Online gaming revenue had a good year this past year, and it’s all thanks to Playstation Plus and Xbox Live, the two main online gaming services that gamers use to play with their friends online and digitally buy games. According to SuperData, a video game tracking firm, both services generated over three billion dollars together.
However, the two online services only contributed a part of the total earnings of digital gaming platforms over the past year. Thanks to digital game purchases and microtransactions, the online gaming industry actually raised over seven billion dollars, four billion more than Playstation Plus and Xbox Live would have gotten on their own.
Regardless of their contribution to the past year’s online gaming revenue, Playstation Plus and Xbox Live have been rivals just as much as their consoles. With both offering identical services, including the ability to buy and rent movies, digitally buy games, and connect and play with your friends online, the console sales of both have hardly affected which ones have the most subscribers.
Playstation Plus is the paid version of the Playstation Network, the free portion of the Playstation 4’s online.
According to a report by Sony, Playstation Plus currently has around 21 million active Playstation Plus subscribers, put up against Microsoft’s 47 million Xbox Live subscribers. Playstation Plus likely loses in the subscriber account due to a number of factors; better services on Microsoft’s end (including better free games through its Games with Gold program, better security, and its backwards compatibility program), though the higher numbers of Playstation 4s sold compared to the Xbox One has likely increased its subscriber count despite Playstation 4 owners not wanting to upgrade from the regular Playstation Network.
Regardless, online gaming revenue being at 7 billion last year is still a big jump, and lends more credence to how important video game sales are becoming in terms of finances, especially with the companies that develop and publish those games.