PS Plus suffers 23% low in active players as Dreams fails to entice

The August games for PS Plus have produced the lowest player count of 2023 so far as PGA Tour 2K23 and Dreams failed to ignite player interest.

PS Plus suffers 23% low in active players as Dreams fails to entice
Lee Brady

Lee Brady


It seems despite arriving alongside new puzzle game Tren, PS5 and PS4 players failed to see the appeal in collecting Dreams trophies when the game arrived as one of the PS Plus Essential games of August 2023. In fact, according to our exclusive data, August's games brought PS Plus its lowest player count in 2023 so far. That means we probably won't be seeing PGA Tour 2K23 or Death's Door on the best PS Plus games list anytime soon.

PS Plus games for August 2023 snubbed by PS5, PS4 players

Using our exclusive gameplay data from 3.2 million active PSN accounts (courtesy of our partnership with GameInsights), we've been able to track the debut performance of every PS Plus Essential game the week they become available to PS5 and PS4 players. As of Thursday, August 31, 2023, there have been 26 PS Plus Essential games in 2023 — three games per month, plus Destiny 2 Beyond Light, which was February 2023's bonus game.
Of these 26 games, Dreams saw the fifth-worst debut week of any PS Plus Essential game after it arrived on Tuesday, August 1, 2023. That's certainly not as bad a debut as the year's worst — Destiny 2's player numbers actually dropped when it hit PS Plus. Still, it means that MediaMolecule's experimental game maker only achieved 19.03% more players than the year's second-worst-performing PS Plus game — July 2023's Endling - Extinction is Forever.

The worst-performing PS Plus Essential games of 2023 so far

  • #1Destiny 2 Beyond Light (February 2023)
  • #2Endling - Extinction is Forever (July 2023)
  • #3Axiom Verge 2 (January 2023)
  • #4Descenders (May 2023)
  • #5Dreams (August 2023)
  • #6Death's Door (August 2023)
That said, we're not singling Dreams out because it's the worst-performing PS Plus game of 2023 — rather, it's because it's the worst-performing game in the worst-performing month for PS Plus games this year. Unfortunately, August's Death's Door and PGA Tour 2K23 also failed to generate much player attention. This resulted in 23.39% less active PS5 and PS4 players checking out August 2023's PS Plus games than the second lowest-performing month.
That second-lowest month was January 2023, which did give us the third-worst performing PS Plus game of the year so far, Axiom Verge 2, but also gave us the sixth-highest performing game, Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order. The best-performing game of August 2023, PGA Tour 2K23, was only the fifteenth-highest-performing game of the year so far, leaving August's player number well below January's.

In comparison to March 2023, the best-performing month for PS Plus this year, the August 2023 PS Plus games show an even wider gap with 55.63% less active PS5 and PS4 players. While March 2023 did bring us one lesser-performing game with Code Vein, that month also saw fans treated to both the third best-performing PS Plus game of 2023 — Minecraft Dungeons — and the overall best-performing PS Plus game of 2023 — Battlefield 2042.
Ultimately, it is a shame that Dreams failed to produce a bigger result here — especially after the studio put so much effort into making sure the game was no longer listed as an unobtainable PS5 platinum trophy. That said, the PS Plus player counts never lie — if the people aren't interested, they won't play it. Did you check out the PS Plus Essential games of August 2023, or did you skip them as well? Let us know in the comments below.

Chart compiled using gameplay data from over 3.2 million active PlayStation accounts (not just TrueTrophies accounts). Chart information is copyright GameInsights. Regarding this data:
  • When an account opens a game, this is registered as a game being played. Accounts can only register a game once per week.
  • Our sample data has more European accounts than PSN average.
  • Our data is good for suggesting general trends — we represent this using percentages, not numbers.
Written by Lee Brady
Staff Writer Lee keeps one eye on the future (Marvel's Spider-Man 2), one eye on the past (PS Plus Premium, recent Sony news), and his secret third eye on the junk he really likes (Sonic Superstars, Final Fantasy XVI). Then he uses his big mouth to blurt out long-winded opinions about video games.
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