• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.

Is Game Pass Genius or am I overthinking it?

u4ea

Member
Oct 27, 2013
70
18
440
I'm subscribed and I like it. But they need to keep it interesting in some way. The addition of EA games is a great move. But I need my steady dose of AAA games coming in, otherwise I'm going to unsubscribe and subscribe only when something interesting comes by.
 

Wizz-Art

Member
Aug 20, 2012
376
487
640
The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

Let people like what they like.
For real! I own a physical movie collection with over 1600 titles on either Blu-ray/HD-DVD and 140+ UHD's and about 1300 dvd's packed away in boxes because I only watch media in HD resolutions for the better part of a decade.

But to be frank the reason I still buy Blu-ray's is because A/V quality of a Blu-ray/HD-DVD can only be matched by a 4K stream at best, we talk only video quality here as for audio a 4K stream is barely DVD quality. There is a visible and audible difference. A digital downloadable game bares no difference to the physical game so the argument becomes moot. BTW, it's the first time I hear that phrase "the wall of virginity". Cute!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Andodalf

Hendrick's

Member
Jan 7, 2014
7,487
10,672
785
I'm subscribed and I like it. But they need to keep it interesting in some way. The addition of EA games is a great move. But I need my steady dose of AAA games coming in, otherwise I'm going to unsubscribe and subscribe only when something interesting comes by.
Some will always be like you and bother to sub and unsub as they find content they want. Most will not bother and will forget they are even paying for it, just like Netflix and all the others. For me, it's not a significant amount of money where I would even worry about cancelling even of there was a drought, but so far it has been really good anyway.
 

lastmessiah

Member
May 14, 2020
1,084
2,279
410
I'm subscribed and I like it. But they need to keep it interesting in some way. The addition of EA games is a great move. But I need my steady dose of AAA games coming in, otherwise I'm going to unsubscribe and subscribe only when something interesting comes by.
for me AAA games aren’t the main draw, it’s stuff like Pillars of Eternity, Wasteland, Battletoads, etc
 

ruvikx

Member
Jan 12, 2018
1,665
3,291
420
I keep posting my experience with Game Pass because I want people to genuinely think about if they are saving money or not. Fair enough if you don't care and want the convenience Game Pass brings but please stop saying it saves you all this money.

I have a subscription to Netflix to watch about 5 shows. I've had it for 3 years now, so I've spent £100+ every year to be able to watch these 5 series when I want to, on many devices.

What a total fucking ripoff lol I could've bought each series on disc + a decent 4K BD player to play them on for much less than that, but I keep it because its split 3 ways with flatmates so its like "Its only £3 quid a month..." but it REALLY adds up and you should actually check you aren't being hung out to dry with how you use the service.
The unknown factor regarding whether I'll even like a game I purchased or not cannot be overstated. Gamepass saves me a load of money because I can try one game & if I don't like it, I download another etc.

If I buy a game at full price, I don't enjoy it & never go back, kaboom, it's a net-loss. Whereas with Gamepass, nope, I get the luxury to choosing among many. There's also the fact games cannot be compared to films or series because whilst they're indeed a time sink (like a series), I won't really care to "own" one of these titles just to replay it years later when I already have the achievements & I'd rather use the week/two weeks I need to finish a game in order to play another title.

In terms of industry benefits, I can see how Gamepass gives life & revenue to older titles which would be either dead under normal circumstances (i.e. like a game such as Alien Isolation which has been on Gamepass for a while) or would only exist via used game sales (like in prior Xbox 360/PS3 eras).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kuranghi

Karuyag

Member
Aug 31, 2010
169
21
735
When I look through Netflix, even though theres a ton of titles there, most of the time, i don't know what I wanna watch. I end up watching what I've seen before anyways.

That's what I feel GamePass will be for me.

Having alot of games available to me for cheap somehow makes me not value them as much.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Zzpaff

devilNprada

Member
May 2, 2019
641
756
330
At the end of the day subscription services were created to sell you shit you don't want by selling what you do want a bit cheaper...

You pay more and get more...

The value is in if you use that more or not!
 

