Welcome to Caffeine Gaming for your daily shot of Gaming News! In the gaming industry when a developer releases a new service they is usually a lot of speculation around it. Is it a good service? Are they just trying to squeeze more money out of consumers? Is it aimed towards making a better service for customers?. These are certainly the questions we should be asking when a new service is released, some companies will rinse as much out of consumers as it can *cough EA, Activision cough*. Well Microsoft and its Game Pass service have caused massive rumblings in the gaming industry this past week, possibly shaping the future of retail gaming.
Microsoft released, what they call, the Game Pass service last year, on the surface the game pass is essentially Netflix for Gaming. You pay a monthly subscription of £7.99 and unlock 100+ games to play.
“Microsoft announced all their first-party games would be put onto the game pass from release day!”
To begin with I felt like this was a service that would not be worth it, Xbox would have 100+ games that you have never even heard of and soon the service would be stopped having squeezed as much as possible out of people who went for it. I decided to go for the 14 day trail and to my surprise they were some A-list games on there although nothing extremely recent. Gears of War 4 and Halo 5 were obvious being that they were published by Microsoft themselves. After subscribing for a month I soon felt it was a service that would soon grow old, that was until Microsoft shook the entirety of the gaming industry with its next announcement.
Game Pass had been building support for little while since Xbox announced that they would frequently change games on the service so people always had something to play and even some Xbox Play Anywhere titles were on there, meaning you could play them on your Xbox and Windows 10 PC with no extra cost. Last week Microsoft announced that all first-party games would be put onto the Game Pass service on release day!
Yup you heard right, all games published by Microsoft will be released on the Game Pass service upon release date. Not only does that mean no longer having to fork out £50-£60 for the new Halo, Gears of War or even Forza but it means massive smash hits like the new Sea of Thieves will cost as little as £7.99 for the month! Super excited for the new Crackdown game? Well its published by Microsoft, why pay £50 when you can pay £7.99?.
As you can expect retailers are not happy with this move in the slightest with some stores even announcing they will no longer sell Microsoft products due to this move. Granted the biggest impact it will have is on retail gaming with people buying physical copies but hasn’t that market been dying for a while? Digital games was been slowly becoming a bigger marker than retail way before Microsoft announced this. Retailers believe that they are simply being cut out of the picture, why would people go spend money in their stores for games at £50-£60 when they could just pay a tenner with 100+ other games to go with it?
Retailers and ‘experts’ are claiming this could be Microsoft foreseeing the end of the console era of gaming and trying to cash in whilst they can. Things are rapidly moving towards digital gaming and people expect this to mean PC gaming will end up being the only form left. Personally I don’t see this, they will always be people who prefer to just buy a console and pick up a controller and game without having to worry about anything but playing the game.
“Why would people pay £50-£60 a game when they could pay a tenner with 100+ other games”
I think what people need to remember is that this is just the natural way forward for these types of services. Look at TV and Music over the past 10 years? We now have Spotify, Apple Music, Netflix and hell even EA Access take up this model and there thriving. Ultimately it is the consumer that will dictate whether this service will succeed over retail and I seriously believe this move is fantastic for the consumer!
I play Halo, Gears of War and Forza not to mention how excited I am to play Sea of Thieves, Sate of Decay 2 and Crackdown 3 all of which are expected to be released this year. This mean me, the consumer, am saving massive throughout the course of the year. You can guarantee this means I am holding on to the Game Pass service! Just to top the cherry on the cake, Microsoft has now announced they plan on releasing yearly subscriptions for the pass int he same way Xbox Live is. £50 a year and you can play all the first-party releases that come out along with 100+ more games? Yes thank you!
You can even take part in a challenge, work out the riddle, play the game for 10 hours and win some prizes! This maybe bad news for Retail Gaming but I am failing to see the negatives for consumers!
I am eager to hear your opinions on this matter, please comment below or better yet join us on our Forums! As always, may the force be with you all!