GDC State of the Industry: One-fourth of devs are concerned such services will devalue games, another fourth aren't worried at all.
Doesn't really matter what developers think, this decision will be made by publishers. Not to say developers don't know stuff, only publishers do what is best for them and their profit margins and not necessarily for their games or their developers. I mean, not like publishers don't put ridiculous goals in contracts with developers to prevent them from getting bonuses just because of one factor when they likely hit it out of the ballpark on every other factor.
I’d like if I could get a sub-scription. Where I get a different sub (hoagie) every month. I’m hungry
Not all developers have publishers, and publishers have their own motives which will hold true with what was said in this article by some devs. Only certain kinds of games can be sustainable on this type of service and have the service sustainable at the same time. They can't both be sustainable for the long term without concessions in the scope of the resources put into the game.
Basically, some developers don't believe a subscription can work for them on its own. Unless they're getting paid upfront to cover the cost of their game. It also may lead to the bigger developers getting most of the cut and the little guys getting less. Which would not be beneficial to the smaller companies. Just look at it this way, EA, Rockstar, Sony, Activision, Ubisoft, etc know that putting their games in someone else's service at launch or their own service, is not going to cover the cost of big games. Not without a large amount of subscribers or a huge check. Or you would be seeing them do that now. These companies sell their games first. Then, when they made what they are going to make on their products from the sale, micro transactions, dlc, etc. Then you will see them possibly put their games in a service to make more profits on an old game. Clear examples are Sony putting games in PS Now or Plus AFTER those games have sold at retail and digital. EA doesn't put their new games in Origin and Access until AFTER their games have sold. Capcom and Rockstar didn't do it until after their games sold then took a big paycheck for more profits. Only one company is doing theirs at launch. Which is to increase the amount of subscribers. But without numbers to verify, we have to go on their WORD that it's successful. But as we have seen, their games at retail have sold less. Only their WORD that they have sold more. We know gamers played more. But no numbers they sold more. I look at it this way, if I had a restaurant with a buffet for a dollar,and I'm serving expensive gourmet dishes alongside burgers and tacos, I will get lots of customers to come in to eat. But would I have enough customers to cover the expensive dishes?
"Only one company is doing theirs at launch. Which is to increase the amount of subscribers. But without numbers to verify, we have to go on their WORD that it's successful. But as we have seen, their games at retail have sold less. Only their WORD that they have sold more. We know gamers played more. But no numbers they sold more." Course Gamepass is succesful. Only a idiot would believe otherwise. We heard lots of crap about how Gamepass would be filled with indies and free to play games. Microsoft would not dare to put AAA games like Halo, Gears and Forza day one on the service. How big developers would ignore Gamepass. The quality of future first party games would be crap because first party games day one on Gamepass is not sustaintable. How Gamepass would kill retail game sales and blah blah blah. In two months Gamepass will be 3 years old and none of the armchair analysts predictions will be realized. Microsoft not only keeped their promisse of day one first party games on Xbox Gamepass but extended it to Xbox Gamepass on PC as well. Phil Spencer will continue to acquire more first party studios to create even more quality first party games for Xbox and PC gamers. Gamepass will only get better and it´s here to stay!
“ Just look at it this way, EA, Rockstar, Sony, Activision, Ubisoft, etc know that putting their games in someone else's service at launch or their own service, is not going to cover the cost of big games.“ You forgot that EA has it own subscription service, EA Access, which just like Game Pass, all their first party games are on there day-one. If it isn’t profitable, then why hasn’t EA shut down the service yet? “ EA doesn't put their new games in Origin and Access until AFTER their games have sold.” “ Try the newest EA games days before release. Your progress carries over to the full game if you decide to buy” https://www.ea.com/ea-acces... “ I look at it this way, if I had a restaurant with a buffet for a dollar,and I'm serving expensive gourmet dishes alongside burgers and tacos, I will get lots of customers to come in to eat. But would I have enough customers to cover the expensive dishes?” You know that is not the correct analogy for this case right? People can buy the game outright on top of subscribing to Game Pass. And again, if the service is not profitable, then why haven’t they shut it down? Why has MS double down on this service? I know you can’t give a definite answer to that.
