The costs of launching AAA games on PS Plus and Game Pass are staggering

Launching AAA Games on Subscription Services Is Ridiculously Expensive, Microsoft Docs Reveal

A leaked Microsoft document reveals the staggering costs of launching AAA games on services like PS Plus and Xbox Game Pass. Microsoft previously said that Sony should offer its first-party lineup via PS Plus to make the service more lucrative, whereas Sony has long maintained that launching AAA games on a subscription service isn’t financially viable.

How much does it cost to add AAA games to PS Plus and Game Pass day one?

According to Microsoft’s internal documents, the company estimated a payment of $300 million for Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, $250m for Mortal Kombat 1, around $100m for Assassin’s Creed Mirage, and around $250m for Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League.

To put these figures into perspective, it cost $220m to develop The Last of Us Part II and around $212m to develop Horizon Forbidden West. Offering these games via PS Plus would mean that it would take Sony an absurdly long amount of time to break even, let alone make a profit. Interestingly, Microsoft has admitted that Game Pass’s growth has been stagnant as of late, but the company’s overall financial strength affords it the luxury of taking losses in the gaming division.

In other words, PlayStation chief Jim Ryan was right about this at least: following Microsoft’s strategy would hurt Sony’s first-party game development and quality. It also makes no financial sense to spend an entire first-party budget to add a third-party AAA game on PS Plus.