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Xbox Game Pass

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Surely it wouldn't be sustainable for third parties to jump on this too, or else that 8 pound per month ends up getting spread incredibly thinly....96 pound a year doesn't sound bad but if that has to cover all the existing games already on the service, new MS first party titles plus whatever third parties jump on board, you're looking at the share of that 96 pound per game shrinking dramatically as the line-up increases.

 

This feels like something that can only sustain MS first party at its current price. A true Netflix model with all publishers involved would need to be much more expensive.

 

 

 

To a certain extent that is true.  Even something like Netflix is only guaranteed to include its own products along with selected third party content, a lot of which is back catalogue.  The comparison you are trying to make it more along the lines of Spotify than Netflix where a company like Disney is not going to be part of Netflix going forwards. 

 

Unless the price goes up, you are more likely to see separate services along the lines of Netflix, Amazon, Sky etc. than everything under one roof (we already have EA Access an a much cheaper example of a publisher led subscription service - you can imagine that may eventually, with a price increase, offer new games).  Music seems, broadly, to be able to manage services like Spotify due to the fact that music itself does not cost a huge amount to produce, there is a history of free to air content (radio stations playing brand new releases) and that touring is arguably as big a financial incentive for artists as actual sales or streaming revenue.  Games, films and TV with much larger up front costs have to be more careful about how they monetise the content. 

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Surely it wouldn't be sustainable for third parties to jump on this too, or else that 8 pound per month ends up getting spread incredibly thinly....96 pound a year doesn't sound bad but if that has to cover all the existing games already on the service, new MS first party titles plus whatever third parties jump on board, you're looking at the share of that 96 pound per game shrinking dramatically as the line-up increases.

 

This feels like something that can only sustain MS first party at its current price. A true Netflix model with all publishers involved would need to be much more expensive.

 

 

 

You're never going to get third parties jumping on in the same way that Microsoft have, but that's not the way that Netflix works either - you don't get The Last Jedi and Get Out appearing on the service the same day that they appear in cinemas. It looks more like Microsoft are prepared to lose a lot of money on Sea of Thieves because they want to get a head start over Sony on a segment of the market that they think will grow a lot. 

 

So I'd say you're unlikely to see any really big hitters appear on this kind of service at the same time they appear in the shops - I'm not sure EA would get much benefit from cannibalising the initial frenzy of sales you get on a new release like Battlefield One or FIFA 18, which is where games make most of their money. What might make a service like this succeed is whether or not a publisher sees any value at all in a game that came out in 2015 - 2016. I can't imagine that publishers see any real money at all from a game once it's been on the market for a year or so, with a tiny handful of big hitters like GTA V that make money on cosmetics and other DLC. So I can see that a service like this might attract interest from publishers on their back catalogue, because I can't see that they really have much to lose. On the other hand, the major drawback to a Netflix-style games subscription service is the fact that games are so fucking LONG. A short game is longer than even a really long film - a five-hour film would be commercial suicide, but a five hour game would be slated for not being value for money. You can watch a film in an evening and be done with it, but you can spend months on a single game, which massively reduces the utility of a service like this.

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So you're unlikely to see any really big hitters appear on this kind of service at the same time they appear in the shops.

 

When you say this, I take it you're meaning third party stuff? Haven't MS said that all their new games will appear on here at the same time it's available to buy?

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You can watch a film in an evening and be done with it, but you can spend months on a single game, which massively reduces the utility of a service like this.

 

The value argument for subscription services is not much different from an all you can eat buffet restaurant, fine if you can eat more than the entry cost, or you just like to sample. As they all allow you to do a single month, just sub for a single month once in a while and sample all the games available in one massive month long binge session, maximum value for money :P

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5 minutes ago, mushashi said:

 

The value argument for subscription services is not much different from an all you can eat buffet restaurant, fine if you can eat more than the entry cost, or you just like to sample. As they all allow you to do a single month, just sub for a single month once in a while and sample all the games available in one massive month long binge session, maximum value for money :P

 

Assuming a person has that much time to devote to games in a normal month...

 

There are always extremes in any subscription service, I guess what Microsoft have tried to calculate is that for the typical subscriber that their yearly contribution to the service will be similar to or exceed the revenue obtained by them through the traditional method of buying single games.  There will be some people who get more for their contribution than they would have by buying individual games but equally I am sure there will be people on the otherside who subscribe for a year but might have actually be better off just buying one or two games. 

