Sony’s contentious day one PS Plus stance backed by GTA publisher CEO

By Lee Brady,

As PlayStation Plus subscribers in North America finally get their hands on the new Extra and Premium tiers, the CEO behind Grand Theft Auto has spoken out in favour of Sony’s handling of the service.

According to a report from GamesIndustry.biz, Take-Two Interactive’s Strauss Zelnick agrees that Sony shouldn’t release its first-party games, like those developed by teams under the PlayStation Studios banner, day one to the new PS Plus subscription service. He also believes it’s not in the interest of Take-Two to support that model — though for slightly different reasons than Sony’s ‘deteriorating quality’ argument.

“I could be completely wrong about this,” admits Zelnick


On the topic of games launching ‘day and date’ to subscription services, Zelnick said; “That doesn't make any sense to us, because economically speaking, we don't think consumers are prepared to pay for that. And we can't afford to turn our business upside down in a way that doesn't make sense economically.” By his saying he doesn't believe consumers would pay for the service, he's not saying he thinks fans would be uninterested in a service with day one exclusives, but that they would not be interested in paying loftier prices for that subscription if companies were forced to inflate that price to account for the loss of launch window sales.

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“That's our opinion, and I think Sony agrees with us because it said so,” he added, pointedly siding with Sony’s stance on the matter — a stance that has proven quite contentious online. Outfits like Press Square have published articles warning of the advantage Xbox Game Pass could have over PS Plus with its day one first-party game releases. Elsewhere, even our own community came out overwhelmingly in favour of at the very least playing day one releases by ear.

Zelnick, however, does go on to defend the business perspective of Sony’s decision. “Interactive entertainment is consumed at a different level [than television and moves], about 45 hours a month and in a different way. It's perhaps two or three or four properties in a month.” He compares this statistic to the over 100 properties supposedly consumed in US households per month. “So it's not clear that your broad-based audience wants access to many hundreds of games in a month and is willing to pay for them.”



Ultimately, however, Zelnick believes he could be wrong on the matter and leaves the door open for the market to surprise him. “When it makes sense, we support subscription services and if that's where the consumer wants to be, that's where we'll be.” It’s worth bearing in mind that Take-Two has backed both Xbox Game Pass with GTA San Andreas - The Definitive Edition and PS Now with GTA Vice City - The Definitive Edition.

What do you think of Zelnick’s stance? I, for one, am interested in seeing how Game Pass’ strategy plays out. Microsoft’s subscription service looks exceptionally good right now in comparison to PS Plus, especially with big titles like Starfield landing day one, but will this constant need for day one releases force the price up astronomically? In which case, wouldn’t we be better with a more stable service like PS Plus? Let us know what your thoughts are in the comments below.
Lee Brady
Written by Lee Brady
Staff Writer Lee keeps one eye on the future (Astro Bot), one eye on the past (PS1, PS2, and PS3 games), and his secret third eye on junk he really likes (Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, Sonic). A PlayStation fan for over 25 years, he loves replaying classic games via PS Plus.
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