Subscriptions are not new to the world of video games. Microsoft and Sony have been offering both for a decade, linking their online experiences to Xbox Live and PlayStation Plus, respectively. But as an owner, you've given way to monthly payments, not just video streaming, but the music, clothesand everything between the players' choices has been multiplied. This trend was in full screen at E3 industry conference last week, when developer Ubisoft revealed its UPlay Plus subscription, Google has detailed its streaming platform StadiaMicrosoft has announced awards for using the Xbox Game Pass on a PC. They join established subscription readers such as PlayStation Now, EA Access, Origin Access and Nintendo Switch Online, as well as a few other services such as Discord Nitro. Then, this fall, add Apple Arcade launches and Microsoft's xCloud streaming platform to this highly congested domain. L & # 39; s help
Note: This list includes different types of game subscriptions. Stadia and xCloud will focus on streaming, acting as a kind of cloud-based console for streaming video games over the Internet. UPlay Plus, Xbox Game Pass and EA / Origin Access offer unlimited game downloads from specific developer libraries. This dynamic means that you can also stack subscriptions, by coupling UPlay Plus with Stadia, for example, to broadcast The Division 2. This combination will cost you up to $ 25 a month.
"At the moment, there is an urgent need to offer products, services and gain market share," said Kevin Westcott, head of telecom, media and entertainment at Deloitte.
They are competing for the same thing: your time.
This rush is more like a stampede. The question is the price, of course, but also the complexity. There are not two subscriptions that are alike. The original $ 5 EA and Access Plans provide an overview of the games, but with a time limit; Unlimited preview, a $ 15 package is required. UPlay Plus offers more than 100 Ubisoft games on PC, but the basic package costs as much as the EA premium. The Xbox Game Pass at $ 10 per month contains titles from multiple editors, but a rotating library with more limited options on PC. If you switch to the $ 15 plan, you can also pair it with Xbox Live. Carrie Mathison at the cartography level wire frame skills
"I think we are in the early days, we are all pioneers here, there is a lot of experimentation going on," said Mike Blank, senior vice president of EA. "We'll see what level of fragmentation customers are willing to accept, and over time, I think some will go to the top and other subscriptions will eventually fail.The most important thing is that our players will eventually decide whether it works or not. "
As part of this calculation, players will have to take into account the number of games that they usually buy each year, at $ 60, to create flagship titles, but from which developers. The calculation becomes even more complex when you take into account the real-life games that are constantly updated, as is the trend of the sector. Unlike a frenzy on Netflix or an album on Spotify, massive multiplayer online games have no end; this makes a subscription to a much harder to cancel.
It's a lot to deal with, and all is not bad. Cloud games should open up new cross-platform opportunities, and subscription services could save a lot of money for some types of players in the long run. It is also important to note that it is not far from superseding traditional forms of ownership – at least not yet.
"With the digitization of the gaming industry, there are many more players in the digital ecosystem," said Brenda Panagrossi, vice president of platform and product management at Ubisoft. . "We really listen to the comments of the players, and we really want this to be an option for the players, that it's about how they want to engage with us or through the ordinary standard editions or premium editions, let's wait and see. "
Loyal subscribers also provide not only a data font, but a new way in which developers can respond. "These games are huge, and all the companies competing for the best games in the world are very big immersive gaming experiences that can take days, weeks, months, years to unfold without being completed, if it is possible to complete them, "Blank says. "With a subscription, we can see the types of games that customers enjoy playing most regularly and the types of experiences within games that they might want to play more frequently .Thanks to this, we can try to personalize a offer in which we can provide more relevant types of games. "
In the same way that Spotify can serve you up to a song you prefer, rather than the entire album, developers like EA could give you some of a game or, more generally, focus on creating a game. shorter gaming experiences, depending on subscriber engagement. with his services. The advantage of choosing the subscription model potentially extends beyond how and where you play, what Types games you can play.
But to fully appreciate the impact of the balkanization of the game, you have to put it in context. Players do not exist as an isolated class. A recent Deloitte investigation found that 30% of US consumers had already paid for a subscription to a game. This includes more than half of the millennial generation, accounting for more than just a subscription to a pay-TV service. In other words, Ubisoft, EA, Microsoft, Nintendo and Discord do not compete for any group of money players set aside for monthly dues. They will compete against Netflix, Spotify, Amazon and YouTube TV. They are competing for the same thing: your time. And even if they multiply aggressively, the number of hours per day remains the same.
"There will be a time when there will be compromises," said Westcott of Deloitte. "I believe that there is a time when something will be crowded out because there is only very little time to be entertained.If we continue to add new entertainment options – its It is games, music, AR and VR in the near future – there will be a time or cost constraint. "
Having options is a good problem to have. But this remains a problem of complexity and cost. Everyone wants a share of your free time; it's a shame that you have to spend so much time deciding what you can afford to live without.
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