Hendrick's

Member
Jan 7, 2014
7,487
10,672
785
Having alot of games available to me for cheap somehow makes me not value them as much.
This is true on an individual basis, but you still end up valuing the service. I'm guessing you still have Netflix even though it may not always have something new and interesting.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Almanac

Karuyag

Member
Aug 31, 2010
169
21
735
This is true on an individual basis, but you still end up valuing the service. I'm guessing you still have Netflix even though it may not always have something new and interesting.
That's a good point. But now for some reason, i now realize I'm wasting money because I'm not utilizing the service efficiently. Kinda like having a gym membership but never going.
 

bender

Bending Rodríguez (22, 1,729)
Apr 12, 2010
6,222
5,922
1,260
That's a good point. But now for some reason, i now realize I'm wasting money because I'm not utilizing the service efficiently. Kinda like having a gym membership but never going.
That's the whole point of subscription services and why they default your account to auto-renew.

As for Netflix, I usually just sign up for a free month ever few years and play catchup on what I've missed and then immediately cancel.
 

The Pleasure

Member
Jan 8, 2019
2,705
3,692
460
For real! I own a physical movie collection with over 1600 titles on either Blu-ray/HD-DVD and 140+ UHD's and about 1300 dvd's packed away in boxes because I only watch media in HD resolutions for the better part of a decade.

But to be frank the reason I still buy Blu-ray's is because A/V quality of a Blu-ray/HD-DVD can only be matched by a 4K stream at best, we talk only video quality here as for audio a 4K stream is barely DVD quality. There is a visible and audible difference. A digital downloadable game bares no difference to the physical game so the argument becomes moot. BTW, it's the first time I hear that phrase "the wall of virginity". Cute!
This right here. Streaming audio quality os woefully inadequate if you invest in good sound. Picture quality too.

And wall of virginity? Women love my wall of movies. Gamer girls love my wall of games. If anything used right they can pick up girls. But again this collection is for MY enjoyment. Same with any other collector of physical media.
 

Seraphym

Member
Feb 18, 2014
100
40
440
I am a long term subscriber, for me it's is great. My usual co op group are also subscribers and for us it is a no brainer, recent additions (Destiny DLC) have been great.
I use it on my laptop and very occasionally the Pixel as well, so for me it is great value.

I appreciate for others it is not.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Kuranghi

Kuranghi

Member
Apr 17, 2015
1,753
3,476
670
The unknown factor regarding whether I'll even like a game I purchased or not cannot be overstated. Gamepass saves me a load of money because I can try one game & if I don't like it, I download another etc.

If I buy a game at full price, I don't enjoy it & never go back, kaboom, it's a net-loss. Whereas with Gamepass, nope, I get the luxury to choosing among many. There's also the fact games cannot be compared to films or series because whilst they're indeed a time sink (like a series), I won't really care to "own" one of these titles just to replay it years later when I already have the achievements & I'd rather use the week/two weeks I need to finish a game in order to play another title.

In terms of industry benefits, I can see how Gamepass gives life & revenue to older titles which would be either dead under normal circumstances (i.e. like a game such as Alien Isolation which has been on Gamepass for a while) or would only exist via used game sales (like in prior Xbox 360/PS3 eras).
I rarely regret purchases or if I do I refund them on Steam (I'm out of luck on PS4 & Switch in that regard though in fairness), but the reason is because I'm usually vetting them heavily and watching a lot of previews, gameplay, etc.

So I get that a lot of people want to go in blind to games and can't verify they'll like the game until they try it. The best use case for Game Pass seems to be people that want to play/try everything, don't really want to 100% finish too many of them + the part about wanting to go in blind from above.
 

Kuranghi

Member
Apr 17, 2015
1,753
3,476
670
This right here. Streaming audio quality os woefully inadequate if you invest in good sound. Picture quality too.

And wall of virginity? Women love my wall of movies. Gamer girls love my wall of games. If anything used right they can pick up girls. But again this collection is for MY enjoyment. Same with any other collector of physical media.
For real! I own a physical movie collection with over 1600 titles on either Blu-ray/HD-DVD and 140+ UHD's and about 1300 dvd's packed away in boxes because I only watch media in HD resolutions for the better part of a decade.

