Subscriptions Unlikely To Become Dominant Model, Says Analyst

Expert Verified By

Gaming Industry Should Not Fear Subscriptions!

Story Highlights
  • As Xbox Game Pass and PS Plus expand, subscriptions are gaining more popularity in the industry.
  • This has led to fears about this model of game releases eventually becoming the dominant force in the industry.
  • An analyst says that this will never happen, backing his claims with data.

Subscription services like Xbox Game Pass and PS Plus offer tons of games for a little money. This makes such services incredibly enticing for gamers on a budget, offering hundreds of games every month.

PS Plus offered $8000 worth of games, while Xbox Game Pass offered $9000 in value last year. The subscription model is becoming more popular every year, but an analyst predicts it will never dominate the gaming industry.

Why it matters: Subscription services, while popular with consumers, have raised eyebrows among veteran industry developers who fear that they may be harmful in the long run.

Mat Piscatella from Circana reports subscription services are no longer growing in the US, and growth has flattened out. He acknowledges that many prefer this game release model, but the data suggests there is little possibility of it taking over the traditional gaming model.

To back Matt Piscatella’s data, Microsoft has yet to provide updated figures beyond 25 million for Xbox Game Pass since early 2022. Circana’s data from last year also shows such services have been unable to hit a high like 2021’s results for two years, settling at $400 million in spending since then.

He elaborates that subscriptions usually end up being additive. Many fear that day-one subscription releases cannibalize traditional sales, but his data suggests this is not the case.

PlayStation PS Plus

Overall, the analyst believes there is little need to fear the growth of subscriptions.

Current trends in the industry suggest these services add more choices for developers, consumers, and everyone involved in the industry, creating a net positive impact.

Xbox Game Pass offered 50-day-one titles this year. Meanwhile, PlayStation rapidly expanded its PS Plus Extra & Premium tiers, with both subscriptions providing immense value in their own ways.

However, teams like Larian Studios are still not fond of this idea. Swen Vincke recently warned about the dangers of this model, stating that Larian Studios will never deliver its releases through such models.

This motivated Mat Piscatella to join the discussion, clearing the current doubts about subscriptions and their supposed negative impact. Still, the gaming industry will likely need more time to adjust to this new age of distribution, with many unwilling to give up their doubts just yet.

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