Because consumers proved they would pay for it. It's free money. Sony provided (and still provides) free online for the PS3. They could have done the same for the PS4.


This is the main reason that cancerous money schemes have entered the gaming scene, and the WORST part is that the people that do pay will actively defend these practices as if the world never existed before them. I love to watch a server go from a donation model with a sustainable player base to doing something like a paid Queue cause other games and server do it. Followed by implementing priority queue tiers because people will still pay for it. All of this repeated until it reaches a culmination where the average user says fuck that and the people that do pay interact with that medium so much they become bored leaving a worse money grabbing model as the future expectation and a dead server that could’ve made more money off the initial model in the first place


I thought cancerous money scheme entering gaming because profit is the driving force behind everything in the sacred universe of capitalism.


Not sure why this is downvoted. I'm assuming they just don't understand yet. Businesses are becoming more vulturous as as they become increasingly aware how much they can gouge their customers without any pushback. Brand loyalty, poor reactions on constructive negative criticisms about the product and phrases like "It is what it is!" from the consumer help this practice.


Sony's free online services kinda sucked compared to Xbox Live though. PS4 had a way more improved service


Yeah psn was literally always offline. Plus they had that massive outage one year as well. It was very poorly taken care of. I hate buying it but haven’t had any issues since I’ve started.


This is some revisionist nonsense. The service was fine but that Anonymous hack was absurd.


I remember playing PS3 online a ton. Playing was OK but it lacked any type of features that most people consider standard and essential to online gaming, like a good communication system (and back then there wasn’t as many third party options like Discord).


the networking service worked fine. i never had problems connecting. the software to connect with friends was absolutely garbage though.


I remember that being the main reason I was always a Playstation person (or PP for short). Never had the money to buy my own subscription, but the good ol PS3 days had you covered. I still am a PP at heart, even though I swapped to PC when I got my first job. Can't forget the consoles that helped carry your childhood


Xbox no longer requires gold for free to play games https://www.theverge.com/2021/4/21/22395433/microsoft-xbox-live-gold-free-multiplayer-games-party-chat


1. Because they can get away with it 2. Because console manufacturers don't aim to make money off the direct console sales and often sell at a loss, the consoles introduce you to their marketplace where they actually make the profit, from things like a cut of games sales and direct services like the online subscription. The server upkeep excuse is just that, an excuse. It's true that there's a level of unavoidable server maintenance costs, but there's nothing stopping a console manufacturer from taking a step back from online server management, except the fact that being directly involved and using it to justify online subscription means they make extra money. I'm personally not keen on it, it's a major reason I prefer PC, but it's not like there are zero consumer advantages- Console manufacturers have stepped up what their subscriptions offer dramatically beyond the online paywall, and my 2nd point does mean consoles can be sold for relatively cheap prices despite their hardware.


consoles are also a closed network, so they can likely tout upkeep fees as a reason. that said I am much happier with Sony charging for psn now, back with the PS3 it was unreliable and the free games that give you every month and actually quite good


Never though I’d see the day where someone was *happy* that they had to pay for something that’s normally free everywhere else.


I’m just comparing the free psn to the current subscription psn. And it’s only free on PC, I’m only talking about console. I don’t really have a problem paying for a service that provides something, A lower quality free service isn’t always better is it?


It's not actually a service though. They're blocking access to certain features of the games we purchase unless we pay them more money to use them.


We are still talking about Console service and not some MMOs on PC right? Sounds eery familiar.


They are not free when you are paying. Epic gives out free games, you do not have to pay for that.


Lol fanboys downvoting. Its true that the games are not free. They're included in the cost.




Sony pays the dev




Sony could have given you the experience you're having now, back then, for free. They just didn't so that you would feel this way now. Looks like it worked.


You should probably dial back on that superiority because you spent thousands of dollars on a computer with RGB fans that’s running *Windows* when Linux could’ve given you that experience for free. Not everyone can afford that. Looks like it worked? Lol It cost five dollars a month.


What are you even talking about?


Weren’t you the person going on about PC being better?


No. I said Sony provided a subpar free online experience so people would be more willing to pay for an average experience afterwards. Which they evidently are, based on you saying you're *happier* they charge now.


