Sony’s big PS Plus revamp has lost millions of subscribers

Sony’s revamped PlayStation Plus offering is off to a slow start, people are leaving the service rather than joining.

The new three-level offering, which includes hundreds of games and a host of vintage classics from the PlayStation catalog (if you choose Premium), hasn’t tempted hordes of new PS4 and PS5 owners to hop aboard.

In fact, the number of PS Plus subscribers fell by 2 million — from 47.3 million to 45.4 million — during the three months to the end of September.

Given that it started rolling out globally at the end of May, and didn’t make it to the US and UK until June, it’s safe to say that this offer hasn’t attracted console owners yet. There have been criticisms of the library beyond initial viewing, and old titles hardly flow liberally from Sony’s archives.

Given that this was a long-awaited renewal designed to resemble Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass (which already accounts for 15% of the company’s game revenue), those numbers would be very disappointing for Sony.

During an earnings call on Tuesday, the head of Sony’s bean office, Hiroki Totoki (written by VCG), said the decline was a result of people spending more time outdoors during the summer months.

He also says the drop in numbers is due to slowing third-party game sales and PS4 sales, which means fewer people are using the internet to use the online gaming portion of the PS Plus offering. This staple remains key to millions of gamers beyond the free game library.

The CFO believes that the arrival of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and God of War Ragnarok will help PS Plus recover in the next quarter. He also wants to see the service being better promoted, so that players understand what the respective levels have to offer.

He said, “There was a decline in the number of PlayStation Plus members. However, we renewed our services in the second quarter and there was not much momentum as a whole. Also, we did not have strong promotions during the second quarter.

“So, in the future we will have more hacks on PS5 and we will have very good titles. In addition, we are able to give better promotions and we think we can recover.”

Still, not a great look at the announced new service, is it? Elsewhere, there was better news, Sony has now reached 25 million PS5 sales, so all the cloud and all that…

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