PlayStation Makes More Money from DLC, Microtransactions than Anything Else

Ever wondered why publishers include microtransactions in their games? A breakdown of Sony’s latest financial report, spanning the period April 2020 through June 2020, reveals that a whopping 41 per cent of its revenue was generated by DLC, microtransactions, and other in-game purchases. That’s an eye-watering $2.29 billion.

To put things into perspective, packaged software accounted for just $350 million, which represents 6 per cent of the organisation’s overall income. Hardware represented a similarly small proportion, at just $520 million. As previously reported, digital PlayStation Store software sales are on the rise, and represented 24 per cent of the firm’s total revenue, pulling in $1.37 billion.

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isarai47d ago

Y'know what's funny about that? They have the some of the least intrusive and egregious implications of MTs, hell besides U4 MP they really only do proper expansions, i love it.

stuna147d ago

Not only that look at the size of the fanbase.

UltraNova47d ago

The title is misleading as it alludes to Sony making all that DLC/MTs and distributing them through their 1st party games which in fact they take a cut on each item sold through PSN; that means 3rd party DLC/MTs too, if I'm not mistaken. That's why they make so much money there, not because they've suddenly turned into EA or Epic.

fiveby947d ago

I agree. Sony takes a cut of all MTX offered through their store. e.g. Fortnite MTX, season passes, etc Sony gets a cut.

RauLeCreuset47d ago

It's also worth noting the affect social distancing is likely having on these numbers. Nevertheless, that' s a nice chunk of change. So can we revisit the supposed need of some publishers to increase game prices to $70?

dumahim47d ago

How is the title misleading? There's nothing there suggesting it's only from their own studios.

indysurfn46d ago (Edited 46d ago )

This is misleading DLC is NOT micro transactions, and the numbers are BUNCH together. this is an attempt to make Sony look like EA.

Pyrofire9546d ago

Not really, as long as you understand that Playstation is the whole platform and Playstation Studios would be only their first party games.

NeoGamer23246d ago (Edited 46d ago )

Yes, but it doesn't matter whether it is first party or third party games. This is a big source of revenue for them. That is really all this is saying. The title is accurate because this is the major source of revenue for Sony.

To me, it does not imply Sony is the bad guy, it just tells us where money is being made in gaming. And look at how low retail sales of games are now.

What is really striking to me is how little hardware is on the revenue side. People keep thinking that this is a big source of revenue but really it isn't. To me that support a shared specification for hardware between the major console vendors. Would bring their costs down and allow them to focus us where they really add value which is their games and services.

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Silly gameAr47d ago (Edited 47d ago )

Yeah, that is weird. But, they have to make it seem like the one with the least MT's makes the most from MT's.

ABizzel147d ago

Not saying this is right, but this type of data is exactly why Sony and Nintendo are to be respected and shows why Xbox was never in it for gaming. It's clear that going forward digital games and GaaS is the money maker for these companies, and yet PlayStation and Nintendo to this day still offer a majority of classic gaming options that focus on providing the best experiences possible from their teams, whereas, Xbox is allegedly moving most of their line-up into the GaaS realm where they can focus on services like GamePass to allow us to get a library of digital games at a low cost, in order to turn around and sell us DLC, Microtransactions, and other Add on Content.

It's always been about getting market-share with their console, PR and Marketing to hype their base/platform as the greatest place to be, and then turning around and milking as much money from them. This is why the Xbox bosses are the scum of gaming IMO, absolute trash because most of them aren't gamers at heart, they're wolves in sheep's clothing and professional con-artist trying to make as much money off of their community as possible by any means necessary.

And it's sad because their fans don't deserve this, GamePass is a solid deal for what you got this generation, but when things go GaaS, less first-party franchises start coming out filled with Add-on content, and the price of the service inevitably goes up, it'll be too late, because gamers will be too ingrained in the thought of paying $15/mo. as it creeps to $20 and possibly more, to ever leave the service unless MS continues to pay for 3rd party content.

I feel bad for their developers because they're games are made as if they have no life in them, and the devs don't care about making quality games because their overseers (Team Xbox) developer philosophy is all about how can we turn this game into something that we can continue to profit on for the next 5 - 10 years.

I get and understand offering the option for it, but when it becomes part of your game development philosophy, your main push and the selling point of your console, it becomes detrimental to the gaming scape, and I have GamePass as well so I'm part of the potential problem, but I can't support the underlining goal of what MS is doing with Xbox, because if it's successful this will be gaming going forward.

Unfinished, subpar games, that can be patched and fixed over time, whose primary focus is to milk as much money out of fans as possible over a 5 - 10 year period. That is not gaming, and if that's what it primarily becomes I don't want it.

