and Sony it is time to add said title to PS Plus, but not launch as it happens in Game Pass. The same applies when a few years go by and a sequel or spin-off is announced.
”For Extra, our approach is that we like to help publishers with lifecycle management. I was running first-party on PlayStation, so I know it’s like movies: a movie comes out first in theaters, then you pay to see it, or you watch it on a subscription service, or you watch it on free TV, generating new revenue each time and reaching a wider audience”.
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With the exception of Stray (which was released directly on PS Plus Extra), Sony will continue betting on premium releasesadding already released titles to their subscription platforms.
It is the umpteenth confirmation that Sony does not believe in the Game Pass model, and the reason why God of War Ragnarok or Gran Turismo 7 do not follow the steps Halo Infinite or Forza Horizon 5. Do you agree with Yoshida? Or are you closer to Phil Spencer’s ideas?