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Yes, but some people bring up the value angle for the consumer, which only makes sense if you actually consume a lot, much like an all you can eat buffet restaurant. The long term aim of most media companies these days is to try to get you to sign up to some life long sub which you forget you are paying for, regular income for them. Certainly a calculated risk on Microsoft's part to do this.

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Like a dunce, I've just realised that Netflix's service focuses more on TV series now than it does films, so the game-being-really-long argument doesn't hold water. A game takes about as much time to play through as a US-length TV series does to watch. The Netflix model, as I understand it anyway, was to make shitloads of money buying streaming rights from film studios when those rights were worthless, and then to use that cash to start making your own TV and distributing films to retain that audience once the streaming agreements expire. Not really analogous to games.

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If you've got a good fast fibre connection and are interested in microsofts slim first party pickens then yeah, it's a great deal.

 

It strikes me more of a lack in confidence in sea of thieves and crackdown doing well, if they can get users locked in to spend £120 a year to play games that wouldn't usually shift big numbers then hell yeah that is a genius move on MS part. But how far away are the next Gears, Halo, and Forza, series which are already seeing diminishing returns as it is?

 

Even if Sony or Nintendo did something like this with their large portfolio of exclusives, with download sizes as big as they are I doubt I would take them up on something like this. But then I am a physical purchaser of games (dinosaur) so I guess I'm not the target market for this no matter how good the offerings are.

 

 

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Thing is that first and second party games have been used by Microsoft to incentivise console sales for years: retail aren’t bundling multiple games with the Xbox one X out of the goodness of their hearts.

 

its not a giant leap to move to a subscription model, and then sell DLC on top, particularly when you’re not necessarily selling all that much...

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A years subscription for the price of a couple of brand new games, to play brand new games is insane value.

 

I suppose I should cancel my Sea of Thieves preorder and get a game pass sub. 

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2 hours ago, Down by Law said:

 

It strikes me more of a lack in confidence in sea of thieves and crackdown doing well, if they can get users locked in to spend £120 a year to play games that wouldn't usually shift big numbers then hell yeah that is a genius move on MS part.

 

 

It strikes me as Microsoft starting the games as a service. Try and get you playing one game for months and months with free content constantly being added to it. Why charge a one off of £40 (which will drop to half that within a month or two), then they can get you in at £8 a month.

 

As long as you are enjoying the games on the service, you're constantly paying.

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24 minutes ago, Mr Tony said:

Also, does anyone know if play anywhere titles work with this? If I subscribe and get Halowars 2, can I also play it on the PC?

Not yet. 

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1 hour ago, Down by Law said:

If you've got a good fast fibre connection and are interested in microsofts slim first party pickens then yeah, it's a great deal.

 

It strikes me more of a lack in confidence in sea of thieves and crackdown doing well, if they can get users locked in to spend £120 a year to play games that wouldn't usually shift big numbers then hell yeah that is a genius move on MS part. But how far away are the next Gears, Halo, and Forza, series which are already seeing diminishing returns as it is?

 

Even if Sony or Nintendo did something like this with their large portfolio of exclusives, with download sizes as big as they are I doubt I would take them up on something like this. But then I am a physical purchaser of games (dinosaur) so I guess I'm not the target market for this no matter how good the offerings are.

 

 

 

I am not looking to convince you of anything, but the MS games are not the only attractions of the Game Pass games. And isn't it priced at £7.99? Which makes it to 96 pounds a year, as mentioned above. Around two full-priced retail games.

 

Current list of GP games:

 

Spoiler

 

https://www.gamespot.com/articles/all-the-xbox-game-pass-titles-right-now/1100-6448286/

 

Xbox One:

 

