A Plague Tale Requiem's PS Plus launch brings 30% surge to first game

A Plague Tale Innocence has seen a PS Plus player count spike after its sequel, A Plague Tale Requiem, arrived on PS Plus Essential in January 2024.

A Plague Tale Requiem's PS Plus launch brings 30% surge to first game
Lee Brady

Lee Brady


As you might expect, plenty of players rushed to collect those A Plague Tale Requiem trophies after the game went 'free' on PS Plus this month. However, a significant number of players chose instead to check out A Plague Tale Innocence and its easy platinum trophies on PS5 and PS4 instead. Could Requiem's unique position as a sequel on PS Plus have led to A Plague Tale Innocence's PS Plus player count spike?

A Plague Tale Innocence boost prompted by rare PS Plus sequel

With our exclusive gameplay data from 3.2 million active PSN accounts (courtesy of our partnership with GameInsights), we can see that on the same week that A Plague Tale Requiem became available a PlayStation Plus January 2024 monthly game, A Plague Tale Innocence saw a 31.39% increase in active PS5 and PS4 players.
A Plague Tale Innocence was given away on PS Plus back in July 2021, so many long-time subscribers likely had a claimed copy of the game available to download in their PSN library. Still, it's interesting to see so many PS5 and PS4 players deciding to check out the first game in the series immediately after gaining access to the sequel. Innocence's player count only dropped by 15.45% the next week as well, so clearly a lot of players are sticking with the title.


PS Plus doesn't usually do narrative sequels as monthly games

This news might not sound too surprising to a number of readers, especially if they caught any of the conversation surrounding our report that Evil West had a higher PS Plus debut player count than A Plague Tale Requiem this month.

Many commenters stated that they would hold off playing the highly recommended A Plague Tale Requiem on PS Plus until after they had played the earlier A Plague Tale Innocence. That makes perfect sense to me and I'm sure it does to you too, but I figured in the face of a shiny new game on PS Plus people would just jump straight into the sequel. In reality, it seems people genuinely do intend to play the games in order — pretty encouraging stuff, I think.
It makes me wonder why Sony doesn't do narrative sequels on PS Plus more regularly. Checking through all the games that came to PS Plus Essential last year, I realized that out of all six games you could qualify as a sequel — Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War, Jurassic World Evolution 2, Axiom Verge 2, Death's Door, Chivalry 2, and Mafia 2 — none of them require you to know the story from the previous game.

While some games have callbacks or narrative links to previous games — Death's Door, Mafia 2, and Black Ops Cold War do this — none of their stories directly follow on from an earlier game with the same lead protagonist or continuing conflict. That makes A Plague Tale Requiem at least the first game in a year of PS Plus monthly games to directly continue the story from an earlier game with the same lead characters.
Looking back through the years, it's tough to find the next genuine example of a narrative sequel on PS Plus. Perhaps Nioh 2 in 2022? It's not a great example of a clean narrative sequel either, but it might interest you to know that on the week that game released on PS Plus Essential, the original Nioh saw a similar 27.94% increase in PS5 and PS4 players. So, again, it makes me wonder why more developers don't push for narrative sequels on PS Plus.

After all, if you give a sequel away as a PS Plus Essential game, there's apparently a good chance that PS Plus players will rush to check out your previous game. Plus, you have to imagine some of them are paying customers. So, I say, let's see a few more narrative sequels following in A Plague Tale Requiem's footsteps. I haven't gotten around to picking up Star Wars Jedi Survivor yet, so hopefully this article prompts EA to jump the gun and throw this one on PS Plus Essential soon. Thanks in advance, guys.
Did you check out A Plague Tale Innocence, one of the best PS4 games around, when A Plague Tale Requiem came to PS Plus? Or did you just dive headfirst into the story praying it would all make sense in the end? 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 (Final Fantasy VII Rebirth), one eye on the past (PS Plus Premium games), and his secret third eye on junk he really likes (Sonic games; Kingdom Hearts). Then he uses his big mouth to blurt out long-winded opinions about video games.
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