The answer is simple. Possible profit in the long run. Tesla made red numbers for a decade. we dont have numbers, we simply cant know. Easy
I don't know how Gamepass is doing. But I do have some concerns about it. Like I always see these promotions 3 month gamepass for a pound and stuff like this. Why is this promotion always on? Also why are they so generous? I sub to PC gamepass. Ever since I have I have only paid £1 per month. As soon as I sub I turn of auto renew. When my sub is about to expire. I always get a email from MS saying have another month for £1. So I rinse and repeat and have done this for about 6 months now. Why are they doing this? Are they afraid me and people like me will stop subscribing? Also my other concern is. Right now gamepass is amazing. But I can't help but feel once MS take away these 3 months Gamepass for a Pound promo's away and we start subbing for full price for a year. Then they will pull the rug out from underneath and change gamepass around. That's just a feeling of mine not something I know will happen.
@Apocalypse Shadow ***But without numbers to verify, we have to go on their WORD that it's successful.*** This may shock you but if you were going to get numbers they'd come from MS. So when MS ays its successful you imply that they're lying, but then if they gave you numbers you take it as fact. You have to take Microsoft's WORD for both positions. There's a logical disconnect in your thought process.
Origin Access Premier is $14.99 and includes day one EA titles. 1st party has the benefit of having multiple revenue streams, so that is why the subs can work successfully for them. Apparently Gamepass is successful enough to continue to offer a good price with good content. I don't care how many copies a game has sold. Those metrics will be less and less important going forward. If they are able to invest in making content, and the content is good, that's all that should matter. So far, the people who have rallied against subs and predicted doom and gloom have only been able to show WORDS. Meanwhile, we're now seeing Sony and MS offer us two great subscriptions that keep getting better. You keep your WORDS and sales figures. I'll keep subscribing.
Wonder if now that there is an article about it, if all these same things I said about it will be considered right. I know people loved to say the developers that said it was a good model were enough to say I was wrong, but without any developer coming out and saying it in an article, all I had was my own supposition. Who am I kidding though. I know that someone will come along and explain why I was always wrong, and why these devs are wrong, but the few devs that said otherwise before were right. It's not that there couldn't be somewhere in between where the truth lies.
Might as well, given that one article was enough for those that said I was wrong to be used to say I was wrong, and to conflate that to "lots of devs".
Well this can go two ways: Either the devs will release a bare bones shallow experience expecting the rest of the game to be filled using revenue generated from the subscriptions OR devs release solid games that are only made better and expanded on, made only possible by the subscription model. I don't see many devs taking the second approach honestly, though this will be at the will of the publishers and not the devs.
Didn't click the article but I think they're talking subs like PSNow and Gamepass. Not like FFXIV and WoW. The way companies get paid doing it. It's unlikely it'll work either way you said unless they have either another rev source or the game is selling enough units to warrant it
Gaming will be devalued, just like music.
Why would that be bad exactly? I remember the days of paying close to 20 dollars for a music CD only to find out there are only 3 good songs. The music landscape is so much better now that it was back then, especially for the customer.
And the newer music coming out all follows the same styles and redundant sounds just to make the most money. I mean the Millenial whoop is named just because it's so common. Modern rap is very low quality compared to past generations of it. Now it's just 1 hook that gets spammed nonstop with autotune and barely any actual rhyming outside of that. You also didn't attach half-assed dances to every song for the sole purpose of publicity and fame. Alternative rock is not the same genre it was 2 decades ago, now it's some combo of soft singing and barely any rifts or the rocking out it used to be. Just listen to modern Green Day and then listen to Green Day in the 90's. The quality of music has degraded heavily in the past 20 years.
