PlayStation’s Welcome Precedent

How Ghost of Tsushima's generous free update sets a welcome precedent for future updates from Sony.

Sony has lifted the lid on their Ghost of Tsushima 1.1 update, offering an embaressment of riches when it comes to new content. 

A whole new multiplayer mode is the main event, but the update also adds a New Game + mode, new trophies, a new merchant and armour customisation options. There are quality of life improvements too such as finally being able to see your playtime.

The multiplayer mode itself promises two player story missions alongside a four player horde mode, all set in a fantasy setting. Raid events are planned for later on after the launch. Players can choose to play as one of four different classes of character, each with their own attributes. Heck, they’ve even included an updated photo mode in the multiplayer, which is no surprise since Sucker Punch are rightly proud of how pretty they’ve made their game and waste no opportunity to show it off.

The fact that Sony are including all of this as a free update is impressive, and I wonder how much of that decision was down to the need to win back some goodwill with players following some criticism regarding next gen updates. We haven’t heard anything about microtransactions but it wouldn’t surprise me (or be unreasonable) if they did decide to include some cool paid-for costumes or weapon designs within the update.

Sony are however setting themselves a happy precedent though. Naughty Dog have promised a multiplayer update for The Last of Us: Part II, one that was so comprehensive that it needed to be spun out into a separate release. I had expected the multiplayer mode to act as a Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales type affair and be launched as a standalone paid-for adventure on PS5, probably with a remastered version of the full game available as part of an Ultimate Edition. It is exactly what they did with Marvel’s Spider-Man after all.

Given though that they are including Ghost of Tsushima‘s multiplayer in a free update, players will reasonably expect the same treatment for The Last of Us: Part II‘s as well. Sony could have chosen to hold back the Ghost of Tsushima: Legends multiplayer update and save it for the inevitable enhanced PS5 version. That they didn’t should be welcomed. It also means that they now either need to do the same for The Last of Us: Part II‘s multiplayer mode, or else face a wave of angry voices online from players that would only be asking for a consistent approach.

Even if Sony try and insist that The Last of Us: Part II‘s multiplayer mode is a more fleshed out affair and deserves to be a paid for standalone release, the fact that the Ghost of Tsushima: Legends update is so comprehensive will make this argument harder to pull off.

Of course, what Sony still haven’t revealed is whether games like The Last of Us: Part II or Ghost of Tsushima will have a paid-for next gen upgrade path, if players will be given it for free, or if it will be locked up in full price Ultimate Editions. I suspect they’d love to charge for the upgrades, but perhaps the competition from Xbox and the difficulty with already trying to push £70 games alongside Gamepass will encourage them to be more generous and customer-friendly. Or am I just being completely naïve?

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