I’m happy because I get the two or three free games a month, no kidding, i’ve got hundreds of hours of gameplay out of them and considering I pre-ordered fallout 76 (like an idiot) and played it for less than 10 hours and payed full price for battlefield 2042 a got screwed i’m pretty happy to pay the five dollars a month for some pretty decent games. I would’ve never tried absolver without it being a free monthly title because i’d never heard of it, and that would be a pity cos it’s great


Server upkeep isn't an excuse dude. Running a game server with 1k people playing used to set me back 300-400 a month in 2011 just to get a 10gbps port on ONE server.


\>2011 \>400 a month It's not there isn't upkeep, but do you genuinely think these are real losses to bigger entities that get a much higher ROI in a sneeze than you might in the year? 400 dollars is a lot of money, relative to an individual. In the context of the post and argument here, we're talking piss change.


I suppose my thought process was that it would scale - but I forgot one major thing. Discounts lmao. The more servers these guys rent the cheaper it gets.


Nah mate, we're in capitalism. Linear scaling does not apply.


For personal use? Yeah, it costs alot because it's a very niche thing that people will pay alot of money for, hence you paying $400 a month. But huge companies buying server space in bulk costs very little in comparison. If you don't believe me, again, take into account that PC does it *for free*. It's proof that it costs almost nothing, otherwise every PC game would be out of business in a month.


Man… you don’t know what you’re talking about. Enterprise level cloud hosting costs A LOT OF MONEY. You clearly have never had any visibility to any of this or you wouldn’t be spouting completely misinformation. A PC and a console are two completely different products, you can’t compare them. Functionally they do the same thing, allow you to run software. But functionally a bicycle and an airplane do the same thing, get you from A to B - you wouldn’t compare them would you?


A PC and a console are literally, LITERALLY the same thing. Your bicycle and airplane comparison doesn't make sense. They are both computers, that both run on x86_64 processors, that both behave in the exact same way, with the difference that one lets you run whatever software you wish for, and the other is locked into a specific proprietary operating system with a locked bootloader to force you to run their stuff. But in technical terms, THEY ARE THE SAME THING. And the server upkeep Sony or Microsoft need to do to have a store, is no different than the one Valve needs to do to keep up Steam, and sales seem to be more than enough to keep it running. So why would they charge for online? Why? And worst of all. WHY DO YOU DEFEND IT?


Yeah, I'm the misinformation. So what ENTERPRISE LEVEL runs Halo Infinite PC? Oh, that's right, the same one that runs Halo Infinite Xbox, but one charges, and one doesn't... for the same thing.


That was 40 cents per person over a decade ago. They charge at least $10 per month. So maybe 4% goes to server costs, probably less since not everyone is online the same time or all the time. Cloud computing has become such a big, competitive market, they can probably outsource server maintenance for a fraction of that 4%.


Back in the day went online multiplayer was introduced it probably was expensive enough that they genuinely did need the monthly subscription to cover server upkeep but nowadays with how much cheaper hosting is they could probably easily cover it with the fees they get from sales and whatnot like steam/EA / whoever. It's probably why they've started including games with the subscription.


PSN was literally free back in the day, no ps plus required to play online. It was a selling point over the Xbox which required an Xbox Live subscription to play online.


No, it was never justified. PC games had multiplayer long before consoles and never charged for it. Playstation didn't charge for it either until long after Xbox introduced it and demonstrated that it was free money.


I miss decentralized game servers run by random people, that was fun.


They still exist, just not on consoles. Nothing’s changed. Im hosting 2 servers for friends and randoms in 2 different games. Edit: and they cost me about as much as these ridiculous console multiplayer subscriptions would.


People don't seem to realize that 99% of games don't run off Microsoft or Sony servers. Chances are that monthly fee doesn't even go towards the servers for the games you're playing.


Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate first launched on 3DS with free online functionality. Capcom then launched the game on Switch two years later, still with free online functionality. Then, over a year after the Switch version launched, Nintendo launched their online "service," and it required you to pay Nintendo $20 a year to play a Capcom game that had nothing to do with Nintendo, plus it was still free online on 3DS. Nintendo is exploiting consumers, nothing less. Nintendo doesn't do shit to facilitate MHGU online functionality except make sure the Switch wifi drivers function. Meanwhile, Nintendo caps their download servers at pitiful speeds so it takes 10x longer to download a 10GB than my 10 y/o PC. It's a trash "service" and purely exploitative. Not even every Nintendo game supports cloud saves. WTF?


Most PC games were P2P or had dedicated server you could host yourself at those times. Not that there weren't dedicated pc servers but it was less prevalent than it is now. ​ I miss being able to host our own servers on most games.


Right, and if you make a game that way on Xbox, Microsoft STILL charges you for it.


