Over the years, we’ve observed the substantial impact of gaming subscriptions like Xbox Game Pass and PS Plus on the industry, offering significant value at an affordable price.
If you’re looking to play a variety of games at a lower cost and avoid spending $70 on each game, subscriptions are your go-to option, providing numerous games for a modest fee.
It appears that these gaming subscriptions might offer even greater value in the future. The anticipation of a surge in video game prices in the next few years suggests that buying individual games could become too expensive.
Why it matters: The industry seems to be headed toward another price hike. While $70 games have led to outcry among many individuals, this may not be the last of the AAA price hikes.
AAA Studios Are In Favor of Higher Prices
The recent extensive data hack of Insomniac Games revealed the studio’s plan to release Spider-Man 3 in two parts along with a standalone multiplayer, all priced at $49.99 each, totaling around $150. This is almost twice the current price of a typical AAA release.
The price tag isn’t the only factor preventing people from buying AAA titles, although it does play a significant role.
Unfinished AAA Releases
It is no secret that AAA gaming has become notorious for broken releases. In 2023 alone, several high-profile games launched in a poor state on PC, with a few being borderline unplayable.
This trend could increase in the coming years as developers are faced with tighter deadlines and budgets in the struggling economy. Ultimately, such a trend would push people toward subscriptions again.
Even if subscriptions like Xbox Game Pass and PS Plus fail to retain their current value a few years from now, they would be a much better proposition in a hypothetical future where games are priced as high as $100 despite retaining their current flaws.
A few months ago, an analyst also predicted that the popularity of gaming subscriptions would skyrocket by 2027, generating $22 billion in revenue, almost 11.6% of the total spending on games. This is a substantial jump from its current valuation of $16 billion.
Subscriptions Can Offer More Than Just Games
As the subscription model evolves, Xbox and PlayStation have begun to include other benefits to make their offerings appear more compelling.
While games continue to be at the center of these services, Sony offers benefits like content from Crunchyroll. On the other hand, Xbox offers the added benefit of EA Play as part of Game Pass Ultimate.
This could be the future of these subscriptions. A future model that includes a household service like Netflix or any of the other popular streaming platforms could prove to be revolutionary, further evolving this option as a means of cheap games for everyone.
In 2023 alone, Xbox reportedly added games worth almost $9,000 to Game Pass, with a total of 50 day-one titles offered. Additionally, 2024 appears to be even more significant for the subscription since 40 day-one releases have already been announced.
Both Microsoft and Sony are going all-in on this model.
While the former is more invested, Sony has shown that it does not want to be left behind. Therefore, if prices go through a hike during the next console generation again, a large chunk of gamers could find themselves turning toward subscriptions to tackle the problem.
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Avinash is currently pursuing a Business degree in Australia. For more than three years, he has been working as a gaming journalist, utilizing his writing skills and love for gaming to report on the latest updates in the industry. Avinash loves to play action games like Devil May Cry and has also been mentioned on highly regarded websites, such as IGN, GamesRadar, GameRant, Dualshockers, CBR, and Gamespot.