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Subscription models prioritising quantity over quality?

Vawn

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Watching Microsoft's acquisition of smaller studios and seeing the games they released and/or announced lately, it seems to me their goal is to push out games as quickly and cheaply as possible and to add those games to GamePass.

While this sounds good in theory, I feel as if it comes at the expense of quality. People naturally expect less when the games are cheaper and many games are being described as "it's fine because its free/included in the monthly fee".

Perhaps this is ideal for those who have more time than money. It feels somewhere between AAA games and free-to-play. Personally, my time is too valuable to waste on B-tier games and I'd rather just have more options to play high-quality games that I can purchase and own.

While options are good, I worry about anything that moves the industry away from the high quality software in favor of cheaper experiences.
 
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DanielsM

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Watching Microsoft's acquisition of smaller studios and seeing the games they released and/or announced lately, it seems to me their goal is to push out games as quickly and cheaply as possible and to add those games to GamePass.

While this sounds good in theory, I feel as if it comes at the expense of quality. People naturally expect less when the games are cheaper and many games are being described as "it's fine because its free/included in the monthly fee".

Perhaps this is ideal for those who have more time than money. It feels somewhere between AAA games and free-to-play. Personally, my time is too valuable to waste on B-tier games and I'd rather just have more options to play high-quality games that I can purchase and own.

While options are good, I worry about anything that moves the industry away from the high quality software in favor of cheaper experiences.
I think partially what you are saying is true, meaning Netflix is shoveling out content, not all of its good, but they keep it coming. However, the general trend in gaming is the middle tier budget games and the studios have been disappearing over the last 10-15 years as well. The real issue for these types of models is just the fact that gaming is actually quite cheap - as long as you don't buy games right at release. Games drop in value so quickly and the fact you can only play a few games at a time, renders most of the rental subscriptions as really not great value, generally speaking. I think Sony is saying what you are saying - we want higher quality titles and fewer of them, but make them meaningful because honestly nobody can finish all these games in a year anyway.

Why do I need access to 5,000 games, the chances of me even wanting to play 5-10% of them is very slim.

The difference to me is that with movies/tv shows its very easy for a family of four to consume a few thousand hours of programming a year - the content has to keep coming. With games one game you can consume 50-500 hours.
 
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SorenBach

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See for me, I DONT have the time.

I work alot. So a sub for me with a large selection of games I can quickly install and have a blast on is perfect.

I no longer have the time to spend £60 on a game and play it for 200 hours.
This. So much this.
 

Riven326

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See for me, I DONT have the time.

I work alot. So a sub for me with a large selection of games I can quickly install and have a blast on is perfect.

I no longer have the time to spend £60 on a game and play it for 200 hours.
You don't have to play anything for 200 hours. If you're referring to big open world games, avoid them or just play them when you have time. I don't see how a model that prioritizes quantity over quality helps your situation. You'll have a bunch of mediocre games to choose from instead of a handful of great games. But at least you got choices, right?
 
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DunDunDunpachi

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Well that's the thing: the quantity of games is all that matters when it comes to a subscription. If you can't find one game among hundreds, that's obviously your fault (right?).

The two business models are antithetical to one another. Quality products command a fair market price. Subscriptions require a high volume of products included. How else can a publisher make money off a subscription unless they are offering you cheap games? "Cheap" doesn't necessarily mean bad, but bad games go cheap faster than good games do.
 

LostDonkey

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You don't have to play anything for 200 hours. If you're referring to big open world games, avoid them or just play them when you have time. I don't see how a model that prioritizes quantity over quality helps your situation. You'll have a bunch of mediocre games to choose from instead of a handful of great games. But at least you got choices, right?
Again. Who are you to tell me what is mediocre and what is not.
 

ROMhack

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Subscription based models appeal to more casual gamers, and I mean that as nicely as possible. I think it's a pretty good business model but not one for me personally.
 
