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Microsoft Netflix for Video Games

Wombat Veteran

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Lately we've been seeing an increase in what I can only describe as Netflix for video games.

Microsoft introduced their own monthly game pass in the form of Xbox Game Pass, a subscription service available on both PC and Xbox One. $10 a month buys you the ability to play a respectable number of games, including Metro Exodus, Gears of War 4, Forza 4, and Dead Rising 4 among others. I myself subscribed to the service to play Metro Exodus, and it seems to work well enough.

Humble Bundle offers a similar service in the form of Humble Trove. EA offers a similar pass through Origin. Heck, next month Ubisoft will begin offering their own subscription service, which actually includes most of their newest games.

What do you guys think of "game passes"? Would you prefer to try out a new video game through one such pass and save a couple dollars, or would you prefer to own it outright? If not, what do you think about the concept? While no one likes the EA games as a service model, would you consider put a game pass in the same category?
 

TheGreatCthulhu

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I don't mind these services. I wouldn't personally use them, as I'd prefer to buy games through Steam, GOG, or Origin, and find deals through Humble Bundle.

They're fair, and you do get access to a lot of games for a fair price. I'd just prefer to buy them myself.
 

Castle

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Sorry I just threw up in my mouth a little.

No, this sort of service is for filthy casuals who don't have the time or patience to devote to a full playthrough of a quality title. You know? The sort of game that you can't finish in less than six hours or that you don't just play the same battle royale or death match over and over again a million times.

The only conceivable reason this could be at all useful to any serious gamer would be if you want to sample games before making a full purchase. It's still digital distribution only with less ownership. You only have access to these titles for as long as they're available. You get no copy of the game whatsoever.

I like to pay to own my consumer products. Call me old fashioned but I don't drop $60 msrp on a game for the mere privilege of having access to it.
 

TheGreatCthulhu

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Sorry I just threw up in my mouth a little.

No, this sort of service is for filthy casuals who don't have the time or patience to devote to a full playthrough of a quality title. You know? The sort of game that you can't finish in less than six hours or that you don't just play the same battle royale or death match over and over again a million times.

The only conceivable reason this could be at all useful to any serious gamer would be if you want to sample games before making a full purchase. It's still digital distribution only with less ownership. You only have access to these titles for as long as they're available. You get no copy of the game whatsoever.

I like to pay to own my consumer products. Call me old fashioned but I don't drop $60 msrp on a game for the mere privilege of having access to it.
These services are optional, and they are offering the games themselves for sale in addition to this.

If it was mandatory that you had to have this service to get access to games, then that's a different story.
 
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I don't know enough about these kind of services to distinguish if the examples you've given are games streamed from elsewhere similar to the likes of the upcoming Google Stadia, or simply giving you access to download them while subscribed. The only exception is the Humble Trove, which I have subscribed to in the past but only because I was after other benefits (cheap games) rather than the trove itself.

Such services will have their place. I'm not fond of them and would rather own the game myself indefinitely, but I used to feel that way about films and now am a happy user of Netflix. I guess it depends on what people want from their entertainment and whether they have the circumstances to warrant a 50-60 dollar purchase for each new game.

I'm hoping some new regulations come out to ensure these services don't run away with themselves in terms of data privacy and fair use, but we'll see what comes of them as the technology improves. The option to stream games on hardware much more powerful than your own is certainly tempting, but personally I don't think internet speeds are quite up to that task yet so if I was to become a customer of such services again I'll be sticking to download functionality for the time being.
 

Turo602

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I think it's a great service. I personally have no use for them as I prefer to buy my games. But for people who use stuff like Gamefly, Gamepass is a great alternative and it's a great deal for parents to get their kids a service like this as opposed to buying them the occasional game whenever they're out and about. Some people just can't afford to keep up with games as well or have to be selective with what they can buy. But I think even more importantly, it's great exposure for games. I think Phil Spencer has recently stated that game sales have quadrupled since they went to Gamepass, since it's constant advertising on the Xbox dashboard and that's definitely awesome for gaming in general as it gives great games a bigger chance than they previously had.
 

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I don't know enough about these kind of services to distinguish if the examples you've given are games streamed from elsewhere similar to the likes of the upcoming Google Stadia, or simply giving you access to download them while subscribed. The only exception is the Humble Trove, which I have subscribed to in the past but only because I was after other benefits (cheap games) rather than the trove itself.
You download the games. No streaming involved.
 

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