10 Second Ninja X

Bard's Gold

Blood Bowl 2

The Book of Unwritten Tales 2

The Bridge

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

The Bug Butcher

Casey Powell Lacrosse 16

Costume Quest 2

Darksiders: Warmastered Edition

Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition -- coming February 1

D4: Darks Dreams Don't Die

Dead Island: Definitive Edition

Dead Rising 3

Deadlight: Director's Cut

Defense Grid 2

Devil May Cry: Definitive Edition

Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition

Dirt Rally

Electronic Super Joy

F1 2015

Farming Simulator 15

The Flame in the Flood

Gears of War 4

Gears of War: Ultimate Edition

Guacamelee: Super Turbo Championship Edition

The Golf Club

Halo 5: Guardians

Halo: Spartan Assault

Halo Wars: Definitive Edition

Halo Wars 2 -- coming February 1

Hue

IDARB

JumpJet Rex

Knight Squad

Kyub

Layers of Fear

Letter Quest: Grimm's Journey -- coming February 1

Limbo

Lumo

Mad Max

Maldita Castilla EX: Cursed Castle

Mass Effect

Massive Chalice

Max: The Curse of Brotherhood

Mega Coin Squad

Mega Man 10

Mega Man Legacy Collection

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (leaving January 31)

Metro: Last Light Redux

NBA 2K16

NBA 2K17 -- coming February 1

NBA Playgrounds

Oddworld: New 'N' Tasty

OlliOlli

Payday 2: Crimewave Edition

Pharaonic

Pumped BMX+

ReCore: Definitive Edition

Resident Evil HD

Resident Evil 0

Resident Evil 6

Rime -- coming February 1

Riptide Renegade GP -- coming February 1

Roundabout

Saints Row IV: Re-elected

Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell

ScreamRide

Shantae and the Pirate's Curse

Sherlock Holmes: The Devi's Daughter

Sky Force Anniversary

So Many Me

State of Decay: Year One

Steredenn

Strider

Sunset Overdrive

Super Mega Baseball: Extra Innings

Super Time Force

The Swapper

This War of Mine: The Little Ones

Terraria

Tower of Guns

Ultratron

The World of Van Helsing: Deathtrap

WRC 5: World Rally Championship

WWE 2K16 (leaving January 31)

WWE 2K17 -- coming February 1

Zoo Tycoon: Ultimate Animal Collection

 

Xbox 360 (Playable on Xbox One):

 

A Kingdom for Keflings

A World of Keflings

Age of Booty

Alex Kidd & Co. (Sega Vintage Collection)

Banjo-Kazooie

Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts

Banjo-Tooie

Bayonetta

Bionic Commando: Rearmed 2

BioShock

BioShock 2

BioShock Infinite

Borderlands

Bound by Flame

Braid

Capcom Arcade Cabinet

CastleStorm

Comic Jumper

Comix Zone

Dark Void

De Blob 2

Defense Grid

Dig Dug

Double Dragon Neon

Dungeons & Dragons: Chronicles of Mystara

Fable Anniversary -- coming February 1

Fable II

Fable III

Final Fight: Double Impact

Flock

Galaga Legions DX

Garou: Mark of the Wolves

Gears of War

Gears of War 2

Gears of War 3

Gears of War: Judgment

Golden Axe (Sega Vintage Collection)

Grid 2

Hexic 2

IDARB

Injustice: Gods Among Us

Iron Brigade

Jetpac Refuelled

Joe Danger: Special Edition

Joe Danger 2: The Movie

Joy Ride Turbo

Kameo

King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match

Lego Batman: The Video Game

The Maw

Mega Man 9

Metal Slug 3

Metal Slug XX

Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine

Monday Night Combat

Ms. Splosion Man

MX vs. ATV Reflex

N+

Neo Geo Battle Coliseum

Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising

Pac-Man CE DX+

Pac-Man Museum

Perfect Dark Zero

Sacred 3

Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space

Sam & Max: Save The World

Samurai Shodown II

SoulCalibur

SoulCalibur II HD

Spelunky

Splosion Man

Stacking

Street Fighter IV

Streets of Rage (Sega Vintage Collection)

Tecmo Bowl Throwback

Tekken Tag Tournament 2

Toy Soldiers

Toy Soldiers: Cold War

Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown

Viva Pinata

Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise

XCOM: Enemy Within

 

Xbox (Playable on Xbox One):

 

Fuzion Frenzy

 

Currently I have

 

DIRT

Dead Island: Def. Edt.

State of Decay

Oddworld

Galaga Legions DX

Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition

Injustice: Gods Among Us

Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown

Devil May Cry 4: Special Edt.

BC: Rearmed 2

Ninja Gaiden Black

 

installed on my console, and they are just a few of the games that I want to play from the available collection. I already have Halo5 and most of MS' titles from before.

