Horizon: Forbidden West has been announced for the PlayStation Plus catalog – but, just over a year after the game’s release, it may be too soon.
With Horizon: Forbidden West announced to arrive on the Playstation Plus catalog on February 21, subscribers to the service will have the opportunity to play the game at no additional cost – but the game’s addition to the service may turn out to be a mistake for Sony and developer Guerilla Games. As the highly-rated sequel to Horizon: Zero Dawn, Forbidden West brings the series to the new console generation on the PS5, offering a new setting and story for series protagonist Aloy, continuing where the first game left off.
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Despite the Horizon series’ unfortunate calendar planning, which has seen both mainline games being released shortly before – and subsequently somewhat overshadowed by – landmark open-world titles in Breath of the Wild and Elden Ringrespectively, the series has still managed to spin itself into one of the PlayStations new flagship franchises. With leaks and rumors pointing to a remaster of the original game, a multiplayer spinoff, and a now-confirmed DLC for Forbidden West, Burning Shoresthe future of the series is clearly not in any real danger. Forbidden West making its way to the PS Plus catalog, however, could be a costly mistake.
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- While Forbidden West‘s addition to PlayStation Plus is likely welcome news for many, its inclusion could be coming too soon and could cause Sony to lose out on some profits. Although the game’s inclusion in the service likely comes in anticipation of Forbidden West‘s Burning Shores DLC, it also arrives just barely over a year after the game’s initial release date of February 18, 2022, and with similar services, like the Xbox Game Pass, being a proven revenue loss for some of the included games, Forbidden West could suffer a similar effect on PS Plus.
On the other hand, however, it’s entirely possible that any losses suffered by Forbidden West will be minimal and the increased exposure ahead of a DLC launch could even be beneficial. With PlayStation Plus games mostly not supporting DLC, any new players that the game gains through the service could be encouraged to purchase the game for themselves along with Burning Shoresalthough this exposure could also be hampered by the Burning Shores DLC’s exclusivity to the PS5, which will undoubtedly limit the potential conversion rate.
While putting Forbidden West on the PlayStation Plus catalog so early could be a risk for Sony, it is strictly beneficial for any subscribers to the service – and with upcoming DLC for the game, it might ultimately pay off well for Sony, as well. Nevertheless, it is certainly uncommon to see big-budget PlayStation games on the service so soon after release, and Horizon: Forbidden West‘s inclusion is a decision with great potential to backfire.
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