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Sony CFO insists AAA game quality ‘will deteriorate’ if it adopts Game Pass-style strategy

That just shows how you have no idea of what you are talking about. Gamepass doesn't apeal to the vast majority of these people. Reminds me of when people use to say that all Xbox needed was 10% of the Chinese gaming market, I wonder how that went.

Gamepass is availiable on PC, Xbox and Cloud. Why does it matter if the "potential market" is 4 billion people if they dont care about your product?
They don't currently care about the product because it's behind a $500 paywall called "buying a dedicated console". Eliminate that paywall and many more people suddenly become interested.
 

arvfab

Member
I've seen no evidence that MS wants to make streaming the only way to play games. I've also haven't seen anyone advocating against being able to purchase software. Both are optional which is a fantastic value add when on an Xbox or PC platform.

You are not seeing it NOW, that's the problem. People also thought Blockbuster would be safe when Netflix started...

People thinking an online subscription only future is not the endgame for EVERYONE are shortsighted. As soon as one is successful, others will follow. Once those people will realize it, it will be too late.
 
They certainly don't feel like clones of each other and the vibe is very different between the two. It's why I like Uncharted a lot more than TLOU.
No of course not, it's more how the games are structured and flow. I've noticed ND going for bigger more open level design in U4 and that only increased with TLOU2. Both are great games especially TLOU2.
 

Hezekiah

Banned
The great thing about gaming subscriptions compared to something like Netflix is that you can make additional revenue. For example, MS spent solid money on getting MLB on the service day one. They'll recoup the cost not only with Gamepass subscriptions, but also by selling DLC. That's the core component that services like Netflix or Spotify don't really have.
And the flip side is that AAA games take much longer to produce in comparison to Netflix shows, and cost way more too - even something like Game of Thrones cost ~$10m an episode. Compare that to Halo Infinite, or Perfect Dark for example.
 
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You are not seeing it NOW, that's the problem. People also thought Blockbuster would be safe when Netflix started...

People thinking an online subscription only future is not the endgame for EVERYONE are shortsighted. As soon as one is successful, others will follow. Once those people will realize it, it will be too late.
I think a streaming only future is definitely the end game, but it won't be reality until the market for cloud games is larger than the market for console purchasing consumers. It will be at least another 10 years before that happens. In the meantime, Microsoft is simply laying out the red carpet so that it is ready.
 
You are not seeing it NOW, that's the problem. People also thought Blockbuster would be safe when Netflix started...

People thinking an online subscription only future is not the endgame for EVERYONE are shortsighted. As soon as one is successful, others will follow. Once those people will realize it, it will be too late.
They will make subscription only a reality if the market demands it. I don't think that's gonna be the case anytime soon. It's not even the case with video and audio, you can still buy DVDs and CDs.
 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
The world went through a shitstorm these past 2+ years with COVID and shortages of essentials in all sectors yet Xbox and PlayStation consoles could not keep up with demand. If anything, bad economic times cause people to spend more on things they probably shouldn't. It's human nature.
So true.

Youd think with 2 years of covid, people would be saving money, paying off debt and ultimately saving for a rainy day. As who knew if you'd lose your job, get sick, and with lots of people couped up not traveling for work or vacation many of us in better situations should be stockpiling the cash.

Instead, a lot of people I knew blew a wad of cash renovating their house costing $10,000s. It's like covid happened and they all hit the lottery during a pandemic. If you read articles, debt levels are back to where they were before covid (Canada at least). So the average person didn't save a dime. They dropped for the first bit, but then people are blowing their money back to normal.
 
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Hezekiah

Banned
Strong "we believe in generations" vibes.

They also know they don't have enough studios to match the content schedule MS will be putting out after it's shopping spree, and so it will always look bad in those comparisons. They are basically going to position themselves as the boutique gaming system.
Again, stupid statements like this ignore the massive investment that Sony has put into its first-party teams the last few years.