 

By June this year, a new customer will be able to buy a console, a Live sub, and a Game Pass, and instantly have access to this huge library of games, including Crackdown3, Sea of Thieves, and State of Decay 2. Not to mention the games coming in from GwG.

 

This has nothing to do with lack of confidence, but is a result of the foundation laid by Project Scorpio over the last few years. I doubt you could do a game pass service without also having worked out some kind of back compatibility. That's the whole point of the Xbox console going forward - you will be able to migrate your games to the next upgrade (at least for the foreseeable future).

 

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39 minutes ago, Mr Tony said:

 

 

It strikes me as Microsoft starting the games as a service. Try and get you playing one game for months and months with free content constantly being added to it. Why charge a one off of £40 (which will drop to half that within a month or two), then they can get you in at £8 a month.

 

As long as you are enjoying the games on the service, you're constantly paying.

 

Absolutely. It's a bit like me and Spotify. I use Spotify for all my music, haven't purchased any music in years, all my play lists are there so I'm basically completely locked in unless I want to start all over again (which I don't). 

 

MS want to achieve the same thing. Get everyone paying £8 a month for games they don't own in the long run  and after a while it becomes too difficult to leave the service because you'd literally be left with nothing. Once you get people locked into a particular system it makes really good financial sense for the company providing it since it is a guaranteed income. You don't really need to worry about Halo 6 flopping if it's just one title out of many. Equally you can dramatically reduce costs on things like advertising if your target audience are already active subscribers to the service. 

 

I think it is a really good business decision myself. It surely will not be too long before this and Xbox Gold are combined into one monthly subscription service. 

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47 minutes ago, bear said:

Not yet. 

 

Is that cause the game isn’t on the service yet, or cause you can’t do use play anywhere titles on pc with it?

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'It becomes too difficult to leave the system because you'd literally be left with nothing'. 

 

Is that really a concern for most players? I mean, like many people I was extremely invested in the XBox 360 and that whole ecosystem, but until the Xbox One X came out I dropped the platform like a hot potato for the PS4 at launch. I just sold all my 360 stuff and started fresh. I don't think theoretically getting all my games through Game Pass rather than purchasing them would stop me from switching platforms in the future. 

 

I've also been using Spotify for years and would hate to change but music is inherently less disposable than games are to most people. I still regularly listen to songs I added to my Spotify playlists five years ago. I couldn't say I still regularly play any games that came out five years ago.  

 

Comparing the sales figures from last gen to this gen shows that people clearly don't care about changing platforms if one appears to be a superior proposition, and I just don't think the move to a subscription service would really change that. As with backwards compatibility, I don't think the average player really minds if they aren't able to maintain a library with lots of old games in it. That's the preserve of people on forums like this. 

 

 

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That’s when backwards compatibility is important. The decision to switch from the 360 to the PS4 as my primary console would have been a lot harder if the Xbox One had launched with access to the full library I’d built up over years. Well for me anyway.

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7 minutes ago, Majora said:

'It becomes too difficult to leave the system because you'd literally be left with nothing'. 

 

Is that really a concern for most players? I mean, like many people I was extremely invested in the XBox 360 and that whole ecosystem, but until the Xbox One X came out I dropped the platform like a hot potato for the PS4 at launch. I just sold all my 360 stuff and started fresh. I don't think theoretically getting all my games through Game Pass rather than purchasing them would stop me from switching platforms in the future. 

 

I've also been using Spotify for years and would hate to change but music is inherently less disposable than games are to most people. I still regularly listen to songs I added to my Spotify playlists five years ago. I couldn't say I still regularly play any games that came out five years ago.  

 

Comparing the sales figures from last gen to this gen shows that people clearly don't care about changing platforms if one appears to be a superior proposition, and I just don't think the move to a subscription service would really change that. As with backwards compatibility, I don't think the average player really minds if they aren't able to maintain a library with lots of old games in it. That's the preserve of people on forums like this. 

 

 

 

Well, at the time 360 to PS4 was a bit easier since if you went for the Xbox One you'd still not have any of your 360 games. If the next Xbox has all of your Xbox catalogue available on your account from the get go then changing and losing all of that might be harder. 

