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“PS Plus and Game Pass Spending Levels Off in the US: Is the Novelty Wearing Thin?”

As of August 29, 2023, market insights provider Circana has disclosed that the expenditure on PS Plus and Xbox Game Pass subscriptions in the United States has reached a point of stagnation after a period of growth. This development follows a previous report from Circana in June, which revealed a trend of players opting for purchasing new full-priced games rather than channeling their funds into subscription services.

Is the novelty of PS Plus and Game Pass subs diminishing?

Recent reports have surfaced stating that Sony has ceased sharing specific details regarding PS Plus subscriber counts in their financial records. Although the company has not officially addressed this report, it appears that its latest financial presentation lacked subscriber figures, which has raised eyebrows among industry observers.

Circana’s findings, as relayed by Games Industry, indicate that the plateauing of subscription spending can be attributed to a combination of factors. These factors include subscription fatigue among consumers, reduced disposable income due to the rising cost of living, a gradual uptake of cloud gaming, and the influence of a robust lineup of new premium game releases. The year 2023 has already seen the launch of several successful games, and the upcoming fall season boasts an array of highly anticipated titles, with Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 leading the pack.

A separate report by Games Industry has highlighted challenges faced by indie publishers such as TinyBuild and Devolver. Weaker subscription deals with Sony and Microsoft have affected these publishers, with analyst Patrick O’Donnell from Goodbody shedding light on the situation. He noted that the financial support coming from Sony and Microsoft to indie publishers has diminished, indicating that these tech giants might be scaling back their subscription-related expenditures.

As the landscape of gaming subscriptions evolves, these findings suggest that consumers may be recalibrating their spending habits in response to various market dynamics. The industry is left to ponder whether the allure of PS Plus and Game Pass subscriptions is starting to lose its sheen amidst the changing gaming landscape and the continuous influx of high-quality game releases.

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