Console Games

The May 2020 PS Plus Free Games Are Fine

People are mad about games. It’s not a new topic, it’s just the latest episode in the neverending series. This time, it’s Sony’s May 2020 PlayStation Plus games that have people up in arms, since apparently these are two games that nobody seems to like. Cities: Skylines and Farming Simulator 19 were announced as the May 2020 PS Plus free games (yes, yes, I know, I’ll address the “BUT THEY AREN’T FREE” point in a moment), and being that these games both fall into the very particular genres of sims and builders, it got people rather upset. To the point that there’s even an online petition signed by thousands requesting Sony change the games for this month. You ready for my hot take? The May 2020 PS Plus games are fine.

Let’s start with the cost analysis, which I won’t dwell on for too long, since I’ve covered this topic a number of times before and my argument hasn’t changed. A PS Plus subscription costs subscribers $60 a year. For that cost, you get access to online multiplayer, additional discounts and freebies on PSN sales, and two games per month that you can redeem and have access to for as long as you are a subscriber.

Even if we strip out online multiplayer access and discounts, two free PS4 games per month comes out to $2.50 per game, and that’s not including the occasional bonus games that Sony throws our way, whether it’s a PSVR title or some other promo. And let’s be honest, how many of you actually pay the full $60 for your subscription? Everyone waits for those $39.99 deals that come around a few times a year and then stocks up. At which point your monthly games come out to less than a buck seventy each.

However, cost analysis really depends on what you are actually subscribing to PlayStation Plus for. Personally, I’d have it regardless, whether they offered free games or not. A majority of the games offered are ones I either already own or have no interest in anyway, so if Sony stopped offering PS Plus freebies altogether, I can’t say I’d even take much notice, and I’d continue subscribing for online play and the occasional extra discount in a PSN sale. To me, the free games truly are “free” on top of what I already get for my subscription cost.

May 2020 PS Plus Free Games – Sony Doesn’t ‘Owe’ You

Fact is, Sony doesn’t “owe” anybody anything when it comes to the free games. They could load the thing up with Ratalaika Platinum trophy bait and virtually the only thing you could do is unsubscribe to make your voice heard. Fact is, a majority won’t. How many people who signed that internet petition to get the games changed will actually back it up by canceling their PS Plus subscription? When you don’t actually put your money where your furiously typing internet rage fingers are, it’s pretty hard for Sony to actually care. The complainers will all stay subbed (or haven’t even subscribed in the first place), Sony will still have nearly 40 million PS Plus subscribers, and better yet, it will be proven to be a vocal minority as Sony can actually see who redeems and downloads the games.

ps plus petition

Sorry to the few thousand people signing a petition to change the May 2020 games. You’re a mere fraction of the overall PS Plus subscriber base. Deals for PS Plus games are struck well in advance, and Sony can’t just… change them. These are third-party deals with a lot of behind the scenes logistics involved. There are lots of things to consider on the planning side when it comes to adding games to PS Plus. And Sony will never be able to make everyone happy. So the games don’t speak to the genre of your liking. Get over it. It’s an off month. New ones will come next month. Or… and I’m going out on a limb here… maybe try them out?

Back when I actually had more time to play every game under the sun (aka, when I wasn’t wasting away my days grinding nothing but Destiny 2), I loved the new additions to PS Plus because I discovered hidden gems I wouldn’t have otherwise tried. Plus wasn’t a platform just to get free games. It was a tool of discovery. I am actually a little disappointed when more popular games get added because I often already own them. Yet how many people got mad when Uncharted 4 was added last month, despite a good portion of PS Plus subscribers undoubtedly already owning it? Sony doesn’t owe you games you don’t own. They don’t owe you games you specifically like or want or that fall within your own narrow genres of preference.

Ps plus games April 2020 uncharted 4 PlayStation plus

Cities: Skylines and Farming Simulator 19 aren’t some cheap throwaway additions. In fact, these are both enormous games with millions of players, beloved by their communities and top-tier games in their respective genres. If there is perhaps one point of, shall we call it critique, for Sony, it would be to try to offer a bit more genre variety between the two games each month. Obviously a city builder and a rural life sim in the same month aren’t sitting well with people. But that’s all it is. A minor critique. Neither are bad games. In fact, they’re both fine. I’ve been wanting to play Cities: Skylines and Farming Simulator 19 is actually rather fun and interesting (it piqued my curiosity when it was a free Stadia Pro game and I played a bit of it there).

Truth is, I’ll probably redeem both of these games, then never download them because my hard drive is full (like happens every month, whether the games are good or not). Then we’ll hit May 27, and there will be a whole new slew of complaints from the vocal online minority when June’s free games are announced.

Problem is, Sony can’t ever win with PS Plus. People don’t like them. They already own them. They aren’t the right genre. There’s not enough variety. There will always be someone to complain about something with every single month’s PS Plus free games, and if Sony listened to them every time, we’d never land on a “final” PS Plus lineup as Sony would just constantly be changing out games based on a wave of vocal dislike from a bunch of Twitter avatars and YouTube commenters.

Your $60 a year doesn’t entitle you to 24 games of your choosing. It doesn’t even entitle you to one game of your choosing, and if you don’t like what Sony’s offering on PS Plus, there’s a simple solution: Stop subscribing. Or expand your horizons, get out of your comfort zone, and actually try the games, then patiently wait for next month whether you like them or not. The odds are that at least a few things in those 24 freebies will make your $60 a year worth it.

The May 2020 PS Plus free games are fine.

Daily Reaction reacts to the video game industry. Have suggestions for the column or subjects you’d like us to react to? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to check out previous Daily Reactions for more dives beyond the headlines.

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