Two things happened in the fast world of videogames that caught my eye that I want to discuss. Recently both EA and Sony announced and started rolling out their plans to sell American/Western players game time subscriptions to their recent AAA games
This is nothing new, in the Asian gaming market this method is a popular way of paying for their MMO subscription Blizzard has already have this option available for the Eastern World of Warcraft Players.
The question is now, “Can this new payment option of paying for hours instead of the right for a game work in the west?”
For the sake of keeping this blog post related to videogames and steering away from an American Studies term paper, I am going to not talk too much about the mentality and/or philosophy of American purchasing habit but I will say that the American dream is owning a white picket fenced house.
For today I just want to talk about the viability for the game time pass can comfortably work in the PC and Consoles on this side of the world.
Could this work on PCs?
This is very tough to say, just like the Asian Market I could say that it could be more efficient (money wise) to paid subscription MMOs I would say that if we are not already in the mists of the F2P + microtransaction MMOg trend it could stand a better chance.
Not mentioned: Dota 2, League of Legends, and every other ARTS/Moba game
But as we saw with EA advertisement, there are plans to sell game time for AAA multiplayer game titles, like Titanfall. At this point this could be successful if we did not have the likes of Steam Sales. While we do not legally own the games titles on Steam we do have unlimited game time forever, that we all got for pennies on the dollar.
I very much doubt that Steam will adopt this renting games per hour payment method for their non-MMO multiplayer games, unless huge lobbyists from the Activision, Ubisoft, and other game companies. Until then I think game time passes are going to only expand on the EA/Origin exclusives, which might benefit them in the long run by giving the company a different edge over steam in the free online market.
It *could* work but it needs to be done properly.
But PC is not the only platform for gaming, so lets take a look at consoles.
Can this work on Consoles?
This is a strong possibility for a new payment option for the consoles. I, and everyone else, have said it before but this console generation is built around a constant internet connection and with that the game time passes could be implemented with ease. Especially with the (unwanted) push to an always online connection, with that connection there would be an easy way for companies accurately keep track on how much time you bought for a game and a up to the minute statues on how much time you have left.
Especially with the multiple multiplayer games that comes out yearly for the console library with the Xbox One and PS4, This could act as a nice sample for players to get a legit hands on feel for the games they might be hesitant buying. In the old days, what I just described was called a ‘demo’.
Imagine the giveaways, every Origin/PS4 player gets 5 free hours of titanfall 2 (whenever that drops) or when a classic PlayStation game comes back to the PS4 shop.
With the early introduction of this payment plans I am hesitant about it simply because it is new in the West and we already have a certain mindset and we have another popular MMO payment option, by supporting F2P PC games through microtransactions.
As I said, it could provide a nice legit sample of the gameplay of the newest AAA console games but there might be a need to keep an eye on the price of renting vs the price of going out and buying a secondhand copy of the game somewhere else.
I will say that it is always nice to have a variety of ways to consume videogames to lower the barrier to entry for everyone, whether it be playing on PC, consoles, smart phones, or how you play those games or different payment plans. The problem with companies becoming early adopters for new plans is that it is far too soon to know if this plan will fail or usher in a new trend of gaming.
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Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays