PS Plus, Game Pass Spending Has Completely Plateaued in USA 1
Image: Push Square

Discussion at the start of the generation was dominated by Sony’s reluctance to release its flagship first-party software into subscriptions like PS Plus, and how this decision was going to bring an end to its market leading position. That hasn’t panned out, however, and data from Circana (formerly NPD) shows that consumer spending in the sector has completely plateaued.

While more and more people signed up to services like Xbox Game Pass during the pandemic, revenue has peaked at around $400 million per month – after first reaching that figure in November 2021, almost two years ago. Games elaborates: “Subscription fatigue, fewer available dollars for discretionary spending due to higher food and gas prices, slow mass market adoption of cloud gaming, and a strong slate of new premium releases may be contributing factors to the slowdown.”

Our view is that gaming subscriptions don’t have quite the same appeal as movies and music. While other entertainment mediums can, by their nature, be quite passive, gaming demands your full attention at all times – and many consumers are content playing the one or two titles they like per year, many of which are even free-to-play these days. Outside of the core gamer market, there’s likely a lot less demand for an enormous catalogue of content available at all-times.

Sony, to its credit, has been smart with its alterations to PS Plus: it’s managed to retain its roughly 50 million or so active members, and enticed a handful of them to upgrade to either PS Plus Extra or PS Plus Premium. This means it’s successfully increased the average revenue its earning per user, maximising its income without undermining its already very successful business model.