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.