KEY POINTS

  • The gaming industry is slowly shifting into video game subscription service
  • While the trend is promising, many game developers and publishers are getting increasingly worried about the new platform
  • It appears that the new gaming platform comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages both to the gamers and to the game developers

Back in the days when things are not yet this technologically advanced, owning a video game is purchasing a cartridge, or in more modern times, a software. But, the gaming industry is changing, and it appears that the change is leaning on the same path that music and movies tread—subscription service. The video game streaming service is imminent in the new digital age, and game makers are a bit worried.

Video Game Subscription Service

In a report published by Business Insider, it reveals that video game publishers and executives view the growth of subscription service as an indication of a new paradigm shift in the gaming industry. Despite the thriving platforms and fans, this could signal long-term problem for game developers, the report adds. In a short-term perspective, the shift is beneficial to game makers who would earn massive financial benefits from significant companies like Apple, Sony, and Microsoft, the site adds.

However, these financial benefits would not last for a long time. Business Insider shares the logic behind this concept. "People subscribe to these platforms, platform owners have less incentive to pay for content. The people who used to buy games directly become service subscribers instead, leaving game makers nowhere to publish games other than those subscription platforms," explains the site.

playstation plus free games june 2019 asia Pictured: PlayStation Plus free downloadable games and wallpapers for June 2019. Photo: Sony/PlayStation Asia

Microsoft Game Pass, for instance, needs good content to attract subscribers. However, in the long run, it could impact the entire industry because people would stop purchasing games directly and instead begin paying for subscription services. One game developer likened the trend to Netflix that instead of renting the video, you are paying for the subscription service.

Benefits Of Game Subscription Service

A recent report from Gamasutra reveals that over 70 percent of adults have one subscription service. On the part of the gamers, the major advantage of subscription service is that one would only have to spend minimal investment to enjoy the entire gaming experience compared to purchasing the games sold online or in stores. With the latest technology, the service learns about the gamer’s preference and could suggest several other games of the same genre.

For game developers, they could rely on a monthly stream of revenue from subscribers and would no longer have to worry about how many copies they could sell.

Disadvantages Of Game Subscription Service

Since gamer’s data is available on the platform to monitor gaming habits, it is susceptible to being hacked. Attackers could break into the system and steal personal and credit card information. Another potential disadvantage is unreliability, especially in terms of servers. 

Since the system is at its early stage, bugs could occasionally ruin the gaming experience. Moreover, it could be costly. Some video game subscription services do not offer the same game titles. For a subscriber to enjoy all his favorite games, he might need to subscribe to several game subscription services, which could be expensive.