Consumer spending on subscriptions like PS Plus and Game Pass has stalled.

Gamers Are Opting to Buy New Games Over Subscriptions, Data Suggests

Market data obtained by Circana reveals that gamers in the U.S. are increasingly opting to purchase new games over subscriptions like PS Plus and Game Pass. According to analyst Mat Piscatella, video game subscription spending has stalled this year whereas new game releases have done “exceptionally well” in terms of sales.

Have PS Plus and Game Pass hit a plateau?

Both PS Plus and Game Pass have millions of subscribers but Circana reports that April 2023’s subscription spending was a meager 2% higher than April 2022. Piscatella recons that Sony and Microsoft are unlikely to get a ton of new subscribers because attracting members beyond existing console owners is “very difficult.”

Despite their higher price tags, new premium games in 2023 have sold very well, particularly digitally. Piscatella revealed that Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom has sold “heaps” physically as well.

Circana’s report isn’t all that surprising. Players who are pressed for time may prioritize buying new games every now and then as opposed to subscription services with hundreds of older games they won’t get a chance to play. This is especially in case of PS Plus because Sony has said that launching new first-party AAA games on PS Plus is out of question.