But to be frank the reason I still buy Blu-ray's is because A/V quality of a Blu-ray/HD-DVD can only be matched by a 4K stream at best, we talk only video quality here as for audio a 4K stream is barely DVD quality. There is a visible and audible difference. A digital downloadable game bares no difference to the physical game so the argument becomes moot. BTW, it's the first time I hear that phrase "the wall of virginity". Cute!
In my old job I just gave up on trying to explain why Netflix's "Dolby Atmos" is shite quality compared to actually uncompressed Dolby TrueHD you'd find on a Bluray (Not even just 4K BD, old 1080p BDs as well), let alone disc-based Dolby Atmos. So if someone was going to only watch netflix/streaming services and never from disc they never achieve the audio quality I sold them the device with, but eventually I just gave up because it makes it confusing and they feel deceived. If Neflix doesn't make it clear its not the same I figured I'll pretend it is unless the customer is switch on to that sort of thing or brings it up themselves.

Dolby Atmos on Netflix is "Dolby Digital Plus", which is lossy (but still better than old lossy DD 5.1) with the height channel metadata from a real Atmos track, so you aren't going to hear nearly as big a difference as with the same demo in lossy DD5.1 vs. lossless TrueHD.
 

Wizz-Art

Member
Aug 20, 2012
376
487
640
In my old job I just gave up on trying to explain why Netflix's "Dolby Atmos" is shite quality compared to actually uncompressed Dolby TrueHD you'd find on a Bluray (Not even just 4K BD, old 1080p BDs as well), let alone disc-based Dolby Atmos. So if someone was going to only watch netflix/streaming services and never from disc they never achieve the audio quality I sold them the device with, but eventually I just gave up because it makes it confusing and they feel deceived. If Neflix doesn't make it clear its not the same I figured I'll pretend it is unless the customer is switch on to that sort of thing or brings it up themselves.

Dolby Atmos on Netflix is "Dolby Digital Plus", which is lossy (but still better than old lossy DD 5.1) with the height channel metadata from a real Atmos track, so you aren't going to hear nearly as big a difference as with the same demo in lossy DD5.1 vs. lossless TrueHD.
I know how difficult it can be to explain to not so tech-savy people that their Netflix 4K stream is a regular Blu-ray video wise at best and not even close to real 4K UHD's. Let alone the audio quality you get from stream, I didn't even know Netflix started to offer Dolby Atmos but only a handfull of selected titles no? But if that's the case and it's DD Plus it's base HD-DVD quality, which wasn't too bad for 2006 but really outdated now.
 

sainraja

Member
Aug 15, 2007
567
308
1,255
Sony should have a service like Game Pass, but I don’t think giving away first party exclusives is a smart move.
The kind of do....but as you just highlighted, first part games are not part of that equation. I think that's fine but they do need to start advertising it more or supporting that more.
 

Rhazer Fusion

Member
May 2, 2006
10,439
1,784
1,510
In my own world.
m.youtube.com
Sony should have a service like Game Pass, but I don’t think giving away first party exclusives is a smart move.
Isn’t PSNow similar to it excluding the first party games? They will probably do some adjustments to it as well I’m assuming going into next generation. Sony really needs to work on the marketing of it though because I wonder if most PlayStation owners even know it exists or what it truly is.
 
Last edited:

Ezekiel_666x

Neo Member
Nov 20, 2018
11
52
135
This is a false equivalency.

You see, with a subscription service, like GamePass or Netflix, you have access to a lot a content, but your time playing or watching isn't unlimited.

That's the trap, and that's why we are seeing a lot of these services pop up. Companies are really pushing for these models, because they extract more money on the long run from users.

After a couple of years paying for the subscription service, you will have paid more than if you only bought a couple games you were interested in. And of course you don't have to buy everything day one for 80 $

Not only that, but if you unsubscribe, you lose access to everything. Only what you have bought will stay with you.

This is why we are weeing companies trying to push "Games as a service" model. They are trying to get people to pay indefinitely, without actually having to provide great content.