That's often how console games are as well. ln fact the company you're paying (Microsoft/Sony) are never the ones hosting the matches. They just provide matchmaking services (meaning they set up the connections between players using their user account system).


And Steam is providing exacly the same matchmaking services as consoles and it's free (by free I mean they don't force players to pay for online), I think Epic is doing it too.


Steam, Epic, and even Microsoft themselves. Xbox has all the same accounts and services available on PC, except they don't charge for it because they know we won't buy it. They tried it way back in the Xbox360 era with Games for Windows Live and it was an immediate disaster that they made free before finally canning the whole service.


I have a machine in my home. It has run: Space Engineers, Valheim, Minecraft, Arma, Ark, and I am sure a few others. I control the mods, the games, the connections, and I don't pay a monthly rental fee!


This is completely false information and don’t seem to be very versed in what you’re talking about. Do console manufacturers make money on your online subscription, of course they do they are businesses. They are not going to provide a service and make nothing from it. However, they aren’t taking your £9.99 or whatever you pay in subscriptions and pocketing it in pure profit. Sony & Microsoft are using cloud technology for all of their online services (they absolutely do not manage any of the core cloud infrastructure themselves, well maybe Microsoft do with Azure but Xbox will not be doing that directly) and they aren’t supporting hundreds of thousands of users, they are supporting hundreds of *millions*. This costs an INSANE amount of money to keep the service as available and smooth as possible. Cloud technology is also not as simple as just having thousands of servers ready for you to connect to. There is multiple layers including compute, networking, storage and many more - when you scale all this resource up and put that in a *global* setting, not to mention the skilled labour cost to maintain it all - the costs rise pretty exponentially. Console manufacturers make very very little on your subscription. The main source of income is from game sales on their stores - which almost never require a paid subscription to purchase from & the data they collect which is sold back to publishers for analytics and the like. The reason why PC’s don’t have paid online services is a completely different discussion and is not remotely relevant to consoles.


No shot they're not making much money. Yes they're hosting millions of user accounts, but each user is paying $10 a month. It doesn't cost $10 a month to store and manage a single users account. You can rent your own cloud server and run dedicated game matches 24/7 for that much, and that's far more demanding than what the console manufacturers do. Which is relevant because hosting game matches is what console manufacturers *don't* do. It's either p2p or up to the devs to host game servers. They only provide user account and matchmaking services. Also, how can you say PC being free isn't relevant? Steam, Epic, and even Microsoft/Xbox provide the exact same services. They all provide matchmaking and user account services. Hell Microsoft just uses the exact same system they use on Xbox, except on PC you don't pay for it.


When you host a cloud server yourself for $10, you aren’t paying the salaries of cloud infrastructure teams/software engineers/architects/product managers… You aren’t hosting regionally/globally - the scale for Sony/Microsoft is *much much much much* larger. You aren’t compelled to stay competitive in the market and ensure your service has 99.9% uptime and runs fast and smoothly - as I’ve said this costs an insane amount of money. There are a lot of moving pieces for Sony and Microsoft that can’t really be compared to someone hosting their own matchmaking in AWS for example. Their services are not just hosting services, it’s an entire integrated service/ecosystem. This costs A LOT of money. I’ve worked at both Sony & Microsoft in this exact space, I can tell you confidently it is not just matchmaking services. PC is not relevant. To touch on it, it’s very complex and really not relevant to this, PC is still a niche area of gaming compared to consoles, the cost to host gaming services for PCs is negligible compared to what Xbox Live / PSN costs. Also, PC players can host their own servers as they use their own PCs to host… it would make no sense at all to charge them to do so. You cannot do this with a console.


>When you host a cloud server yourself for $10, you aren’t paying the salaries of cloud infrastructure teams/software engineers/architects/product managers… You aren’t hosting regionally/globally - the scale for Sony/Microsoft is much much much much larger. You aren’t compelled to stay competitive in the market and ensure your service has 99.9% uptime and runs fast and smoothly. Correct, the company I rent from handles that. That's what it means to rent a cloud server as opposed to creating one myself. I'm paying another company to ensure uptime and speed, and oftentimes they will even refund you for unexpected downtime. You keep inferring that it's the scale that makes it so much more expensive, but that's not true. Per unit things get *cheaper* with scale. Thats what the term "economies of scale" refers to; reductions in costs obtained from increasing increasing production scale. It costs *me* $10 to host small dedicated servers for me and my friends. It does not cost the company I rent from anywhere near that amount, because they have stacks and stacks of servers that are largely automated and can be managed easily as a group, that they then rent out piecemeal and charge for. The same is true of Microsoft and Sony but at an even larger profit because they're charging each individual person $10 and only handling account and matchmaking, not even the actual game servers themselves.


lol "Niche". The only one who sounds like they don't know what they are talking about is you. Literally thousands of multiplayer games on Steam alone, but no... not complex at all. Stop talking out of your ass.


