State of Play: Tchia Marks a Surprising Direction for PS Plus

Day one on... PS Plus?

Tchia screenshot

Sony’s February 2023 State of Play included showy segments on high-profile games like Rocksteady's Suicide Square Kills the Justice League, but you might have missed the most interesting piece of news to come out of the showcase. Indie game Tchia appeared with a cute trailer and ended with a small icon announcing the game will also release on day one for PS Plus Extra and Premium subscribers and in doing so breaks previous promises from Sony.

Tchia is an action-adventure game inspired by New Caledonia, a collection of islands in the South Pacific. Gameplay appears to be a mix of Wind Waker’s sailing and Breath of the Wild’s open-world exploration fueled by climbing and gliding. Also, you can turn into animals and inanimate objects— neat. The game showed of a new trailer during State of Play with the announcement of a March 21st release date.

Most surprising is the news that Tchia will be launching day one on PS Plus for subscribers to the Extra and Premium tiers. While this isn’t immediately shocking, considering how big day-one releases on Xbox’s competing Game Pass service have become, but it does stand out in contrast to what Sony has previously said regarding day-one releases.

PS Plus underwent a massive relaunch in 2022 that sought to transform the service away from being a service dedicated to providing online play and other user perks for PlayStation players and towards an Xbox Game Pass competitor. The biggest changes came in the form of a new complicated tier system of subscription as well as the introduction of a Game Pass-like service that provides subscribers access to a catalog of games from current and previous generations of Sony hardware.

In a September 2022 conversation with, Head of PlayStation Indies Shuhei Yoshida said that Sony would remain focused on “the premium release of a title” and viewed bringing games to PS Plus at a later date as a way to bring new attention to a title after its initial reception during full release. Yoshida even called Stray, which did launch on day one for PS Plus subscribers, an “anomaly”.

Tchia’s status as a day one title for PS Plus subscribers goes against these previous comments from Yoshida and could be the beginning of Sony’s push towards a more Game Pass-like service. Day one releases are a massive draw for subscribers. In 2022 some of the best games of the year (such as Signalis and Pentiment) were all available as day-one titles on the service, included as part of the subscription fee. This is potentially the reason Stray had the anomalous release on PS Plus day one in 2022 — it had the potential to bring in people who were not already subscribers with the allure of getting Stray as a bonus of sorts. The same could be the case with Tchia.

Tchia will launch day one on PS Plus.


Day one releases could be a smart business move that would increase subscriber rates for PS Plus, but it also has the potential to negate what Sony originally intended the service for. In the September 2022 interview, Yoshida stated that “after six months or 12 months when the game’s sales come down, inclusion into PS Plus can help resurface these games.”

The intended use of PS Plus is not to cannibalize potential sales of a game. Yet recent studies of Game Pass’s day-one strategy from Microsoft itself report that the service lowers sales of titles included on Game Pass. Activision Blizzard, which is in the process of being acquired by Microsoft, reportedly has a grim outlook on Game Pass as well with a report saying it could, “severely cannibalize B2P [buy-to-play] sales, particularly in the case of newer releases."

Even with Tchia paving the way for more day-one releases on PS Plus; it seems unlikely that Sony will budge on the topic of first-party games which are likely to never release day one on the platform as these exclusives are massive selling points for Sony hardware. Yet we could be seeing more of the day one logo in the future as Sony continues to work on its Game Pass competitor.

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