Subscription Gaming 2012/2013

by Da'Von B.

This is gonna be bigger than what people may initially imagine. But consider that franchises like the Modern Warfare, Assassins Creed, Halo, and Madden; gamers spend a lot of money on the physical copies of these games with the promise of downloadable content. Eventually within the next 2-3 years when Microsoft & Sony introduce their new systems respectively downloadable games and the storage (or cloud storage) of these games will be a main attraction.

Software developers will have to move to a new revenue stream that will keep its gaming base and customers intact. That’s where subscription gaming comes in, and an early example of how things will look comes from EA Sports Season Ticket. This service gives gamers 12 months access to FIFA Soccer, Madden NFL, NHL, NCAA Football, and Tiger Woods PGA Tour, with the ability to play games 3 days before retail release, 20% discount on downloadable content, access to web content (doesn’t sound so exciting but hey it’s early in this game), and membership recognition by having a gamer badge (again, not exciting but it’s early).

The service is simply just a start in what will be an open field of publishers creating games with immersive story lines that can span multiple directions and sending additional and special subscription only content straight to their base. An example of what can be done can be seen with making Uncharted into an episodic game, where the writers and producers of the property map and write out an entirely massive game, then breaking it down into three or four-part episodes where players will play through the first part of a story that’s as long as a standalone game, with downloadable content and cut scenes between episodes as fillers to clue the players in on what to expect in the next episode.

This is just an idea and obviously this is just a start where a publisher’s installed fan base will be treated to something special with various franchises and a new customer base can potentially be built. It’s something to look out for in the coming months and years but it’ll inevitably happen. The question remaining is will ISP’s continue to be the (fill in obligatory name here) they’ve been and raise the ridiculous data caps they’ve currently imposed? Only time (and a game changing internet service) will tell.