Home Gaming Publishers and platform holders are betting on subscription services, and it’s easy to see why

Publishers and platform holders are betting on subscription services, and it’s easy to see why

2 min read
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Gaming subscription services have really started taking off – and there’s a good reason for that. Games – which are a luxury item – cost a heck of a lot of money, so capped subscription services make a lot of sense. It’s more economically feasible for many to pay a single monthly fee that offers a smorgasbord of games than it is to buy new games all the time. And with services like Microsoft’s Game Pass and EA’s Access ones, those subscriptions even net you the newest games from those publishers.

They’re likely to gain in popularity too, not just among consumers, but also with platform holders. And there’s a simple reason why. Gamers who use subscription models for gaming spend twice as much on recurrent in-game transactions than those who buy games do. So says gaming analysts at Superdata, in a new report on game streaming services. In that same report, they claim that subscribers spend $25 per month on in-game fluff. Their research suggests that contrary to belief that these services cater to casual gamers, they’re actually being used more by “core” gamers.

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They suggest that these core gamers spend 45% more on full-priced games than non-subscribers do, despite having a giant library of games to download and play at will. The most popular thing that people spend their cash on in games? Yup, “harmless” cosmetic items.

Another interesting thing in Superdata’s report is that the most popular game subscription service at the moment is…Sony’s PlayStation Now. According to their report, Sony had a 52% slice of the $273 million Dollar subscription pie in the last quarter alone. Xbox Gamepass, for comparison’s sake, has 15%, while EA shares the rest of it, divided between their three subscription offerings: EA Access, Origin Access, and Origin Access Premier. These subscriptions services contributed 6% of the overall videogame consumer spending in the quarter, and that number is likely to keep growing. Subservices

“The game subscription market heated up immensely in 2018 as game makers sought sources of consistent, recurring revenue,” said Carter Rogers, principal analyst at SuperData, in a statement. “To increase the appeal of their own subscription offerings, publishers are now offering brand-new titles to paying members.”

 

Last Updated: November 8, 2018

21 Comments

  1. Pariah

    November 8, 2018 at 10:41

    I subscribe to Humble Monthly. And you know what happens if I cancel that sub? Nothing. I keep all the games I’ve gotten and can download and install them whenever I like. And the games I don’t like or already own? I can give them away.

    To be fair, if Steam had to offer something like this, I’d be there like a bear. Or if I played a decent amount of IPs from a given plublisher. But there’s no value there for someone like me who plays such a wide variety of games, not at this point. The game subscription offering needs to grow up first, become something like Spotify or Netflix/Hulu/Showmax etc. and not limited to just 1 publisher’s titles.

    And, if I may add, Origin’s Premier subscription is R200 per month, and the basic plan doesn’t have access to new titles, or to the DLC for those titles. If you want to play those, fork up full price – 10%, or sub to premiere.

    Reply

  2. Guz

    November 8, 2018 at 11:06

    Ill be honest I have thought about origin premier, then taken that idea flushed it it along with all my other kak ideas. I wont lie I was tempted

    Reply

    • Kromas

      November 8, 2018 at 11:16

      I would rather pre-order games than get a subscription service. Even if they allow me to keep the games I get the fact is you spend way more money on products you would probably never play because of online subscription based services taking up all your time. It is the very reason I stopped buying games on steam sales. I have a massive backlog.

      Reply

      • Pariah

        November 8, 2018 at 11:18

        I’m just going to put this out there: I’ve discovered many games I’d never have purchased otherwise through the Humble Monthly thing. Games that I’ve absolutely loved. It swings both ways, you’ll never enjoy everything, but there’s always going to be something you’ll love. All subscription services work like that though, whether movies, series or music.

        Reply

        • Guz

          November 8, 2018 at 11:21

          Sort of like todays version of the lucky packet XD

          Reply

        • Guz

          November 8, 2018 at 11:21

          Sort of like todays version of the lucky packet XD

          Reply

        • Kromas

          November 8, 2018 at 11:23

          True. I love my netflix and Crunchyroll subs but I cancled my amazon and hbo go and showmax subs because it gets a bit much.

          It would still work out far cheaper to buy the games you want than to sub to anything. The only exception is when you really have nothing to play and are actively looking for something. Between wow and fortnite:savetheworld I get little time to play something else. Don’t get me wrong. I love both those games but my wow sub is being cancled so I can focus on fallout and if that does not pan out I still have several other games like DayZ and 7 Days to die I want to start up again. Not top mention Ark Extinction dropped and I sorta wanna see what that is all about when I get really bored of what I am playing.

          Reply

          • Pariah

            November 8, 2018 at 11:28

            See that’s really the crux of it – you only have a set amount of time and you can only play 1 thing at a time. Subscribing to something is basically saying “I’ll commit to playing this, sacrificing anything else”. Currently there are no game sub services where that’s a good value proposition.

          • Guz

            November 8, 2018 at 11:34

            I hear you, it does also come down to the amount of time you have, between work,family, friends and other hobbies you only have X amount that you can use for gaming, and there are some days were I don’t play for a whole week because of other commitments or just too tired.

            So you got to get picky with what you invest your time in, cant just play something for the sake of playing time is limited

          • Guz

            November 8, 2018 at 11:34

            I hear you, it does also come down to the amount of time you have, between work,family, friends and other hobbies you only have X amount that you can use for gaming, and there are some days were I don’t play for a whole week because of other commitments or just too tired.

            So you got to get picky with what you invest your time in, cant just play something for the sake of playing time is limited

          • Kromas

            November 8, 2018 at 11:39

            That is my point. I only sub to things I like. I won’t commit to something like Destiny 2 because I found my experience to be boring so I dropped it. Subbing to a game platform for various games that I ‘might” play seems like a waste to me. Same reason I stopped buying steam sale games.

          • Original Heretic

            November 8, 2018 at 12:54

            Now, try working full time, being a gamer, a watcher of good shows/movies, a father, a husband. Then on top of that, I’m also working on a 6 novel series.
            No time!

          • Guz

            November 8, 2018 at 13:33

            Ok your either a robot, a time lord or perhaps the king of multitasking 0.o

          • Original Heretic

            November 8, 2018 at 13:45

            Wish I was a Time Lord.
            I’d call myself “The Proctologist”. Then I’d take out all the assholes in the universe.

      • Guz

        November 8, 2018 at 11:23

        My steam backlog is disgusting XD

        I could loss my internet for a year and be perfectly fine :/

        Reply

  3. BakedBagel

    November 8, 2018 at 13:53

    Geoff, i wonder what the numbers would say when you include ingame currency being able to purchase your subscription.

    How many people do it? Is there a profit/loss? Is it viable in the long term?

    Reply

  4. Magoo

    November 8, 2018 at 14:03

    Some things not taken into account though. Like the income-level of subs vs non-subs. Because if you have a lot of money you will most likely sub to all of them and still buy games on top of it. If you don’t have a lot of money you will buy a game every month or two.

    So these stats specifically could be skewed in the sense that most gamers who are financially well-off will sub to the services regardless of how much they spend on games and in games.

    Reply

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