Helldivers 2 Makes Strong Case For Day-One PC Releases From PlayStation

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Sony Should Launch All PC Ports Day One!

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  • Helldivers 2 has already become the biggest PlayStation PC launch of all time.
  • This release proves that PlayStation should change its strategy and start to pursue releasing games on day one on PC.
  • Massive IPs like Bloodborne and Ghost Of Tsushima could sell millions on PC with the right approach.

I recently played Helldivers 2, a PlayStation exclusive, on PC.

Unlike other exclusive titles from Sony, Helldivers 2 was released on PC from the get-go and has already become Sony’s biggest launch on the platform. Even before the launch, this co-op shooter beat titles like Palworld to become the best-selling game on Steam.

With positive reviews and 1 million units sold, the co-op shooter has been an undeniable hit. This success was partly made possible by the day-one release on Steam, making me wonder why Sony refuses to adopt a similar strategy for its biggest IPs.

Why it matters: It was recently reported that the PC market is larger than the combined console market in terms of players and revenue, so Sony is leaving money on the table due to its exclusivity practices.

Helldivers 2
Helldivers 2

Day One Release Combined With An Appropriate Price

Apart from the release window, one notable difference between Helldivers 2 and other PlayStation games is the price. Though PC users are seemingly okay with waiting anywhere from a year to two years for ports, Sony launches each game for $70.

This would be fine in a scenario where PC gamers could buy these AAA releases at launch. However, Sony’s strategy of launching two-year-old games at full price makes it a difficult pill to swallow for most.

Since a game’s launch is typically the most exciting and crucial part of its lifespan, exclusivity leads to missed opportunities for Sony on PC. I am confident that if Helldivers 2 launched on PC in 2025, it would not be met with the same reception.

With recent ports underperforming for Sony, PlayStation may need to pick between a delayed launch or day-one release at $70 for its future PC titles. I would much rather have the latter.

Starfield
Starfield Reached Over 13 Million Players In 2023

Day-One PC Releases Work Well For Xbox

I enjoy the exclusive competition between Xbox and Sony. Both have released some of the best exclusive titles over recent years, which have become ingrained into the brand identity of these console giants.

However, I find Xbox’s strategy of releasing games on PC even better. This allows the company to retain the appeal of exclusive content while opening it up to the millions of players on Steam and PC.

Titles like Starfield, Forza Motorsport, and more have been released on Steam from the beginning. Bethesda’s latest RPG almost cracked Steam’s top 10 best-selling games last year, reaching over 330K peak concurrent players in the process.

Meanwhile, PlayStation games like Spider-Man 2 and God of War Ragnarok are expected to be around two years old by the time a PC release comes around. This limits the success that Sony can find on the platform.

While PlayStation might not have thought about changing this approach, I would not be shocked if Helldivers 2 had the company rethinking its decision. Perhaps Sony’s future is similar to Xbox’s, with both releasing first-party content on PC due to the massive size of this market.

bloodborne Featured
Bloodborne still Needs A PC Port

Console Audience Unlikely To Switch To PC

Admittedly, Sony has been slow to roll out PC ports.

At one point, Sony released games like Spider-Man Remastered, Spider-Man Miles Morales, Returnal, and The Last of Us Part 1 on the platform in quick succession. However, following the debacle that was The Last of Us Part 1, each PC port has taken longer than the last.

Horizon Forbidden West is next in line, but renowned games like Bloodborne and Ghost of Tsushima are nowhere to be seen. The latter is reportedly coming in 2024, but this still leaves out various first-party titles like Gran Turismo 7, Demon’s Souls, and more.

Furthermore, day-one releases are unlikely to hurt PlayStation’s console sales. As enormous as the PC gaming audience is, I don’t believe there is much of an overlap between console and PC gamers.

50 million people bought the PS5 due to the inherent benefits of consoles, including ease of use and the relatively cheap cost of hardware. Meanwhile, PC gaming has its own unique advantages, making it appealing to a different audience.

This means that PlayStation would have little to lose from day-one PC releases. Games like Palworld illustrate this success, with both platforms thriving alongside each other instead of cannibalizing sales.

I believe this is the natural progression for PlayStation. While it might not immediately open up to PC gamers, PC ports might arrive quicker than before after the massive success of Helldivers 2.

Keep in mind that Helldivers 2 was not the biggest game. Its pre-release anticipation was in no way comparable to God of War Ragnarok or Spider-Man 2, making these results a shocking revelation for PlayStation’s PC strategy.

If the sequel to an underrated PS4 game can become Sony’s biggest PC title, I can only imagine the reception to a beloved franchise like Spider-Man.

With recent documents from Sony outlining a significant multiplatform push, I hope to see the gaming giant focusing more on PC. Hopefully, this will eventually lead to day-one releases for this platform.

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