 

It's probably quite similar to changing IOS to android. For many people it's not even about which one they'd prefer, it's that they have built up a large paid for app library on one and changing would mean having to start again. That's enough for some people to stick with their current system.

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Still haven't redeemed my free month's Game Pass that came with the X. I have bought Sea of Thieves in the £35 CD Keys promotion. There are very few games included in Game pass that I don't already have access to. 

 

So it's not a big deal for me personally much like Netflix wasn't appealing in the early days. However if Game Pass can add to it's catalogue with either exclusive or day one releases similarly to Netflix with the likes of Daredevil etc then it can only ultimately become not just appealing but almost mandatory leading to a transition in the industry. There are rumours doing the rounds that MS are either buying or creating new studios/ securing exclusive 3rd party games with possible announcements in the coming weeks/E3. If they plan on creating the Netflix of gaming and changing the industry then heavy investment will be necessary. This might just be the first step in a grander scheme. Hitman Season 2 exclusive to Game Pass anyone ?

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9 minutes ago, Boozy The Clown said:

Still haven't redeemed my free month's Game Pass that came with the X. I have bought Sea of Thieves in the £35 CD Keys promotion. There are very few games included in Game pass that I don't already have access to. 

 

So it's not a big deal for me personally much like Netflix wasn't appealing in the early days. However if Game Pass can add to it's catalogue with either exclusive or day one releases similarly to Netflix with the likes of Daredevil etc then it can only ultimately become not just appealing but almost mandatory leading to a transition in the industry. There are rumours doing the rounds that MS are either buying or creating new studios/ securing exclusive 3rd party games with possible announcements in the coming weeks/E3. If they plan on creating the Netflix of gaming and changing the industry then heavy investment will be necessary. This might just be the first step in a grander scheme. Hitman Season 2 exclusive to Game Pass anyone ?

 

Yes please.

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31 minutes ago, Majora said:

I've also been using Spotify for years and would hate to change but music is inherently less disposable than games are to most people. I still regularly listen to songs I added to my Spotify playlists five years ago. I couldn't say I still regularly play any games that came out five years ago.  

 

That’s actually a good point. Switching between Spotify and Apple Music (for example), is a quality of life issue: how much effort is it to create/port your own playlists, since the basic content (songs, albums) is nigh on identical on both services. That additional level of faff deters switching.

 

im not convinced that “ability to play one or two exclusives I’ve already completed” is a sufficient deterrent to stop me switching consoles/services, if the vast majority of games available via such services are identical: indeed, it reduces the barrier to switching...

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Just now, Boozy The Clown said:

Funny how this is essentially the original digital plan to get rid of second hand trading and is being met with praise rather than the derision of 2013.

 

I think its a bit different, I don't remember any mention of a game pass type subscription. It was still full price purchases with no option of trading in and, at best, total confusion about how it all worked. 

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12 minutes ago, Boozy The Clown said:

Funny how this is essentially the original digital plan to get rid of second hand trading and is being met with praise rather than the derision of 2013.

 

Yeah if you ignore all the differences it’s exactly the same. Spooky.

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26 minutes ago, Boozy The Clown said:

Funny how this is essentially the original digital plan to get rid of second hand trading and is being met with praise rather than the derision of 2013.

 

Apart from the original was to sell you games full price, oh and you had to connect every day to use them, plus their whole marketing was shit. 

 

Something like the original would work for most players these days, but we're not quite there yet.

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Isn’t it odd that the same people who complained about the original digital-only plan for the Xbox One are now praising the Xbox Game Pass to the heavens? And yet the only thing that’s changed in the interim is almost everything about it. Also it’s not the same people. 

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1 hour ago, footle said:

 

That’s actually a good point. Switching between Spotify and Apple Music (for example), is a quality of life issue: how much effort is it to create/port your own playlists, since the basic content (songs, albums) is nigh on identical on both services. That additional level of faff deters switching.

 

im not convinced that “ability to play one or two exclusives I’ve already completed” is a sufficient deterrent to stop me switching consoles/services, if the vast majority of games available via such services are identical: indeed, it reduces the barrier to switching...

 

True. Although that relies on Sony setting up a similar service. 

 

If both MS and Sony have subscription services then you just choose the one which is best for you, same as a decision between Netflix, Amazon and Now TV. 

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