In a previously redacted interview, Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan claimed the Game Pass was value-destructive for games.
Originally conducted in 2022, an interview by Fidelity has leaked as one of the documents present in the Microsoft FTC court case.
In this interview, CEO Jim Ryan claims that publishers unanimously hate the game pass, and that it devalues games on an industry-wide level. You can read the exact quote below:
Q: The Game Pass business model appears to have some challenges, and Microsoft appears to be losing a lot of money on it. Because the AAA publishers spend $100 mil or more on developing titles, they are happy to sell it for $70 on PS5. The subscription model is more challenging for them. Given that environment, will Microsoft need to provide minimum revenue guarantees if they want those titles on Game Pass? Or do they need to go out and buy more assets like Activision to put on their platform? Are those the two options for Microsoft when trying to gain critical mass and support from the AAA publishers for Game Pass?
JR: I can say with a very high degree of certainty that Microsoft has tried the first path and it did not work at all. That has driven them to make the large acquisition. I’ve talked to all the publishers, and they unanimously do not like Game Pass because it is value destructive, not only on an individual title-basis, but also on an industry level. The recent number of subscribers that Microsoft announced on January was 25 million. I am sure everyone has their own views on this, but I personally was expecting a larger number given all the money they have spent. We have close to 50 mil PS Plus subscribers. We believe we have a meaningful subscription service.
The CEO also showcases some of his plans for 10 new games, most of them with a heavy emphasis on live service features.
Jim Ryan has also claimed that Sony is looking into approaching the Metaverse, and praised the now-defunct PlayStation Home, claiming it was 10-15 years ahead of its time.