The financial reports are in for Sony’s Q2 FY2022, and the numbers revealed some interesting results for the gaming superpower. These reports confirmed that Sony’s PS Plus subscription service lost almost two million subscribers in the past three months alone.
This represents a significant loss for the company. But why has PS Plus lost so many subscribers, and how does Sony plan on recovering from the disturbing trend?
The PlayStation Plus Subscriber Count Has Fallen
The declining subscriber count for PS Plus was disclosed during a presentation regarding Sony’s Q2 FY2022 Consolidated Financial Results. This news was delivered on November 1st by Sony’s CFO, Hiroki Totoki.
Totoki confirmed that the number of PS Plus subscribers dropped from 47.3 million at the end of June to 45.4 million by the end of September 2022. This represents a decrease of around 4%.
It is unclear exactly why so many gamers neglected to renew their subscriptions for PS Plus during this time, but some light was shed on possible contributing factors during the presentation on November 1st.
Why Has PlayStation Plus Lost So Many Subscribers?
The drop in subscribers follows Sony’s massive revamp of PS Plus. The PS Plus revamp introduced several new tiers for the service, each of which increase in both price and perks.
The rollout of the new PlayStation Plus lacked appropriate advertising, particularly with regard to the differences between the PlayStation Plus Essential, Extra, and Premium tiers. This left gamers confused about what the new PS Plus is and what the benefits of subscribing are.
Sony also understands that the number of subscribers increased astronomically during the pandemic when gamers were in dire need of entertainment while stuck inside during lockdown.
As the world recovers from the events of the global pandemic and life returns to a sense of normalcy, people are spending more time at work and less time playing video games. One-off purchases seem to outweigh the need for a subscription service that supply’s a constant rotation of games in the current climate.
Totoki cited on page two of Sony’s Q2 FY2022 Consolidated Financial Result that the drop in subscribers has likely been affected by “soaring energy prices and expanding inflationary pressure, as well as rapid interest rate hikes in various countries.”
Sony surmises on page eight of the report that this has led to gamers “playing a smaller number of titles out of a desire to spend less money” as economies struggle in the wake of the pandemic.
Totoki also highlighted on page eight of Sony’s report that the decline in PS Plus subscribers has been aggravated by a “greater decline in user engagement among PS4 users than expected”. He also went on to state that “on the other hand, the ratio of PS Plus subscribers among PS5 users remains at a level significantly higher”.
Sony’s Plan to Recover From the Loss of PlayStation Plus Subscribers
While the past three months saw a significant decrease in PS Plus subscribers for Sony, it also saw a spike in hardware sales of the PS5.
Since the ratio of PS Plus subscribers remains high among PS5 users, Sony plans on accelerating the adoption of PlayStation 5 hardware. This is in the hopes that having more consoles in the hands of the demographic most interested in procuring PS Plus subscriptions will boost the number of subscribers as a whole.
The trends observed by Sony on page eight of its Q2 FY2022 Consolidated Financial Results indicate that the “sales of past library titles declined sharply, while sales of major new titles remained strong.” Focusing on getting newer hardware into the hands of gamers will provide more opportunities to engage the active market and increase subscriptions to PS Plus.
After noting that it “didn’t make aggressive promotions during the second quarter,” Sony is pledging to place more resources into the advertising and promotion of PS Plus, as well as working on improving the service itself.
By remaining in communication with gamers about what they are going to receive from the service on a monthly basis, as well as sweetening the deal by improving the service’s more expensive tiers, Sony does expect to recover from its drop in subscribers.
The Future of PlayStation Plus Looks Hopeful
The massive drop in subscribers for Sony’s PS Plus service indicates a shift in the global market as the population slowly recovers from the pandemic. But by improving the service’s quality and advertising, as wella as by pushing the sales of the PS5 console, Sony should make a full recovery.
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