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That's exactly what the services are for. Long term GAAS games that will keep people subscribed for long periods of time or cheap budget titles here and there.

It doesn't make business sense to make a huge AAA single player story driven game that can be beaten in less than a month, your basically trading a $60 buy for a $10 monthly subscription fee. That's why its so weird when people say, when is Sony gonna add day 1 first party games to PS Now? Like if they did that then they would have to change the types of games they are making.
 
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NickFire

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See for me, I DONT have the time.

I work alot. So a sub for me with a large selection of games I can quickly install and have a blast on is perfect.

I no longer have the time to spend £60 on a game and play it for 200 hours.
I get what you are saying. For me personally, even though my time is also limited the subscription model just doesn't appeal yet. I tend to play one to a couple games from a handful of developers each year or two (not 1-2 games a year, 1-2 from more than one dev each year). I will often leave a game and not come back for a while too. So for me to get the same experience I will have to sub to multiple services. Adding up all these subs, I feel like I would end up paying more for the privilege of never stopping the payments. And I expect the price will just keep going up, with the pubs holding back the best new releases to tease me into paying to own games anyway. And what happens if someone else wants to play in my family? Do they need a sub too, cause right now we can run a single purchase on two PS4's simultaneously by selection of primary accounts.

Maybe some day this will be a blessing, but right now I'm not seeing it.
 
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MastAndo

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My gaming nowadays is pretty casual, and I also have a hard time finding games that "stick" so I'm digging these subscription services. I mean, I know it's EA and all, but if you take a look at the catalog offered with Origin Basic for $5 a month, I don't see how it's anything but a good deal. There's plenty of quality there, though of course, that's subjective.

I've also tried out the Game Pass subs (both the Xbox w/ PC games, and the full PC one), both basically on a $1/mo trial. Truth be told, I'll probably be ditching both of these, as Forza Horizon 4 is the only thing I can see myself playing regularly, so I'll just buy that...but that said, I don't see something like the Ultimate being a bad deal either, considering it includes Live. Generally speaking, I like the idea of sampling to see what works for me, given how particular my tastes have become in my old age - this subscription model suits that perfectly.
 
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If people stop buying individual games, quality will go down. Sub services will hurt gaming if/when they become the dominate driver of profits.

The best games are all made on the premium, for purchase model.
Exactly!
If services like Game Pass will succeed the video game industry will stagnate and decline and the future of all softcos, giants included, will be jeopardized
 
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nikolino840

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Watching Microsoft's acquisition of smaller studios and seeing the games they released and/or announced lately, it seems to me their goal is to push out games as quickly and cheaply as possible and to add those games to GamePass.

While this sounds good in theory, I feel as if it comes at the expense of quality. People naturally expect less when the games are cheaper and many games are being described as "it's fine because its free/included in the monthly fee".

Perhaps this is ideal for those who have more time than money. It feels somewhere between AAA games and free-to-play. Personally, my time is too valuable to waste on B-tier games and I'd rather just have more options to play high-quality games that I can purchase and own.

While options are good, I worry about anything that moves the industry away from the high quality software in favor of cheaper experiences.
On game pass i find Always something to download,some games i like and some not (i have discovered that i don't like prey)
And what about ps now? I know there are more then 700 games
 

Musky_Cheese

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The customer base largely cares about quantity first. If that is reasonable then the topic will shift to quality
 

TheSadRanger

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Exactly!
If services like Game Pass will succeed the video game industry will stagnate and decline and the future of all softcos, giants included, will be jeopardized
There's a reason why studios are selling out left and right cashing out their chips now. They know the gravy train is over.

Just sell out and wash your hands of it. There's going to be massive contractions in the industry from this in a few years.
 
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There's a reason why studios are selling out left and right cashing out their chips now. They know the gravy train is over.

Just sell out and wash your hands of it. There's going to be massive contractions in the industry from this in a few years.
You're absolutely right but I'm still hoping things will not go in that direction...off a cliff and straight into a bottomless pit.
 
