PlayStation Plus

Is GamePass Devaluing Games?

There comes a time when we have to ask ourselves, is Xbox GamePass devaluing games?

I think so. Don’t get me wrong, I think GamePass is excellent value for money, especially if you don’t remain a constant subscriber. You’ll find that you’re often rewarded for your lack of loyalty by being offered sometimes multiple months for as little as £1. I have to ask though, does this great value have an even greater cost on the gaming ecosystem as a whole? I personally only own one Xbox One game; a digital copy of State of Decay 2 Ultimate Edition to celebrate the arrival of my new Xbox. Thanks to GamePass, however, I haven’t had to buy another game since and I didn’t even have to buy that one either since it’s included with GamePass.

Compare the situation with GamePass and thus my lack of a game collection for my Xbox to that of my PS4 game collection. I have stacks of games for the PS4, both physically and digitally since there’s no subscription equal. Sure we have PlayStation Now but it’s not even in the same weight class as GamePass, most of its games are from the previous generation and the ones from this one aren’t exactly current. You could even compare it to the Xbox 360 days, I had quite the little collection for my 360 before its untimely demise at the hands of an overheating graphics chip or some such problem.

I know that many of you are possibly thinking “how does subscribing to play the games make them worse?” and the answer is that it doesn’t. What it does do, though, is lead us to a future where we may not actually own anything we pay for. There’s possible evidence of this with the news of Google’s Stadia, rumours are that on top of a subscription you’ll also be required to pay a games’ full price to gain access to it.

As if that’s not bad enough, a cursory glance through the metacritic ratings for some of the exclusives found on GamePass are middling at best, quality that leads some to suggest that since most gamers will be playing the game via small subscription fee that the games don’t need to be top tier. While I realise that an opinion of a game depends on the person playing it and I myself have enjoyed playing many of the games included in GamePass, there is still that question of value over quality lurking in the shadows.

I can’t speak to what will happen in the future, I can merely wait and see like everyone else. What I can say though, is that I don’t see an end to my usage of GamePass anytime soon, the value for money is just too good to pass up on. Comment below about your thoughts on where you see GamePass taking us in the future.

Chris Bracewell
Been a gamer for a long time, is my favourite and oldest pastime. Occasionally, when the mood strikes; I enjoy dabbling in games design, primarily the artistic side.

6 thoughts on “Is GamePass Devaluing Games?

  1. game pass is devaluing their xbox console.i see zero reason to buy a xbox console unless you cant afford a o pc.

  2. Can’t much devalue the as its an opt in program. You either get in if you want to/they want you or you don’t want to. So long as games exist outside of it, it’s fine. The issue is that it needs to remain a supplemental service. If it takes over a significant share of the market and becomes a main source for games (like a Netflix for TV for most people) games will likely lose their quality. It’s the equivalent of a social program for games. Limited it can work, with large market share it will see a lack of quality. Innovation is always best left to independent studios. They have no shareholders to make happy.

    The one upside to game pass I do like is taking a game that will get little exposure and you can force it onto everyone with the pass. The potential for spreading innovation ‘can’ work but it’s a thin rope. One misstep and gamepass games will look like cookie cutter molds. If anyone here has ever dealt with housing before, specifically sectioned pieces of land with a particular home developer making modular homes. You know right away what cookie cutters do to overall quality.

    Gamepass stays relevant if it stays with what it is. The removal of games needs to slow down as well. Most of the games removed likely won’t see sales afterwards anyways. Building a library should be more important. Stability is important when you own nothing.

    1. opt in until they get enough people to require it. I can see the 13 year olds being niave enough to believe it is just a option. Because of lake of experience. But if the xbox one reveal did not open your eyes what will? Look at the xbox one all digital it is already retesting what they wanted with the reveal. Once they stop offering physical because they have enough people RENTING to NEVER OWN they can drop the physical DISCs and only allow digital purchases.

  3. It sure is on the Xbox side of things. 9 months AFTER this service launched the much hyped and first major game to come to game pass, Sea of Thieves, launched. And man did it sink. Not only that, if you wanted to play solo in this game, which you can, you STILL need an active 2nd gold subscription too. Don’t all “Jump in” at once there people. And no, I didn’t and probably never will.
    PS Now does not and never needed a 2nd subscription to play online with its service. Microsoft are NEVER going to drop the gold requirement though, then what was the point in them making game pass lol? They still never dropped it for their free2play games. What, does anybody really think they want to lose a million or so gold subscribers, purely subscribed to their service for Fortnite alone? That would set them back a year or 2 of their latest gold subs total which still isn’t past the number it was on 21st May 2013, the day of the worse games console reveal in history.
    They need to call it something else as “Xbox” has lost more relevance with every passing month in 2019.

  4. No it’s not.

    You can still buy these games for your own. Most of them on disk, some only as digital. But you can own them.

    You going to cinema, paying for it but you don’t own the movie later. Same with VHS/DVD/BLU-RAY renting. You paid for something you don’t own.

    So no. Game pass doesn’t devaluate games.

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