Games as a service - The Future of Gaming?

SXO: People love physical discs, but those same people are the ones who are currently praising the likes of Xbox Games Pass, EA Access and to a lesser extent PlayStation Now, so maybe it’s a case of being careful what you wish for, because the more people who move the way of Xbox Games Pass and PlayStation Now and away from discs, the faster services such as these will negate the need for them completely. Personally, I’m ok with that, but are you?

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BeardedDrachen3d ago

I hope not. It's essentially paying full price for an incomplete game.

darthv723d ago

We do that now... at least when it comes to physical games.

Nyxus3d ago

Not really. Maybe you're playing the wrong games.

darthv723d ago

Spyro and BLOPS4 come to mind. Maybe its just an Activision thing then. Releasing physical discs that do not contain the same build or full game as what digital buyers get. You then have to dl the rest to make it complete(ish).

BeardedDrachen3d ago

i’m talking about games like Sea of Thieves, Fortnite, Destiny, PUBG

darthv723d ago

Technically those are supposed to be incomplete games. There is no end to them unless the player decides to stop playing. A complete game should have a beginning a middle and an end. Games that are constantly evolving based on interaction from the community are not meant to be viewed the same as stand alone games.

Now when i said incomplete i really meant what i said. Games released on disc that are incomplete in comparison to their digital equivalent. Like the examples of Spyro (where parts 2 and 3 arent even on the disc) and BLOPS4 (where 90% of the rest of the game isnt even on the disc).

you didnt say what you meant but i sure did.

BeardedDrachen3d ago

I’m talking about games that are incomplete in the sense that they have no beginning middle or end., or severely lacking content when they launch (and you pay full price for em). I meant what I said, too.

I’m not talking about ‘incomplete’ physical games that you need to download the rest at home.. (that type of rational for that term is weird considering that’s pretty new).

Nitrowolf23d ago (Edited 3d ago )

Spyro is complete though lol the problem is ur just not getting the full package in disc

darthv723d ago (Edited 3d ago )

Well then, that is a matter of context. Games that are multiplayer focused (like PUBG, SoT, Fortnite) are (again) not to be seen in the same sense as games that should be complete (SP games).

I paid full price for SFV and that was not a complete game. I appreciate what Capcom has done to add more content to it and it's certainly a more fleshed out game than initially released or how about GTS... another game that had to be addressed after the fact because it was not complete when it released. No mans sky is a good example of someone buying it now is getting a more content rich experience than it initially released. All of these games are incomplete and are also examples of GaaS that has already been out.

You want to single out multiplayer games as a sign of bad GaaS when they are supposed to be that way because they are episodic. If it makes you feel better then just wait for them to make definitive editions before you buy them. By then they will have taken all the content up to that point and compile it into one nice, more complete, package.

@nitro, it is complete for the digital version but not for physical. And like beardy said below... he isnt into digital games. So that is one that no matter how you spin it will never be a complete physical product.

blacktiger3d ago

battlefield 5 and sea of theives and many more games i guess

StormSnooper3d ago

I really hope GAAS doesn’t replace what we have now. I wanna play good games.

spicelicka3d ago

That makes no sense, anyone with internet can update the game for free, that's not an incomplete game.

I would argue the inverse is true for digital games. Many publishers remove the initial release versions from digital stores and force you buy "complete editions" years after release, using it as an excuse to charge full price.

Activision is the biggest culprit of that. Try searching for Advanced warfare in the digital store, you'll only find the newest edition at the price of a full game 4 years later.

Muzikguy3d ago

Your definition of GaaS isn’t what GaaS is. Supporting a game that was released over time to make it more fleshed out is not the same as paying monthly fees to access your game and when you stop paying you have no games to play

One is support. The other is GaaS

darthv723d ago (Edited 3d ago )

@spice, those are the physical ones I tend to buy. when they have re-released a more complete version. Killer instinct definitive edition is a good example. I could have gotten the combo breaker edition but instead i waited and picked up the definitive one as it comes with all the extra content (on disc) and a soundtrack cd.