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TheSadRanger

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You're absolutely right but I'm still hoping things will not go in that direction...off a cliff and straight into a bottomless pit.
Well Nintendo and most Japanese developers will be fine I think because they're insanely obstinate. However I think the industry in west will be vastly different.

The industry (mainly corporate) is it's own worst enemy creating this "race to the bottom" mentality. Have they learned nothing from mobile gaming and what this kinda shit did to that scene?
 
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Klayzer

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Well Nintendo and most Japanese developers will be fine I think because they're insanely obstinate. However I think the industry in west will be vastly different.

The industry (mainly corporate) is it's own worst enemy creating this "race to the bottom" mentality. Have they learned nothing from mobile gaming and what this kinda shit did to that scene?
Executives are dreaming of maximum profits that the Fortnight f2p model is raking in.
 
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TheSadRanger

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The customer base largely cares about quantity first. If that is reasonable then the topic will shift to quality
It's different though because once you train consumers and consciously implement what the value of your product is inside their heads.

It becomes very difficult and takes a massive amount of time afterwards to rewrite that process. This is why Nintendo games are full priced, consumers know they will pay full price where it will likely receive few if ever any discounts and that's just the way it is for buying a Nintendo product. If Nintendo ever changed that then it would be very difficult to return to because it's what the consumer expects.
 

Lukin1978

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Gamepass is all I've used on my xbox one for the last year. Last game I bought was gears of war 4.
 

Animagic

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The best thing I can say about Gamepass is it has allowed me to try games I otherwise never would have picked up, then ended up buying because I liked them so much.
 
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Vawn

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The best thing I can say about Gamepass is it has allowed me to try games I otherwise never would have picked up, then ended up buying because I liked them so much.
You still have GamePass and access to those games, right? Am I missing something or are you just bad with money?
 
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Fbh

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That's how a lot of subscription models work, yeah.
Though I worry more about the impact it might have on single player stuff. The companies running these subscription don't want to make this cool high budget game you can beat in a month while only paying $10. They want "live services" and multiplayer to keep you hooked and subscribed for months

See for me, I DONT have the time.

I work alot. So a sub for me with a large selection of games I can quickly install and have a blast on is perfect.

I no longer have the time to spend £60 on a game and play it for 200 hours.
Funnily enough for me it's the other way around.
I don't have that much time to play so when I do I want to be playing the stuff I really enjoy.
I'd rather spend more so I can spend my gaming time on something I'm dying to play (like Sekiro earlier this year) rather than having a list of games that don't interest me as much and just playing for the sake of it
 

Bryank75

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Subscriptions are the new lootbox, yet another cynical attempt to squeeze more from customers while investing considerably less. There is no motivation for publishers to give devs large budgets and time to create a masterpiece like Cyberpunk, GOW or Red Dead if this is the model. So say goodbye to quality games that have lifechanging impact and get ready to embrace half baked and repackaged ideas made on a shoestring budget.
 
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TheSadRanger

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Executives are dreaming of maximum profits that the Fortnight f2p model is raking in.
Well what gamepass also does is take power away from the independent studios and shifts the power to the platform holder (this is a bad thing). Don't think this is some altruistic move by M$, they know fully well that money is left on the table that they can take from studios who produce multi-platform games.

Before it made the most business sense to make a game for every platform possible as a studio, sell it for $20 or whatever, done deal. Now your pressured by consumer trends to put your game on gamepass, which if you do it's going to potentially sell significantly worse on platforms without it and your revenue could potentially be worse if the game turns out to be a hit depending on the contract the studio signed.

This is why Indies have been flooding towards the Switch because it's the last bastion and not beholden to the same rules as a strictly home based game playing device. If an indie game releases on the Switch and Xbox one on gamepass, it can still do well on the Switch due to it's portability. It's not directly competing because it has a feature the Xbox One version doesn't.
 

