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Sony exec Jim Ryan believes live service games will dominate over subscriptions

Supporting "sustained engagement over a long period of time".

Sony exec Jim Ryan believes the future of gaming is in live service games and that subscription services won't reach the levels seen in other media.

Ryan discussed the June launch of Sony's revised PS Plus subscription with GamesIndustry.biz, but believes live service games are more likely to become the dominant model.

"That phenomenon of the live service game... that has, in a very large part, fuelled the enormous growth in the gaming industry that we've seen over the last ten years," he said.

"I think that trend towards live services will continue, and if you look for a model in our category of entertainment, which supports sustained engagement over a long period of time, live services games arguably fit that bill better than a subscription service."

He adds: "Subscription has certainly grown in importance over the course of the last few years.

"Our PlayStation Plus subscriber number has grown from zero in 2010, to 48 million now. And we anticipate, for our services, that we will see further growth for the subscriber number.

"But the medium of gaming is so very different to music and to linear entertainment, that I don't think we'll see it go to the levels that we see with Spotify and Netflix."

In the same interview, Ryan discussed why first party games won't be released day one on PS Plus.

Last month we reported that Sony was looking to launch more than 10 live service games before March 2026.

The company's $3.6bn acquisition of Bungie was a strategic move to assist with this. "The strategic significance of this acquisition lies not only in obtaining the highly successful Destiny franchise, as well as major new IP Bungie is currently developing, but also incorporating into the Sony group the expertise and technologies Bungie has developed in the live game services space," said Sony exec Hiroki Totoki at an investor presentation following the acquisition.

"We intend to utilise these strengths when developing game IP at PlayStation Studios as we expand into the live game services area."

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Ed Nightingale

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Ed is Reporter at Eurogamer, with an interest in streaming, people and communities, and giving a voice to marginalised people.

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