Gaming Subs Like PS Plus, Xbox Game Pass Aren't Growing At All

There was immense pressure on Sony at the beginning of the generation to copy Xbox Game Pass’ model of day one first-party releases, but as time goes by, it’s beginning to look like the Japanese giant dodged a bullet. While it has significantly improved its PS Plus offerings, the platform holder has always argued Microsoft’s model of giving away first-party titles day one is “unsustainable”, and with the closure of Bethesda stalwarts Tango Gameworks and Arkane Austin this week, that’s looking increasingly true.

However, this isn’t just opinion: it’s backed up by fact. Circana analyst Mat Piscatella noted last April that United States consumer spending on non-mobile video game subscriptions had stalled, growing just two per cent year-over-year. And that remains true now: “March 2024 non-mobile video game subscription spending was only up 1 per cent vs April 2023.”

In other words, subscriptions like PS Plus and Xbox Game Pass are not the game changing business models they were billed to be. Yes, there’s clearly money to be made from them, but growth would need to be much more significant than what we’re currently seeing for them to be the future of an industry that already finds itself on uncertain footing.

Our view, with the benefit of hindsight, is that subscriptions only ever really appealed to the vocal enthusiasts, who play dozens upon dozens of new releases every month. The vast majority of consumers are satisfied with purchasing one or two titles a year, and sticking with their favourite free-to-play titles, like Fortnite or Genshin Impact. And as gaming requires a much greater time investment than television or music, it’s perhaps not a surprise that the subscription market is stalling like it is.

Related Forum: Xbox Forum



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Yeah it's getting old and there are way too many subscriptions now !