PS Plus monthly games set another 10% player low in November 2023

The PS Plus Essential November 2023 debut player count sees a downward trend continue as PS5 and PS4 players show little interest in monthly games.

PS Plus monthly games set another 10% player low in November 2023
Lee Brady

Lee Brady


With the biggest pull of the month being those tricky Aliens Fireteam Elite trophies, we're not too surprised to see the PS Plus Essential November 2023 debut player count hit a new low this month. That said, even if Sony gave away the best PlayStation Plus games ever in November, we're not convinced it would change much for the service. At least, not while it seems stuck with a months-long downward trend in player engagement on PS5 and PS4.

PS Plus Essential games for November 2023 hit new PS5 player low

Using 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 Sunday, November 12, 2023, this includes the debut player count of the three PS Plus monthly games of November 2023, which we've ranked alongside the other 31 games given away this year.
We had previously reported that August 2023's PS Plus monthly selection of games — which included Dreams, Death's Door, and PGA Tour 2K23 — had brought in PS Plus' lowest player count of 2023. However, it seems PS5 and PS4 players are even less interested in November's offerings, with the PS Plus monthly games for November 2023 seeing a 10.37% lower debut player count than the previously worst-performing month of the year.

The worst-performing PS Plus Essential games of 2023 — November 2023 update

  • #1Black Desert (September 2023)
  • #2Mafia II Definitive Edition (November 2023)
  • #3Endling - Extinction is Forever (July 2023)
  • #4Dragon Ball The Breakers (November 2023)
  • #5Axiom Verge 2 (January 2023)
Of the three PS Plus games given away in November 2023 — Aliens Fireteam Elite, Mafia II Definitive Edition, and Dragon Ball The Breakers — two of the games rank among the five worst-performing PS Plus Essential games of the year. While no game has yet to received the same lack of interest seen by Black Desert's PS Plus player count, both Dragon Ball The Breakers and Mafia II Definitive Edition do come surprisingly close.

The worst-performing PS Plus Essential months of 2023

  • #1November 2023 (biggest game: Aliens Fireteam Elite)
  • #2 — August 2023 (biggest game: PGA Tour 2K23)
  • #3 — October 2023 (biggest game: The Callisto Protocol)
  • #4 — January 2023 (biggest game: Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order)
  • #5 — September 2023 (biggest game: Saints Row)
This overall downward trend in PS5 and PS4 player interest also paints a rather grim picture of the state of PS Plus. As you can see from the ranking above, four of the top five worst-performing months for PS Plus Essential have been in the last four months (from August 2023 to November 2023).
From this data, we can't tell exactly what is hurting PS Plus. It might come down to the PS Plus annual subscription price hike for 2023 hurting overall subscriber numbers. Or, it might be fierce competition from major game releases at this time of the year. That, or just a general lack of interest in the monthly PS Plus Essential offerings. Either way, the downward trend suggests something is hurting PS Plus' ability to engage with PS5 and PS4 players.

Personally, I like to pretend that it's the addition of Aliens Fireteam Elite and one of the hardest platinum trophies the PS5 has to offer that's doing the real damage here. What do you think is hurting PS Plus the most right now? Have you been enjoying November 2023's PS Plus Essential games? Let us know down 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 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, Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth), 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 16). Then he uses his big mouth to blurt out long-winded opinions about video games.
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