Sony’s FY21 Software Sales Suffer Expected Drop

During the first quarter of fiscal year 2020, gaming was booming due to the coronavirus pandemic. With business reopening and people no longer staying at home, its comedown is a predicted decline in software sales. Sony has reported that their software sales dropped 20% from the previous year between April and June 2021, as they had predicted, but first party titles such as Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart and MLB The Show 21 still above expectations.

Physical sales fell 32.5%, while digital game sales fell 22.6% compared to this time last year. DLC fared no better with a 16.5% drop in sales. However, this does not mean that their sales were disappointing. Despite the decline, software sales of games and their add-ons were still 63.6 million units in the first quarter of the fiscal year. Digital sales made up 71% of this total. As elaborated by ResetEra, that means more than 699,000 titles are sold every day, or more than 8.09 PS4/PS5 games per second. In fact, software sales are up 31% compared to Q1 FY19, so Sony believes “the gaming market has expanded significantly over the past two years.”

Even Sony’s first party title sales fell from 18.7 million sales in Q1 FY20 to 10.5 million in FY21. In FY20, The Last of Us Part II was released and sold incredibly well, breaking digital sales records for PlayStation. While Sony’s first-party titles for FY21 did not match these sales, the company did confirm that all of their first-party titles released during the quarter exceeded sales expectations, as reported by Niko Partners Senior Analyst Daniel Ahmad. Among which MLB The Show 21, Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, and Return, the latter of which was described as a ‘megahit’. Just last week Sony had revealed tear apart had sold 1.1 million copies since its release, while Return sits at 560,000 copies.

Sale of MLB The Show 21 are even more successful than predicted thanks to the game’s multi-platform release. Due to “strong add-on sales,” the game “contributed significantly to sales and profits throughout the quarter,” likely fueled by the many more players who have tried the game thanks to the addition to Xbox Game Pass. The choice to put the game on Xbox was also influenced by the success of Horizon Zero Dawn and Days gone by on pc. As such, PlayStation Studios is “accelerating investment” to help move titles to new platforms. While Nixxes Studio was acquired to assist in this process, they will also provide support to all PlayStation Studios “in a horizontal manner” for the development of other games.

[Source: Sony (1, 2), ResetEra, Sony via Twitter (1, 2)]