Insomniac has three teams for example. Blizzard has how many studios? How productive are they? Is The Initiative even a real studio that makes its own games? List wars are reductive, something presented by fanboys so that they can beat their chests (and more).
 
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DeepEnigma

Gold Member
I think a streaming only future is definitely the end game, but it won't be reality until the market for cloud games is larger than the market for console purchasing consumers. It will be at least another 10 years before that happens. In the meantime, Microsoft is simply laying out the red carpet so that it is ready.
While true, my point still stands if things regress as they have been going.
 

IntentionalPun

Ask me about my wife's perfect butthole
It will because Sony isn't just maintaining a profit margin they are attempting to grow it, as Playstation isn't some strategic product it's a core to Sony's business. Consoles from a user perspective have hit critical mass, and Sony doesn't believe in MS's hogwash about cloud expanding "console gaming" to infinity and beyond.... so Sony's business is largely about trying to make more money per console consumer than they were before. Digital transition helped greatly, as did 3rd party MTX, and now Sony is going hard on the MTX/GAAS style game as well.

Sony is also expanding more into PC/mobile but they are going to milk the console cow as much as possible.

GamePass is what you call a market disruptor basically. It can be profitable even w/ expensive AAA games but not at the same level as Sony profits.
 

DeepEnigma

Gold Member
It can work. All comes down to revenue vs. costs.
You don't say?

Exactly what the CFO said based on Sony's revenue vs cost.
Tea Time Drink GIF
 
Lol, such bs. Let's not pretend you aren't doing it because the quality will go lower, you're not doing it because you believe you can get more money out of consumers when you sell it day one. The Playstation division is making a profit, you could allocate that profit towards putting your games on a subscription service.
They can, money for investors would be less tho and people on top would have to take massive pay cuts. Deals for consumers don't come at the cost of pay for executives/investors.
 

DarkMage619

Member
You are not seeing it NOW, that's the problem. People also thought Blockbuster would be safe when Netflix started...

People thinking an online subscription only future is not the endgame for EVERYONE are shortsighted. As soon as one is successful, others will follow. Once those people will realize it, it will be too late.
Blockbuster was NOT participating in streaming at the onset and joined it too late. That isn't like what MS is doing at all. MS has their hands in all sorts of ways of content delivery. There is no logical reason for MS to limit their options. Being able to sell anything they stream or offer digitally gives them and customers flexibility Blockbuster never offered.
 

mckmas8808

Mckmaster uses MasterCard to buy Slave drives
Who is asking those questions? Why would MS close revenue sources and limit their audience by going streaming only? The only way Game pass is like Netflix is that it's a subscription. Even streaming isn't available to all their customers.

Going that mode exclusively would kill their console business because you wouldn't need a console to stream. It would also kill their retail model because no software would ever be sold. No serious game fan or business person thinks MS will go streaming only it makes absolutely no sense.

I think you are missing my point. I agree with you that it'll be best for MS and Sony to keep all revenue sources available. But there are some people that are pushing the "streaming is THE future" message. To be honest......some of them are the same people that liked Microsoft's "Always on Online" strategy from the pre-Xbox One days. They are on podcasts and youtube videos, speaking these views. They aren't made up.
 
Again, stupid statements like this ignore the massive investment that Sony has put into its first-party teams the last few years.

Insomniac has three teams for example. Blizzard has how many studios? How productive are they? Is the The Initiate even a real studio that makes its own games? List wars are reductive, something presented by fanboys so that they can beat their chests (and more).
Blizzard made $1.8B in revenue last year. They seem to be doing fine.
 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
It will because Sony isn't just maintaining a profit margin they are attempting to grow it, as Playstation isn't some strategic product it's a core to Sony's business. Consoles from a user perspective have hit critical mass, and Sony doesn't believe in MS's hogwash about cloud expanding "console gaming" to infinity and beyond.... so Sony's business is largely about trying to make more money per console consumer than they were before. Digital transition helped greatly, as did 3rd party MTX, and now Sony is going hard on the MTX/GAAS style game as well.

