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NPD analyst Mat Piscatella: The risk of subscription is in the potential devaluation of content

MysticGon

Member
Oct 31, 2017
3,094
Yup even though streaming and subs has given us some gems I think the whole idea of some content planner pick what to put your subscription money behind and the uncertainty of whether you'll be able to play in 10-15 years...

Yeah turbulent times ahead.

I feel this model really only lends itself to indies (for exposure) and GAAS (maintaining one game over a generation or more).
 

abellwillring

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,268
Austin, TX
If Sony doesn't model Game Pass next gen, I am planning to leave them behind and move over to Xbox as my primary console again after switching to PS4 as my prime this gen. The value on Game Pass is truly astronomical. I won't pay for online on multiple systems so I'd just get a PS4 for Sony's single player solo games.
 

Khatoz

Member
Oct 27, 2017
104
If Sony doesn't model Game Pass next gen, I am planning to leave them behind and move over to Xbox as my primary console again after switching to PS4 as my prime this gen. The value on Game Pass is truly astronomical. I won't pay for online on multiple systems so I'd just get a PS4 for Sony's single player solo games.
It really feels like MS is starting the transition to next gen on the consumer side.
 

Skyfireblaze

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,607
I entirely agree with what he said, especially at the end where he mentions it's getting hard to keep up. I feel like most big publishers don't realize they are competing with a resource that is literally finite and that they never will be able to increase and that resource is simply time. Ever day inevitable only has 24 hours and any given person can only spent so much each day on games. If you bank everything on GaaS and larger, more and more complex open-world epics with collectathons then you will sooner or later fall on your face, especially if people suddenly have access to a thousand games for cheap because of subscriptions.

No matter what you do as a publisher or developer then, once a given player has their 3-5 games they also likely play with their friends it will be very hard to break them out of this mold unless you do something groundbreaking and that can't be a guarantee at all. But sadly the industry has time and time again proven that they value short-term profits more than the long-term health of the medium.
 

Leveean

Member
Nov 9, 2017
284
Seems like manufactured concern from people too invested in the old system.

Death to $60 games!
 

Neonep

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,383
I don't like the subscription era for games. It may benefit the consumers cause it's cheap but it won't benefit the game makers. At a certain point, you have to realize that this shit is a business and companies need to make their money back to stay in business. With the budgets of most of the games these days that we love, companies will lose money with subscription models. Obviously it is different for GAAS & single player games. For GAAS, there are only so many that can be going on at a given time. A subscription model for single player games is a dumbass decision. This is all referring to new releases.
 

nazgul_hunter

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,503
I would argue Netflix has also "devalued" content, but that doesn't mean we're worse off for content.

I think the next step to make subscriptions work out in terms of quality, the creation tools need to get a lot better. If they can democratize game development tools in the way that video content creation has been democratized, the overall quality of games might go up
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,087
Seems like manufactured concern from people too invested in the old system.

Death to $60 games!
Not from Sony and Nintendo. And probably most other big publishers too.

I would argue Netflix has also "devalued" content, but that doesn't mean we're worse off for content.

I think the next step to make subscriptions work out in terms of quality, the creation tools need to get a lot better. If they can democratize game development tools in the way that video content creation has been democratized, the overall quality of games might go up
Everyone in the film/Tv industry isn't following Netflix model though which what some people want in the videogame industry.
 

vivftp

Member
Oct 29, 2017
3,269
Yup, I agree there are reasons to be concerned. The potential for the quality of games to go down the drain as they're built from the ground up for a subscription model is there. Right now we're not seeing that too much because for the most part we're just seeing sub services taking games built on traditional sales models and stuffing them into their services. Also if subs become the norm and we wind up in a situation where most people scoff at full price games then that only pressures devs to jump on board the sub train and that runs the risk of them compromising their games to do so.

I'm very much a fan of Sony's slower approach to this. Don't rush in blind, there's no need to. Microsoft kinda had to with the way things were going for them, but now I feel they are locked in and can never go back to the traditional model if Game Pass doesn't work out as they hoped. They either make GP work or exit the industry because all their eggs are in that basket now.

All that said, I'm still subscribed to PS Now and am curious to see where things go, I will continue to have concerns though.
 

RedOnePunch

Member
Oct 26, 2017
929
Seems like manufactured concern from people too invested in the old system.

Death to $60 games!
Isn't it our job to be concerned? If we, the most dedicated fans aren't concerned, who will be? You think MS or any other company gives a shit about the long term? They're an extremely wealthy company who are trying hard to stay relevant and can spend their way into everyone's good graces.
 

TangFei

Member
Aug 18, 2019
143
This is why Sony should never put their first party games on the service day 1. Instant devaluation and would probably not make up the sales they would get for selling it for $60
 

BoxingIsCool

Member
May 15, 2019
2,026
I think for Microsoft it makes sense. There’s a synergy across all its devices AND it instantly justifies the bolstering/purchases of XGS. Buying Compulsion Games and Undead Labs makes no sense otherwise. But putting all their games on a service and making it a big announcement, that does something and makes the hardware and investment in the software more appealing.

I had never heard of wwz before game pass. I tried it and I’m like holy cow this is like left for dead! Lots of fun! Now my eyes are on the dev for their next game. I may or may not be subbed at that point (i just got two years of ultimate) but I’m more familiar with the dev than I ever have been.
 

Ramjag

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,143
Seems like manufactured concern from people too invested in the old system.

Death to $60 games!
I’m pretty sure Mat had reasons for sharing this info rather than to manufacture concern. Crazy to see people complaining about $60 prices that have stayed steady since before I was last a kid 13 years ago. This race to the bottom mindset we have when it comes everything is problematic. Especially when the ultimate goal is to nickel and dime you over a longer period.
 

ILikeFeet

Member
Oct 25, 2017
24,520
why pay full price for games when you can pay half and get hundreds of games? if anything this just means a lot more games will be getting microtransactions. it might not be long before there will be two different versions of the same game, one that's full priced and minimal MTX, and one for sub services that's loaded with MTX
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,087
we don't care as long as we can get it cheap.
A lot of people actually do care.

why pay full price for games when you can pay half and get hundreds of games? if anything this just means a lot more games will be getting microtransactions. it might not be long before there will be two different versions of the same game, one that's full priced and minimal MTX, and one for sub services that's loaded with MTX
So games have already been devalued for you.
 

HeroR

Member
Dec 10, 2017
5,488
What's wild is when we talk about Nintendo not devaluing their games it's mostly met with understanding...IIRC, lol.

Put MS is this scenario and its...wtf did you just say ?!?!?! from some folks....

Put Sony in this scenario and it's met with eyerolls from some folks....

Nintendo is a perfect example of why Sony shouldn't copy the Game Pass plan 1:1. Even blockbuster movies that are on demand on cable while still in theatres...it's not for $1, $9.

Ppl bringing up these services...look at Vudu, Amazon. Stuff that's not on Prime, still in theatres , or just released to DVD isn't for $1, $9.

Stop using Netflix as the only example.
It's more annoyed accepted than understanding. People around here hate that Nintendo games rarely price drops, but it's hard to argued that Nintendo should drop their prices when games like Mario Kart 8 and Breath of the Wild won't leave NPD charts.
 

skeezx

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,917
Microsoft kinda had to with the way things were going for them, but now I feel they are locked in and can never go back to the traditional model if Game Pass doesn't work out as they hoped. They either make GP work or exit the industry because all their eggs are in that basket now.
i'd argue it's the other way around, it's the subscribers who'll be locked in. if not gamepass itself they're already invested into the ecosystem

MS will slow the gravy train one point or another
 

ILikeFeet

Member
Oct 25, 2017
24,520
Waiting for sales wouldn't fall under devaluation as most games do lose value over time.
I'm kinda on both sides of the coin there. to me, I don't have any incentive to buy a PC game a full price. I'm super excited for Red Dead 2 and Cyberpunk, but I'm not going to buy them until they go on sale (and when I upgrade from my current setup). meanwhile, I have Pokemon Sword preloaded on my switch. I feel like I've been trained to not spend full price on PC games thanks to steam sales and whatnot. Nintendo has sales for their games, but they don't happen as often so I don't feel bad buying day one
 
Oct 25, 2017
6,087
It's more annoyed accepted than understanding. People around here hate that Nintendo games rarely price drops, but it's hard to argued that Nintendo should drop their prices when games like Mario Kart 8 and Breath of the Wild won't leave NPD charts.
It should also be hard to argue that you should lose money on 10 million + selling IPs in hopes of some bigger profit at some undetermined time in the future. But here we are.
 

Principate

Member
Oct 31, 2017
6,952
Waiting for sales wouldn't fall under devaluation as most games do lose value over time.
It's not quite as simple as that what's commonly referred to as devaluation is a lowering of the price a consumer is willing to pay for a product. How quickly and aggressively a product enters it's sales period can certainly come under this category.

That doesn't mean all sales devalue a product but how quickly and deep the sales are an be a symptom of the consumer being unwilling to buy said product above a certain price threshold.
 

HeroR

Member
Dec 10, 2017
5,488
I’m pretty sure Mat had reasons for sharing this info rather than to manufacture concern. Crazy to see people complaining about $60 prices that have stayed steady since before I was last a kid 13 years ago. This race to the bottom mindset we have when it comes everything is problematic. Especially when the ultimate goal is to nickel and dime you over a longer period.
Gamers are in that box that they want the high-end, movie production games that are reasonably long, without actually paying for the cost of these types of games. Like how Mario Odyssey is the same price as Red Dead Redemption 2, despite way more money, technology, time, and production going into Red Dead Redemption 2 (note that cost isn't the same as quality of either game). Granted, we as the consumer always want things cheaper and free if we can get away with it, but it is something to note.
 

WhovianGamer

Member
Oct 28, 2017
762
This is true for me. I’ll happily pay for Sony and Nintendo’s big exclusives but I’d pay for a month of Gamepass to play the odd Microsoft one.
 

Ramjag

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,143
Gamers are in that box that they want the high-end, movie production games that are reasonably long, without actually paying for the cost of these types of games. Like how Mario Odyssey is the same price as Red Dead Redemption 2, despite way more money, technology, time, and production going into Red Dead Redemption 2 (note that cost isn't the same as quality of either game). Granted, we as the consumer always want things cheaper and free if we can get away with it, but it is something to note.
Well said. I try to be mindful of it myself having seen the effect on the business end personally, but we’re all guilty at one time or another.
 

rumbling

Member
Mar 22, 2018
107
I assume that devaluation of games = people are less likely to buy their games for $60. Well...

1. Most games prices gets slashed within months of release. That's a much bigger deterrent from buying a specific game at full price than any subscription service ever. Renting has been a thing forever, some people still needs to own.

2. Who is this a bad thing for? The amount of $60 buys in it self seams pretty pointless unless overall gaming revenue going down because of subscription services. And I have a incredibly hard time seeing that happening. Sure there will be some redistribution of money but who can really tell how? If a customer spending $300 gets 5 or 20 games should not really matter, they should be worth the same for gaming business in general?
 

GungHo

Member
Nov 27, 2017
1,059
I don't see how when you have games like Hellblade and Outer Worlds on Gamepass, thriving.
I'm truly curious as to how these business arrangements will be set. Will they pay a one-time admission fee to the distributor? Will they compete for a share of the same money pile over time? If so, does that share change over time? Do games fall off the service? What happens when a game that I am playing falls off the service?
 

Governergrimm

Member
Jun 25, 2019
782
I’m pretty sure Mat had reasons for sharing this info rather than to manufacture concern. Crazy to see people complaining about $60 prices that have stayed steady since before I was last a kid 13 years ago. This race to the bottom mindset we have when it comes everything is problematic. Especially when the ultimate goal is to nickel and dime you over a longer period.
This exactly why I am ok with nickel and dime. If anyone charged more than $60 people would wait for it to go on sale. Ask Bethesda about Prey and New Colossus.

Let's turn it another way. If we have feature complete games with no long tail or monetization how much should it cost? $60, $70, $80, $90? These changes are happening because $60 games aren't sustainable. Sure in some cases it's corporate greed but this don't always the case.
 

Seeya

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,854


It will be interesting to see whether the risk of devaluation will become a reality and have a significant impact on the industry.
We already saw this with IOS and Android. It will happen, and you’ll be left w Netflix style operations stuffing DLC and in stream adds into the games.
 

Seeya

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,854
This exactly why I am ok with nickel and dime. If anyone charged more than $60 people would wait for it to go on sale. Ask Bethesda about Prey and New Colossus.

Let's turn it another way. If we have feature complete games with no long tail or monetization how much should it cost? $60, $70, $80, $90? These changes are happening because $60 games aren't sustainable. Sure in some cases it's corporate greed but this don't always the case.
Games have been released as digital only or at lower MSRP for a long time. ‘60 dollars isn’t sustainable’ is a myth that has more to do with a worsening worldwide economic disparity than it does with the model itself.
 

Governergrimm

Member
Jun 25, 2019
782
I'm truly curious as to how these business arrangements will be set. Will they pay a one-time admission fee to the distributor? Will they compete for a share of the same money pile over time? If so, does that share change over time? Do games fall off the service? What happens when a game that I am playing falls off the service?
I don't know how it works on PS Now but, GP generally pays up front for a set amount of time. Games that arent first party come off after a specific time frame at which time you can buy the game at discount. The devs are obviously free to negotiate with them but that's the basics.
 

Ramjag

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,143
This exactly why I am ok with nickel and dime. If anyone charged more than $60 people would wait for it to go on sale. Ask Bethesda about Prey and New Colossus.

Let's turn it another way. If we have feature complete games with no long tail or monetization how much should it cost? $60, $70, $80, $90? These changes are happening because $60 games aren't sustainable. Sure in some cases it's corporate greed but this don't always the case.
I’m personally not interested in being nickeled and dimed and it actively turns me off from most games that are designed this way. In either case, I feel we’ll truly get an idea for how it’ll play out this upcoming gen. I’m not going to sit here and act as if I have the definitive solution (or that it’s going to get figured out in this topic) and your points aren’t wrong, but I don’t personally see this direction as a long-term benefit for games and based on the posts in the OP, it’s possible that everything won’t be crimson and clovers going forward.


We already saw this with IOS and Android. It will happen, and you’ll be left w Netflix style operations stuffing DLC and in stream adds into the games.
Yep, it rarely gets better.
 

Governergrimm

Member
Jun 25, 2019
782
Games have been released as digital only or at lower MSRP for a long time. ‘60 dollars isn’t sustainable’ is a myth that has more to do with a worsening worldwide economic disparity than it does with the model itself.
So people are already not paying $60 per game and waiting for sales. The games are then devalued all on their own. The subscription services are a response to the economic disparity.

I agree that we should be concerned but people like to ignore the positive response from devs.
 

asd202

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,301
So people are already not paying $60 per game and waiting for sales. The games are then devalued all on their own. The subscription services are a response to the economic disparity.

I agree that we should be concerned but people like to ignore the positive response from devs.
Companies still sell there games on PS4, PC and Switch, Xbox games sales are already down because of Games Pass, I think in a near future we will reach a point where the only viable to sell a game on Xbox will be to accept money from MS and put it on Games Pass. If Sony does the same will it be good for 3rd parties? I'm not so sure.
 

inpHilltr8r

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,331
We already saw this with IOS and Android. It will happen, and you’ll be left w Netflix style operations stuffing DLC and in stream adds into the games.
actually apple arcade has been pretty good on that front

which fucking amazed me because apple dont have the best history with games

early days tho