It doesn’t appear that Sony’s relaunch of PlayStation Plus in June is proceeding exactly as expected. According to the Japanese company’s most recent financial report, between July and September of this year, Plus lost 1.9 million customers since its introduction. Hiroki Totoki, CFO of Sony, stated that there “hasn’t been much momentum.” In spite of this, the business’s revenue has increased by 10%.
According to the research, PlayStation Plus subscription numbers actually decreased after the much-touted relaunch, going from 47.3 million to 45.4 million, as noted by VGC. Those are undoubtedly still excellent numbers—nearly twice what Microsoft can claim for Game Pass—but they are undoubtedly below what Sony would have hoped for given how much better the subscription service is now.
The relaunch of PlayStation Plus was definitely not a straightforward proposition. It’s understandable that all the promotional noise made in June would have served to simply remind a lot of people about the money coming out of their accounts each month. With the addition of three overlapping tiers and some confusion among potential subscribers over which tier provided access to which era of games. It makes it natural that people who hadn’t used it in a while would have simply cancelled rather than having to figure out which version of the new service they wanted.
More surprisingly, the revamped deals, which make hundreds of vintage PlayStation titles available for a monthly fee, haven’t drawn in a sizable number of new customers. Many people who believe Game Pass is headed in the exact other direction may be turned off by Sony’s desire to exclude new first-party games and charge a stubborn $70 for them.
These results continue a pattern that has been present since the fall of 2021 when subscriber numbers began to decline. The number of Plus’s consumers decreased from 48 million in the summer to 47.4 million by the winter. Despite the relaunch, it appears that trend has persisted because the total has decreased by 2.6 million from last year’s peak.
However, the amount of money Sony is making has actually increased, probably because of the more expensive tiers that are now available. Although the number of subscribers is decreasing, because it is up 10% to 116 billion (or $788 million), VGC notes that this means they are currently making more money per subscriber. However, if the current pattern continues, that won’t be effective for very long.
CFO Hiroki Totoki responded, “I think this is due to a combination of people getting back outside again after the worst of the pandemic, dropping numbers of third-party games, and declining PlayStation 4 sales,” when asked about these stats during an earnings call (via VGC’s translation). Before placing some of the blame on a lack of “aggressive” ad advertising, he continued, “In the second quarter we renewed our services and there hasn’t been significant momentum as a whole.”
Totoki continued by informing investors that “really good titles” and improved promotions could help things turn around. We believe we can bounce back, he said.