Look at the technological solutions around you, and you will find yourself using subscription-based platforms. Whether it be Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Spotify, such platforms have become an important part of our lives.
The reason for the popularity of subscription-based platforms is the convenience and the abundance of choice that they offer at a minimal fee. Now, this trend is also extending to the gaming industry.
Overall, the gaming and media sector is already on the rise. By 2021, its market size is projected to reach approximately 2.2 trillion US dollars.
Statistics point towards the fact that subscription-based gaming will also form a significant chunk of the market. For instance, in a survey conducted by Statista in 2016, it was discovered that approximately 40 percent of US gamers had PlayStation Plus subscriptions.
Another study conducted by Stanford Business School revealed that subscription models would grow by a whopping 100 percent in the next year.
At the same time, rentals and disc sales are contracting. As of 2017, as per Variety, such items witnessed a decrease in sales by 14 percent compared to 2016, while subscription-based streaming platforms generated 9.5 billion USD.
Therefore, it can be predicted that the popularity of subscription-based gaming platforms will continue to rise. But the question is, why? What prompted the shift from traditional gaming to subscription-based solutions?
Here are the top reasons for this switch.
Just like all other digital solutions, subscription-based gaming platforms offer immense convenience to users.
Rather than buying several games, queuing up in lines to get the right discs, and then re-visiting the stores after every new version comes out, gaming platforms bring everything to your screen.
Additionally, they cater to the need of consumers who want things instantaneously. Gaming platforms offer their subscribers access to games the moment they are released.
Hence, paying an affordable fee subscription fee once a month (or year, depending on the platform in question) provides access to a plethora of games. Players are then free to choose the games they wish to play.
While you might have only heard of popular subscription-based platforms like Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus, there are various other online gaming platforms out there that offer games to a specific segment of the audience.
For instance, Unlimited Gamez Mo is a subscription-based online gaming platform that mainly targets young players with kid-friendly games. While a seasoned player may find these games too easy, they are intriguing enough to keep the little ones entertained.
Such platforms act as a safe space for children to explore and play games. Compared to the black hole of the online gaming world, parents find such solutions to be much more secure for kids.
A consistent stream of revenue
One of the biggest reasons why subscription-based gaming platforms are gaining popularity is because operators and game developers alike want it to succeed.
Compared to traditional models, such options offer them a consistent stream of income as well as a highly engaged audience.
Subscription-based gaming platforms have enabled the developers to diversify their sources of revenue. Now, they don’t only rely on the sales of games, but they also earn from several other sources like subscription fees, in-app purchases, etc.
As per a research analyst in HIS Markit, publishers also benefit by increasing their hold of the value chain.
Skeptics might think that the subscription-based gaming model is flawed. After all, unlike binge-watching, how many games can people possibly play to make the investment worth it? Logic says that Dota lovers will always play Dota, and FIFA players will only prefer FIFA.
But, upon the launch of subscription-based gaming platforms, developers discovered something completely different.
For instance, two years after EA Access’s launch of Xbox One, EA identified a positive correlation between its gaming platform subscribers and the number of games being played.
Players were not only playing more games, but they were also playing it for a longer period and spending more money on them.
Microsoft, too, witnessed a similar result. Upon the release of Game Pass on Xbox, their members increased by 40 percent. Moreover, a 40 percent increase was seen in the total number of games being played on the platform.
One can conclude that being on the platform exposes gamers to new franchises and games, which they might not have played otherwise. Therefore, Game Pass members are more likely to play other games compared to those who don’t have the membership.
It is a win-win solution for both the developers and the gamers. While the former receives increased revenue, the latter gets introduced to a plethora of games.
Tailored Gaming Experience
The leading subscription-based gaming platforms are trying to use the avenue for something other than merely selling their games. Instead, they are using it to understand their consumers.
The developers are waging a competitive war to create the best and most immersive gaming experience. Subscription-based platforms help developers see and understand the type of games players prefer, and what experiences within the game they like the most.
Think of it like Netflix. The content you watch on the platform decides the type of shows that appear in your recommendations. The streaming platform also uses insights to create content that is popular among the masses. The same benefit is to be realized by the gaming sector as well.
All in all, subscription-based gaming platforms can help improve gaming experiences by being a data point for developers. It will result in better game development, which in turn will satisfy the players.
At the moment, subscription-based gaming platforms do not own a major chunk of the gaming sector. However, the trends indicate that they will be the future of the gaming industry as our generation is addicted to on-demand streaming services.
We prefer to get things the moment they are released and don’t mind paying for the convenience. Hence, it is clear that in a few years, such gaming platforms will rule the gaming sector.