UltraNova47d ago (Edited 47d ago )

"...and I have GamePass as well so I'm part of the potential problem, but I can't support the underlining goal of what MS is doing with Xbox, because if it's successful this will be gaming going forward."

Look I've mostly found your comments to be well thought out and constructed but when you are admitting of paying (supporting) for the very same thing you are crusading against I can't help but cringe. This is not a personal attack, its just my honest opinion.

ABizzel147d ago




There's nothing cringy about it, it's just being honest. I have paid for this service, and I've been vocal about it. I have it for an additional 2 years, because I joined when it was $1, and it upgraded your XBL Gold to GamePass as well, so since I had 3 year of Gold, it turned into 3 years of GamePass Ultimate. I also have a little brother, who games and since I gave him my Xbox, GamePass was an easy way to get him plenty of games to play, since my mother is overall clueless about buying games.

So yes I have GamePass, and I'm stuck supporting it for 2 more years, the purpose of that was my decision afterwards which is clearly to continue to support Sony and Nintendo's practices to prevent a widespread ideology around a reduction in game quality to focus on maximizing game profit.

UltraNova47d ago


Fair enough. At least you clearly know what you are doing and why, which is more than I can say for most people.

Chris1247d ago

What has this got to do with Microsoft. Completely off topic. You Sony fans are absolutely obsessed with something you have no interest in.

ABizzel147d ago


It's those of you who lack critical thinking skills that always resort to this being a bash MS thing or labeling people PlayStation fans.

MS and Xbox actions have made it clear that digital, service, GaaS, and additional content are their idea of gaming going forward, and as this chart clearly demonstrates that's because these are the biggest money makers for them. If PlayStation is making nearly 81% of its gaming profit from digital sales, Add-on content, and services then MS is making a similar percentage if not more with them focusing directly on those metrics across their exclusives and as we've seen their games are continuously moving towards GaaS.

This is a business, and I understand that, however, any company ran on fandom / providing a service needs to make sure they offer a balanced product that gives value to the consumer while providing a return for the company. Sony and Nintendo are doing this. GamePass is technically a great deal for consumers currently, but everything comes at a cost, MS has gone on record to say it's currently not profitable, so that means increasing the price of the service is inevitable, or the quality of games has to be reduced to cut development budgets. MS as a company is all about software and services, and they are forcing the Xbox platform to slowly become exactly that.

You are entitled to support whomever you want, but MS has shown me for the first time I have no reason to buy their console, even if I think it's a great piece of hardware when I can simply upgrade my PC GPU and get a PS5.

Chris1246d ago


Don't patronise me with your 'lack of critical thinking' BS.

You have the nerve to talk about value to the consumer, so where is your article taking about Sony making consumers buy a new console to continue playing new games. Even worse, you have to buy a second controller if you want to couch co-op because your old one won't work. That's total nickel and diming the customer base and a great way to subsidise the console itself.

About time you took your own advice on critical thinking and purchases and not trying to lecture others on theirs.

TheProblem46d ago


Microsoft have looked at the mobile market and are trying to bring it to consoles. Some of those mobile games are cash generators.

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-Foxtrot47d ago

Yet it’s funny as games like Spiderman, Ghost of Tsushima, God of War, Ratchet and Clank, The Last of Us Part II, Dreams and the like don’t include them

Bathyj47d ago

I'm completely fine with that type of DLC. We got a full game for $60 and a damn fine one at that. And then DLC came afterwards. That's how it should be.

UltraNova47d ago

Expansions or any extra content (DLC) are welcome when they already offered a full game at launch.

RgR47d ago

Depending on the size and importance I would normally call these types expansions.

I'm fine with expansions to games after the fact...I'm not fine with a game releasing with a bunch of optional dlc.

Mister_Wolf47d ago

Shhhh Sony fans wont like you reminding them that the main game gave you a small percentage of the story the DLC would complete so they could lure you into buying the dlc. They won’t like you saying things like that about their darling exclusive Spider-Man game.

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porkChop47d ago

They get a cut of all sales on the PS Store. So this includes MTs for games like Fortnite, COD, etc.

Petebloodyonion47d ago

And what is the multiplayer component for these games?
Now can you explain why UC4 Mp has MTs?
MLB the show?
Tlou multiplayer?
Gran Turismo Sport?

ChristopherJack47d ago

Well good games are part of the attraction to gamers to join the Sony ecosystem- their own hardware, peripherals & games make up less than 20% of that revenue (& that's putting r&d aside)- once they're in, well then that's when they get the other 80% when people buy vbucks in Fortnite on PSN & buy the PS version of CoD, & so on & so forth.

