Xbox Gamepass Expands to New Releases, Are We At the Gaming Netflix Yet?


#1

So it was revealed this morning on Xbox Wire that new Microsoft releases will be also released on the Game Pass service. Here’s the meatiest quote from the post:

This plan to bring new games timed with their global release into Xbox Game Pass not only includes announced titles like Sea of Thieves, State of Decay 2 and Crackdown 3 but future unannounced games from Microsoft Studios including new iterations of our biggest Xbox One exclusive franchises such as Halo, Forza and Gears of War, on the same day they launch.

So are we finally getting the fabled “gaming Netflix” we’ve been promised the past few years? The big three console makers have all been moving in this direction, but Microsoft seems to be the most committed to the idea. I myself tried out Gamepass this month and while it did have games I wanted to play, the selection felt limited to justify the $10/month. But now that they’re adding new titles into the mix? The value proposition becomes much better.

So what do you folks think? Does a gaming subscription service appeal to you? Does it make the Xbox platform more enticing? And do you see competitors coming up with similar schemes going forward?


#2

As someone who is kind of broke, yay freelancing life, I think this change to the service will allow me to play new games right when they come out instead of a few, or more, months down the line. I’m primarily an Xbox player.

This also allows people like me to jump in on a HEAVY multiplayer-focused game, like Sea of Thieves, and be able to play and learn the game.

I’m curious to see if Xbox will start switching out games for others, like Netflix does, or if it will be a “here’s this giant ass library, pay $10 and you’ll be able to play Forza Horizon 3, 4, and Forza 6, 7, 8, etc.” without fear of the older games being removed from the service.


#3

I’m curious if this move will help push Halo 6 back into the gaming zeitgeist. I really enjoyed Halo 5’s multi player but it seemed to be nonexistent in the discourse when it came out. Hopefully with this lower barrier to entry we’ll have more people give it a fair shot.


#4

Like you said about your past streaming experiences, I don’t see this limited selection service working because I don’t see the needed big publishers all signing on to put thier games up here.

Game prices are already constantly in question, plus DLC is consistently becoming a larger piece of the pie for the big publishers.

I just don’t see a way for anything like this to succeed in the near future.


#5

Exactly. I’m someone who LOVED the multiplayer in Halo 5 but I was there since Day One. I think with Halo 6, coming out on this service, it will do a huge thing for Halo’s popularity. I’m extremely excited to see where this takes the Xbox brand in the remaining lifespan of the Xbox One.


#6

Phil Spencer said in an article last year that this type of “Netflix for games” service was the only way he could see single-player games and particularly narrative games, indie games, etc, competing with the “games as a service” model. I took away a strong implication, though I don’t remember if it was said outright, that he thought those sorts of games would stop existing without a subscription-like model because it always made more business sense to exploit players with microtransactions.

So I’m going to be watching the games included in this, and their monetization models, very carefully.


#7

This sounds a bit like EA Access (although there the new releases are limited to 10 hours of play time so maybe not identical) in terms of my lack of excitement and realisation I may well jump in for a month every year or few to hoover up some stuff I missed (and basically meaning I never need to buy games from that publisher again). Unfortunately I’m not sure if there’s going to be a PC equivalent (like Origin Access) despite MS not only making money on the games but also on the OS/platform there and so would be expected to not see it as a second tier vs consoles.

I love my shelves of games, I love being able to grab something and look at how it actually plays rather than just my memory of it. But as more and more things are tied up in always-on DRM (GaaS) and online services to work (even when totally solo-capable) then we can no longer buy some games and experience them forever so maybe it’s time to accept more rentals (like this).

As it is, I’ve been burned by iffy releases from MS recently so would I pay $10 to play the next Forza game (and drop it after a month) rather than $60 (or $80 for the deluxe edition or $100 for the one you can actually play during the first weekend of general release)? Probably. I know I’m not going to be getting the game during the launch window (again) for full price and dealing with a broken, hitching experience (when not running your CPU at 5GHz) or just totally broken releases (with bugs not present in the pre-release demo). If they do this on PC then there might actually be some reason for people to care about the failure that is the Win10 Store (and UWP) because right now no one should care about that and even MS games are starting to have to release on Steam just to recoup port costs.


#8

As someone who went all digital with most of my entertainment, this announcement is great news. I’ve been using Game Pass for the last couple months and it feels pretty good. I played a few games I never would have given the time of day (turns out I like XCOM and don’t like MGSV) and a few that I’d never heard of before. I was pretty certain I would never own Crackdown 3, but I will definitely play it for a week or so. I used to rent games all the time as a kid and Game Pass is an excellent digital facsimile of the experience.


#9

This sounds great for me! I’ve found that with higher-cost games, I’m very picky and I don’t end up trying a lot of them just because of the prohibitive pricing. I haven’t tried Gamepass yet, but I want to try Sea of Thieves and knowing I could potentially get into a system that works for me through that game might push me to finally get on the Gamepass train


#10

So this added note is significant to what I said yesterday:

Play Anywhere, which is going to be basically all of these 1st party new releases, is going to mean Play Anywhere. No idea if the Win10 Store even gets a place where you can pay for this service but once you’re subscribed then you can download your Win10 games and play them on PC (have they actually fixed the xbox web store so you can buy things again because it seemed to break somewhere in the XB1 launch so you had to use a console to actually buy things?)

Forza Horizon 4 as a month of burning through the content (and ignoring the slow trickle of added DLC cars, expansion you don’t even get if you paid $100 up front, and multiplayer features that missed launch - if FM7 is anything to go by) for $10? That’s actually tempting for me, as someone who found the PC release version of FH3 so broken as to require a refund and despite not refunding FM7, that game is still broken in places (day races with night condition but because it is flagged as day then the lights are all off! - sometimes the time of day radically changes between laps because it’s that buggy and this can happen in online races but not to every player so some drive in the day while others are in darkness).

Also would give me a chance to give Gears 4 a poke and maybe some other things I guess.