In its recent financial report, Sony revealed that it would take action as PS5 and PS4 owners were playing a lot less than it anticipated. The firm noted that gameplay time declined a significant 15 per cent year-over-year for the three month period ending 30th June, 2022 – a pretty huge slump all things considered. But it’s being reflected right across the industry.
Call of Duty, for example, is having a torrid time – which will likely be affecting PlayStation’s engagement statistics as well. The franchise saw its active players dwindle, from 127 million this time last year to just 94 million now. That’s a 33 million active user decline – and it contributed to a 28 per cent slump in revenue.
In fact, Activision Blizzard’s numbers have been on a bit of a downward spiral since peaking in March 2021, and this is the lowest they’ve been since 2019 – before the pandemic. It’s probably safe to assume that the reduction of lockdown restrictions is playing a pretty major part here, although Call of Duty: Vanguard has largely been considered a misfire by the firm as well.
All of this is having an impact on the industry’s bottom line. According to NPD data in the United States, overall spend in the sector slumped by 13 per cent in the most recent quarter, falling a dramatic $1.78 billion year-over-year. The cost of living crisis isn’t helping, of course, with many more concerned about their bills than the latest tentpole AAA video games.
After a couple of years of unprecedented growth, it’s clear that reality is beginning to bite for platform holders like PlayStation and its various publishing partners.