Gaming subscription services are not the future of gaming

Apple Logo on Macbook Pro(2019) laptop. Photo credit: Dennis Price

Gaming is in a transition period, and it’s not because of new PlayStation and Xbox’s consoles coming next year.

The change is in the way gamers play.

Game subscription services like PlayStation Now and Xbox Game Pass have been rising in popularity in the last few years.

They are inspired by streaming services like Netflix. For a monthly fee, subscribers have access to a more than 100 game library with new games added to these services each week.

While it’s a good deal for consumers, these subscription services are not the future of gaming. As the main focus, they would do more harm than good in the long run for the gaming industry.

If all games are exclusively on these services in a possible future, the over $150 billion industry would lose out on revenue.

Subscribing to these services means less money for game creators.

What’s bad for game creators is good for gamers because these services are a great deal for anyone who plays games.

Subscribers have access to the big-budget games while giving exposure to the smaller games for a brand new audience.

A service like Xbox Game Pass has tons of value for gamers. Xbox Exclusive games are added to the service the same date as games launch in stores.

These services aren’t just on game consoles, they are coming to your smartphone too.

On September 19th, Apple threw its hat into the ring and launched its gaming subscription service, Apple Arcade. Apple users on iPhone, iPad, AppleTV, and Macs have access to 100+ premium games for $5.99 a month in Canada.

The emphasis is on ‘premium games’ with no ads or microtransactions, and that is a step in the right direction, especially in a market full of games that take the opposite approach.

The game subscription approach is not new for anyone who has used services like Netflix, but for game players, it’s a different approach. Buying a game is now an option with these services, which gives game consumers more choice.

Enjoying a particular game doesn’t mean you have to own it. In one way, these services are the modern version of Rogers Videos or Blockbuster minus leaving your house.

The negative side is that subscribers don’t own these games, and if a specific game leaves the service, the opportunity to play that game disappears.

Gaming subscription services aren’t the future of gaming in a big way, but in a small way. They add to the value gaming supplies for the people who play them.

These services are one possible outlet for consumers to get more value for their hard-earned money, plus it’s another way for game companies to make more revenue.