PlayStation fans are used to good news. The PlayStation 4 is among the best-selling consoles of all time and boasts one of the finest libraries of any system in history. Right now the PlayStation 5 looks set to follow in its footsteps, with Sony confirming they’ve sold 10.1 million systems despite widespread hardware shortages.
But some new data might suggest the PlayStation division isn’t going to keep growing forever. The company’s PlayStation Plus subscription scheme allows access to online games as well as delivers a selection of free games each month. These have been particularly good this year, with heavy-hitters like Control, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Battlefield V, Days Gone, and the Final Fantasy VII Remake all free to subscribers in 2021.
All of which makes it a surprise that the service has recently lost over a million subscribers. Sony published its Q1 financial figures yesterday, showing that the service is at 46.3 million subscribers down from approximately 47.3 million. In addition, there’s been a drop of 10 million active online players on PSN (though they have maintained their subs).
Sony doesn’t seem to be worried. Their CFO Hiriko Totoki explained that the dip is simply down to them having a massive 2020 due to people staying home during the pandemic. Now that lockdowns are lifting people have less time for gaming and are cancelling their subscriptions.
As Totoki put it “the stay-at-home demand was so significant in hindsight, so compared to that period last year as a trend of course [it’s declined.]” and said they will “monitor the situation carefully and will deepen the engagement and enhance the platform, therefore during the coming fiscal year we will take actions to support this business.”
Hopefully, that means more big releases coming to PlayStation Plus to tempt people back, as August’s offering is, to put it bluntly, pretty crappy.