@Rachel, Right, I agree with you that the quality of music has degraded, as have the quality of movies but I don't see what that has to do with the subscription model. Take TV as an example, TV is arguably much higher quality now than it was say 15 years ago.
Survey breakdown re. games in production: 45% pay-to-download model 43% ftp model 8% Apple Arcade/GamePass type of offering 6%. subscription ie. WoW FTP appears to have gained the most traction, but as one respondent says, "I feel the f2p ad-based strategy is driving the mobile market into a crappy one, full of clickbaity small experiences.”
Gamepass is great and will be system seller, but can it be sustainable ? i'm leaning towards xbox next gen for my launch system since mlb the show ill be on it 2021 i can't wait!
I dont think its great for the gaming industry. Esp when you have AAA games releasing day one for the entry price of pennies on the dollar. But then you have Sony 1st partys that sell over 3-7 million on their own. I just wonder if all 1st partys went to a streaming service, and like X million people subscribed to it, would said company still make as much money if never doing it at all. Im still trying to wrap my head around it. If the devs are on a payroll and the money doesnt go to them directly but sony... i guess it matters if sony makes more or less than not doing it. I make the same connection as to why you dont see movies in movie theatres launch day 1 on netflix or other streaming services. They release their movie, make their $$, and once that well has dried up 2-3 months later, movies release to the general public. Im perfectly fine waiting 2-3 months or longer for a game to show on streaming service. These companies want to get paid as soon as possible after sinking years of dev and millions of their own $$ into a product. I can see devs making their own streaming service long before being lumped in under someone elses. Unless it was super lucrative for them. I think thats how it will start until they have enough data... and then they could go to ms or sony and say... this is how much we made in 202X... can you beat it? If not... no thanks
The interesting thing about the gaming industry is that when something isn't good for it, the publishers push back and enact their will on those that are hurting them. It's probably one of the few industries where they don't allow a single player to really control the entire market. A good example was when Sony had their game sharing on the PS3. Think it was 5 to start, but as the generation went on, publishers saw that a lot of people were playing that hadn't paid, so they forced Sony to drop it to two players. I'm kind of surprised that Sony even managed to keep two. It's why i was laughing when people thought MS could get away with 10 family members playing. But, the limitations are all because of the publshers. If the industry starts seeing that it's only those games on the service which are doing well, yet they can't make enough on those services to make games, and want to do more than just make the smaller games, then it's going to push back. If and when that happens, we'll see shifts in how these services work, and what they have to offer. There's a lot of ways this whole thing could go, and right now a lot of the hypothetical scenarios are based on assumption about how things will go with a lot of absolute conclusions. I think a lot of it is based on console preference, and logical thinking is thrown out the window in a lot of cases. I think you're right that more devs will probably try to make their own services, streaming or otherwise. It's already happening in the TV market. But, like the TV market, it can only sustain so many players, and those without huge catalogs, or diverse catalogs are going to be in a weaker position and require the support of other services. Exactly like it is in TV right now. This means that the bigger publishers will control more, and be able to enact their will more, and we could have a whole other discussion on if that's a good thing or not. But, I think it wouldn't be good for the players. In the mean time, it devalues games, because if people have games available, they're less likely to buy a new game. If they can get the game cheap on these services, or think they might in the future, then they may not be as likely to buy them on day one. I think vary few in relation to what we have now will buy the games if they can get it free, despite what MS says, because that really defies any logic, or the general habits I've seen from gamers over all these years. The quality of the games remains to be seen. But, i do think that big AAA games in abundance are not sustainable on a $10-15 month service. There just isn't enough money in it to go around without many millions of users, and those users on the service means fewer consumers in the retail market.
Name a single "gaas" game 1/5 (let alone 1/3, 1/2 or even 3/4) as good or as rich in content (value for money) as the witcher 3 - i'll tell you - there isnt. This is just one example but gaas is a rubbish concept which definitely devalues games, it's just a fact.