#Phonepunk#

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the rental models popularity is sort of sad. to think of all the time they could have spent, i dunno, announcing new video games, instead they talked about these streaming services, these rental things. i mean, Microsoft has always been a tasteless company, you can hear Steve Jobs talk about this in Triumph of the Nerds, so it makes sense that this E3 would turn into largely a business pitch to sell us the same old games in "exciting new ways".

 
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Klayzer

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That's how a lot of subscription models work, yeah.
Though I worry more about the impact it might have on single player stuff. The companies running these subscription don't want to make this cool high budget game you can beat in a month while only paying $10. They want "live services" and multiplayer to keep you hooked and subscribed for months



Funnily enough for me it's the other way around.
I don't have that much time to play so when I do I want to be playing the stuff I really enjoy.
I'd rather spend more so I can spend my gaming time on something I'm dying to play (like Sekiro earlier this year) rather than having a list of games that don't interest me as much and just playing for the sake of it
That's my outlook on it also. When I'm gaming, it's with games I'm into.
 

CyberPanda

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the rental models popularity is sort of sad. to think of all the time they could have spent, i dunno, announcing new video games, instead they talked about these streaming services, these rental things. i mean, Microsoft has always been a tasteless company, you can hear Steve Jobs talk about this in Triumph of the Nerds, so it makes sense that this E3 would turn into largely a business pitch to sell us the same old games in "exciting new ways".

That’s when Ballmer and Gates had power. With Nadella there have been significant changes within the company.
 

quest

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Most of missed where the best open world racing game Forza Horizon and plenty of other damn good games are just filler. Amazes me the FUD people try to spread about gamepass. Great value on the xbox and a steal on the PC. With the crazy ultimate upgrade I'll end up with xbox at launch 2020 since I'll have a large library of games including halo day 1 to play
 
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12Dannu123

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Well what gamepass also does is take power away from the independent studios and shifts the power to the platform holder (this is a bad thing). Don't think this is some altruistic move by M$, they know fully well that money is left on the table that they can take from studios who produce multi-platform games.

Before it made the most business sense to make a game for every platform possible as a studio, sell it for $20 or whatever, done deal. Now your pressured by consumer trends to put your game on gamepass, which if you do it's going to potentially sell significantly worse on platforms without it and your revenue could potentially be worse if the game turns out to be a hit depending on the contract the studio signed.

This is why Indies have been flooding towards the Switch because it's the last bastion and not beholden to the same rules as a strictly home based game playing device. If an indie game releases on the Switch and Xbox one on gamepass, it can still do well on the Switch due to it's portability. It's not directly competing because it has a feature the Xbox One version doesn't.
Actually, it gives Indies and Publishers and Studios more power.
 
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12Dannu123

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Only the bad ones, it actually punishes quality and high investment in games.
Of course, the business models oppose each other. However, it doesn't mean that you can't have high-quality content on a subscription.

However, it's pretty certain that we will see the death in Single Player one-off games.

Well Nintendo and most Japanese developers will be fine I think because they're insanely obstinate. However I think the industry in west will be vastly different.

The industry (mainly corporate) is it's own worst enemy creating this "race to the bottom" mentality. Have they learned nothing from mobile gaming and what this kinda shit did to that scene?
Unless that Japnese developer wants to sell in the west they would have to conform to the Subscription type of model that is aggressively coming from the Western companies.

However, it's usually Quantity first then Quality will improve over time.
 
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Oct 26, 2018
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That's the way it usually works. It's always qty first since there has to be a reason for people to pay monthly fees. Xbox Game Pass is different as it has AAA games right off the bat.

Quantity over quality is the definition of PS Now that started at $45 per quarter ($180/yr) and streamed PS3 games. Then over time, you can now finally download the game, has some PS4 games and I think it's cheaper.

The first hook is usually quantity. Then better quality and features come later.