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PlayStation Plus is a pretty popular subscription service, offering players a selection of free games as well as access to online play and discounts on the PlayStation Store. However, it's seeing a serious exodus of subscribers in 2021, and Sony is investigating the trend.
This nugget was mined from the latest fiscal report from Sony and it relates to PlayStation Now, too. This service has more in common with Xbox Game Pass with hundreds and hundreds of PS4, PS3 and PS2 games that are also available for streaming on PC. Want Bloodborne on PC? Well, that's how you do it. However, it's usually suffering in the shadow of PlayStation Plus as Sony promotes the new games and additions for this service much more frequently. That might be a thing of the past, though. According to the report, the number of PlayStation Plus subscribers in Q4 2020 was 47.6 million and that statistic has decreased to 46.3 million in Q1 2021.
Regarding PlayStation Now, there were 109 million monthly active users in Q4 2020 whereas there were about 104 monthly active users in Q1 2021. "Q4" means the last three months of the year and "Q1" means the first three months of the year, to the uninitiated.
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"[104 million] is not a strong figure. Of course it's not a strong number, but are we looking at a declining trend?" responded chief financial officer and executive deputy president Hiroki Totoki in an investor question and answer session. "We don't think so. It's the first quarter, and we are trying to analyze different elements, but there was no conspicuous trend we could capture. [Maybe that will occur] this month or next month - we'll have to continue watching and do an analysis."
Totoki continued to propose that the gradual diminishing of the effects of the pandemic - social distancing, remote working, and temporary closure of attractions and businesses - is a possible reason for the decrease in the number of PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now subscribers. "Last year, the stay-at-home demand was such a significant demand in hindsight," explained the chief financial officer. "Compared to FY19 there is an increase, so we will monitor the situation carefully [...] and make efforts to enhance and upgrade the platform to support this business."
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