Who Buys Games Anymore, part 72342

Carrion came out a few days ago, and I was intrigued after reading a review. Basically, it’s a “reverse horror” game where you control the writhing mass of teeth and tentacles as you eat your way out of a research facility. Probably not groundbreaking, but seems like a fun little game to pass the time. Was it worth $20 though? Maybe I’ll just add that to my Steam wishlist and call it a day.

Oh… or I can apparently play it right now on Xbox Game Pass.

I honestly can’t even. How does this business model work? I have the following games installed and ready to be played at a moment’s notice:

  • Halo: Master Chief Collection
  • Carrion
  • Gris
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps
  • Astroneer
  • Frostpunk
  • Forager
  • Neon Abyss

Those are mostly indie-esque games, but they could be Dishonored 2, FF15, the Gears series, etc.

There apparently was an Xbox or Microsoft or whatever event a week ago, where they demoed a few of the upcoming games. I hadn’t been paying attention at all, until I started hearing people talk about STALKER 2. I enjoyed all three games of that series, jank and all, so hearing that there was a, erm, “sequel” coming out was great news. Bottom text, though? “Coming to Xbox Game Pass on Day 1.”

Also? State of Decay 3. Xbox Game Pass on Day 1.

Also? Destiny 2 and all (?) its expansions coming to Game Pass in September.

I’m paying like $5/month for this shit. How? The “catch” of course is that games rotate in and out all the time. I own none of these games. There really isn’t any modding supp… oh wait, there is. What? 

The last time I used this title was a year ago, when I waffled on whether I wanted to buy Forager. Guess what’s on the Game Pass now? That’s right.

It’s kind of an open question on how much I would be willing to pay Game Pass, if it were not actually only $5. People still pay $15/month to play Battle for Azeroth for some reason, so that’s probably the floor. $30/month? I’m halfway to completing a $20 game that just came out, so maybe. Especially if it was a scenario in which I could sample/beat a lot of high-profile games all in a row. 

Microsoft is not sponsoring this blog, I swear. But at these prices and with these games, they don’t need to.  

Posted on July 31, 2020, in Commentary and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I don’t get it either, but even more odd is that right now the top selling game on Steam is Grounded for $30, a game you can also play on Game Pass.

    Either the people buying aren’t aware of Game Pass (I’m sure that’s the case for many), or they are aware but still want to own the game on Steam vs renting it via another service.


  2. It works for people who want to play the latest or the currently hyped -now- and to play it once or twice and be done with the game. It works for those who would like an extended sampling platter of essentially full game demos that get switched around now and then.

    The tradeoff is that you might have to re-buy the game once it’s out of season on Game Pass if you still want to play it again – and of course, they’re hoping you’ll double dip using the Xbox store since you’re already on the platform.

    It’s less helpful to those who nibble away at a game over extended periods of time, or get phases where they need to play a specific game -now-. For those types of players, owning a game and not feeling pressured to play it with a subtle time limit in the background would be the better option.

    Credit where it’s due, gotta give them kudos for coming up with something that caters to a different market segment than just doing yet another digital games store. At least this way, they can cultivate a different customer base.


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