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Sony Not Worried About Drop in PlayStation Plus Subs and Active Users

Sony Not Worried About Drop in PlayStation Plus Subs and Active Users - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 02 September 2021 / 5,707 Views

Sony Interactive Entertainment in its financial results announced the number of PlayStation Plus subscribers is now at 46.3 million, which is up 1.3 million from 45 million from the same quarter a year ago. However, this is down from the previous two quarters. 

This is the biggest drop in the number of PlayStation Plus subscribers ever, according to data collected by ResetEra. The total number of subscribers dropped 1.3 million in the last quarter. 

Sony also reported a drop in monthly active users to 104 million. This is a drop of about 10 million year-on-year.

Sony Chief Financial Officer Hiroki Totoki during Sony’s recent quarterly earnings call via VideoGamesChronicle said the reason for the drop is the stay-at-home restrictions that were in place in 2020 and early 2021. 

"Of course, 104 million is not a strong number, but are we looking at it as a declining trend? We don’t think so," Totoki said. "We are trying to analyse different elements, but there are no conspicuous trends that we can capture. Maybe this month or next month we will have to continue to watch and do an analysis.

"At the risk of repetition, may I say that last year the stay-at-home demand was so significant in hindsight, so compared to that period last year as a trend of course [it’s declined]. [But] compared to fiscal 2019 there is an increase.

"So, we will monitor the situation carefully and we will deepen the engagement and enhance the platform, therefore during the coming fiscal year we will take actions to support this business."

Sony also announced today it had shipped 10.1 million PlayStation 5 consoles as of June 30, 2021. Sony shipped 0.5 million PlayStation 4 consoles for the quarter, to bring lifetime PS4 shipment figures to 116.5 million units. 

PS5 sell-through to consumers topped 10 million units as of July 18, 2021, while the PS4 did not reach this milestone until three weeks later.

Totoki also revealed the $499 PlayStation 5 console that comes with a disc drive is no longer sold at a loss.  He did add that the $399 PlayStation 5 Digital Edition is still sold at a loss, however, it is on track to have its loss offset by other hardware sales, such peripherals and the PlayStation 4. 


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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14 Comments
VAMatt (on 04 August 2021)

Seems like a reasonable explanation.

I think we can also use this to give some context to what most of us assume are unimpressive Gamepass subscriber growth numbers for MS. GP was hot last year, so they're going up against strong comps this year. Presumably they're growing, but they're up against a growth rate from last year that they can't compete with.

  • +7
DonFerrari VAMatt (on 05 August 2021)

Yep, more competition, less fresh and less people stuck at home (and perhaps struggling less for money to need the cheaper deal that GP gave for a lot of library).

  • -1
SKMBlake (on 04 August 2021)

If PS+ subscription numbers and active users numbers are lower than before because of the end of the lockdowns, I can asume it's the same story for Game Pass, and explaining why they don't disclose any new number since 31st december

  • +4
DonFerrari SKMBlake (on 05 August 2021)

Well, Sony is releasing the numbers even though they are worse and need explaning.

  • -1
Wman1996 (on 04 August 2021)

More people are back at work and doing activities outside their house (at least in some regions). Some people also haven't liked some of the PS Plus offerings

  • +4
thismeintiel (on 04 August 2021)

Obviously is was going to be a drop from last year. At this point we were only just starting to open back up. With many companies still not opening for months more. People were home, so they needed something to do.

  • +2
LudicrousSpeed thismeintiel (on 04 August 2021)

If only you were as open minded and logical when Microsoft’s quarterly results also showed a small drop in services revenue.

Though I gotta say the PS one is more “alarming”, though still not worrying. After all, unlike MS, Sony actually released some software this year (before Flight Sim of course). They saw a larger dip even with more software and hardware sales.

  • -6
DonFerrari (on 05 August 2021)

Makes a lot of sense, the restrictions are a lot lower now than they were at the height of pandemic, so with that there will be less people playing on a short period. But that number is likely to rise as PS5 sells more.

  • 0
LivncA_Dis3 (on 04 August 2021)

Things are starting to go back to normal sooo that's one reason!

  • 0
Giggity_goo (on 04 August 2021)

im happy with it the games they give away are okay

  • 0
AFattyGamer (on 04 August 2021)

Yeah ... Well I'd say Sony Group needs to remain vigilant on Mr. Jim Ryan and the silent SIE management currently. That's all I'ma say on that.

  • -10
elazz AFattyGamer (on 04 August 2021)

What are you missing that previous management gave you? Top tier games and a super fast system are still in place...things haven't really changed.

Only thing unfortunate is the 10 euro price increase but luckily that didn't affect physical copies that much.

  • +1
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