PlayStation Plus doubled new subscribers with free games

How did PlayStation Plus go from general grumblings to a 97 percent customer satisfaction rate? According to a VentureBeat interview with Jack Buser, PlayStation senior director of digital platforms, all it took was listening to gamers. And it turns out gamers want free games.

“In retrospect, it seems like, yeah, of course. Gamers love games,” Buser said. “But we came to that conclusion through a mountain of data, and we really landed on this idea that not only are we going to put free games on the service, but we’re going to put great free games on the service.”

Sony announced the Instant Game Collection, an assortment of titles available gratis to Plus subscribers, at E3 this year. The collection includes AAA titles like InFamous 2, LittleBigPlanet 2, and Borderlands.

“That week of E3, we saw a two-times lift of new membership sales,” Buser said. “It just skyrocketed.”

Customer satisfaction also nearly doubled from around 50 percent before E3, he said. But the Instant Game Collection wasn't just a boon for Sony and subscribers.. Gearbox used the service to woo new players to Borderlands 2 by offering up its predecessor, Buser said.

“Some of the most active and vocal people on PlayStation Network are PlayStation Plus members, and a whole new group of people were exposed [to the Borderlands franchise] right in time for Borderlands 2.”

Sony plans to begin offering PlayStation Plus services to subscribers on PS Vita in November.

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.