Game Pass is a great idea and the future of gaming – Reader’s Feature

A reader enthuses over Microsoft’s games subscription service and hopes that Sony and Nintendo create their own version soon.

I would agree with many who suggest that we are currently living in a golden age of quality video games. The average quality is higher than it has ever been and both big budget games and indie titles have turned out classic after classic in this second half of the current generation. There have been problems, of course, mostly centred around the most mass-market titles put out by old school publishers like EA and Activision.

Loot boxes and microtransactions have been a curse on gaming and while, thanks to Star Wars: Battlefront II, they’ve not become quite as pervasive as we feared they’re still harmful to both people and game design as well. Generally unfinished games that are lacking in content and/or broken are also a blight and I’m glad that both Fallout 76 and Anthem were punished for their failures. While at the same time I can’t resent Fortnite and Apex Legends their success, as despite having loot boxes they are generally quite fair to their players, especially considering they’re free-to-play.

Games as a service titles in general I have found to be generally good value, despite it sounding like the latest fad designed to do as little as possible for gamers and as much as possible for publishers. It can go either way, depending on the game, but overall I’d say the majority of them have been perfectly fair. But today I’d like to talk about that other executive favourite that, shockingly, isn’t a rip-off: Games Pass.

If you’re not familiar it’s a very simple concept, very similar to Netflix. You buy a subscription and you’re given instant access to all first party Xbox One games and a selection of, usually relatively old or obscure, third party games. This selection is rotated fairly regularly but you’ve always got access to hundreds of free games at the click of a button.

I know people are beginning to turn against the idea of subscriptions in general but this one really is great value for money. As you know, the Xbox One has not exactly been flush with quality first party titles but Games Pass allows you to play them all without ever having to risk a penny, while also highlighting more obscure games you may not have heard of or been able to afford.

Increasingly more indie game are also available on Game Pass from day one and Microsoft have talked about some games being made specifically for Game Pass as they can guarantee a certain size of audience, thereby helping more niche franchises like strategy and graphic adventure. (Although in truth this aspect of the idea has yet to be really proven yet.)

For me it all works perfectly: the subscription is cheap (and you can find lots of deals to get it cheaper/via a free trial), the games are varied, and the hassle is almost zero. It’s so good I hope that Sony and Nintendo consider doing something similar themselves. Microsoft seems very keen, so I assume it’s profitable, and it gets around the problem of games being discounted immediately and niche games constantly getting ignored and smaller developers never making their money back.

In my experience it’s all positives with no negatives. For less than a tenner you get tons of games a month and in the future I’d like to see this encompass all major games, like a TV channel or… Netflix. With streaming becoming a much bigger deal it seems like Game Pass’s time has truly come and I for one welcome our new subscription overlords.

By reader Anton

The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

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