Xbox Game Pass is the Netflix of Gaming
Netflix emailed me today to let me know my subscription price was going up. After being a little disgruntled, I realized the $14 price tag, despite being increased a couple dollars, is still a crazy good deal for how much I use that service.
Then I saw this today: Xbox Game Pass (which I wrote about early last year) now gets all first-party exclusive games added to the Xbox Game Pass subscription service on release date. For just one low price of $9.99 a month, you get access to over 100 games. With the promise if new games every month — including new titles like Sea of Thieves — and the first party titles going straight there, that’s a decent value.
[Update: The Microsoft people clarified that Xbox Game Pass DOES work for Play Anywhere titles. That means it WILL let you play games on PC. This is a HUGE boost, and reason enough to get it since just two games a year pays for itself.]
The biggest, perhaps only, downside is that these games are not “Play-Anywhere” titles. That means Sea of Thieves through this program would only be playable on Xbox One. Contrast that to my copy of Sea of Thieves I bought outright which is playable on either my Windows 10 PC or Xbox One system.
The idea of gaming as a service is one I have championed for years. I’ve urged EA, Ubi, Microsoft, Sony, and all of these companies to create their own subscription services. It’s the “All Access Pass” program where users pay a monthly subscription, developers can rely on monthly recurring revenue, and players can access a plethora of games. This creates immense value for the user, as well as the company.
Looking at the price for Xbox Game Pass, that’s only two Microsoft exclusive games and it pays for itself. That’s really not a bad alternative at all.
If, however, they cycle titles off the service like Netflix does movies… I’m out. I don’t want my games to end up like those Star Trek movies I put off watching just to have them leave the service when I get around to watching them.