PS Plus, Game Pass Subscription Growth Has Totally Stalled in USA 1
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At the beginning of the generation, gaming subscriptions were considered by most to be an enormous disruptor to the status quo, however as time progresses it’s becoming more apparent that consumers maybe don’t see the same value in them that enthusiasts do. A lot of the discussion about the benefits of the business model has been fuelled by enthusiasts, who play several titles per month. But attach rate has proven over the years that the vast majority of console owners only purchase two to three titles per year.

Data from USA sales tracker Circana notes that in April 2023 subscription spending increased by just two per cent year-over-year. While this does represent some growth, it demonstrates how the business model is beginning to reach saturation – at least, until something significant changes. Sony has persistently hit a ceiling with its own subscription PS Plus, which frequently tops out at around 50 million members, although the Japanese giant has successfully raised the average revenue earned per user with the introduction of PS Plus Extra and PS Plus Premium. Microsoft, meanwhile, hasn’t provided an update on Game Pass’ total subscribers in some time.

Obviously this doesn’t mean gaming subscriptions are going away: they’re now a crucial corner of the market, and will continue to be tidy earners for platform holders like Sony and Microsoft. But it’s clear that, at least right now, they’re not the disruptor they were originally positioned to be. Analyst Mat Piscatella notes that, despite stalling subscriptions, traditional full-price game sales are performing exceedingly well – especially on digital storefronts like the PS Store, which are generally preferred to brick-and-mortar these days.