Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan believes that live service games will dominate the games industry rather than subscription services, which he doesn’t think will blow up to the level of Spotify and Netflix. Ryan made his comments during an interview with GamesIndustry.biz. They are in stark contrast to comments made by Xbox boss Phil Spencer, who believes that subscription services are the way forward.
Sony plans to increase PlayStation live service games
Following its acquisition of Bungie, Sony made no secret of its desire to expand its live service portfolio. Justifying this approach, Ryan told GamesIndustry.biz that the “phenomenon of the live service game has, in a very large part, fueled the enormous growth in the gaming industry that we’ve seen over the last ten years.” “I think that trend towards live services will continue, and if you look for a model in our category of entertainment, which supports sustained engagement over a long period of time, live services games arguably fit that bill better than a subscription service,” he added.
According to Ryan, live service games are basically subscriptions as well and they have an edge in that those subscriptions are more “tailored” to players’ needs. That said, Sony wants to give players a choice and acknowledges that there are millions who are “happy” to subscribe to PS Plus. Having revamped the service, Sony believes it’s giving players more options than ever before.
Sony has a number of live service games in development. Its most recent acquisition, Jade Raymond’s Haven Studios, is also working on a live service game. However, the company’s recent live service ventures (see: PS5 console exclusive Babylon’s Fall and Gran Turismo 7) have ended up falling flat.