So unless you play 40-50 hours a week at video games, subscription services like GamePass are not cost efficient.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Saber

Relativ9

Member
Nov 18, 2012
2,101
848
620
Narvik, Norway
I think the main problem with Game Pass and services like it (PS now?)is much the same as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV ect...content quantity and quality, and delivery times vs subscription cost.

The economy reality of it is that games cost a LOT of money to make, these days more than ever, and this is the primary reason for developers and publishers wanting to increase the price to 70$...to maintain the same profit margins as they had when they were cheaper to make. So then the problem becomes; can Game Pass support this massive cost for all it's day-and-date titles?

The answer to that, just purely mathematically; is no. Publishers will want to sell their games for full price when those games had huge budgets, the only way they will be okey with putting it at launch day on Game Pass will be if MS subsidizes this cost heavily (favoring their game above others on the service), or they have massive micro transaction schemes (likely predatory). Microsoft will likely only be willing to heavily subsidize large games for so long, especially considering they are already doing so with their own first party games, once they withdraw the "profit guarantee" it's likely that large singleplayer games (without a micro-transaction focus) will stop appearing on the service until a year or so after initial release. This will mean that the service will heavily favor smaller indie games which are cheaper to produce, microtransaction heavy games (that might've been free-to-play if it weren't for the service), and of course big MS first party games or partnership games.

Of course the alternative would that the service massively increases in price, or they make a tiered system which lets you play "launch day games" if you pay for the Game Pass gold or whatever (for like 30 a month or something).
 

quest

Not Banned from OT
Jul 17, 2004
5,561
2,166
1,695
I think the main problem with Game Pass and services like it (PS now?)is much the same as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple TV ect...content quantity and quality, and delivery times vs subscription cost.

The economy reality of it is that games cost a LOT of money to make, these days more than ever, and this is the primary reason for developers and publishers wanting to increase the price to 70$...to maintain the same profit margins as they had when they were cheaper to make. So then the problem becomes; can Game Pass support this massive cost for all it's day-and-date titles?

The answer to that, just purely mathematically; is no. Publishers will want to sell their games for full price when those games had huge budgets, the only way they will be okey with putting it at launch day on Game Pass will be if MS subsidizes this cost heavily (favoring their game above others on the service), or they have massive micro transaction schemes (likely predatory). Microsoft will likely only be willing to heavily subsidize large games for so long, especially considering they are already doing so with their own first party games, once they withdraw the "profit guarantee" it's likely that large singleplayer games (without a micro-transaction focus) will stop appearing on the service until a year or so after initial release. This will mean that the service will heavily favor smaller indie games which are cheaper to produce, microtransaction heavy games (that might've been free-to-play if it weren't for the service), and of course big MS first party games or partnership games.

Of course the alternative would that the service massively increases in price, or they make a tiered system which lets you play "launch day games" if you pay for the Game Pass gold or whatever (for like 30 a month or something).
This is good for single player games it makes them less risky since you have a subscription base to cover costs. As we have seen Microsoft will have many more single player games than in the past with the 3 rpg studios, ever wild ect. It will let double fine and other studios make single player games with out the pressure of huge day 1 sales or they are a failure.
 

web3x

Neo Member
Jun 1, 2013
48
21
380
My 2 cents:

Not genius as it didn't take much to decide to copy what is already going on in the music and movie industries.

It is very smart though, and they are in the best possible position to pull it off.
 

Kuranghi

Member
Apr 17, 2015
1,753
3,476
670
I know how difficult it can be to explain to not so tech-savy people that their Netflix 4K stream is a regular Blu-ray video wise at best and not even close to real 4K UHD's. Let alone the audio quality you get from stream, I didn't even know Netflix started to offer Dolby Atmos but only a handfull of selected titles no? But if that's the case and it's DD Plus it's base HD-DVD quality, which wasn't too bad for 2006 but really outdated now.
AFAIK (in the UK/European server at least) everything that is sent out in Dolby Vision by Netflix also has Atmos audio, but its DD+. I'll investigate more, this information is from mid-2019, might have changed but I figured they wouldn't increase bitrate/bandwidth needed if they limiting the bitrate in Europe still.

edit - this page from 2019 says that only specific devices support Atmos: https://www.highdefdigest.com/news/show/everything-on-netflix-with-dolby-vision-hdr-andor-dolby-atmos/42751

"Meanwhile, Netflix Dolby Atmos playback is currently only supported via the Apple TV 4K (with tvOS 12 or later), LG OLED TVs (2017 or newer), Sony BRAVIA Android TVs (2018 models), the Pixela 4K Smart Tuner, the Windows 10 app (requires Windows 10 RS3 Build 16299 or later), or Xbox One, Xbox One S, and Xbox One X game consoles."

