Sony PlayStation continues to see the number of PS4 subscribers rise following the latest PS Plus free games release.
Gamers can no longer download The Last of Us Remastered but they do have access to Nioh and Outlast 2 during November 2019.
And the rise in subscribers is great news for fans who have been enjoying all the games released as part of the PlayStation Plus program in 2019.
Sony has moved to provide top titles via its PS Plus membership, and it appears that they are now benefitting greatly from this strategy.
So there’s very little reason for Sony to upset the apple cart by changing their winning streak in 2019.
As many PS4 gamers will already know, a PS Plus subscription provides a number of bonuses to players each month.
This includes multiplayer access within paid games, as well as two monthly free games that can be played for as long as you have an active subscription.
That’s without mentioning the other lesser-known benefits, including cloud storage and exclusive item packs launched via the PlayStation Store.
And Sony has confirmed via its latest financial report that this winning formula has banked them an all-time high active subscription audience.
According to the newest numbers from Sony, 36.9 million PlayStation customers are using PlayStation Plus services.
That’s a high point for 2019, breaking the previous record 36.3 million and shows that even with declining console sales, Sony has a solid consumer plan.
These Q2 FY2019 (year-on-year) results line up with an upward trend for the gaming industry, even with the impending end of the current console cycle.
“Thanks to growth in video game content spending across mobile and subscription services, the U.S. video game market has continued to grow, despite cyclical challenges and tough comparable sales from last year,” said Mat Piscatella, games industry analyst at The NPD Group.
“Growth in digital content spending on consoles has also been remarkable, driven by live service games that are building consistent engagement ties with consumers.
“These factors have allowed the industry to reach growth, despite challenges in other categories of spend.”
And it’s not just the PS Plus and PlayStation Store bringing in the big bucks for Sony in 2019.
The PlayStation Now streaming service saw a major revamp this year that included a permanent discount in price.
And it’s now being reported that the PS Now streaming service boasts over one million subscribers, a massive boost from 2018.
However, even with the 50% increase in subscribers and the added muscle from games like God of War, PS Now still has a long way to go before challenging PS Plus.
“The risk of subscription is in the potential devaluation of content, an issue the rise of dig dist did not face,” Piscatella adds.
It relies on a significant expansion of the player base, which could be a challenge when half of US video game players exclusively play f2p games.
“Industry betting big on subscription and streaming does have vast opportunity on a global basis, particularly for less developed VG markets. But I can’t help seeing content devaluation risk for the more mature gaming markets like the US, where 71% of the pop already plays VG.
“All that said, as a consumer, I’m very happy with the value offering of most of the in-market subscription services.
“An overwhelming amount of content is available for a low price, so much that it’s hard keeping up with all the new games available. But therein lies the challenge.”