That is an example of a good physical re-release. I will give you an example of a bad one... Street Fighter V Arcade Edition. Capcom went to the trouble of pressing new artwork on the disc as well as the case but the disc content is the exact same as the initial release. You would think they could have at least taken all of the previously released content and pressed it to a new disc but nope.

And I agree that it seems to be Activision that is two for two right now. hopefully they dont do it for CTR remaster. Only put a few tracks on disc and make you have to dl the split screen and other characters. That is a bad trend that is forming.

@muzik... i think most people get confused as to what they think GaaS encompasses. PS+ is GaaS because if you choose to no longer be a member then all those free games become invalid. Same with Gold for xbo (although the free games on 360 you can still play... weird). The other day someone said GaaS also involved having to grind for in game currency in order to buy things. Hell that reminds me of the days when i would play phantasy star. You had to build up experience in order to get better skills and weapons from the shops. Or even the arcade games like forgotten worlds. Shooting enemies to collect zenny in order to buy extended life, armor and better weapons from the shop keeper.

so it seems people have been playing GaaS games for decades and didnt even know it.

ILostMyMind3d ago

Choose better what you are buying.

rainslacker3d ago

GaaS is a wide encompassing term. But in general, it's any game which requires an ongoing service, paid or otherwise, to continue playing content. Some times new content is added, but it's not necessary. MT can also be considered Gaas, but that's usually not how the term is used.

Ps+ or GWG are not GaaS, they are services which provide games that are available in other ways. Game pass can be considered a GaaS, but it's practical application on if that is always relevant is up for debate.

GaaS is just a fancied up way to describe a game that has additional content offered through various distribution paradigms we've had for years now. It just sounds better for marketing than MT filled games which don't offer much up front. Not are like that, but people associate the paradigm with practices which aren't all that appreciated.

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gangsta_red3d ago

Not what the article is referring to.

BeardedDrachen3d ago (Edited 3d ago )

With this definition of Gaasas as the future, will there be any physical games?

I don't find streaming/subscription services appealing because I like to own my video games. Even if there's an option to purchase a game at a lower price through the service, I am not on board with buying all my games digitally.

Rhythmattic2d ago

Ive got to say, the only time I Buy my games digitally is VR games...
Makes It much easier to switch between them...

NeoGamer2323d ago (Edited 3d ago )

I am not sure how you have come to this conclusion.

I don't know of any of the Preview program games on EA Access or Game Pass.

Games on game pass are all full shipping games. And no game has shipped on EA Access or Game Pass in any worse shape than many full games.

It is sad when studios/publishers decide to ship games that are incomplete. But, Game Pass and EA Access are not the cause nor the issue with that.

Obscure_Observer3d ago (Edited 3d ago )

There´s lots of fanboys on N4G that trashed Game Pass when the service was first announced and now... the hypocrites are nothing but a bunch of happy customers/subscribers. Lol

Nyxus3d ago

I don't have Game Pass and have zero interest in it.

Obscure_Observer3d ago


Maybe because you´re a single console owner. ;)

Nyxus3d ago

@ Obscure: Switch, PS4, Xbox One, 3DS, PS Vita. So yes, I've owned an Xbox One since launch and I have zero interest in GamePass.

gangsta_red3d ago (Edited 3d ago )

I used to feel the same way a while ago about digital. But honestly, all my physical games do at this point is collect dust on some rack, taking up space.

I have not had one issue with digital or any problems of ownership since moving to that preferred medium. Actually purchasing that game on the same day from the comfort of my couch is a luxury I would never trade.

The only games I do get that are physical are games from Gamefly. And even those are delivered to my door.

BeardedDrachen3d ago

I feel going to the store, getting a new game that is wrapped up, taking it out and putting it in the console is a much better experience and more rewarding than sitting on my couch and buying the game online and waiting for it to download.

darthv723d ago

I hear you beardy... but when you have to go to the store, unwrap that game, pop it in and still have to sit there and wait for it to install (and update) then its pretty much the same amount of time.

