Published on: 08/12/2021
Are Gaming Subscriptions the Future of the Industry?
Gaming is one of the most popular entertainment mediums on the planet. It’s estimated there are some two billion gamers around the world, from the casual to the competitive. Overwhelming growth has been seen in both hardware and software, in esports, and across the general gaming industry. There’s one portion of the market that seems to be emerging as a dominant force, and that’s made up of some of the best gaming subscriptions in the industry.
Almost every ‘serious’ gamer has a subscription of some kind. It’s a highly competitive market and every provider seems to be trying to outdo the others. Here we’re going to discuss the leading gaming subscriptions and answer one important question:
Are gaming subscriptions the future of the industry?
From Humble Beginnings, the Best Gaming Subscriptions
Let’s start with the Xbox platform – Xbox Live first launched way back in 2002, and it served as the backbone for the platform’s multiplayer offerings. It was something of a revolution in the gaming industry, charging users for a subscription that would allow them to play online. It took more than a decade for this to evolve, but eventually, it became bundled with a program called ‘Games With Gold’.
As part of this exclusive deal, ‘Xbox Live Gold’ members could pick up free games every month, simply for being subscribed to the service. It was an area of fantastic potential, and immediate competitors, like PlayStation, sought to capitalise on the idea. Although, PlayStation was late to the game, traditionally opting for a free-to-use model on the PlayStation 3. Eventually, a premium subscription was offered, called PlayStation Plus, but it worked in the footsteps of Xbox Live Gold.
Since then, both of these platforms have evolved immeasurably.
For instance, Xbox now offers Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, a remarkably successful subscription that offers hundreds of free, on-demand games to users. This is one of the best gaming subscriptions on the market, and it provides users with day one, first-party titles free of charge.
PlayStation is still playing catch-up, but has spun up a gaming subscription service called PlayStation Now. This is similar to Game Pass Ultimate, and it offers users a stacked library full of titles to download or stream. In the latter part of 2021, a true competitor to Game Pass was being developed by PlayStation.
The Competition Heats Up
The subscription model is by no means a new concept – it can be traced back decades, to mail-order subscriptions, like magazines. However, in recent years, gaming platforms and operators have sought to dominate their corner of the market with new and inventive gaming subscriptions. For example, charitable software purchasing platform Humble Bundle has, for several years, offered a subscription called ‘Humble Choice’, where players can hand-pick the games they want to receive every month.
There’s GeForce Now, a cloud gaming platform pushed out by Nvidia, a leading computer hardware company. Outside of these companies, actual developers and publishers were also starting to push their brand into a subscription model. In the last few years, Ubisoft and Electronic Arts have led the charge in these areas, promoting their own subscription services.
As the gaming industry becomes more dense and diverse, these are the best gaming subscriptions to be looking at. It’s an overwhelmingly successful model, and it ensures gamers can access the maximum amount of games for the minimum amount of money. As statistics show, there are more customers signing up to platforms like Game Pass Ultimate with each passing day. And, as that fact remains true, the competition remains hot, and these providers seek to offer more bang for your buck.
Are the best gaming subscriptions out there the future of the industry? Perhaps.
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