The list does show its only select titles, I'm aware that they have forced a lot of HDR10 titles into a Dolby Vision container for some reason and I thought they were doing the same with Atmos but must've gotten confused.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Wizz-Art

Pagusas

Member
Jun 9, 2006
12,155
3,177
1,560
Prosper, Tx
Yes i do. But i know i don't own those films. The picture quality is lesser and thus not a suitable replacement for me. Same with game pass. Games can suddebly disappear, you don't own anything or streaming is of lesser quality by lag compression artifacts or just gaving to be at the whim of a long download before anything can be played. I do understand why people like it but the picture implies ownership.
If you really love a game you can buy it, often at a discount, if you see it being removed from the service. I dont think anyone here is using gamepass for streaming as their primary means of playing, we're all using it as a replacement for our everyday thing.
 
Oct 16, 2017
1,318
1,963
405
This is good for single player games it makes them less risky since you have a subscription base to cover costs. As we have seen Microsoft will have many more single player games than in the past with the 3 rpg studios, ever wild ect. It will let double fine and other studios make single player games with out the pressure of huge day 1 sales or they are a failure.
It also caps the expected returns. Without microtransactions, you would need to restrict how much money you spend making it or you never recoup the costs.
But the reality is that they would simply add in microtransactions. Because that is where the real money is in Gamepass.
 
  • Thoughtful
Reactions: Ezekiel_666x

quest

Not Banned from OT
Jul 17, 2004
5,561
2,166
1,695
It also caps the expected returns. Without microtransactions, you would need to restrict how much money you spend making it or you never recoup the costs.
But the reality is that they would simply add in microtransactions. Because that is where the real money is in Gamepass.
I have been a member since close to the start my spendature on microtransaction zippo zero nothing. Microtransactions are not anything I worry about. Playing a plague tale now zero reason to spend a dime. When the 3 double fine remasters come in 2 weeks that will be the same. Just play complete and uninstall.
 

Hestar69

Member
Nov 22, 2018
157
136
290
+ Every first party game day 1
+Tons of games being added every month,always something new to try
+Bing rewards (even though they nerfed this)
+can usually find deals for game pass cheap


-where the FUCK is final fantasy X.We've only gotten 7/9 so far
-Some games get removed to fast
-only two weeks notice when a games getting removed,should be a month

Theres been alot of games I've tried on game pass and really dug and I would not have payed for them.
 

Killer Sakoman

Gold Member
Mar 17, 2020
1,052
3,397
455
Saudi Arabia
Currently game pass has around 15 million subs paying something around $10 a month. So Xbox is bringing in something like $150mil a month. In this next generation let's say they double the subs to 30mil. That's $300 million a month. It's all digital and all funds currently flow straight to them.

So you ask yourself, how do they plan to double in subs and how do they keep current subs happy? It seems like they have an answer for everything.

Bigger longer better games. You'll see a lot more RPGs because they last longer. Keeping people engaged.

Online games. Games like Sea of Thieves and Destiny keep people logging in week after week to run missions and have monthly events.

Indie games. They may not stay on the platform for very long but they will keep a fresh batch coming so gamers have something new to try often. Gives a lot of exposure to the devs and there's always something interesting to check out without a barrier to entry.

Racing games. They have had this locked down for awhile with the two different Forza titles. These will continue on for both the sim and arcade one two punch.

Shooters. With Halo becoming an open world game as well as games as a service online game this should keep fans locked in. Then add in Gears and possibly Perfect Dark.

What's a quick and cheaper way to get content on the service? Backcompat games. These games weren't making anyone any money before. But now if a handful of gamers decided to go back play some of these games it keeps them on the service.