Sony is also expanding more into PC/mobile but they are going to milk the console cow as much as possible.

GamePass is what you call a market disruptor basically. It can be profitable even w/ expensive AAA games but not at the same level as Sony profits.
Sony needed to expand to PC as growth only goes so far from the points you made. There's only so much you can squeeze from digital money and mtx from console bases which havent grown in 10 years. Sony's biggest user base was PS2 ending 15 years ago despite gaming as an industry skyrocketing in users.... Growth seems skewed to PC and mobile.

Next step is sub plans (triple tier coming in June where the top plan is $18/mth), more PC games (buying up studios to make PC games and PRing more PC games) and multiplats with other consoles (Bungie). Thats why they bought Bungie to continue multiplat and agreed to make The Show on Xbox. More gamers = more sales.
 
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Lol, such bs. Let's not pretend you aren't doing it because the quality will go lower, you're not doing it because you believe you can get more money out of consumers when you sell it day one. The Playstation division is making a profit, you could allocate that profit towards putting your games on a subscription service.
how about no. How about using the money for more games and better games? I could care less about some rental service. If i wanted that i would get a xbone2s or just use my 3060ti pc and sub, but i like owning and would rather, steam/switch/ps5.

Also Microsoft has like 4000x time the cash to loose, they don't care. Sony has budgets.
 
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mckmas8808

Mckmaster uses MasterCard to buy Slave drives
You are not seeing it NOW, that's the problem. People also thought Blockbuster would be safe when Netflix started...

People thinking an online subscription only future is not the endgame for EVERYONE are shortsighted. As soon as one is successful, others will follow. Once those people will realize it, it will be too late.

I think a streaming only future is definitely the end game, but it won't be reality until the market for cloud games is larger than the market for console purchasing consumers. It will be at least another 10 years before that happens. In the meantime, Microsoft is simply laying out the red carpet so that it is ready.

You two are INSANE if you think gaming's end game is a streaming "ONLY" future. Have you asked yourself if this is what the people want?
 

Hezekiah

Banned
Blizzard is a GAAS company at this point (imo has been for a long time). They don't need to churn out new games every year.
I'm not saying they need to be churning games out every year, I'm responding to somebody comparing Sony and Microsoft's studio counts and their content schedule, when it's simply not like-for-like.
 
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IntentionalPun

Ask me about my wife's perfect butthole
Sony needed to expand to PC as growth only goes so far from the points you made. There's only so much you can squeeze from digital money and mtx from console bases which havent grown in 10 years. Sony's biggest user base was PS2 ending 15 years ago despite gaming as an industry skyrocketing in users.... Growth seems skewed to PC and mobile.
Yup that's what I've been saying; we aren't really expanding console userbases, just revenue/profit.

Each user is spending more money than before, and at greater profit margin but that total number of users has been at best stagnant.

There is still more to squeeze out of just converting folks to all digital though; that's been the biggest win outside of MTX. It's just a bigger profit margin for both parties (console manufacturer's cut and publishers cut.)
 
I mean, he says they “may” have to lower investments. That’s not really insisting anything at all. That’s saying if they adopt that strategy, it may have that effect. Which also means it may not.

They’ll come around, they’re just LTTP
 

mckmas8808

Mckmaster uses MasterCard to buy Slave drives
Sony needed to expand to PC as growth only goes so far from the points you made. There's only so much you can squeeze from digital money and mtx from console bases which havent grown in 10 years. Sony's biggest user base was PS2 ending 15 years ago despite gaming as an industry skyrocketing in users.... Growth seems skewed to PC and mobile.

Next step is sub plans (triple tier coming in June where the top plan is $18/mth), more PC games (buying up studios to make PC games and PRing more PC games) and multiplats with other consoles (Bungie). Thats why they bought Bungie to continue multiplat and agreed to make The Show on Xbox. More gamers = more sales.