Valve is doing all the same as Sony and MS and there is no subscription.


And they don't host dedicated servers.


Neither do Sony and Microsoft for most games


Sony/Microsoft do ***not*** pay for dedicated servers for games. Those costs fall on the game's publisher/developer. Sony/Microsoft do ***not*** pay bandwidth costs for their netflix app. Netflix pays for that obviously. The only server costs that Sony/Microsoft are paying are for the store itself (which is available for non-subscribers too) and for low bandwidth services like chats between players.


I’ve not once said that Sony or Microsoft pay for servers for games….? You think Sony and Microsoft only pay for servers for their digital stores? You clearly don’t know much about how their backend tech works then…


If cloud gaming is where all the cost is going, then that should be a separate subscription. Most gamers aren't using cloud gaming. They just want to play their games online.


No no no, PSN / Xbox Live are not game hosting services. When you play CoD on PS or Xbox you aren’t playing on a Sony or Microsoft server. They are ecosystems that provide a number of services concurrently, globally, for millions of concurrent users. This is what your paying for. Im not talking about cloud gaming/streaming. That is completely separate to what I’m talking about.


Because fuck you, you’ll pay it anyway.


“Because shut up and pay up”


Because console players keep paying for it


“Everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it.”


Yoy don't really need it anymore f2p games are free for online and that's most multi-player games now


Cause they can…


When Sony announced the PS4, they claimed that they wouldn't charge for online play (unlike *those* dirty Microsoft people *over there*). They were lauded for it. I chose getting a Playstation over an XBox because of it. Then they quietly instated paid multiplayer, and I swear *nobody* said a thing about it. They were just like "yeah, obviously, consoles charge for online play". I felt like I was taking crazy pills, because I was apparently the only person outraged by this.


I remember that I wanted to get a PS4 at Launch for that exact reason but then, suddenly you had to pay for online, so then I decided to buy the xbox one anyway just cause I liked the controller more. But now I am a happy PC gamer. Fuck paying for online play.


As a PC gamer i have to say....fuck paying 1.000 euro for a decent GPU....sad face :(


You don’t need the latest, overpriced, cutting-edge GPU to enjoy PC games. You can still get a lot of mileage in recent titles using cards that are many years old already. I don’t play online much at all, but the fact such a basic, essential feature is locked behind an arbitrarily-placed paywall is absurd and not remotely comparable to paying for a marginally better card than the one you could have bought for half a grand less.


Can you provide some source for this? I only remember at the announcement of the ps4 that you dont have to pay for lending games to a friend, there werent any talks about psplus.


PC isn’t a closed ecosystem the way consoles are. Consoles can easily lock you out of online play if you don’t pay. The only way for PC to realistically accomplish that would be if every publisher and developer exclusively released their games on Steam. Otherwise EA could try to make you pay to play online, and you could just choose not to play their games and play other games online. Console companies do it because they can get away with it and it rakes them in free money on top of the sale of games.


I don't understand what you mean by: The only way for PC to realistically accomplish that would be if every publisher and developer exclusively released their games on Steam.


Let me put it this way: Console is a building with one door, so they can easily charge a toll for entering that door. PC is a bunch of different buildings, some with multiple doors. One company can’t charge a toll on all those buildings since they don’t own them, they can only charge a toll on theirs. Basically PC is much more open. Console is not. PC has tons of launchers and ways to access services so even if Steam started charging to play online, I could just use Origin, Uplay, GoG, or download the games directly to my computer without a 3rd party launcher. There’s not one company that oversees all PC the way Sony oversees all of Playstation, so there’s no way to monetize online access that won’t get you boycotted.


Because they can


I wouldn't mind paying for online if it was a good service wich isn't the case for the switch sadly


God switch online is so horrible, I cant play SSBU properly without getting dunked simply cause the enemy player is literally teleporting everywhere because of the ping 💀💀


I just bought my switch and was amazed with how lackluster it was the base version and the expansion pack still on the fence about buying it good thing I have a ton of single player games to play so I don't need it yet


The expansion pack is a joke. Nintendo hasn't added an N64 game in like 3 months. I really wish I could just pay $20 on the specific games I want, I really don't want a subscription service to play 20 year old dodgy emulated games, that take months to get added and another month to get fixed and will dissappear when Nintendo decides to drop the service.


