Video game subscription services are getting more common as more as more companies are introducing their services. The concept of subscription service is quite intriguing due to the constant flow of money that it offers. The content of a subscription service is owned by the service provider. A person needs to pay constantly to keep using the service. If you can get all games on a single game subscription service then it will reduce the cost of buying video games. That is the situation of an ideal world which isn’t the case due to the presence of so many Video game subscription services.
Different publishers are introducing their subscription services for maximum profit. With so many subscription services, the cost for consumers will increase. People can still buy video games if they want whether they use a game subscription service or not. Just like streaming services, video game developers want to keep all the profit. The way things are going subscription services can’t become an alternative to buying video games.
Netflix and Other OTT Platforms
Netflix was the first streaming service to successfully implement the idea of video streaming. In the beginning, Netflix was the best deal for entertainment. It was offering a large amount of content at the fraction of the price. There was Hulu but it was a latecomer. Netflix was dominating the market and it is doing so even now. However, the introduction of so many over-the-top (OTT) streaming services increasing the cost for average customers.
Different entertainment companies are introducing their own OTT services. This gives them total control over their production and revenue. Some of these platforms don’t have a lot to offer other than a few good series. Paying for HBO Max just to watch Game of Thrones is one such example. If you want to watch Disney content then you should subscribe to Disney Plus. The introduction of so many OTT platforms is making subscription services more costly.
Even if Netflix is leading the market there are still a lot of franchises that you can’t access through it. At some point, if you want to watch a series or movie on another platform then you have to pay for it. Watching only a couple of series and subscribing to a service for it can be costly. There is just no way around it other than pirating the content.
Game Subscription Services and OTT Platforms
The idea of having to pay for a subscription service and never buying a game is quite intriguing. It could have been the most cost-effective solution to play video games. However, such a situation is only possible there were not so many video game subscription services. The availability of so many subscription services is shattering the idea of having Netflix of video games. Even the term Netflix of video games seems out of place now, since there are many OTT services. Xbox Game Pass has the biggest games library in any game subscription service. Its dominance has not stopped other platforms from introducing their services.
Videos games subscription services and OTT services are moving in the same direction. Different publishers are introducing their OTT services. The situation is no different than what distributors are doing with OTT services. Developers think that having two or three games a year is enough to persuade people to use their service. Even developers know that these games are not enough to justify the monthly fee of the platform. In some cases, subscribing to a service of a publisher gives you a better gameplay experience. For instance, using EA Play give you extra in-game items and early access to some games. Even if you pre-order an EA published game you still won’t get these perks. The unfair practices of these subscription services are unethical, to say the least. Players need to get equally if they have paid equally.
Cost Is Increasing
The production cost of video games is increasing which is the reason that games are costing more in 9th gen consoles. Some games are available on one subscription service but they are not available on another subscription service. To get that game you either need to subscribe to another subscription service or buy the game. Such a situation makes subscription service more expensive as they do not act as a cost-effective alternative. Subscribing to all video game subscription services is more expensive and does not have a lot of value.
If you subscribe to a service for a live service game, then in 5 months you will surpass the cost of that game. In a year, you will be paying more for that game than the upfront cost. To top it all of, games are full of microtransactions which acts as an additional cost. The price to performance ratio of video game subscription services is not good enough.
Netflix of Video Games
The idea of having a single subscription service for video games is quite intriguing. Before the release of Google Stadia, many were hoping that this could be the Netflix of video games that we been waiting for. It was a total disappointment after the release due to its high game prices. Game Pass is the closest thing to a Netflix of video games. Not only does Game Pass have a large library but it also offers 1st party title on the day of their release. It is offering the best deal compared to any other video game subscription services. PlayStation Now also offers a large library of games but most of these games are older. Despite being a good game subscription service, Game Pass is still lacking a lot of good games.
Crossplay has opened the doors for publishers to make their games subscription services. Publishers don’t have to worry about the player base of a platform anymore. They can sell the game in whichever way they want. Players from all platforms can play games with each other due to crossplay. Players of a platform are no longer limited to a single platform. As long as you have a copy of the game, you can play with anyone you want. A lot of games still aren’t crossplay but that won’t be the case with PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. Publishers would use the crossplay nature of games for their game subscription services. Cloud gaming is making things more interesting as it only acts as a service.
Video game subscription services are getting common but they are not acting as an alternative to buying games. There are many games subscription services which is making everything more complicated. The presence of so many video game subscription services is going in the opposite direction of cost-effectiveness. Netflix of video games is still a concept that is yet to be implemented. Game Pass might be a good alternative but even that is lacking some crucial aspects. The game quality of Xbox’s first-party titles is questionable. If a person subscribes to all the services then the long-term cost will increase. The moment you stop using the service you can lose all games from that service. There is also the problem of game removal as certain games are removed from such services after some time. Despite having subscription services buying games is still the best option.