Their own games specifically target quality rather than direct profits. Sony could make more direct profits from a Candy Crush style game than Uncharted if they wanted to, the issue is the former doesn't excrete quality & depth- when gamers go to recommend the console to their mates, they won't talk about how great the Candy Crush style game is.

Put simply, the pretense of quality is more valuable than quick, cheap & easy money.

Lord_Eriol46d ago

i dont like MT, but 1 good DLC addon is acceptable if game is already "complete", and DLC add not contain susbastial part of game.
Too much dlc for a full price game is unacceptable, this mean you buy a game not complete

Kribwalker46d ago

and games like MLB The Show contain fifa ultimate team style MTs that generate big money. Then there’s GTsport, which also has MT’s, then theres money they get from their cut of fortnite and apex style games and their MT’s, it’s really no wonder companies see service based games having a larger impact than SP one and done stories.....

Christopher45d ago

Which is why Sony puts out way more SP one and done games than MTX games?

Kribwalker45d ago (Edited 45d ago )


and all of those single player games sony puts out can’t hold a candle to their biggest money maker. A mobile MT infused game (Fate/Grand Order) that is consistently a top performer, bringing in over $240 million last quarter alone, and So much so, that they are “ Going forward, Ahmad says, the plan is for Sony to explore future growth through “pan entertainment digital contents” like FGO, which can be seen in such moves like Sony’s recent investment in Epic Games and Chinese media platform Bilibili. “

And yes the money from F/G O is counted in the dlc/mt money brought in

Christopher44d ago (Edited 44d ago )

@kribwalker: Still doesn't support your idea of a move towards those things, though, does it?

I mean, look at their PS5 announcements. None of them MTX games. Even Godfall, which I thought would be MTX heaven, says no MTX in it.

You're selling this thing of "Sony is also GaaS company" but they still put out more games that are one and done.

You keep trying to sell this thing that isn't happening. Regardless of what Ahmad says, the studios aren't doing that on PS4/PS5. And trying to act like Sony controls what third-parties do? Silly.

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Marquinho47d ago

This shows up how "inconvenient" is hardware for console manufacturers. No wonder why only a few survived this race through the decades. And to imagine things will get much harder when next-gen starts.

It also comes to my attention how much of a gap is there now between digital and retail sales. Global situation must have influenced this.

SamPao47d ago

you need hardware to even be able to sell something to anyone. So having hardware is the FOUNDATION not "inconvinience" for console manufacturers.

Marquinho47d ago

That's why I placed it between quotes. It's a "necessary evil" for manufacturers. From a consumer standpoint, new hardware is exciting but looking at those financial numbers, perspective changes.

rainslacker47d ago

You don't need hardware, but to make this kind of percentage versus your own output, you need to have your own storefront service where you take a cut, or make a game that is driven by the sale of these kinds of F2P, or games that have heavy impetus to purchase such things.

UltraNova47d ago

On the contrary, it shows how convenient it is to sell so much hardware because it enables an increasing number of users to spend money on physical/digital games, MTs, accessories, and services. The more users buy the console the more potential revenue Sony can take in from sales. Sony's traditional platform business model is working wonders for them.

Marquinho47d ago (Edited 47d ago )

You guys aren't getting the point. I know and I'm convinced console sales are the foundation or everything else. This is why I smile at people saying MS will stop making consoles and go all-cloud for example.

What I'm stressing is how little of a profit they get from hardware sales being the end of current generation when parts are at their lowest cost. Considering those numbers will turn red when PS5 arrives (same for XSX) as they will most likely sell at cost (or even at loss) it doesn't come as a surprise why many had to quit the console market.

SamTheGamer47d ago

Exactly. I feel bad for XBOX. They always went through bad times

Marquinho47d ago

Why though? They're doing extremely well in software and services and things should improve dramatically in console sales next gen. Exciting times for gamers.

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BehindTheRows47d ago


In gaming, no, they are not.

SamPao47d ago

well yeah it just seems silly to call it an inconvinience, its like calling the humanbody an inconvinience because its so fragile. But its the base of everything we are.

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Nacho_Z47d ago

If GTA is included that will be a chunk, the game is a monster in terms of how much it takes in through MTs.

RazzerRedux47d ago

Exactly. My boss has poured hundreds of dollars into Warface for some ungodly reason. And that's not even a popular game in comparison. GTA and RDR2? Would love to see a pie chart showing the top microtransaction money makers. Would probably make it crystal clear why R* isn't in a hurry to make GTA 6.

CrimsonWing6947d ago

And that’s why we have ‘em!