This article is about subscription service, not “Gaas” game. You might got them mixed up.
I'm currently playing A Plague Tale: Innocent on Xbox Game Pass that's currently about £45 on the Xbox store, it has no Microtransactions.
Mandatory subscriptions will devalue games, that's for sure. Why should a company spend millions on a good, huge, interesting game, if both good game and shitty game will cost the same in the end? And before someone say «But what about buying, shitty games cost $60 too!» - difference between buying the game and paying for subscription: with buying you can decide «I don't want that» and will spend those $60 (or more, depends on your location) in some other place. With subscription, you either play a bad new game or play older games, you're not getting anything worthwhile this day, week, month, year (depends on how often they'll release new games), your money are already spent. I mean, look at EA Access, there's nothing interesting right now, but people already prepaid for it for month(s) or even year(s), their money are just slowly draining with no real effect. And let's not forget, every semi-big publisher will have it's own subscription service, you'll have to pay to EA, Ubisoft, 2k, Activision, Deep Silver, Konami, Warner Bros and so on. Are you ok with paying $10-20 times X (X depends on how many publishers you're interested at) every month? And it will probably be either pay $20 for a month or pay for a year in advance but cheaper, like $150 (so, like, $12 for a month).
The thing with Subscription models right now is that EVERYONE wants to do their own. The industry can't sustain a subscription model for each and every publisher, so in about a year to 18 months, the ones that don't cut it will collapse and only the strong will survive. Once that happens, the failed subscription model for those publishers will be folded into one of the already established services or go back to the traditional route. One thing to keep in mind though is that all of these services are completely optional and you don't have to subscribe to them. If you prefer to own physical media or download directly from Xbox or PS4, you can do that too. Basically, the same as it is now for movie streaming services.
There will be a time when a game will be divided into 10-12 chapters and be released monthly
subscription based game services will almost guarantee cheaply made games in the end. Listen, just make a great game and sell it at regular price. Just make good games.
You might have forgotten games like Forza Horizon 4, Ori and the Blind Forest, Gears 5, The Outer Worlds, and future game that will be dayone on Gamepass like Halo Infinite, Hellblade 2, and Age of Empire IV. Yeah...those are cheaply made games and cannot be bought at regular price.
they are trying to get subs. so of course the first few years they will give good product in order to sell the service. every business does this. lol i mean you really don't know that? it's like a restaurant trying to sell a new dish. they usually give good portions at first, and then slowly the price goes up and the portions get smaller.
“ they are trying to get subs. so of course the first few years they will give good product in order to sell the service. ” One excuse after the other. Are you saying Obsidian, The Coalitions, Ninja Theory, and Playground Games are suddenly going to stop producing good games? And if they try to sell a service, shouldn’t they consistently try to make high quality games in order to retain the subscribers? Why should they go back to make bad games, what’s the point of doing that? What’s to stop the customer from unsubscribing from the service if the games suddenly go bad? I mean, what is your logic here?
they will start producing AA games, yes. which doesn't mean the games will be bad, but they won't be AAA games after a while. the multiplayer game that Ninja Theory is making will be the future of what they do if the next AAA Game' sales flop, like every other AAA game that MS has produced this gen. MS AAA games flopped and that is why we have a gamespass. this way they can offer a service with mostly old games and add a AAA here and there, but the bulk of the games on the service will be A-AA games. MS isn't even trying to hide it. it's no secret. facts. monetized AA mult player games is the future, MS said it themselves a few years ago, they didn't use the word monetize though. but we know they will. cheap games with a hook for the online mp gamer that is in the same vein as all the fps games that are popular.
You're saying Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 is cheaply made? It'll releases on Xbox Game Pass in a few months, the same with Ori as well.
yes i am.
@sampsonon, It's kind of hard to take your comments seriously when you say stuff like that, especially since all evidence points to the contrary.
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