News Article

PlayStation Plus Will Rake in $1.2 Billion a Year, Reckons Analyst

Posted by Sammy Barker

Did it for the dollar sign

Sony’s decision to introduce a subscription paywall to its multiplayer offerings on the PlayStation 4 may have irritated some people, but it’s not hard to see why the platform holder made the decision. According to IHS analyst Piers Harding-Rolls, the firm stands to earn a whopping $1.2 billion in annual consumer spending by 2017 courtesy of the subscription service.

“Sony has already taken a major step towards a more profitable and competitive PlayStation business with a single but significant commercial decision to place online multiplayer gaming behind the PlayStation Plus subscription paywall,” said the forecaster. “[This] will give Sony access to an essential and substantial new revenue stream.”

The analyst added that PlayStation Plus made the firm just $140 million last year, a figure impeded by the fact that it’s not mandatory. “In contrast, Xbox Live users, who only have access to online multiplayer gaming through Gold accounts, spent nine times as much – $1.25 billion – on service subscriptions in 2012,” he explained.

In fact, Harding-Rolls continued that the move may make the PS4 the most profitable PlayStation platform yet. “IHS believes that lower research and development costs for the PS4 hardware, additional revenue streams from online service subscriptions, and a more aggressive transition to higher margin digital content sales are combining to strengthen Sony’s games business outlook.”

Perhaps the really impressive thing is that Sony’s got PlayStation Plus to a stage where we don’t feel bad about paying for it. The quality of the service across the PlayStation 3 and Vita has been excellent, and while it would obviously be preferable if it remained optional, it’s not like splashing out on the premium membership is the end of the world.


User Comments (13)



Sanquine said:

If we get more exclusives with that money you dont hear me complaining.



MadchesterManc said:

Only a $140 million? Most of my friends list has PS+ so Ive been assuming that a large percentage of Playstation users were subscribed to the service (It deos baffle a little when people aren't lol) seems a tad low that income to me. I dont feel bad paying for PS+ in the slightest tho so they can have my small contribution to that $1.2 billion



get2sammyb said:

@MadchesterManc It does seem low, doesn't it? About a third of my PSN friends list is subscribed to Plus, but a large majority of those folks are what I'd consider "hardcore" players. I imagine once you expand it to the more casual market — the type of people that are content with playing FIFA and Call of Duty — the percentage drops significantly. It's those types of people, who would never consider signing up normally, who are going to be the big source of income I think.

@Sanquine Yeah, hopefully it helps them tighten everything up. I don't really have many issues with the quality of the online experience on PSN, but if this lets them invest in better and bigger servers, etc, then that can only be a good thing in my opinion.



odd69 said:

I wasn't a plus member until I realized how much more discounts I could get. Im not surprised with this. I actually buy the 3 months deal, i'm not always a plus member I always wait for the seasons it a great strategic method I use to save big bucks . im sure that helps not really into the ps plus thing



Faustek said:

I wonder if they have factored in the cost for all the free games we get. I doubt they have.

Off-topic: Gamescom can't come sooner!



Zetrayrus said:

From where I am from, I know no one that uses Playstation Plus other than myself.

I feel that it is as usual the overall low quality of PS+ in Asia compared to those in other regions. I can't remember them all but, we don't get as many discounts and that is if we do get them in the first place. And even if we do, it is always for some pretty useless DLC. The instant game collection is...pretty weak. Although it is picking up in that I finally got my first AAA title after 6 months of using it. Otherwise it is all just pretty normal PSN downloads. Of course the last reason is PSN itself. We here in Asia get content very late compared to all other regions.

Basically, PS+ value is greatly diminished in Asia regions. I'm really hoping that this new policy will allow them to give us in Asia more support!



Faustek said:

@Zetrayrus sucks to hear it.
Sorry to say that I'm oblivious to, outside of Japan's ps+, the rest of the Asian region. Always believed you got the same as Australian/European region.
And for any of us complaining, get real we have gotten awesome games, way better than the one in the US have gotten, imo that is.



PMasterTy9 said:

I have been a PS+ member for about a year and I think it is more than worth it and I don't ever see myself canceling my membership. Obviously I will need it to play online multiplayer in the future but this was my mindset before that announcement. Now if they use that extra revenue to make improve the PSN that would be awesome! Which they have already started on right path, they just need to keep it up.



Cowboysfan-22 said:

I'm not a Ps plus member yet because I've had terrible Internet service where I live but when I move next week I'll be getting it for sure. Too good of a deal to pass up



Ginkgo said:

PS+ is already brilliant value. In fact it is insane, the free games that get offered. No-one could ever play them all. So I don't see many people really complaining about it, not once they see what they get. I joined recently due to my new Vita as combined with PS3 the value just seemed there, and was amazed to download about 7 free PS3 games that I had always been interested in playing, but had never quite got around to (just missed the cut). For free, how could I say no.

However, Sony just needs to reinvest some of the extra revenue into its servers. One of the criticisms over the years is that its servers don't stack up to MS for multiplayer. PSN has improved a lot over the years, but this is how Sony will guarantee that they can complete on a even field in the multiplayer space. I actually think this is a really good decision, as long as they reinvest the money into strengthening the service.



Reverend_Skeeve said:

@Ginko Agreed. PS+ has insane value as it is...and I don't even have a Vita. Also agree about the need to invest in better servers...but luckily, Sony already stated that the reason for the "need" for PS+ on PS4 will be for improving the servers and investing in them, so everything should work out fine.



charlesnarles said:

@Ginkgo so true! I have a TB hdd with 50 free Plus games on it and I haven't even had time to try playing them all. If you have room, you can keep every free thing until your sub expires, and you get access again once you reenlist. It's seriously great. RE5 is still on my cue for example lol how long ago did NA get that one? (A: almost an entire year)
I do not mind paying less than I would for one game and receiving between 5- and 6-fold the content, AND it might weed out some of the chumps online who ****ing spawn camp etc! I always feel like that Grestest Freakout Ever kid: "Quit betraying me!!!!!"

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