I actually don’t like buying video games. Which…is kinda hard to tell when I talk of my backlog and Steam library and what not. I’m drowning in video games. Tons of them. I try at least not to pay full price when I do pick up a game.
Renting games was a big part of my life growing up. By the time the rental places closed up there was already Redbox and GameFly. I had ways of playing the games I wanted to while paying a minimum to do so. Then there was the Best Buy “hack”. The Gamers Club promotion they had where I could buy a game at a certain percentage off the price, play it, and if I didn’t wait too long, I could trade it in with a bonus credit and pick up the next thing I wanted to play paying only the difference of a few dollars. Of course, that required the games to hold value and for me to play them as fast as I could to get the most on my trade.
I’ve long since canceled my GameFly subscription and haven’t been to a RedBox in years. I still buy games, of course. You throw in a steelbook or a statue with a game I want to play and I’m pretty much there day one.
The trend I see now is that sort of Netflix model. Pay some amount of money per month and have access to a pretty good library of games. I do that now with Xbox Game Pass and I have tons to play. A lot of brand new titles as well. EA has something like this and so does Ubisoft. I like it, yes, but just like with the TV apps, it’s beginning to get out of hand. Everyone wants a piece of the pie. So just like TV where studios and networks are branching off with their own apps and fees, so are the game publishing companies. It’ll invite competition, sure, but you don’t really have to compete when you’re the ONLY place someone can play a certain game without going out and buying it.
There’s really no solution to this, that I can see. On either side be it gaming or TV. I’d say the market would sort itself out, but I honestly feel there’s enough people to support all these different subscription services.
I’m just not one of them.