Sony has released/are releasing their new multi-tier PlayStation Plus, which is considered to be a competitor to Microsoft’s Game Pass. However one major area their diverge from is that unlike Microsoft, they don’t plan on releasing their AAA titles day one on the service.
According to the company, they claim that it would “deteriorate” the quality of their major first party games if they did release day one on PlayStation Plus.
It seems that Take-Two CEO, Strauss Zelnick agrees with this as well. He spoke on this matter at a keynote for GI Live: Online. Zelnick reiterated his position and stated that these services could be effective for “catalogue games”.
“We’ve supported various subscription services and we’re happy to do so,” Zelnick said, which is true considering Take-Two has supported Game Pass with titles such as Grand Theft Auto and the NBA 2K series.
“Our skepticism has been around making frontline console products available day and date with subscription. That doesn’t make any sense to us, because economically speaking, we don’t think consumers are prepared to pay for that…” He continues, explaining his issues with day one releases.
While Take-Two’s publishing arm, Private Division, did have The Outer Worlds on Game Pass the same day as the initial retail back in 2019, this was done after Microsoft’s acquisition of developer Obsidian, and likely was not their choice.
Zelnick also does not believe that subscription services are something that appeal to most gamers either, whether on PlayStation or Xbox or Nintendo.
The CEO added, “People in this country [US], households, consume 150 hours of linear programming a month… But interactive entertainment is consumed at a different level, about 45 hours a month and in a different way. It’s perhaps two or three or four properties in a month.”
He drives a point in that the way people consume games are much different in comparison to how they consume other entertainment methods.
In his example of linear programming, it revolves around TV shows, movies, and music. All of these media are very popular in the streaming service industry, and are also rather passive in enjoying the medium.
Video games are much different from this as they require activity in order to enjoy what the product has to offer. However, Zelnick does close out his thoughts on that this is just his opinion.
Zelnick noted if consumers do indeed embrace gaming services such as Game Pass and the new PlayStation Plus, then as the CEO of the company, he will follow in supporting it more than they currently do.
“By the way, I could be completely wrong about this, which is totally fine. This company does not operate based on one person’s opinions, including mine. And when it makes sense, we support subscription services and if that’s where the consumer wants to be, that’s where we’ll be,” he said.
What do you think? Do you prefer PlayStation’s approach like Zelnick does, or is Game Pass more up your alley?