Business aspects of Subscription Game Libraries [Xbox GamePass, PSNow]

Making the announcement on their blog, the team at Playground Games shared the unfortunate news: “Due to licensing and agreements with our partners, Forza Horizon 4 will be delisted from digital platforms (Microsoft Store and Steam) on December 15, 2024. This means the game and its additional content will no longer be available for purchase through online stores.”
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While some achievements will become unachieveable, the team revealed that “players who already own the game and its content will be able to download and play it as normal, including its offline, online, and multiplayer features; physical copies of the game purchased after this date will also work and will be able to use online features.”
 
Microsoft has confirmed sweeping changes - including price increases - to its Xbox Game Pass subscription service in the run-up to October's launch of Call of Duty: Black Ops 6, which will include the removal of day one releases for its overhauled basic tier.
Price increases as high as 20-25% for some offerings. GPU increase is around 15%.
This changes the value proposition substantially. I wonder what will happen to the subscription numbers? Will COD still boost them, or will interest decrease?

Also, I'm somewhat confused by the offerings and 'Game Pass Console' vs 'Game Pass Ultimate'. I thought the original was all the games you want from the library, and GPU was streaming too? So people buying XBSX as a low cost all-you-can-eat system using GP, they now need to buy GPU for those Day 1 titles (new buyers anyhow)?
 
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Microsoft console users (... wait I forgot "hardware" not console is now official nomenclature) again got short end off the stick compared to pc. Strange.
GamePass on PC is a fairly compromised experience. Less games, doesn't work on Steam Deck, shenanigans with Windows Store, inability to mod games(or even properly access files). Obviously most of these will apply to console users as well, but PC users are not used to such limitations being put on them.
 
The price is now equivalent to more than three AAA $70 games a year, as opposed to the 1.5 AAA titles before. It's still great value for those who consume a lot of AAA games, but most players will probably save money buying 2-3 AAA they really want to play a year.

Well, we'll see in the subscription numbers...except I guess MS won't share those if they go down!
 
Still great value. You pay half these prices just to play online multi.
Great value on-paper still, sure. In practice, it's becoming less so, though. Especially when you remember that outside of 1st party titles, these games are just long-term rentals and limited time on the service actually makes quite a lot of people apprehensive about starting some of these games, particularly any ones that are fairly long.

You have to really be dedicated to making the best use of the service. Of course, we all know that half the 'model' of these subscription services is hoping that people just stay subscribed out of laziness rather than actively liking it.
 
The price is now equivalent to more than three AAA $70 games a year, as opposed to the 1.5 AAA titles before. It's still great value for those who consume a lot of AAA games, but most players will probably save money buying 2-3 AAA they really want to play a year.

Well, we'll see in the subscription numbers...except I guess MS won't share those if they go down!

Don't you still need xbox gold to play online ? It's now named game pass core.

So if you are gaming online the step up to game pass ultimate is pretty cheap .

I'm prepaid till 2028 and get 50% off so it doesn't matter much to me
 
Looks like gamepass was not sustainable, so they had to remove the day 1 released or charge more for it
We have been saying this for a long time and that's why Sony has been avoiding it. The Subscription growth hasnt been enough to fund the AAA day one releases. They had to make GP expensive enough to ensure the money invested in AAA titles are funded back and make it profitable.
The question how elastic is the GP demand in response to price increases? Or will it backfire both ways basically checkmating their ownselves into a pocket with holes?
 
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