BeardedDrachen3d ago

“Pretty much the same amount of time”....

I’m not talking about time. I’m talking about the experience.

Nyxus3d ago

@ darth: you don't even have to go to the store, you can have it delivered to your house. Installing takes a few minutes.

andibandit3d ago (Edited 2d ago )


Kinda sucks when the stores are closed and your friends are having fun in that new kickass multiplayer game.

Also I have 2 PS4's. Buying 2 physical discs to have the "go to store + go home + Unwrapping x 2" experience dosn't beat being able to buy just 1 copy.

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AngelicIceDiamond3d ago (Edited 3d ago )

@ Beard Destiny 1, 2, Most Sports games, Battlefield 5, COD 4, Sea Of Thieves, Fall Out 76, SFV All in complete and lack content at launch.

Muzikguy3d ago

These articles keep coming out like people changed their minds. Or thinking if they say it enough it’ll come true. GaaS is a bad idea and I hope I never see it, although there are pieces of it now.

darthv723d ago

It is a bad idea in certain games but not a bad idea overall. It is more of an option for those who simply just want to play without the overhead of having to deal with buying. It's not for everyone.

rainslacker3d ago

It's the same approach as all the "digital is the future" talk from last gen, which still persists to this day.

Digital on console is still not the majority way games are sold.

I doubt GaaS will become the majority anytime soon either.

Personally, I don't know why so many people feel it has to only be one majority future. Seems like everything can coexist just fine.

Hardiman3d ago

@Bearded I'm replying to you here in regards to your comments on the buying experience. I'm with you 100% on the experience of buying the game, especially if it's one I've been eagerly been anticipating! I've done that for years and at this point it's kinda s ritual for me. That and I just prefer physical and I like to by used in some cases.

I just don't see games like GOW, Spider-Man, Detroit, Uncharted, TLOU2 etc coming from an all digital service, as they are in their current forms. They are complete stand alone experiences. No it seems Sea of Thieves, Fortnite and games of that nature that can be milked are the ones that would spring up if gaming was a just monthly service.

gangsta_red3d ago

Well then how do you explain many and mostly games currently on these services that aren't Sea of Thieves,, Fortnite and games of that nature?

I don't understand why a subscription service has to only benefit those types of games and not SP type games only.

Netflix has built an empire with a similar subscription service and that just comes from watching movies that could also be considered a standalone experience.

Don't get me wrong of course, a game like PUBG, Fortnite could also benefit greatly but so could a SP games which is obvious with them being apart of PSnow and Game Pass as well as EA Access.

Hardiman3d ago (Edited 3d ago )

Gangsta, I get the Netflix comparisons, I do but even with Netflix they don't stream every brand new block buster movie. You can rent it but if your already paying the monthly fee kinda defeats the purpose. No they have to negotiate for licenses and movies like The Dark Knight aren't there. Studios are gonna get their money and game publishers are the same way. I don't see these mega powerful corporations and they're be the ones pushing this, pouring millions of dollars into games like GOW, TLOU etc and releasing them day one for $10 a month. No I see more games like Fortnite, Over Watch, Sea of Thieves etc because they are cheaper to make and you can milk the shit out of them! Also what happens when all publishers charge monthly fees? Man that would add up fast!

Also like many have said they enjoy the experience of buying the game, owning it physically. I do buy digital, just tonight I bought The Forest off PSN. All the indies I have are digital but most AAA games especially the critically acclaimed exclusives are physical. I also like to trade and buy used. I trade a good deal of third party titles and buy used for a deal or if I don't want to give the publishers money. Like with Shadow of War. After they stuck the market in I don't support those practices so I got it used. They've since taken it out so that should tell you something.

Also and this is the main problem, not everyone, most don't have access to high speed internet and until that's fixed it's gonna be an issue.

I believe the market is big enough for both and there will always be those who produce games like Death Stranding, GOW, Wild Hunt etc and those who produce Fortnite, Sea of Thieves, PUBG. I also don't see physical media dying out. Too many people buy them.

