Jim Ryan has told investors that he believes the reaction to the launch of the new PS Plus tiers in Asia has been “extremely positive”. The comment was made despite the “technical error” that saw some players charged higher fees to upgrade to PS Plus Extra or PS Plus Premium depending on how much they had paid for their existing PlayStation Plus subscription, causing a significant backlash on social media.
Many players don’t feel the PS Plus launch is “extremely positive”
When the new PS Plus tiers launched in Asia earlier this week, players who had existing PlayStation Plus subscriptions that had been purchased at a discounted price reported they were having to pay a higher fee to upgrade their membership. Despite a customer support e-mail that confirmed this was deliberately by design, Sony later blamed the issue on a “technical error” following the aforementioned social media backlash. Other complaints have been leveled at the smaller-than-expected list of games available for PS Plus Extra and PS Plus Premium, including a small list of PS Plus Classics.
Of course, Jim Ryan was most likely looking at membership figures rather than actual customer reactions when he made his comments. As transcribed by VGC, Ryan told the PlayStation business briefing audience that the “initial market reaction is extremely positive” and they are hoping to grow the number of subscribers to the service:
We’re very proud of the work that we’ve done on this service and it’s only two days [old] so it’s far too early, but the very initial market reaction is extremely positive. I think if we execute well as we implement this service, beyond Asia to Japan and then to the US and then to Europe, the possibility for us to significantly grow our subscriber base is really real, particularly as sales of PS5 consoles start to accelerate extremely rapidly.
The other vector of this of course is that the new service allows us to optimise not only the number of subscribers but to offer the possibility for subscribers to join our second tier of our third tier and access a range of really attractive features and gaming propositions. And if we do that, if we are successful in that, not only will the number of subscribers grow, but the ARPU (average revenue per unit), the ARPU of the subscriber will also correspondingly increase, so there are opportunities along both vectors, the number of subscribers and the ARPU of each of those subscribers.
Sony hopes to increase the number of PlayStation Plus subscribers from 47.4 million at the end of the last fiscal year to 50 million by the end of the current fiscal year, due to end on March 31, 2023. The new PS Plus tiers are due to launch in Japan on June 2. The Americas will follow on June 13, while Europe, Australia, and New Zealand will conclude the rollout on June 23.
In other news, Sony is expecting to phase out PS4 games by 2025. Elsewhere, Returnal is expected to be the next PlayStation Studios title to head to PC after the launch of Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection.