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Are digital gaming services (e.g. gamepass) just experiencing the same pushback streaming music and movies initially did?

I recall people making the exact same arguments about digital music and movie models. For music, the arguments were all over the place from ownership issues to wanting to hold a physical CD/record to quality concerns. Over time it seems that people eventually came to an agreement that streaming is the way to go for music. For the price of a CD per month, I can listen to pretty much anything I want (I don't listen to weird obscure indie shit, never had an issue finding something I wanted to listen to on Apple Music).

As for movies, I'm more into film than I am into video games so I was originally one of the people who wasn't happy with what the future looked like. Over time, the convenience of streaming services and amount of money I'm saving won me over. I watch hundreds of movies a year (yes, hundreds. last year I watched a single horror movie ever single day), so I'm saving a shit ton of money through streaming. I was worried that the quality wouldn't be the same, but most of the streaming services offer quality that surpasses my physical BluRays and I just don't see the point of re-buying them in Ultra 4k UHD. I still pick up a few physical movies here and there, but for the most part I'm more than happy to just stream it.

Sure you don't own the movie, but who really gives a shit? I find that most people don't care about the fact that they don't own a movie but a lot of people seem to have an issue with not owning the video game.

I think that eventually subscription services like gamepass will become the norm and everyone other than the few weirdos who still have massive physical music and movie collections will be happier as a result.
 

Leyasu

Banned
Pushback? The majority of pushback comes from the people that don't have access to it or from those that want to own their games.

The majority of subscribers you see talking about it on forums are more than happy with the service and value provided.
 

Tiamat2san

Member
Now that you said it… it’s possible.
I remember I wasn’t for streaming music and quality was not that great either.

I didn’t like to buy digital games either but now I do more often than physical too.
Gamepass saves me money as music streaming does.

Now I could not envision a future without streaming music and gamepass and I’d love that Sony does the same.
 
I think most pushback is toward game STREAMING, not necessarily subscription services.

I'm definitely not a fan of the idea of having to stream games. Gaming is completely different than music and movies and I don't think streaming should ever become the primary way to game, although it has its place as an additional way to play when needed.

For services like GamePass, they are fine as long as the game quality doesn't decline and we aren't required to have a bunch of different subscriptions just to play the games we want to play.
 

MOTM

Banned
Outside of some die hard Sony fans there’s no "pushback"

It’s 2022, everybody consumes entertainment/media through subscription. People even sign up for coffee on subscription plans.

People saying things like Sony (or Nintendo) should just continue to do things like they’ve always done are in denial.

Companies who fail to move along with the industry end up like Blackberry.
 

R6Rider

Gold Member
First, the comparison between streaming and subscribing for music and movies with the streaming of games is completely different. The consumption and engagement of music and TV is simple compared to games (especially music).

Also, Gamepass is fine as long as it's not the only way like it is now. The future will probably be subscription based only and it will be complete shit.

Many gamers care more about saving a bit of money than they do about the actual industry in the future. You can already see widespread thought processes along the lines of "I don't care who buys what or if there's only a select few companies controlling the industry as long as the games are on Gamepass".

It's sad to see.
 
First, the comparison between streaming and subscribing for music and movies with the streaming of games is completely different. The consumption and engagement of music and TV is simple compared to games (especially music).
Why is this relevant? I don't see how the degree of engagement makes a difference.
 
Outside of some die hard Sony fans there’s no "pushback"

It’s 2022, everybody consumes entertainment/media through subscription. People even sign up for coffee on subscription plans.

People saying things like Sony (or Nintendo) should just continue to do things like they’ve always done are in denial.

Companies who fail to move along with the industry end up like Blackberry.
 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
As long as what the output is good, it'll get accepted more and more.

Remember back in 2013? Disc disc discs! Digital console gaming a big no no.

Now hat are we at? 70% of console games are digital? What happened to trading and lending discs and selling back to EB Games? Looks like lots of people dont give a shit anymore. I was a disc fan too. Last disc I think I bought was The Witcher 3 with the cartoon book it came with.
 

Reizo Ryuu

Member
Maybe, there's always going to be a vocal group that's only pro ownership, but I don't think it's really a problem unless streaming is the only way to enjoy media.
Before covid I went to theaters at least 52 times a year, and I still buy blu-rays of movies I really want to own, but streaming offers a different kind of value to me; even though the quality is lower, I get exposed to all sorts of things I would've never bought or even knew it existed.
Both options can exist happily next to each other.
 
Because the average consumer of music or TV goes through an album or a season of a TV show in a few days and is ready for something new to add to the rotation. The average gamer plays a game for weeks or months before desiring a new game.
I don't think this is really accurate. The most streamed TV shows have historically been stuff that people watch over and over again, such as The Office, Grey's Anatomy, NCIS, Supernatural, etc.

I think this is even less true for music. I don't think most people stop listening to an artist's older work just because they drop a new album or someone else releases something.

I also don't think your average person spends months on a video game before playing a new one. I know I sure as hell don't. The exception being obviously people who play online games like CoD, Halo, FIFA, etc. This is purely anecdotal though so I could be wrong.
 

reinking

Member
The biggest difference for me is I don't have issues with latency listening to music or watching a video. I can deal with a LITTLE loss in resolution or sound quality but latency kills gaming for.me.
 
Game streaming is harder than Music and Video streaming.

Most countries have a shitty internet not good enough for a enjoyable streaming experience.
 
The biggest difference for me is I don't have issues with latency listening to music or watching a video. I can deal with a LITTLE loss in resolution or sound quality but latency kills gaming for.me.

Game streaming is harder than Music and Video streaming.

Most countries have a shitty internet not good enough for a enjoyable streaming experience.
Yeah maybe I should have been more clear but I'm talking about subscription services like gamepass, not cloud streaming services like xcloud or whatever they call it.
 
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Fredrik

Gold Member
I only recall complaints about the quality in Spotify, since it wasn’t CD quality, and the ads in the free accounts.

Don’t remember any complaints for Netflix other than availability, I had to use an IP bouncer since it wasn’t available in my country.

Anyhow, I honestly don’t understand the push back for games. Not for Gamepass at least. Maybe the library is still too small? But streaming, Stadia/PSNow/GFNow/XBCloud, have latency and might not work well in some countries so it’s understandable.
 
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Dr Bass

Member
The only pushback has been from fanboys on platforms that don't have Game Pass.
No.

As a career software engineer, from my perspective it's more about destroying the value of software and making it so that some giant corporate overlord decides what gets to exist and what doesn't. Same problem with the App Store and iOS rules. People should be able to publish whatever software they want on iPhones. As the saying goes, we are in a time where people will spend five bucks on a daily coffee while thinking a one time 99 cent fee is too much for software.

That kind of value proposition is just not sustainable. Game Pass only exists because Microsoft can subsidize it from profits of products that actually sell elsewhere in the company. I never want to be in the B2C software space at this point, it's just too much of a headache. But, I am about to sign up for three years of Xbox Live, and will happily give MS ... one dollar ... to get that three years of GP conversion. Tremendous value for me. Absolutely unsustainable model for the industry and creators.

Streaming music DID destroy the music industry, but it was a side effect of so many people stealing music since it was so easy to do (I've always preferred buying music to support the artists, just like I like buying games to directly support the studios). Artists used to be able to sell albums and support themselves doing so. I know people who were VERY independent artists but could still make good money on album sales. Streaming music has even destroyed my buying habits even though I used to buy a couple albums a month. Now .. why? I just go click "add to library" in Apple Music and there it is. And the artist gets basically nothing. It's sad.
 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
I only recall complaints about the quality in Spotify, since it wasn’t CD quality, and the ads in the free accounts.

Don’t remember any complaints for Netflix other than availability, I had to use an IP bouncer since it wasn’t available in my country.

Anyhow, I honestly don’t understand the push back for games. Maybe the library is still too small?
I think the pushback is the fear at some point in the year 2xxx gaming will be all sub plan streaming. So all the purists wanting to buy a copy and people with shitty internet connections are screwed.

I dont see that happening any time soon if ever.

Music and movies dont even have the issues gamers care about like lag, yet you can still buy disc or digital copies of most stuff stuff. Ok, maybe that obscure documentary is only available on a streaming service because it's too niche for a boxed copy from Amazon, but just about every half decent budget TV or movie or song can still be bought.

When go to Walmart and check their entertainment section, purists can still buys movie discs or that Complete Series of Dukes of Hazzard if they want for $60.

Personally I think the fear isn't even that so much. I think many simply dont like streaming because they realize other people are ok with streaming and are playing tons of games for cheap while they are purists buying them for $60 or $70 so they feel like they are getting ripped off, or mad other people arent so elitist like them buying copies as they play a streamed version at shittier resolution.

It's like ecosystem warriors being mad some dude playing on another device half way around the world pisses them off because they want the gamer to conform to his way of gaming.
 
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ACESHIGH

Member
No, just from old heads that cling to physical media and folks that love to have the walls of their houses with videogame boxes as bricks. I love subscriptions as a complement to my collection of (digital) games. If there's a bunch of cool games on gamepass, might as well sub to try them and see if I like them or how well they run on my pc. I'd rather do that vs pirating.

I have tried games on the pass which I liked and purchased them on Steam. Both alternatives can coexist.
 
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Reizo Ryuu

Member
Music and movies dont even have the issues gamers care about like lag, yet you can still buy disc or digital copies of most stuff stuff. Ok, maybe that obscure documentary is only available on a streaming service because it's too niche for a boxed copy from Amazon, but just about every half decent budget TV or movie or song can still be bought.
Well with movies there's also an issue of quality, streaming bitrates simply aren't at the point where they can compete with a UHD copy on a disc, so if you want the absolute best quality, the disc exists.
There's also the thing where streaming platforms allow titles to be download for offline viewing, but that's only on mobile platforms, all "tv/pc" platforms don't support this, so if your internet craps out, you can't watch shit.
Whereas gamepass still works offline, if you launched the game at least once in 30 days, this is a point pro disc when it comes to movies/shows, but pro sub service when it comes to games.
 

isoRhythm

Banned
The biggest difference for me is I don't have issues with latency listening to music or watching a video. I can deal with a LITTLE loss in resolution or sound quality but latency kills gaming for.me.
Oh also most streaming solutions are limited to 720p-1080p, I just signed up for Geforce now and was confused why resolution wouldn't go beyond 1080p.
 

A.Romero

Member
Change always presents resistance but people tend to forget that new delivery methods doesn't mean the old ones go away. I mean, you can still buy Vinyl discs and DVD's.

More options seldom is a bad thing. I think the mix between a sub and acquiring certain games is OK. It sucks when a game gets pushed out of Gamepass when you are in the middle of it but you can always go and purchase a full license if you want. I don't think there will be a time where publishers decide selling the full license is not worth it because there will always be people interested in paying for it.

I'm OK getting discs for PS5 and digital for PC, including gamepass.
 
Yeah maybe I should have been more clear but I'm talking about subscription services like gamepass, not cloud streaming services like xcloud or whatever they call it.
So why mention streaming music and video services?

Music and Video rentals dont require push back because they cant charge you per action scene or what the character wears.

People dont want all games to become games as services. Which will happen once games aren’t fighting for your 60$ but as much of your time as possible.
 
I don't think this is really accurate. The most streamed TV shows have historically been stuff that people watch over and over again, such as The Office, Grey's Anatomy, NCIS, Supernatural, etc.

I think this is even less true for music. I don't think most people stop listening to an artist's older work just because they drop a new album or someone else releases something.

I also don't think your average person spends months on a video game before playing a new one. I know I sure as hell don't. The exception being obviously people who play online games like CoD, Halo, FIFA, etc. This is purely anecdotal though so I could be wrong.
You're sort of proving my point. The way the average person listens to music or watches TV is that they like to have a huge variety available to them at all times, and they'll sort of consume whatever they feel like at that moment. This was the case even before music and video streaming (people amassed huge libraries of records/tapes/CDs/pirated music, people bought cable packages with hundreds of channels they never watched). There's no commitment: a new album drops and maybe you listen to it on repeat for a couple days but then it's in the pile with the rest of your music library, including stuff you've been listening to since high school. A new season of your favorite show drops and you binge watch it over the course of a weekend and then you're back to aimlessly surfing cable/streaming services for something to watch - could be new, could be old, who cares, all you want to do is waste time and fill the void in your life.

Games are emphatically not like this. A game is a huge investment of time and attention compared to an album or a TV show. People decide which games they're interested in playing very selectively, and it's not because games are particularly expensive - it's because people have limited free time and energy. In this respect games resemble books much more than they resemble music or movies/TV.

The average person only buys a handful of games per year. The software tie ratio for games consoles is generally under 10 units of software per console sold. Assuming a ~7 year lifecycle, this means the average person is buying 1.5 games per year. Even if we double or triple or quadruple that to account for various confounding factors, it's clear that the games market is very much still oriented towards people who buy one game every few months at most. Gamepass might change that, but I don't think it'll change it that much: games just aren't like music or TV, they're a different medium that demands a much larger level of commitment.

Books are an interesting case study because there's been a free "subscription service" for them since before any of us were born: public libraries. But the vast majority of people I know continue to buy books instead of renting them. Why is that? It's because the obstacle for reading books isn't price: it's time. People buy books because they're a big investment, and they know that if they don't spend some money to own the thing chances are they're never going to finish it. This is how most people approach games: it's not like the reason people aren't buying more games is because games are expensive. If you're an adult with a job they're frankly not, and they go on sale constantly. The reason people aren't buying more games is because they don't have time to play them, and because it takes just the right game to click with you just the right way for you to actually sit down and play it.
 
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Boglin

Member
My main gripe for streaming games is the latency to the servers from where I live but as long as I still have the download option, I'll be fine. I don't feel the latency at all when streaming movies and music so it never bothered me with those services.
 

Calverz

Banned
100% OP. It’s basically snowballing now.
the matrix GIF
 

GrayDock

Member
There are 3 problems IMO:
1- is when stream is the only option to get the content. Here in Brazil Disney stopped selling DVDs/BRs the same month it launched Disney+. I can see that becoming the rule with all streaming services after a while all over the world;
2 - you'll eventually need to subscribe to a lot of services to get access to the content. Ubisoft+, EA+, Etc+ will all be separated services and you'll have to get most of them. You could get everyhting in Netflix (and for now in gamepass), now you need 3+ services;
3 - you can get it cheap at first, but all will became like Netflix that it rises it's prices every two years or so. Disney+ and HboMax are cheap now, but will get to Netflix levels as soon as it becames the only option to get the content.
 
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fart town usa

Gold Member
The only pushback that I remember was just the DRM aspect of it.

Based on my memory of the early days, it was like you'd buy something but then you'd still have to deal will all kinds of propriety nonsense in order to actually listen to or watch a movie. Remember buying a CD, but you couldn't rip it to your computer in order to transfer it to your iRiver. Someone realized you could just use a sharpie marker to block out the DRM. It was truly a nightmare and just an overall pain in the ass.

Services are much open now even if they are a walled garden so to speak.

As for physical vs. digital games. I've grown to embrace digital more than I did in the past. Just as long as I can actually buy the game and be able to play it 20 years from now. I know there are the internal battery issues for new consoles but maybe that's been resolved? I wouldn't want to rely solely on a subscription/streaming service for games, unless you were also able to buy them. Gaming is like the only medium that more or less casts prior generations aside and makes it's really difficult to enjoy legacy gaming. You never see that with movies or music. It's literally the fans and hobbyists keeping prior generations of gaming alive.
 
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Bo_Hazem

Gold Dealer
It's still a small market so far, the majority of gamers aren't into it. If you make a great game people won't hesitate to pay full price upfront. It's a good haven for lazy devs indeed, and probably indies that don't get enough exposure.
 

sainraja

Member
I recall people making the exact same arguments about digital music and movie models. For music, the arguments were all over the place from ownership issues to wanting to hold a physical CD/record to quality concerns. Over time it seems that people eventually came to an agreement that streaming is the way to go for music. For the price of a CD per month, I can listen to pretty much anything I want (I don't listen to weird obscure indie shit, never had an issue finding something I wanted to listen to on Apple Music).

As for movies, I'm more into film than I am into video games so I was originally one of the people who wasn't happy with what the future looked like. Over time, the convenience of streaming services and amount of money I'm saving won me over. I watch hundreds of movies a year (yes, hundreds. last year I watched a single horror movie ever single day), so I'm saving a shit ton of money through streaming. I was worried that the quality wouldn't be the same, but most of the streaming services offer quality that surpasses my physical BluRays and I just don't see the point of re-buying them in Ultra 4k UHD. I still pick up a few physical movies here and there, but for the most part I'm more than happy to just stream it.

Sure you don't own the movie, but who really gives a shit? I find that most people don't care about the fact that they don't own a movie but a lot of people seem to have an issue with not owning the video game.

I think that eventually subscription services like gamepass will become the norm and everyone other than the few weirdos who still have massive physical music and movie collections will be happier as a result.
Not true for movies but with music you can still download an .mp3 file from a lot of the music streaming services.
 

sainraja

Member
Outside of some die hard Sony fans there’s no "pushback"

It’s 2022, everybody consumes entertainment/media through subscription. People even sign up for coffee on subscription plans.

People saying things like Sony (or Nintendo) should just continue to do things like they’ve always done are in denial.

Companies who fail to move along with the industry end up like Blackberry.
He's talking about streaming lol. Not subscription services and as for sub-services both Sony and MS currently offer that — have you been asleep? Also, both MS & Sony do streaming as well. You're welcome.
 
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I don’t mind digital, streaming or even subscriptions as an option, but I NEVER want that to be the norm with no options for physical. There are gamers out there who like to actually own the games they spend their money on. Imagine having to subscribe to 5 different gaming services to play everything you want. I honestly think the way people are happily embracing and anticipating an all digital, subscription-based or cloud-based future are much weirder than the few guys who have a massive collection of physical games on their wall.

These companies obviously want to get your money, but a future like that only leads to gamers owning nothing in the end. Music and movies are different because gaming generally requires more energy, interactivity and a much bigger investment in time. Games are much more expensive than movies and music. Most people aren’t going to play their $120 Battle Hardened Edition COD for 2 hours and never play it again like a movie for example.
 
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Dream-Knife

Member
I don't stream music or movies either. I download them. I will buy vinyls of albums I really like.

I have no subscriptions. Even amazon prime.
 

Kamina

Golden Boy
There was pushback for music and film streaming?
I like both concepts. Dont own Spotify or Apple Music myself because i listen to music far too rarely to make it worth it.
But i do pay for Premium Netlix and Amazon Prime.
Gamepass however sounds unappealing to me.
 

tonyhh

Neo Member
The only pushback Gamepass has is from Sony fans who do not want to disturb their perceived 'status quo' of Playstation being on top while also continuing to ignore Nintendo stomping everyone. Things are changing. I hope certain people are ready to look at the world of gaming objectively going forward or miss out on some really great games/opportunities.
 
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poppabk

Member
Music streaming is different to other subscription services. Moneyhats have appeared but are very rare for music streaming as the artists are paid per play.
For movie/tv streaming moneyhats rule because the payment is up front (entirely? I am not sure but for the most part).
Games I am not even sure likely a mix but trending towards up front payment.
So there is a reasonable fear of a fracturing like we have seen with movie/tv streaming. However gamers are used to having to invest in an entirely different piece of hardware to access certain games so having to have a certain sub to play a certain game doesn't seem like it would be too great a problem.
 
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GrayDock

Member
No you couldn't
Well, maybe not everything, some content wasn't available in stream, and some aren't even today, but you didn't need 3, 4 services like today. Disney? Netflix. Marvel? Netflix. DC? Netflix. Paramount? Netflix. Warner? Netflix. MGM? Netflix. Universal? Netflix and so on and so on. Now you'll need 4+ services to get the same content of 3 years ago. This segregation will happen/is happening before gamepass could became the Netflix of 3 years ago.
 
I want to support specific video games by buying them period. When you buy good games, they make more good games. This is voting with your wallet. That is why I do not like the streaming model of games.


Music is very different. Specifically in that it costs almost nothing to make new good music. That is not the case for games.

Movies and TV are somewhere in the middle. Streaming is helpful in some cases, but harmful in others.
 

ManaByte

Member
Disney? Netflix. Marvel? Netflix. DC? Netflix. Paramount? Netflix. Warner? Netflix. MGM? Netflix. Universal? Netflix and so on and so on. Now you'll need 4+ services to get the same content of 3 years ago
Are you the same guy who had a meltdown on Era because Netflix didn't have every movie and TV show ever made on it?
 
The last physical game I bought was LAIR. Right now I'm trying to stretch out my 1070Ti until cloud streaming gets a little bit better. I really think I'm close to not needing to build another PC. I've been buying GPUs since the GTX 280 era and I think that takes the luster off of it. That brand new 3080Ti is hot, but I know from looking at my shelf that one day it's gonna be covered in cobwebs and dust like the cards of yesteryear.
 

HarryKS

Member
What pushback?

It's only dangerous if there's no competition in the field. Otherwise, it's an interesting concept. Nothing's stopping you to buy the items individually.
 

Rivet

Member
I have nothing against subscription services in general. I was a PC Gamepass subscriber. I subscribe to Spotify and Netflix. But I think gaming is a bit different.

- when I play, my game time is limited by my wife / my kid / my job, a lot more than by my money. That's why it's not really interesting for me to have 200+ games (and it wouldn't change anything if you added 1000 other games), I can only play a few of them every year anyway, which is a major difference with Netflix where you'll usually watch dozens of movies and episodes every year. After all, watching a full movie takes 2h, playing a game to the end can take 30 hours+. And there are plenty of other ways to get great games for cheap (Steam sales, PS sales, Humble Bundle, Epic Store...) without subscribing.

- gaming being cheap as a hobby means there's no reason not to just buy the best games every year, at least all the games you want to play, you generally won't play so many of them anyway. Play what you want, when you want. Subscription models don't allow that.

- subscriptions generally don't include the best content, I mean the games I generally want to play. Netflix has a bit of the same problem, there is a lack of quality content. Greatest movies you can't generally get them day 1 in subscription models, and it's the same for the greatest games. Which makes sense because if you want to keep your subscription cheap, you can't have many big budget titles. Or you need to create a very expensive sub tier and nobody will like that.

- subscription tells me what I can play and when. I hate that. I want to be free the game I want when I want. That's why I like Spotify a lot more than Netflix by the way. That's not about owning games, it's the fact I can play them when I want. With a subscription model, sometimes the game I want is not in the sub, sometimes it's not here day 1, and sometimes it was on the sub but it was removed. I don't like that. I like Spotify because I can play any music at any time.

For all those reasons, I'm not convinced subscription models are the only future of gaming. They will be part of the future, but not the only future in my opinion. They just fit gaming a lot less than they fit music. And less than movies too.

Subscriptions are mostly great for one category of gamers though, those with a lot of time on their hands who want to play a lot of games, which is I think a minority among gamers because it excludes both gamers who play the same 3 GaaS games every year and people with not so much time on their hands. So for example Gamepass right now is great for most people here on GAF, for sure, because they play a lot of different games and mostly have the time to do so.

So it's not "pushback", it's just it fits different media differently. Subscription model is perfect for music. It's more or less okay for series. It looks less interesting for games. Not for us obviously, but for the majority of people. For us, subscription models in gaming is generally great, that's where GAF dissonance comes from. But we're dinosaurs. We're the exceptions, not the majority. Majority either plays the same 3 F2P every year OR they're older and they don't have time playing dozens of games. Subscription models is mostly useless for both of those groups.
 
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