Sony takes on Xbox at their own game, signs two indies as PlayStation Plus launch releases

Sony PlayStation is taking Microsoft Xbox on at its own game by signing multiple deals to bring select indie games to PlayStation Plus as day one releases.

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Sony amps up the competition as it signs multiple indie games as day one releases on PS Plus.

Sony takes on Xbox at their own game, signs two indies as PlayStation Plus launch releases 325

Sony doesn't want to bring its own games to PlayStation Plus on day one, but other projects are fair game. Unlike Microsoft, who took a radical subscription-first approach and promised to launch all first-party Xbox games day-and-date on Game Pass. This strategy has affected first-party game sales on Xbox as consumers opt for Game Pass subscriptions instead of buying some games--an effect referred to as cannibalization.

Game Pass has another part of its billion-dollar equation: Third-party games. For years now, Microsoft has been spending tens of millions of dollars to convince indie devs and publishers to launch their games on Game Pass day one. In other words, Microsoft trying to offset any game sales cannibalization with upfront payments. These deals can sometimes go far enough to fund an actual game.

PlayStation agrees with this second part, and has also made its own day-and-date deals with third-party teams to bolster PS Plus content. The idea is to create a compelling library of games and amp up the value of the service to convince new sign-ups and stronger retention.

Today Sony announced that two indies would come to PlayStation Plus:

  • Dave the Diver on PS5 on April 16 [Link]
  • Tales of Kenzera: Zau on PS5 on April 23 Link

This might not seem like a big deal on the surface layer, but these deals could start ramping up at a time when Microsoft is said to be dialing back its spending Xbox Game Pass.

New reports suggest that the Game Pass deals that indie devs once enjoyed have now been pared back, suggesting that Game Pass funding has evaporated as companies now try to reduce costs and improve margins. It'll be interesting to see how Sony expands its subscription efforts into the future.

As of Q4'22, Sony had 47.4 million subscribers across its full three-tiered PlayStation Plus subscription offering. Sony has since stopped reporting PS Plus subscriber numbers.

Sony takes on Xbox at their own game, signs two indies as PlayStation Plus launch releases 559
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Derek joined the TweakTown team in 2015 and has since reviewed and played 1000s of hours of new games. Derek is absorbed with the intersection of technology and gaming, and is always looking forward to new advancements. With over six years in games journalism under his belt, Derek aims to further engage the gaming sector while taking a peek under the tech that powers it. He hopes to one day explore the stars in No Man's Sky with the magic of VR.

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