They "agreed" to make The Show on Xbox out of force. It wasn't really a fair choice. MLB made them.
 
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mckmas8808

Mckmaster uses MasterCard to buy Slave drives
Yup that's what I've been saying; we aren't really expanding console userbases, just revenue/profit.

Each user is spending more money than before, and at greater profit margin but that total number of users has been at best stagnant.

There is still more to squeeze out of just converting folks to all digital though; that's been the biggest win outside of MTX. It's just a bigger profit margin for both parties (console manufacturer's cut and publishers cut.)

Expanding the console userbase shouldn't be ending at all. It's not like the OG gamers from the 80s are all dead lol. There's a new gamer born every day. Sony, MS, and Nintendo just need to keep feeding the OG gamers that were in their 20s in the 1980s.

The question to ask is how many 60+ year-old gamers can you keep from the NES era, this decade? If someone was graduating high school the year the NES came out, are they still playing games now? If not, why? And what will MS and Sony need to do to get them playing games again?
 

Warablo

Member
You two are INSANE if you think gaming's end game is a streaming "ONLY" future. Have you asked yourself if this is what the people want?
You don't think users would love to click a games icon and instantly start playing it with no downsides? The only thing stopping this right now is latency/internet downsides.
 

DeepEnigma

Gold Member
You don't think users would love to click a games icon and instantly start playing it with no downsides? The only thing stopping this right now is latency/internet downsides.
Consoles are so fast with their SSD i/o that it's been that very experience for me on the PS5. And I expect it to get better as well.
 
You two are INSANE if you think gaming's end game is a streaming "ONLY" future. Have you asked yourself if this is what the people want?
Steve Jobs never asked consumers what they wanted before shipping the iPhone. He delivered products that people never knew they wanted.
 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
Yup that's what I've been saying; we aren't really expanding console userbases, just revenue/profit.

Each user is spending more money than before, and at greater profit margin but that total number of users has been at best stagnant.

There is still more to squeeze out of just converting folks to all digital though; that's been the biggest win outside of MTX. It's just a bigger profit margin for both parties (console manufacturer's cut and publishers cut.)
Yup.

Since the Xbox One/PS4 era game companies were blessed digital downloads and mtx took off. Especially MS and Sony as that's when their digital marketplaces really took off as everyone started skewing to digital and mtx caught fire. 360/PS3 gen was still a disc based system, Amazon BB and Gamestop took their cuts.

If we were all still in the traditional mindset of eras ago where gamers bought discs from Walmart and EB and there's hardly any mtx except piddly shit and occasional map packs all the gaming company financials would be in the toilet. Well, Gamestop took the biggest hit.

I agree there's still more to squeeze. It looks like the digital download trend is in the low 70% range. The high mark would be PC gaming which is probably 99% digital (not sure if they have boxed copies anymore.... maybe EB or Best Buy still sell some Activision COD/Diablo or EA Sims boxed copies?)

I think the trend can max out over time to around 85-90%. And just like the last remaining PC games with boxed copies, it'll only be the biggest franchises left doing it. Some console gamers still have their heart set on trading in games and collectors editions.
 
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You don't think users would love to click a games icon and instantly start playing it with no downsides? The only thing stopping this right now is latency/internet downsides.
These people can't see beyond what's currently available to them. The world will be a much different place technology wise in 10-20 years yet they seem to think these companies should cater to the capabilities of the past decade.
 

BigBooper

Member
It's possible, but not guaranteed. Think about when Netfflix started putting out their own content. For a few years it was pretty good, but then they somehow got derailed and almost everything was generic genre movies like you used to see at the checkout line of the dollar store.

The platform holders have to somehow keep their feet to the fire and not get lazy.
 
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Am I a moron? Why everyone keeps focusing on day one releases on a service? Obviously, that move is dumb-dumb.

The smarter thing should be just like the movies:

1. To have a 'theatrical' release window = you can only buy a game (for a period of time).

2. Then, the game comes to your own service. (Which can even be a service tier for this access).

3.After another period of time, your game comes to other platforms (PC for example).

In this fashion, your game could have a cycle between 18 to 24 months to reach each platform.

I mean speaking from my own personal experience, I never see anything in theaters and then when it comes out on Netflix or whatever I've forgotten about it.
 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
It's possible, but not guaranteed. Think about when Netfflix started putting out their own content. For a few years it was pretty good, but then they somehow got derailed and almost everything was generic genre movies like you used to see at the checkout line of the dollar store.

MS has to somehow keep their feet to the fire and not get lazy.
I think one big difference between gaming subs and movie subs is a company like NF (no sure about Hulu or other ones as only have NF) have shit loads of first party tv and movies content of hit and miss nature. Many of them never even heard of or get marketing. And a series can have 10, 20, 30 episodes.

Gaming isn't like that. Nobody expects a gaming sub to have 100 episodes/movies worth of first party content per year. Just a small number of unique games per year would work. They can funnel their money to that.

Never understood why NF shotguns so many different first party series, documentaries and movies. They could cut them in half and pour the money into making better content.
 
So....what do you actually see? (Talking about movies)

I don't see anything, basically. And I think that's because the movie business model of staggered release across different platforms means that the stars have to align for me to hear of a movie I'm interested in seeing on a platform I'm actually subscribed to.
 

IntentionalPun

Ask me about my wife's perfect butthole
Expanding the console userbase shouldn't be ending at all. It's not like the OG gamers from the 80s are all dead lol. There's a new gamer born every day. Sony, MS, and Nintendo just need to keep feeding the OG gamers that were in their 20s in the 1980s.

Well it's just not really happening. That's the point. I think the amount of "hardcore" users is increasing, people willing to spend more money.. and of course new users are still coming in.. but the console manufacturers both have to try to increase that userbase but also come to grips financially with the fact it isn't growing users wise. TIt's growing revenue substantially, and profit, but from a similar amount of users as it has for 20 years.

Look at Switch; numbers look impressive.. but that's combining Nintendo's home console business w/ the traditional portable game console business... Nintendo is really the wild card... meanwhile the total number of Xbox + Playstation unit sales has basically been stagnant since Xbox entered the market. With Xbox taking some market from Sony, then giving it back. But it's been ~160-170 million units in each gen. If anything that's probably less users, as I think it's far more likely these days people won multiple of the same console as ever before... especially with shit like special edition consoles.

Meanwhile a single game made $3 billion on mobile in around a year and a half.
 
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mckmas8808

Mckmaster uses MasterCard to buy Slave drives
You don't think users would love to click a games icon and instantly start playing it with no downsides? The only thing stopping this right now is latency/internet downsides.

Yes, but not if it's the "ONLY" way I could play a game. Why would I want that?

Steve Jobs never asked consumers what they wanted before shipping the iPhone. He delivered products that people never knew they wanted.

Because Steve Jobs knew what people wanted before it was a big conversation. The iPhone came out in 2007. I had a Windows Mobile phone before the first iPhone was released. He had a vision. People weren't actively rooting against the iPhone on day one.
 

MasterCornholio

Gold Member
No of course not, it's more how the games are structured and flow. I've noticed ND going for bigger more open level design in U4 and that only increased with TLOU2. Both are great games especially TLOU2.

I don't consider going more open as the same thing as the gameplay being the same. In that regards they do have different play styles. I certainly can't treat TLOU like an Uncharted game and be successful.
 

arvfab

Member
You two are INSANE if you think gaming's end game is a streaming "ONLY" future. Have you asked yourself if this is what the people want?

Wait, I DO NOT WANT IT and would wish this insanity would end now rather then waiting for people finally realizing how fucked up it's going to be. But companies want it, that was my point.
 
