Tobold's Blog
Saturday, April 27, 2024
The value of game pass

I tend to check my subscriptions from time to time, as you can easily forget you are subscribed to a long of services you aren't actually using. Only one of my subscriptions is one that provides games to me: The Xbox Game Pass for PC, at €9.99 per month. But as I played both more than €120 worth of games and spent more than 120 hours doing so, I consider this a subscription well worth having. But there might be value in this subscription beyond those parameters.

I just finished playing Manor Lords. I played it for 6 hours only, and in that time managed to win the scenario that requires you to build a large town, without an AI or bandits getting involved. As the AI and combat part is far from being finished, and I wasn't interested in the real-time combat all that much anyway, this was enough for me. I experienced all the currently existing city-building aspects of the game. And unless you play the game on the slowest speed in order to watch a lot while waiting, the game doesn't have more than 6 hours of content. I knew that, and thus I wouldn't have bought the game, neither for the regular price of €40, nor for the currently reduced price of €30.

That creates some sort of added value for me, in that the game pass enabled me to play the game, which I otherwise wouldn't have done. I probably wouldn't have played Starfield without the game pass either. There are so many games coming out these days, that it is easy to stick to just the safe bets, the games that have been reviewed very well, and which are in genres you know you enjoy. The game pass encourages me sometimes to step out of this comfort zone, and try something else, which I wouldn't have done if I had to pay extra for that.

I gave up my Game Pass sub in December because I looked at my massive Steam backlog and decided I really needed to focus on those games rather than a subscription-based system. I love Game Pass, however, for the exact reason you wrote here - I can try something out without limitation and decide if it's a keeper.

I admit that I've been so tempted to return to Game Pass because - of course - as soon as I put the sub away, they start adding games I'd like to dabble with to determine if they're worth a purchase - Starfield and Manor Lords are two of those.

Just too many games and not enough time! I know I'll return to Game Pass one day, maybe even this year. I do see value in the games that I DON'T buy, but can still experience, and I think $10 is worth that. I view it as sort of a better Blockbuster Video rental situation - I used to pay a lot more for a lot less time with my video game rentals back in the day! :)
I have a giant backlog too. And I am generally happy to play older or indie games. GamePass might be a better proposition for me if I were into the newer, 'bigger' games.
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