Sony’s new PlayStation Plus service is officially a thing. The service, which is set to launch in June, will see PlayStation Now and PS+ merge into one subscription and offer gamers over 700 games across three tiers. Yes, it is basically a Game Pass clone but it also has one big difference – Sony has no plans to release first-party games on the service at launch.
While we always knew this was the case, the company says that adding first-party games to PlayStation Plus at launch will do nothing but damage the quality and affect the company’s development pipeline. CEO Jim Ryan reinstates that Sony’s first-party studios are now working in sync and the game releases are showing a great investment for the company.
Ryan continues to state that gamers like the way Sony is handling first-party releases and they will continue to follow this path going forward. However, that does mean that the new PlayStation Plus service will not get first-party releases at launch and according to Ryan, this will help prevent Sony from breaking the cycle. In an interview with GamesIndustry he said:
“Putting our own games into 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 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.”
Sony’s approach to first-party games isn’t surprising. Like most AAA publishers, they are reluctant to release their new games on a subscription service.
“The way the world is changing so very quickly at the moment, nothing is forever. 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.”
Sony says that while its stance is currently to avoid first-party releases on PlayStation Plus, things might change in the future.
“So I don’t want to cast anything in stone at this stage. All I’m talking to 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.”
Jim Ryan has reiterated that the PlayStation Plus model will provide something for everyone. He says the service is about celebrating games.
“Whether it’s indies, whether it’s big games, or things that celebrate our heritage… all sorts of games. We are going to have all of it, and hopefully a line-up that ticks all sorts of boxes.”
Sony’s new PlayStation Plus service is set to launch in June.