In an interview late last year, Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida commented on game subscriptions, revealing that he doesn't see them as being very "valuable" in the gaming industry. He argues that this is because most customers "usually play one game at a time", not multiple titles at once.
Yoshida's comments were made on a podcast with Norges Bank Investment Management last November, but were just now spotted by ResetEra user DriftingSpirit. Here, he shed some light on Sony's gaming strategy, including his thoughts on the move towards subscription services for games, as we've seen with film and television.
"We do subscription business models, but at the same time, people usually play one game at a time," says Yoshida. "So an 'all-you-can-eat' type [with] many games may not be so valuable, compared with video streaming services."
He continues, explaining Sony's current strategy. "We have balanced a hyrbird service on PlayStation Network, subscription as well as pay per content."
Fittingly, these comments were spotted in the podcast just as we debate the future of game ownership. On the one hand, we have Ubisoft saying that gamers need to be "comfortable" with not owning their games, and that moving away from buying games outright is a shift that "needs to happen".
This was met with intense backlash by the very consumers that Ubisoft is trying to win over, suggesting that many in the gaming community are not ready to pay for the right to play games temporarily, as opposed to actually owning them. Baldur's Gate 3 developer Larian Studios weighed in on this, saying that it won't launch its games on subscription services, as this makes it harder for projects to be greenlit.
"It's going to be a lot harder to get good content if subscription becomes the dominant model and a select group gets to decide what goes to market and what not," says Larian CEO Swen Vincke. "Direct from developer to players is the way. Getting a board to OK a project fueled by idealism is almost impossible and idealism needs room to exist".
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