With the recent news that Sony is going to raise the price of PSN to $60 a year, it reminds us all on why are we paying a subscription just to play multiplayer? We paid for the console, the game and internet access from our local telecommunications provider. What are Sony and Microsoft doing that requires us to pay in order to play online? Surely it must be something significant if were paying $50+ a year. Lets break it down to see if its worth it. Were going to start first with Sony. Before you guys ask me where was I when MS started charging people for online well I was 11, didn't follow gaming news, mommy and daddy paid for everything, only played offline on PS2 and didn't know any better.
Multiplayer is free on the PS3 and Vita, what do they do that's inferior to the PS4?? Maybe its expensive to run the servers for PS4 games. There are over 700 games on the PS4 so lets just look at the top 51 PS4 games. 41 of the 51 are 3rd party games, of the 41, 31 have multiplayer and 28 use servers while the other 3 are all COD games which use peer to peer. So multiplayer is a major feature in the most of the popular games and more games than ever are using servers to make multiplayer smooth and frustration free. Its a good thing Sony does a great job hosting all of these games on their servers. Wait a minute... 3rd party companies run their own servers and Sony doesn't provide any financial assistance from their PS+ revenue. Why are we paying to play online with friends in 3rd party games if Sony doesn't do anything?? These 3rd party companies aren't charging me to play online too. Must be something else then, lets look at the 10 Sony made PS4 games in the top 51 list, must be something there. So of those 10 games, 7 have multiplayer and only 4 use servers. Sony's biggest games on PS4 like The Last of Us and Uncharted 4 don't even have servers. So you're telling me that we pay to play online because of the servers for Driveclub, Bloodbourne, Killzone and LBP 3?? Ok clearly there are more pieces to this puzzle, maybe Sony clarified it somewhere. Here is an snippet from an interview from 2013 before the console launched.
"After being asked what went into the decision to charge for online gameplay, Sony explained that online features and services are going to be a "big pillar" of the PS4 experience. They go on to note, "we've already talked about the share button, sharing features, second screens...if we continue to invest into online infrastructures, that costs money. If we continue free service for online multiplayer, from a business standpoint, there's pressure to recover costs. That's when we decided 'let's ask the people who are most active in playing online to share some of the cost so we can invest more."
Are the costs really that high for servers for the handful of games Sony makes?? Yes there are other Sony games like MLB the Show that use servers but they don't sell as well as the 4 Sony games that use servers so it doesn't cost as much to buy and maintain the infrastructure. Do you think its fair that you pay for multiplayer when Sony doesn't pay for the infrastructure for 3rd party multiplayer games and only a handful of Sony games use servers?? Doesn't seem fair to me at all, feels like we're being taken advantage. Well lets look at the other part of the quote where he says the infrastructure helps with share features. Cant find much on sharing clips but did find something on Share Play. For those that don't know its so your friends can play your games even if they don’t own a copy themselves for unlimited 60 minute sessions. Well what does Share Play have to do with me trying to play Battlefield with my friend when we both own the game?? Then there is cloud storage but that's free for all Xbox and Steam users so yet another 'costly' feature that other companies are just giving away.
Now lets take a look at the company that started it all when it comes to paying to play online on consoles. Now Microsoft does have more multiplayer games that they make that use servers but there is one little thing that I couldn't help but notice. All Windows 10 users will not be paying to play multiplayer games like Forza Horizon 3, Gears of War 4 and Crackdown. That's right not only will PC players get to play online without a Gold sub but if these games support crossplay then you will be playing with someone that doesn't pay to play online while you have to pay $60, how does that make you feel? Feel like your being robbed?? I felt like I was when I had Gold and woke up from my corporate shill daze. Didn't pay the last 2 years I had it since they were gifts, ran out in February and haven't looked back. Yea it sucks I can't play some fun mp games like Gears 3 but guess what? Gears 4 is coming soon and I wont have to pay a subscription just to play online with friends.
Now before you guys start saying "no one is forcing you to play online so don't buy it" Read what I posted above this and tell yourself. Why do I have to play online when PC users don't pay for it, only a handful of Sony's games use servers, and MS and Sony don't contribute to the infrastructure of 3rd party companies?? Why can't online just be free while PS+ and XBL Gold will give subscribers free games every month, share play for Plus members, exclusive betas and discounts, free game trials, and more.
3rd party companies like EA, Ubisoft and Activision would love free multiplayer on consoles because that means more people playing their games buying up DLC and microtransactions. As of now VGchartz says their are 44 million PS4s and 22 million X1s that have been sold. So you have 66 million people with current gen consoles. Lets say half pay for subscriptions, look how much money these companies are making off digital items life map packs, expansions and microtransactions. If you told them they would have 33 million more customers overnight they would have a heart attack.
But Chris stop being entitled, they are giving you free games. 1st of all its not entitlement when I'm being restricted from the internet on my console because I'm not paying an additional fee on top of my monthly internet bill to Verizon. 2nd of all those 'free' games you get every month aren't free. You're just renting them. As soon as your sub runs out those games are locked away until you renew it. You wouldn't say you got free movies with a Netflix subscription so don't fall for their clever marketing.
You also might say well multiplayer might not be as good since less people are subscribing which leads to weaker infrastructure. Well Steam and Origin seem to be doing just fine. Steam has 125 million users and the Origin probably has at least 50 million. Last time they announced the number of Origin users was back in 2012 and they had 30 million. Steam has free games, free weekends, streaming, achievements, major sales (seasonal sales are practically PC holidays), mod support, multiplayer and much more. All for the low low cost of free.
Free multiplayer is great for gamers, publishers and developers. Yes MS and Sony would take a hit in subscribers but they can make up a good portion of that hit when people are buying more of their DLC, microtransactions and multiplayer games.
Top Selling PS4 Games: http://www.vgchartz.com/pla...