Ori, Halo, Hitman, Gears, Doom, Forza… Despite the more enticing offer, I think Xbox Game Pass is not for me.
This article is an opinion piece, and is subjective in nature. The opinion of the author is personal and does not represent the opinion of the other members of the editorial board of the joint venture.
No need to offer Xbox Game Pass anymore. Microsoft’s subscription service that provides access to a catalog of more than 300 games (on Xbox consoles and PC) has established itself as an industry staple in a few years. Today, any self-respecting casual player has to sign up for the service. Truth be told, there was a time not so long ago when I dreamed up something like Xbox Game Pass. A young student on a tight budget (and a bit stingy on the edges) but with almost unlimited time, the idea of paying a little to be able to play a lot more resembled the idea of heaven. Yes, but there, neither a powerful enough computer, nor Xbox consoles are available. So I prefer to choose long games, surely I paid a high price but I can spend a hundred hours without a problem with it. So it is a very profitable investment, but it has made me accustomed to a very special way of consuming video games. Then time passed. The active life began and with it a larger cash flow than my small wallet at the time. Quickly, I bought a computer that could withstand. A perfect opportunity to finally fall for this show that has just kept getting better over time. What disappointed me when I saw that the object of my desire had become completely opposed to my habits as a player.
The most profitable game
I’m not reinventing the wheel by saying this, but if there’s one game, besides multiplayer, that has a nearly unlimited lifespan, it’s The Witcher 3. This open-world fantasy ticks all the boxes. Rich, good, well made, catch… The Witcher 3 is a classic, a monument to the world of video games. So you can improve your culture while getting your money’s worth. The game released seven years ago, you can easily get it (with DLC) for less than 20 euros. Nearly a hundred hours of gameplay, what do people want?
Xbox Game Pass: gaming bulimia
I understood recently, you signed up for Xbox Game Pass … or rather, you activated a free code. Before going on vacation, I had one month to get the most out of my non-investment. Some will probably start to see the problem pointing to the tip of her nose. Because when he’s like me, we tend to make everything profitable, We then seek to make the most of the proposed catalog, by arranging the games in an almost sequential manner. In a few weeks, I devoured ten good matches. What a golden opportunity, barely a euro per game if I had paid this month out of my own pocket! Even during big Steam sales, you couldn’t do a better job. Yes, but now, if I had the time a few years ago to fully enjoy these games with peace of mind, that is no longer the case today.
An active life is not only the advantage of entering money, but also less time for leisure. And then, of course, there’s the paperwork, cleaning, shopping, and even other hobbies that mean I don’t have as much time to spend on games as I used to. In this context, a large number of games can still be swallowed up (the proof you did) but at what cost? Moving from one game to another without taking the time to enjoy it, already thinking about the next game even before you finish the current one… You definitely made these games, but did you really enjoy them? In the end, I walked out of these few weeks with only one wish: Re-launch a large open world and get lost in it for hours and months.
All these open worlds that many players find too full for nothing, and this is where I am most pleased. Admittedly, I have favorites in the much shorter independent productions (Like the Endling we introduced to you not so long ago), but my stuff is mostly Assassin’s Creed, Horizon, or The Witcher. You’ll tell me that some of them are in Game Pass, and €9.99 (or €12.99) isn’t that expensive to get into for a month. But he is stronger than me, seeing this thick catalog and not being able to take full advantage of it, it frustrates me to the extreme. So the dilemma is the following: Enjoy a series of small experiences or dedicate all that time to a single game outside of Game Pass?
Too many games kill the game
As far as practical, Xbox Game Pass is changing the way we consume video games, We also shared Tiraxa a few months ago. Like her, many of them have taken on new habits as gamers, giving themselves the right to test more games. According to stats shared by Xbox at their recent Game Developers Conference, Game Pass subscribers play 40% more games than non-Game Pass subscribers. But it will also be interesting to see how many have finished all these games. Because that’s the problem. Faced with the many possibilities and the impossibility of making a final decision, We find ourselves going here and there without seeing the end of our games, or gobbling everything at once, and running the risk of confronting Information overload (Or the information cloud according to sociologist Edgar Morin.)
Let’s take the continuous headers. All day long, they bombard us with sometimes very dangerous information. By force, this noise can have really detrimental effects on our intellectual abilities (fatigue, disengagement, attention deficit, memory loss, etc.). If the name information overload is primarily directed at the information and communications field, the effects mentioned nonetheless remind me of the few weeks I spent getting as much of Game Pass as possible.
By connecting the games to the series, I found myself unable to go back to what would have set me apart or felt fully invested. Burdened with different universes, mechanics, and stories intertwined in such a short period of time, I don’t get many hours spent playing it I can hardly name all the games I’ve tried. I salute anyone who has been able to take advantage of Game Pass without falling into this unhealthy overconsumption, as this is clearly not my case…
We can legitimately question whether working with ICTs, rather than liberating us – but wasn’t that the original promise? -, did not finally make us go back to the industrial age of the assembly line business
Caroline Sauvajul-Ryland, “The Right to Separate: Inventing a New Model of Governance”
Bad for the industry?
Xbox Game Pass is definitely a very good plan, but it’s not for all gamers, or even for the industry in general. It was the former head of Xbox, Ed Fries, who was concerned about the impact such a show could have on the industry:
The arcade of the game scares me. Because something similar called Spotify was created for the music market. And when Spotify took off, it devastated the music market. It actually cut the annual income of the music industry in half and people don’t buy songs anymore. So we must be careful not to create the same system in the gaming sector.
While Xbox numbers show that Game Pass subscribers actually continue to spend money on games and other add-ons, It is still difficult to come to a definitive conclusion on the economic impact of such an offer. Personally, I would love to be able to purchase my games today, to support the creators (especially indie games) and have my own game. I appreciate having this library that I can rediscover when the mood takes me or share it with friends as I please. An increasingly lost practice, to my chagrin, even if I understand the interest in investing in this kind of service instead.
What really worries me, It’s to develop such an aura that Xbox Game Pass risks squashing games that aren’t in its path, particularly indie games. Yes, we know that Microsoft already offers a good number of independent experiences in its service, and that’s pretty good. But what about the others? In the future, will it be possible to see them flourish or will they become invisible through the power of the Game Pass catalog (most likely from PlayStation Plus)? Just as some are used to thinking of only watching a certain series or movie if it’s on Netflix, gamers may look no further than their already well-stocked catalog. This is why being a part of Xbox Game Pass has become a real challenge for independent studios who sometimes engage in long discussions in hopes of finding a small place for their game in the Microsoft catalog.
So yes, as many independent developers have argued, Game Pass is an incredible boon for them. But beware that, over time, he will also not become their most terrible competitor. Although I didn’t particularly need it, this is yet another argument in favor of buying my games at full price and finding my previous consumption, more logical and sentimental.
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