CRank: 6Score: 0

Enough is Enough! Time Has Long Passed For Free Multiplayer on Consoles

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:

Oculus Quest Giveaway! Click Here to Enter
The story is too old to be commented.
Thatguy-3101124d ago

Too much money is being made for them to drop charging for online. It sucks but the reality is the console market will be stuck with subscription service.

TwoForce1124d ago (Edited 1124d ago )

I have to agree with you on this. Multplayer should be free on Console, but why Microsoft put subscription in the first place and why Sony have to follow MS route ? I just don't get it.

Edit: Money doesn't bring happiness, but it sure does keep people less stress and less depressed.

Thatguy-3101124d ago (Edited 1124d ago )

Money my friend. Root of all evil lol Look at how much Sony has made off ps+ this generation.
In no way will they go back to free online.

NewMonday1124d ago

running PSN costs money, party hosting/chat/screenshots/video clips/game saves/friend list/messaging..etc all that is done on active servers that host over 30 million PSN users world wide.

even on PS3 it cost Sony money to run, they had to eat the cost to compete with XBL last gen.

the only way for PSN to be cost free is to let publishers use their own service, then you will have to play subscriptions to Origin, uPlay and every other publisher, all games will turn into WoW. look at Asia where gamers trapped themselves with never ending micro-transaction to death F2P MMORPGs, just look at MGS5, that is the modle publishers want, be carfull what you ask for.

thisgamer5031123d ago

@NewMonday -

Why would we have to pay Origin, Uplay and other publishers? I don't pay for Steam, Origin, or Uplay on my pc.

Vegamyster1123d ago (Edited 1123d ago )


There is other ways of making money with a free service, platforms on PC are proof of this, there is 125+ million active accounts (Last years number) on Steam alone.

s45gr321123d ago

Sony followed due to how much profit and revenue Microsoft made from Xbox live. Sadly, PlayStation gamers did not protest and did paid for online gaming. If Playstation gamers had not paid for PlaysPlaystation Plus during the first year of the PS4, protested against it, etc. . I guarantee you that online gaming for PS4 would have been free.

TheDivine1123d ago (Edited 1123d ago )

I was more forgiving back then because MS was pioneering online gaming on consoles. Their service was light years ahead of Sony so charging made sense to more people. Nowadays everyone is plugged in and games can run on phones. Nobody wants this shyster tax. I built a rig so I don't have to pay for online and I have full forward compatibility. That was another huge thing, tons of games I bought on ps3 that Sony turns the setting up on and resells on ps4 again. Ms and Sony are crooks and I'm out. Ps Neo is too little too late. As a day 1 ps plus subscriber I will never pay for it again.

I can say I applaud Sony for not locking Netflix behind their paywall. MS needs to take note. Had to give credit where due.

DragonKnight1123d ago

If people cancelled their subs for one month (I know, so crazy to go without online multiplayer right? *rolls eyes*) then you'd see something happen.

Everyone talking like we have no choice. Wrong, we have plenty. The problem is the inability to do without for the sake of principle. Principle is what gamers today don't have, including older gamers who should.

Pocketaces1111121d ago

They both add value in different ways if they didn't have these subscriptions there would be other things. And as usually you self entitled people don't look at all sides of the coin. You just look at the side that is the worst and complain about it. I have gotten more then enough value with free games. (yes some months suck) I don't focus on those I look at how many games I get free that I want add there value up and have so far never had less value then I pay for the service. In fact most times I'm over $100 at least.

Stop whining it's not going anywhere. Wait till Sept 9 I bet they will be adding more services like PS now maybe to compensate for the added cost.

_-EDMIX-_1119d ago


Also it still cost MS money to run those servers for XBL. I'd say Sony made it free more so then MS charged for it. By default it cost money, Sony was doing a solid and I don't think could afford to charge consumers for an early online service that was still a work in progress compared to MS which had a long , long history of networking. No one owns PC, Valve and EA etc have servers up for Steam and Origin, but those are on open source platforms, Sony and MS must make their stores work for their platforms and clearly have titles run on certain servers.

Someone needs to pay for the upkeep of those servers, so this "should" sounds more so like a wishful dream then a real "should" ie I think games "should" be free lolz. Running those networks cost lots of money. To ask for it to be free on console even XB, would basically mean for those publishers to run some of their games on their own networks and think those publishers are letting that slide for free? Do MMO's not charge for the use of their servers for upkeep? I think the price is fair and I think it makes sense considering.

+ Show (6) more repliesLast reply 1119d ago
IndominusRex1124d ago

I agree. And anyone who can afford to buy consoles shouldn't be complaining about these subscriptions.

crazychris41241124d ago (Edited 1124d ago )

So it's alright to intentionally lock away multiplayer behind a paywall even though others provide a similar device for free? Steam is just like PS+ and Gold. Servers handle everything like friends, messaging, Voice chat, screenshots, streaming, cloud saves and more for free.

Plus wasn't the whole point of forcing us to pay in order to play online was for the infrastructure for smooth multiplayer?? Then why do the biggest Sony made PS4 games like Last of Us and Uncharted 4 use peer to peer instead of servers. Clearly Sony is making a ton of money and could afford to build up servers for at least Uncharted 4.

Like Gold it's just a scam to rob more money from consumers. There is no reason multiplayer is locked away other than to make easy money

DragonKnight1123d ago

You don't seem to understand the concept of value and working hard for money.

Shubhendu_Singh1124d ago

Microsoft gave birth to it.
Sony got corrupted by Microsoft.

