Ever since the reveal of EA Access, the video game subscription service has been a booming success. With Xbox Game Pass, Ubisoft’s Uplay+, and more, the subscription service boom has some gamers scared: will they replace traditional game purchases? Well, Warner Bros. president David Haddad thinks not.
Speaking to Venture Beat, Haddad explained his thoughts on both subscription services and the upcoming trend of cloud gaming.
In Haddad’s opinion, the introduction of cloud-based services is great for the wealth of AAA games releasing this generation. He describes the upcoming cloud services as “expansionary” and that AAA games are “probably the best-suited right now for the cloud.”
But it’s the recent trend of subscription services that Haddad has the most to say about.
“Our observation is that oftentimes it is written that streaming automatically brings subscription, because that’s what happened in other forms of media, other forms of content,” Haddad said.”I do think that we’ve proven that a transactional business, as we call it, where you pay a premium price for an experience, where gamers can have 30, 40, 100 hours of play–they’ll pay a premium price for that. That’s great for us. We have a history of that transactional business.”
With gamers, subscription services make sense: while hardcore gamers want to play as many games as possible, the more casual crowd only buy a few games a year. With the rise of Games as a Service titles morphing the traditional eight-hour title into hundred-hour experiences, those only interested in playing a single game over numerous months are unwilling to give into subscription culture.
Then again, the rise of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video has shown that those only interested in a medium at a surface level are willing to subscribe, it just takes more incentive. With services like Xbox Game Pass offering first-party software – similar to Netflix Originals – it’s only a matter of time before those outside of the know jump in.