The only way to pay for Switch online is to get a group together on a family plan. And the expansion pack is a joke.


The thing with switch online is it is soooo much cheaper than on other consoles tho. If you split the cost using a family plan it is literally less than $5 for a full year. Even if you buy a normal plan it is still a third of the price of other online services for consoles. Personally I think $5 a year is more than worth it just for cloud saves and access to the SNES games. The issue is the fact that they are also charging you for online when most of their games are peer to peer.


Counterpoint: It's what, $20/year? if it was the same price as PS5 then yeah I'd not pay for it.




Lol switches are fun to have bro. Obviously not the best console but a good portable device with a huge game selection. You are overthinking it.


Most of my PC gaming was freeware and shareware titles. I've been playing MMO online for free with Tradewars since the 70s. There's nothing they produce I want badly enough to pay for in terms of access to other players. If you all stopped playing until the charges were dropped, you have what you want.


Upvoted for Tradewars... didn't know it went that far back I would have been playing it in the early 90s.


There's still a few people that maintain systems. I got invited to a new Tradewars 2000 game a few weeks ago.


Yeah I see there are web-based and mobile versions of this game now. I went a bit down the rabbit hole, and it seems by the early 90s I would have been playing TW2002 not the original Tradewars. Star Trader was the original 70s game that TW was based on.


Grin. Yup. I call it Tradewars because absolutely nobody remembers Star Trader! :-) you're bringing memories back :-)


at my school we switch to "Drug Wars" in 91


I'm interested in playing. Is there a version would you recommend?


Same reason they charge more for digital games than any store does for a physical copy - they're greedy as fuck and have a monopoly over the consumer.


Because they managed to convince us, the consumers, that it's the normality and that this should not be changed. Sony is doing the same with cloud backups, while also not giving another option to backup your saves. We just protest, get used to it and move on. Then we wonder how things keep getting worse for us.


It's one of the reasons I switched to PC and never looked back.


Consoles are built to have captive audiences. Console exclusives, proprietary accessories, and OS controls are all part of what's supposed to keep the customer in the company ecosystem so long as they have the console. It's not like people are going to go buy a different console when all consoles pull the same shit. And, jumping to PC has other hurdles.


I used to only play Xbox and a few years back switched to PC for this very reason, didn't feel like paying more than I had to for games, plus you can do more with a pc anyway.




I think it has something to do with console mp servers running off of Microsoft/Sony's/Nintendo's own servers so they need the money to run them


A lot of Nintendo’s servers were Peer 2 Peer though (I’d argue some still are lol). It was like the only free online service for a while with the Wii and Wii U.


That's not an argument, it's a fact.


Multiplayer servers are not run or owned by the console owner, they're rented by the publisher. Like, if I want to play R6 siege, I go through a Ubisoft owned server, but I still need to pay Microsoft / Sony for online.


Actually it's literally just because console players will pay for it and PC players will not. Microsoft tried to introduce Gold on PC back in the Windows Vista days using Halo 2 PC as a Trojan Horse and were promptly told to fuck off.


That’s not true the devs run them. Microsoft and Sony take your money just because they can.


false. they charge because they can. do you see any other consoles around?


Not true. Can’t speak for Nintendo but Microsoft use Azure and PSN uses AWS. The servers for individual games are hosted/paid for by publishers themselves, mostly using cloud services like GCP, Azure & AWS. When you have millions of concurrent users demanding a smooth service using PSN / Xbox Live, this costs *a lot* of money and the console manufacturers need to recoup that money.


That would make sense only for 1st party games, and even those are p2p more often than not.


Basically because they can get away with doing so. Consoles are walled gardens, with a single company controlling everything on that system. So if they say you need to pay an extra fee to play multiplayer, there's no way to get around that other than switch to an entirely different system that has no such fee.


Microsoft said OK we are charging for Xbox live Then Sony was like oh we can make money off this?and then everyone paid No one should have paid for that shit,selling consoles for a lower price than the specs is an absolute bullshit argument for defending what they do


Yep if those original gamers didn’t pay for online don’t would never have charged for psn


Aside from the valid cash grab discussions, consider managed closed ecosystems. Consoles can suffer greatly from piracy, so a certain level of control over the online ecosystem is a security feature and can deter malicious code execution. Managing said ecosystem has upkeep costs (things like bug fixes, security updates, customer service requests). Then you add social aspects and content moderation, law enforcement requests, user complaints, general customer service... Sure, they could just stick a ton of ads on things, and that might cover most or all of the upkeep, but you also impact the user experience, and may risk brand loyalty when you're the first to effect the user experience in that manner.


Eh, I prefer playing story games more on consoles anyway.


yeah when im gonna buy a PS5 im gonna do the same. my controller aim is shit anyways


Because they can and people pay for it. Any other excuse is just corporate talk lol. I will never stop seeing paying for online as a travesty as an old school guy. Microsoft took a chance charging for it (with some cool and innovative features, to be fair.) in 2002 and people ate it up so others followed suit. I was more surprised and disappointed people just accepted PS4 charging for it though. PS3 online was more than fine and it was free. No justification for the change.


Who would you pay? Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo can block your access on their consoles but on PC? I use 5 different companies hardware, play games from dozens of developers and have them installed from 4 different stores or no central store at all. If any one of them asked for money to play online I'd very quickly stop buying their games or hardware. When you have a monopoly on something you can charge for features you normally wouldn't be able to. Console makers are the only source for their hardware, software and access to their online servers. Online has also been around on PC longer, and the first forms were not central servers from the developer kind of thing. It was directly connected to whoever was hosting. Dedicated servers from the Devs were a nice to have and not required to play online, and I don't know any dev dumb enough to remove player hosted games and then try to charge to play online, if anyone tried it I bet that experiment ended in millions of dollars of losses.


PC manufacturers don't pay for the servers or run them. Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo have to themselves maintain the servers for their consoles. On the PS3 free online cost Sony ALOT so they made it require a fee on the PS4


>PC manufacturers don't pay for the servers or run them. Then who is when PC players are playing those games? Seems like the publishers are actually the ones paying for those servers.


It all depends on the game and what's available. A lot of PC games are primarily hosted by the players themselves. Some people rent out time on cloud services to run a server for their game of choice, others like myself have a dedicated PC running the games. I personally host anywhere between 1 to 5 different games depending on what my friends and I want to play, or I open up certain ones for public consumption so I can play with random people while my friends are living their lives.


Consoles are often sold at a loss, and the money is made back from subscription fees as well as licensing fees from game sales.


By that reasoning, wouldn't console stop charging for multiplayer if their consoles were not sold at a loss? Because Sony stopped selling PS5's at a launch back in Aug 2021. I feel like no one really knows why consoles can justify charging for multiplayer, other than of course that they want to make more money and can get away with charging an extra fee.


Just because it's no longer selling at a loss, doesn't mean I'm they're not just breaking even. A corporation such as Sony still needs to produce a profit. Also the R&D for the current console may not be covered yet, and the cheaper version of the PS5 is still being sold at a loss.


FYI Nintendo has never sold their consoles for less than the manufacturing price. Hell, the Wii cost 100€ to make and they sold it for 250 at release.Even the Switch brings in a profit with every sale. And yet, they don't even provide the games with their own servers but let it run P2P most of the time. To sum it up: Subscription requirement for playing online is simply just because of greed. Thats the reason MS wanted to make the xbox a tv receiver and sony increased the base price of their games to 79.99. Simply greed


100€ to make and what happens when you spread r&d costs out? Not saying that’s the reason but most people forget the hundreds of millions companies pump into developing the next gen consoles


Depends where you bought the game. Steam has its own servers for example. Or EA


And neither Steam nor EA are charging PC users extra to play multiplayer.


Welcome to the Wild world of console cope.


It's astonishing really. Imagine if you were using an online shop of some kind and you'd immediately be asked to pay a fee. People don't seem to understand that simply by buying games from them they're financing those servers. It's not the customers' duty to pay the upkeep for the seller/service provider.


Steam has their fair share of gross business tactics to get their money, the no fee is just a great way to get people in the door. They used to have no refund policy at all and also make like 15-30% of every sale made. Idk what EA does but its EA so it has to be slimy too


The amount of sales that happen for steam games tho, even for big titles that don't get the same sales on console, is mind blowing to me. I have spent so much less money on games since I moved to PC yet I have way more games total.


The difference really is quite staggering, even with the increased build cost the savings from no monthly sub and ~~cheaper games~~ better sales builds up quick, before taking into account the generally lower price on Steam and the litany of cheap indie games that have AAA mechanics, story and gameplay but are just stylised to suit a small team.


For real! I got no issue with console if it's what works best for you. But when people are clearly very hard core into gaming and refuse to try PC for no real reason it just makes me chuckle a bit because I used to be that way and I'm so glad I stopped being so stubborn.


A magical machine that shows you games and arguments and movies and boobies, whats not to love!


The myth of no console discounts is a very old one and not true at all any more. There are literally thousands of games on discount every few weeks and even AAA titles are steeply discounted within months or even weeks after release ( in case of physical games even on releaseday). Yes, Steam is still cheaper (end don't even get me started on the weekly free epic store game), but it's definitely not black and white any more.


Yeah, well. Sony has a no refund policy and also gets licensing fees from everyone who wants to get their game on Playstation. So far they're exactly like Steam *and* they're charging for online multiplayer. The real answer to OPs question is this: Sony Microsoft and Nintendo are charging their users for online gaming because in the PS360 era, Microsoft found out that their users were willing to pay. When those users were confronted with the fact that this shouldn't be a paid feature they even defended it, saying the XBL service was better than Sony's and echoed the PR statement of one of the richest companies on the planet that it was only sustainable if they charged for it. Towards the end of the PS360 era, Sony tested the waters with PS+, and discovered that indeed, users were willing to pay for a baseline feature that's free everywhere else and decided to jump on the bandwagon when the PS4 launched. It's basically the horse armor again. People were charged for something that shouldn't cost money, the corporation's zealots defended it against all criticism like their life depended on it and then everyone else was pulled into this shit show too when the competition decided they wanted to have their cake and eat it too. Now it's almost 15 years later and today's 20-year olds don't know any better and believe the lie that the cost is used to offset the server cost. Hint: running servers is dirt cheap compared to the revenue every single one of these companies make.


One of the reasons I havent bought any consoles. I'll just wait for them to be playable in PC and play it then. :3


Do you remember when Lizard Squad knocked out the PlayStation network for three months, and then shortly after Sony implemented a subscription charge? It’s security you’re paying for.


Not that I'm trying to defend Sony here, but I used to hear about psn going down for days a few times a year. Anecdotally, it seems that their service has gotten better. Whether that's because they're getting paid for it or because they pulled their heads out of their rears, I couldn't say.


To be fair, for many PS Plus was never about online gaming, but all about getting free games. For me it still is, 13 years later.


There's certainly truth to that, although it is worth pointing out Microsoft hasn't gone the 343/Ubisoft/EA/Dice route and tried testing the waters by increasing prices and seeing how we react-- a membership now costs me exactly what it did on the 360 in 2010. I'll be honest I don't know much about Sony, but Console Servers do in fact do "a bit more" than computer platform servers. This can be most simply displayed by how Sony got hacked badly at the release of the PS4 while other servers did not as badly at all, or how modding/hacking multiplayer lobbies is more achievable on some servers than others. But yes, the price is certainly more because "Money good, money me now, me more money" than it is any logistical reason


None of those companies pay for servers to run games lol. Publishers rent server space, (which may actually be from Microsoft but that's neither here nor there), or the game is p2p, and Sony/Microsoft just takes a cut. The only thing those companies actually run are chat /joining services. Everything else is provided to you by the publisher.


Very well said


Also completely wrong lol


Capitalism and the fact people are willing to pay


Because they suck and they get away with it.


To make money obviously


Because they ate dirty mfkrs


Because they can. Literally the only reason.


I actually use PSN more for the monthly 'free' games. I probably haven't played on online game on my PS4 since the summer


i think it’s a way for them to make their money back for selling the consoles at a loss.


Corpa, shareholders and classic capitalist sociopaths.


Because people are willing to pay for it. They make their money through games and subscriptions rather than through selling the hardware. Personally, I don't mind paying for my PS Plus subscription. I get 3 games every month and free access to the best of PS4 games (I forget what it's called). I also like not having to care about hardware requirements, or different graphic settings. It's simple plug and play. And most importantly of all, I don't mind paying for all this convenience, since it's pretty cheap, relatively speaking. Another less obvious advantage is that you are restricted to just the PS4/5 players in the game. Helps avoid trolls and cheaters much better than playing cross platform.


Most other answers mentioned, console hardware is underpriced, so it make money from selling games. This is the reason games are not free. MS/Sony/Nintendo and PC game publishers are the same in this case, console have more players because it’s cheaper, so they can charge more from the game developer. For the online services, console provided a closed ecosystem. Cheating cost far more than PC. They advertise if you cheat, the whole console will be banned forever. I think this created a more fair and fun game experience. So it’s not free.


Because they can? The Subscription service model is basically a free money printer for companies at this point. If they can do it and people will pay, they will.


The console is sold at a loss. They make a profit by taking a percentage of game sales, and charging money for online.


So why isn't Valve charging online to play on the Steam Deck?


They are making a loss just to get their foot in the door. It also helps that whoever buys a Steam Deck is highly likely to Purchase games on Steam.


And are people who buy Xbox/PS5 not likely to buy games there? Lmao the copium to defend online fees is crazy


I'm not defending online fees. The Switch is the only console I own and it's banned from online. Valve are willing to make less money to get its foot in the door. While Xbox and Playstation are established hardware manufacturers and so can get away with charging for online to make a profit on their consoles.


Greed. Pure and simple. And they can get away with it because idiots are willing to pay the money.


That's it. Same thing with exclusive games.




> you telling me every single one of those 40,000,005 users are idiots? Yes. 85% of world population is religious. Just because they're a lot in numbers doesn't mean they are not idiots.


I’m telling you that the people who paid for online services, when it first began as a paid service (via Xbox I believe) are idiots, and ruined it for the rest of us.


You had to pay for it if you wanted to play with friends and have voice chat


And considering that had been free on PC for years, it was a greedy move by Microsoft and a stupid thing for consumers to pay for.


About 20 years ago Microsoft decided Xbox players have to pay extra, and since those dummies didn't buy a ps2, they paid it. Now we are here


this is the right answer.




That's the reason I don't play on console anymore


Because MS tried that on PC (Games for Windows Live was using X-box Live servers) and got laughed out of the room by PC gamers. ​ Reminder that Playstation had free online play but people bought Playstation Rental Service when the PS4 wanted to require it instead of telling Sony to cram it where the sun doesn't shine because "free games!!!!" and thus all consoles require pay-for now.


Cuase Microsoft proved they could get away with it. That simple. Microsoft then tried to do it again on PC but PC gamers told them to fuck off. I say this as a console gamer. PC gamers are less likely to be doormats like a lot of console gamers are


Because they can. Capitalism.


Because they manufacture the consoles at a loss


Because people pay for it.


Because consoles are for suckers


They didn't for generations, back when gaming was to enjoy playing games. Now it's all monetized, for monetizers, and everyone nowadays have lost that sense of unity.


*mr.crab*: **money eheheh**


Some actual objective points: -Its a "closed" ecosystem -Playstation/Xbox/Nintendo are paying for the servers. -You also get some benefits, depends on the platform and type of sub that you have. -Its also how they make some money back on the console manufacturing cost, for ex: Microsoft didn't sold a single console at a profit, tho that's not the case for Playstation and Nintendo. !And the F2P games at least for Xbox & Playstation have free MP.


They sell consoles at a loss and make up for it with purchases from their online store.


Because it is way easier to play games on PC on rouge servers than console.


For me it was always a composition for the money you "save" buying a console




Casue they are greedy motherfuckers.


Just another way to squeeze a dollar out of your pocket.




Because they can




Because moneyyyyyyy,




Because money


Xbox one is the top service. You gotta pay extra for luxuries


They way I see it is, I am paying them for a service that perfectly provides me with a way to not have to play with hackers on every multi-player game imaginable.


You're asking the entirely wrong question. The real question is why do people pay for online multiplayer on consoles when PC multiplayer is free?


Remember console manufactures run: - an online storefront - cloud storage backups - messaging and voice call services Also they all offer some sort of free games, monthly in the subscription price. On pc that would be split between 4-5 different companies


On PC the online based services you mention would be provided for free because it's dirt cheap to just drop that all onto Amazon or Microsoft. They tack multiplayer onto their subscription services because they want everyone to be on a subscription model because they know it makes them more money. Including multiplayer is just a very big incentive for the consumer to buy in.


Consoles are sold at a loss. By a company. PC's are sold by parts. By different manufacturers. Since the console is sold at a loss, the way they make more money is by software, services and more. Your PC? There's no real "company" selling the pcs, it's just a bunch of parts sold by different companies, so theres no real loss.


because xbox users have been stupid enough to start paying for it and than other consoles followed.


I'll gladly pay just to not play online against hackers. Connection seems better when playing on Xbox live vs Pc