And now, why on earth would either company won't take this essentially "free" money from console users.
Both now are at 60$ an year. And there is absolutely nothing console gamers can do about this.

s45gr321123d ago

They can go outside the offices of both Microsoft and Sony to protest against it. The console gamers decide not to pay to play online for one year. The console gamers can sue against both Microsoft/Sony in regards to anti-consumer practices. Hey, it worked in the UK .... There is lots console gamers can do about it, but is too much work or is too hard or my favorite it takes too long.

1123d ago
ImGumbyDammit1121d ago (Edited 1121d ago )

The excuse that Microsoft did so Sony did is lame. I will remember that next time I hear some one jumps off a bridge. I guess it means we all have to jump as well. How can we not, we have no free will. So is Sony run by bridge jumping lemmings or not? If not, then all these PS+ issues is on Sony, not Microsoft. Complain about paying for Xbox Live but, don't blame them for Sony's decisions.

kneon1121d ago


Your analogy makes no sense because when Microsoft jumped off the bridge nothing bad happened, in fact they were rewarded with 100's of millions in revenue. So you would be a fool not to follow after them.

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 1121d ago
s45gr321123d ago

Yes, unless console gamers do not paid for online gaming for one year.

NotEvenMyFinalForm1122d ago (Edited 1122d ago )

The sad thing about paying for multiplayer is that the online portion of the games are managed and maintained by the publishers/developers of the game not by the console manufacturer. All Sony and MS do is block it till you pay for XBL/PSN for no reason at all. And the Publishers/Developers of the games don't really care because they already got your $60, so if you play the online portion or not is of no concern to them.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1119d ago
Rimeskeem1124d ago

Sony used to not until they realized how much money MS was making.

TwoForce1124d ago

Yup, that how is happen.

peewee110161124d ago

Like if you dont have Plus or Live. Your buying HALF a game....
4hr long Singleplayer or pay for the endless fun of multiplayer...
Stupid.... I got ps plus till 2020 due to buy Black friday 30$ cards. But this is insane.
When playstiaon was boosting around the PLUS was at an ALL TIME HIGH and still move the price up...

s45gr321123d ago

The online portion of the game only lasts 6-12 months, two years if is popular. The 4 hour single player game lasts forever

DragonKnight1123d ago

Then have some backbone and stop buying games with pitiful singleplayer. You want games to improve? You have to force devs to do better. And that happens by not rewarding them with a purchase because all you wanted was online.

peewee110161123d ago

I have called switching to PC. Which i have....

nitus101122d ago

It actually depends on the games and what you perceive as value for money.

If you purchase an always on game then in you basically need a PS+ or Live subscription otherwise the game is wasted space on your storage device or if you prefer the install media then you effectively have a coaster.

Obviously if the games you buy don't have an online component then it may be possible that PS+ and Live subscriptions are just a waste of money.

However, you have to take everything into account when you purchase a PS+ or Live subscription since they do offer free games (whether you like them or not is a different story) and discounts off digitally downloadable games.


Like I said it depends on the game. Sure shooters normally have a very short life although there are exceptions. Even MMORPG's have a lifespan especially if that game can only be hosted by the developers or publishers. Of course, the real life of an online game depends on the interest of the community.

Having a single player or even multiplayer non-online mode goes a long way to adding value to any game but unfortunately, many shooters seem to be making the non-online component shorter and in some cases not even bothering.

subtenko1120d ago

and if you dont have an internet provider you are only buying 1/3 of the game. also if you dont have electricity in your house it becomes 1/4 of the game, and then you cant even play it xD

+ Show (1) more replyLast reply 1120d ago
DefenderOfDoom21124d ago

Well i think that it cost BILLIONS of dollars to develop and market Sony VR . It is crazy awesome that Sony is coming out with VR at a somewhat affordable price this October .

s45gr321123d ago

There is ads on both the PS4 and Xbox, meaning these corporations are making money through the ads plus the online portion of the game. Remember 3rd party game developers are using their own servers not Sony nor Microsoft.

feedthereaper1124d ago

Should they charge a subscription model, YES!
When you had something for free like in PS3 days, you had no argument, little rights and the service was poor compared to their competitor the 360.
Once you start to charge for a service you have a strong voice as a consumer to demand that the service is above sub-standard, of a good quality, it is fit for purpose and if it isn't that a compensation is given in return.
The moment PSN started to charge, the arguments for PS4 Multiplayer being dire started to vanish compared to the PS3 days. Go back to FREE and you lose your consumer voice and your right to a decent service.

Should PSN put up the price though....... well that is a difficult question, you have to ask "What do I get as a consumer that is extra, do I want those extra's" and if the answer is "Nothing, its to combat inflation, all prices eventually go up!"...... then you have to ask the question, "How come that Microsoft has not raised Xbox Live Subscription price pretty much since it launched over a decade ago....... and it still seems to offer a decent experience, adding new extra's AND still making some degree of profit for the company regardless of inflation going up, while Sony can't manage so it on a similar subscription price after just 3 years?"

And that starts to make the argument for the price going up much harder for Sony to make.

Fluke_Skywalker1123d ago

Funny you say that though, I've had more trouble with the PSN being down on PS4 than it ever was in the PS3 only days!

thisgamer5031123d ago

Steam, Origin, Uplay seem to work fine for me on my PC and it's free. I wouldn't mind free online play with my consoles if they could provide the same level of support I get on the PC. So I ask, if they can support the infrastructure on PC for free, why not consoles?

s45gr321123d ago

Steam is free to sign up and offers online gaming for free. Its free online gaming offers:

Dedicated servers
Voice and video chat
Clan system
Party chat
Free cloud saves

Pretty much what you expect from both Sony or Microsoft. Yes is free, but yeah keep believing paying gives better service lol.

1123d ago
subtenko1120d ago

also true with ps4, just not every game is free to play online of course

Show all comments (65)
The story is too old to be commented.