Of course they'll still do some big name third party games to keep it fresh. I'm also sure they'll keep a large selection of kid and family friendly games as well.

The more game types they can get going on the service the wider the net they cast to get more people on the service. The more they can keep people coming back month after month the more they can find bigger projects. But at the same time they lower the risks for experimental games.

But you say $500 consoles are a huge barrier to entry. But they even thought about that. Sure a lot of us are willing to pay that no questions asked. But say your younger kids want to play Minecraft so you get them the Series S for $300. Or maybe you have a PC buddy that doesn't want a console but wants to still play online with you. Cross platform play with game pass for PC. Then there's xcloud. No system needed at all. I could see this getting added as a smart tv app. So to recap you could play on mobile/tablet, PC, premium console, and budget console with browser support coming.

To me looking at it as a business model a game like skyrim / fallout or the Witcher is more valuable than a game like The Order 1886 because they can easily be played for 100 hours + rather than just an afternoon. However, they could take a chance on something more creative like the order because of the monthly safety net.

I bring up The Order because I enjoyed it for what it was. However, it apparently went over budget, missed their deadlines, and then underperformed at retail. So I kind of doubt Sony will ever do a follow-up. It's only about an 8 hour game. Something like that on gamepass is great for a quick play because they aren't asking you for $60 for that 8 hour experience. That's a quick 1000 achievement score and on to the next.

With game budgets getting higher making the barrier to entry lower makes a ton of sense. $15 a month give you so many options and helps raise game budgets. Currently game pass brings in enough to fund three $50 million games a month. Or with budgets getting higher they could fund one $250mil+ GTA 5 sized game every two months. If they can grow the service to 30mil subs they could afford to fund a AAA game each month. Of course they wouldn't need to. Games take years to make. But the income would be there.

This seems genius but yet I read a lot of people thinking it's unsubstantiated. I don't think microsoft became one of the wealthiest companies without some smart people making business models like this.
They need to pay all those developers. I don't think it's an easy profit, otherwise, Sony would have jumped on it with their 100 million userbase.
 

Ten_Fold

Member
Jan 18, 2017
1,586
1,269
440
It’s good for Microsoft and older AAA games and even some new indie games. Right now I doubt it’s really that profitable, so I feel it’s not really worth it for Sony/Nintendo go for it right now. I prefer to go to my local Best Buy or Walmart an buy my games anyways.
 

Cutty Flam

Member
Dec 3, 2019
2,334
2,897
620
I think it’s a great concept, I always wished Nintendo would do the same except larger. Want them to bring every single game to a VC shop somehow. That would be gaming perfected if they could somehow pull that off, but it’s more of a dream of mine lol

I think Game Pass is pretty cool. I can’t wait to play Banjo-Tooie on it when I buy (most likely) an XSX maybe in like a year or two
 

Relativ9

Member
Nov 18, 2012
2,101
848
620
Narvik, Norway
I have been a member since close to the start my spendature on microtransaction zippo zero nothing. Microtransactions are not anything I worry about. Playing a plague tale now zero reason to spend a dime. When the 3 double fine remasters come in 2 weeks that will be the same. Just play complete and uninstall.
Never the less, this is likely going to be where they make back their money. Micro-transactions have never been made to appeal to the average player/majority, whales are the bread and butter of all micro transaction systems. As a person who doesn't buy them the only way you'll notice their effect is in progression systems that seem overly grindy and slow, or visuals (skins) that seem boring and lifeless (when compared to the paid ones). The other option is that they'll rope you into buying DLC with actually decent content...but then it's not like that doesn't also cost a lot of money to produce so not sure it offsets the initial project cost.
 

dcx4610

Member
Dec 4, 2012
2,990
180
585
In a world where people treat media as disposable and as services, it's genius. I think they'll need to raise to $19 at some point though.

To me, I hate this world of Netflix, Spotify and Gamepass. All of those services just feel like rental systems like a modern Blockbuster. If I want to demo a game, song or movie, those are perfect fine but if I know I like something, I want to physically own and control it (even if it's a digital file like FLAC). It seems like most people are just content with only temporarily having access to media or "renting" it and have no passion anymore for owning anything.