I don't see anything, basically. And I think that's because the movie business model of staggered release across different platforms means that the stars have to align for me to hear of a movie I'm interested in seeing on a platform I'm actually subscribed to.
Similar. For me to watch/play something (movies/series/anime/games) is quite hard because usually I didn't care enough (even thou I have access to the content). And I have to be in mood as well.
 

mckmas8808

Mckmaster uses MasterCard to buy Slave drives
Well it's just not really happening. That's the point. I think the amount of "hardcore" users is increasing, people willing to spend more money.. and of course new users are still coming in.. but the console manufacturers both have to try to increase that userbase but also come to grips financially with the fact it isn't growing users wise. TIt's growing revenue substantially, and profit, but from a similar amount of users as it has for 20 years.

Look at Switch; numbers look impressive.. but that's combining Nintendo's home console business w/ the traditional portable game console business... Nintendo is really the wild card... meanwhile the total number of Xbox + Playstation unit sales has basically been stagnant since Xbox entered the market. With Xbox taking some market from Sony, then giving it back. But it's been ~160-170 million units in each gen. If anything that's probably less users, as I think it's far more likely these days people won multiple of the same console as ever before... especially with shit like special edition consoles.

Meanwhile a single game made $3 billion on mobile in around a year and a half.

I think one of the issues we've had is one of the big 3 would do something SUPER stupid to limit the total growth of the console market.

- Sony with the PS3.
- MS with the Xbox One
- Nintendo with the Wii U.


All stars are aligned now. Nintendo, Sony, and MS are all working at 95% perfection at the moment.
 

Leyasu

Member
And the flip side is that AAA games take much longer to produce in comparison to Netflix shows, and cost way more too - even something like Game of Thrones cost ~$10m an episode. Compare that to Halo Infinite, or Perfect Dark for example.
Indeed they do cost more and take longer to make. But, then the cost is spread out. I saw a lot of "sonys games cost 150m to make". If said 150m game takes three years to make, then it is costing 50m per year, or just over 4m per month. It is not 150m plus the 3yrs of studio running costs on top. The studios running costs are included in the cost and probably account for north of 80% of the price of said 150m game. Even if we added 100m on top for marketing taking the price tag to 250m, then it becomes 83.3m per year or 6.9m per month.


Looking at that link they have 18 studios, if we said that every studio was the same size and followed the example above (obviously that is not the case but for ease I will run with it), then we would get the following.

18 x 250m = 4.5bn. = 1.5bn per year or 125m per month. Not all studios or games are equal. Some games cost less to make and some more. Like I said, I went with the top end for every studio to get pretty big numbers. I have seen people writing that Sonys subs revenue (PS+ plus Now) was generating over 2bn per year. Even if they used half of that revenue to pay towards their content in this example, it would drastically cut their outlay (I'll let you or one of the laughing emojis do the maths on the rest). As they are still selling the games, then they would undoutedly be making bank from their games. With lost sales from subscribers being almost balanced out by said subcribers who have been helping to pay for these games to be made.

Halo infinite (lol I will use in this case) despite being game pass still debuted at #2 on NPD in December 2021 https://venturebeat.com/2022/01/18/...nfinite-has-strong-debut-on-the-sales-charts/

Sony has every right to do whatever the fuck they want and to defend their position with the wording of their choice. But I don't really believe that they would have to cut budgets if their games were available day one on their service if they had one premium priced tier.

Oh yeah, most of this post wasn't really directed at you or do I expect you to be my sparring partner here lol. You just got caught up in my take for this thread.

Now yurinka yurinka I know that you have all of the revenue figures wrote down ready for your posts, so would you like to post them please? We know that you know just how succesful sonys sub services are.
 

dvdvideo

Member
The part that Sony is missing is that gamepass and studio competition together will erode thier user base over time. This won't happen overnight, it will happen over a decade.
 
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