As far as gaming goes I'd look at the evidence and who's at the top. Whatever they are doing must be working!

UnHoly_One3d ago

The article is talking about something completely different.

I'm not sure why they used "games as a service" when they are talking about game subscription services like game pass. A "netflix for games", so to speak.

You would think somebody that writes about games would know the definition of basic gaming terminology instead of using a headline that has no bearing at all on the article they are writing.

L7CHAPEL3d ago

I see that as being a problem both digitally and physically, but I don't think ultimately everything is going to move digitally, any more than it's going to do that for the medium of movies on discs.
it just doesn't suit everyone.
Alas, the majority of the public will make this decision,
but I prefer having both as an option.

I completely get the fear, that games as a service (as a business model) does generate though, because of the effect it's had on music.
but games and movies are different animal...IMO

nommers3d ago

Depends on what you mean by complete too. Some games had reduce budgets or content changed/cut for financial reasons but still have an obvious beginning, middle, and end. Truth be told you could always add more to a game. Parts are always cut or tweaked just like in movies, but the company will be damned if the fans ever know about it.

Cobra9512d ago

Which games? Nearly all of them. They get released needing hefty Day-One patches. They have important content released as DLC.

Godmars2902d ago

You're not even buying, just renting. You're paying to access a library of titles the subscribed service has complete control over. They can pull as soon as add titles, require addition fees and terms, or even bar you from access to games you "bought" for whatever reason they want. Turn off the servers, close shop, and walk away while "accidentally" still taking money from your card.

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Obscure_Observer3d ago


"Hopefully not."until you get day one fully downloadable Playstation (uncluding BC) games on PS Now. ;)

Nyxus3d ago

I still wouldn't subscribe to that. I only buy physical.

trooper_3d ago

I like how you think that if Sony does it,people would support it.

I wouldn't support it and neither would people with common sense.

Trying to start a flame war for no reason.

Rude-ro3d ago

Why are players jumping up and down over a subscription on top of a subscription with micro transactions and dlc?
The only thing, with the amount of goal posts moving with specific people in here... some are definitely paid shills.

ILostMyMind3d ago

This will never happen because Sony games are not made with that market in mind. But if one day this happens, all of Sony's games would be rubbish infinite multiplayer tedious games, just like those of Microsoft are now. We do not want this.

UCForce3d ago

People still want to buy physical game. It’s seem like you need to reconsider this. You know what happen when digital become future of gaming ? People would lose their retail job, publishers abuse this and the consumers will lose their ownership.

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gangsta_red3d ago

So far Game Pass and PSNow have been a heaven sent. I'm playing more games that I would have never played before.

That on top of Gamefly and I have my gaming needs pretty much taken care of.

Last game I actually bought was Divinity 2, since then I've played Hitman, Shantae, Spider-Man, etc, etc, all through rental means.

Goldby3d ago

Spiderman isn't on PS now the last I checked, or did you ry it thru redbox?

gangsta_red3d ago

I've only used Red Box once. But that is another option out there.

I got Spider-Man through Gamefly

rob-GP3d ago

"That on top of Gamefly" - Gamefly do a rental service in America. I use Boomerang in the UK

gangsta_red3d ago


With so many games and at those prices, I seriously couldn't imagine trying to game today without these services.

XabiDaChosenOne3d ago

Sounds like your not beating games

gangsta_red3d ago

I beat the ones I enjoy. I send the ones that were mediocre or horrible back.

Another benefit, I would hate to have paid for a lot of the games I played this gen.

jwillj2k42d ago

I see all games eventually going to psnow /game pass especially once 5g rolls out. Consoles will no longer need to be power houses, just dumb terminals. Could come in all different shapes and sizes. It makes the most financial sense.

wotta3d ago

Sorry if the article is slow to load. The host is looking into it, they've had some issues today. It will load tho, just taking about 40 seconds for me. Hopefully it'll be fine by the time you read this :D

CloudStrife9002d ago

Anytime! Keep up the great work!

Now, bring on those downvotes people. Feed meeeee!