Launched in June 2017, Xbox Game Pass is a service that has become a staple in the video game industry. To date, it has over 18 million subscribers and offers over 500 games (on PC and consoles). The service continues to attract more and more games and partners such as Electronic Arts, which is offering Game Pass Ultimate subscribers EA Play at no extra cost.

According to the latest rumors, PlayStation is preparing a similar offer to compete with Microsoft’s Game Pass. According to Shawn Layden, a former Sony executive, this is not the right strategy to adopt.

Xbox Game Pass: An unsustainable offer?

Shawn Layden PlayStationShawn Layden PlayStation

PlayStation

Now a member of Streamline Media Group’s advisory board, Shawn Layden is a former top executive at Sony and PlayStation. A former CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment America, vice president of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, and president of SCE Japan, Shawn Layden was the head of PlayStation Studios when he left in 2019.

A member of the Sony Group since 1987, Shawn Layden was a key player in the PlayStation rebirth after the troubled launch of the PS3. He also played a big role in the huge success of the PS4.

In an interview with GamesIndustry, Layden confesses to being skeptical about the long-term success of Game Pass. According to Layden, it’s not the kind of thing that makes it possible to develop big budget games.

It’s very difficult to launch a $120 million game on a subscription service that charges $9.99 a month […] That’s why, right now, you have to take a leadership position to try to develop that base.

As for the argument that Game Pass would sell a lot of consoles, again Layden has some reservations.

People don’t buy consoles because they want more steel and plastic in the living room. People buy consoles because they want access to content. If you can find a way to get content into homes people without boxes, then yes, indeed. Everyone has a streaming solution in some form or another. Most are limited by the fact that you have a decent internet connection. And they haven’t built the business model that works for that yet.

Sony PS5Sony PS5

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