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PlayStation Plus subs to generate $1.2 billion for Sony by 2017

PlayStation Plus subs to generate $1.2 billion for Sony by 2017

Thu 15 Aug 2013 10:14am GMT / 6:14am EDT / 3:14am PDT
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Placing multiplayer gaming behind a paywall on PlayStation 4 will level playing field, says research firm

Sony's decision to place multiplayer gaming behind the PlayStation Plus paywall on PS4 will help the company generate subscriptions worth $1.2 billion annually by 2017.

That's according to research firm IHS Electronics and Media, which estimates that the console manufacturer only managed $140 million from PS Plus subs in 2012.

The decision to charge for multiplayer gaming will finally put Sony's service on a level playing field with Microsoft's Xbox Live Gold, which in 2012 generated $1.25 billion on subscriptions according to IHS.

Sony hasn't charged for multiplayer gaming on the PlayStation 3, leaving significant cash on the table. Microsoft has been charging a subscription for Xbox Live since 2002 and has made $4.7 billion through subscriptions during that time.

"IHS believes that lower research and development costs for PlayStation 4 hardware, additional revenue streams from online service subscriptions and a more aggressive transition to higher margin digital content sales are combining to strengthen Sony's games business outlook even in the face of increased competition from cheap Android consoles and alternative devices eating into consumers' gaming time, including smartphones and tablets," suggested the research firm.

14 Comments

Russ Cogman
Senior Game Artist

22 47 2.1
Given the quantity of quality software that comes with the Playstation Plus package and the amount of services that remain in front of the paywall compared to Microsoft, Sony deserves to do far better with their subscription service. Glad to hear positive predictions for them.

Posted:A year ago

#1

Spencer Franklin
Concept Artist

93 124 1.3
I'm curious.. does this mean no internet services (Netflix, Hulu..etc..) will work unless you have a Plus subscription, or is it a games limitation only...?

Posted:A year ago

#2

Sebastian Moss
Editor -in- Chief

57 19 0.3
@Spencer Nope, services and some F2P games aren't behind a paywall

Posted:A year ago

#3

Andrew Ihegbu
Studying Bsc Commercial Music

440 146 0.3
@Russ, I think the precise opposite.

Putting stuff in front of the paywall only gives you less reasons to actually get a subscription. I know my girlfriend bought PS3 last generation simply because she wanted to play CoD Zombies twice a month without having to pay a rather large (for the hours used) fee, and I know her mom bought a PS3 for her little kid brother who wanted a console to play friends but had parents who were very wary of another needless direct debit on their account. Seeing as they represent nearly half of the people I know who actively play PS3, I don't think Sony are aware of how many unit sales it made because of the free networking.

Posted:A year ago

#4

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
The PS4 and Xbone are not game consoles.
They are one stop boxes for all your TV and music content that just happen to play games.
But they will spend vastly more of their hours doing non game activity.

Content is the new king.
Vodafone are buying cable companies.
BT is doing football.
Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Sony etc are doing everything they can.
4G phones are about delivering more content.

And games are just another form of content.

Posted:A year ago

#5

Keldon Alleyne
Handheld Developer

431 406 0.9
And games are just another form of content.
And it's the presence of that very attitude that gives room in the market for those who want to serve the needs of gamers.

Posted:A year ago

#6
Frankly seems all a bit of a cheat to me, PC gamers have never had to put up with it, yet console gamers are milked like Cows at every turn, i get a free game a month from ign prime sub and thats much cheaper, its yet another way for big companies to shamelessly exploit customers, thanks to lots of marketing and press bribes microsoft sold people on the subs for the original xbox, not sony is jumping on the bandwagon for extra unearned profits, its one thing making a premium service, its another forcing people to pay it in order to play mp games, ultimately its pretty clear Console gamers are being turned upside down and shaken heavily by MS and Sony in attempt to extract every last cent, sure it generates profits, but it will come back to haunt them one day, there are so many ways its possible to do so it seems a pretty risky strategy over relatively paltry profit looked at from a long-medium term prospective, sure short-term it all looks rosey even the lower medium, but the potential for problems down the line far outweighs short term profit, its a pity companies seem unable to see beyond short-term gains anymore, humans live longer then ever before but are more short-sighted then ever.

Posted:A year ago

#7

Germán Vázquez
Executive Producer

35 16 0.5
Popular Comment
@Andrew I dont think that will be the case as you are missing an important point. All console manufactures make the most money not from selling the consoles but from the software that its sold and the royalties from third parties. That being said, I dont think that Sony or Microsoft will want many consumers like your girlfriend, that only get the console and then buy one or two games for a long time, as you mentioned that was her case with CoD.
Finally your point in saying that people will be less inclined to subscribe is totally moot just by reading this article: The revenue that Xbox Live Gold generated 1.25 billion compared to the PS Plus subscriptions 140 million, almost 10 times more revenue on XBL, having the free multiplayer gives people less reason to subscribe, even when the PS Plus is a fenomenal service and more than worth the price of admision.

Posted:A year ago

#8

Rafa Ferrer
Localisation Manager

48 68 1.4


I don't really play much online, I suck at shooters and I'm more the single-player or local co-op type, but I do think Plus is worth the money. We'll see how it turns out for Sony.

Posted:A year ago

#9

Adam Campbell
Associate Producer

1,151 931 0.8
I was wondering when the press on this move would increase after the stealth introduction. I'm completely against an additional subscription just to access a basic Internet service for gaming.

Yes, it will generate plenty of money but its unnecessary. Free multi-player was a great bonus on PS3. Just the principal was impressive enough let alone the practical benefits.

Posted:A year ago

#10

Bruce Everiss
Marketing Consultant

1,692 594 0.4
I can see core gaming moving entirely over to PC.
No stupid physical media to destroy the experience.
Continually upgradable hardware.
Not being nickel and dimed by myriad people at every opportunity.
Massive benefits of being always connected.
Enormous range of business models to choose from.
100% backwards capability. You can play all the great classics.
Immense potential player base.

Posted:A year ago

#11

Keldon Alleyne
Handheld Developer

431 406 0.9
Continually upgradable hardware

Posted:A year ago

#12

Germán Vázquez
Executive Producer

35 16 0.5
@Bruce
Massive benefits of being always connected: Please tell that to all the core gamers, core international press and just massive user base of casual gamers that crushed the Xbox One for doing just that (admittedly they pushed the message in the worst possible way) there is no way that the vast majority of consumers really cares for the always connected part.

Enormous range of business models to choose from: Fragmented ecosistem?

100% backwards capability. You can play all the great classics: You can just download them on PSN or XBLA, the ones that are most popular at least, and lets remember that backwards compatibility went almost out of style since the PS2. Almost no one bases its purchases on this feature.

Posted:A year ago

#13

Michael Vandendriessche
Studying Computer Science

84 10 0.1
I am a PS+ member since it started and most likely will be for the coming years but I really hate that it is required for online gaming on ps4. It is bad for people like Rafa Ferrer and Andrew Ihegbu mention. PS+ is a really good deal for it's price but for people who don't use the content a lot it is still expensive. As a consumer I don't like it. It makes sense for Sony as a company though.

Posted:A year ago

#14

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