Play station Plus subscribers have fallen by nearly 2 million users since the revamped service launched in June.
That’s according to Sony‘s latest subscriber estimates, published Tuesday as part of FY2022 Q2 financial results – the first full quarter since the launch of the updated PS Plus.
Despite the revamp, PS Plus subs fell for the third straight quarter. Total subscribers were 45.4 million for the three months ended September 30, 2022, down from 47.3 million in the previous quarter.
Monthly active PlayStation Network users (MAUs) also fell to 102 million in the three-month period, down from 104 million a year earlier and 103 million in the previous quarter. This appears to be Sony’s lowest MAU figure since it began reporting this data in early 2020.
Despite the decline in subscribers, Sony’s network services revenues, including PS Plus and advertising, rose even 10%, from 106 billion to 116 billion.
That means Sony’s gaming division is making more money per subscriber than before, possibly reflecting the rise of the more expensive subscription tiers introduced by PS Plus.
Asked about the decline in a earnings call on Tuesday (transcribed by VGC), Sony’s CFO Hiroki Totoki blamed declining third-party games and Playstation 4 sales and ‘more people outside’.
The exec said he expects subscriber numbers to rebound in the company’s next quarter, partly due to the impact of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 and God of War Ragnarok.
“There is a declining number of PlayStation Plus members,” he said. “However, in the second quarter we revamped our services and overall there was not a lot of momentum. Also, we didn’t run aggressive promotions in the second quarter.
“That’s why in the future we will have more penetration on PS5 and we will have very good titles. Besides that we can do better promotions and we think we can recover.”
Commenting on another investor about the PS Plus numbers, he added: “More people are going out now and we have yet to get out of the negative cycles. Sales of PS4 and third-party software have also been quite slow and the sales of catalog titles also declined.
“On the other hand, PS5 engagement is quite high, so we expect some recovery in the third quarter. We have strong first-party titles and we have some seasonal effects. So in the third quarter we may see some recovery from the downtrend – that’s our expectation.”
Sony released an additional statement about the drop in PS Plus subscribers, claiming it was impacted by “greater than expected decline in user engagement with PlayStation 4 (PS4) users”.
“PlayStation Plus subscribers dropped 4% at the end of September from the end of June to 45.4 million accounts. We see that this decline is the result of a larger than expected decline in user engagement among PlayStation 4 (PS4) users.
“On the other hand, the PS Plus subscriber ratio Playstation 5 (PS5) users remains at a significantly higher level than that of PS4. We are putting even more effort into accelerating the penetration of PS5 hardware to restore this user engagement in the future.”
As for major third-party releases, Sony referred to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and said it had “a good release”, so “we have very high expectations for the third quarter.”
Last week Sony claimed Modern Warfare 2 was the biggest PlayStation Store launch ever for a Call of Duty game, including pre-orders and day sales.
The revamped PlayStation Plus service launched in June with the addition of premium tiers, which have added a library of hundreds of modern and classic games.
Sony previously attributed declining user and subscriber numbers due to the boost provided by staying at home during the pandemic. Compared to pre-pandemic (Q3 FY19), PS Plus subscribers are up more than 6 million.