Analysts Remain Skeptical of the Monthly Subscription Gaming Model, Despite Success of Xbox Game Pass

The monthly subscription gaming model is a huge trend in the game industry that will likely triple the value of the industry. According to experts, the subscription-based and cloud gaming industry will reach about $7.24 billion by 2027. Especially, after the success of the Xbox Game Pass, many giants in the industry are thinking about shifting to a subscription-based gaming model.

Companies such as Amazon, Apple, and Google are new in the cloud-based gaming model offering a wide range of games to their users. Despite so many developments in the cloud-based gaming industry, many experts still think that the model won’t succeed in the long run. Let’s understand the challenges that the monthly subscription gaming model might face.

Gamers Prefer Retail

The major problem is why experts think the monthly subscription gaming model won’t succeed in retail purchasing. Gamers still prefer retail over online games to experience physical satisfaction. They feel happy about buying a mint condition. According to statistics, AAA sold 75% of their physical goods through GameStop, GAME, and Amazon. Some of the major reasons for purchasing physical goods are proximity to a store, special editions, and a wide range of options.

Lack of Marketing Support

Marketing doesn’t support the subscription gaming model for many reasons such as lack of seasonality. The teams struggle to promote a subscription-based gaming model because they cannot include the services in the newsfeed. Also, teams require add-ons to promote subscription-based services. Experts should try to create artificial events to promote the games and engage potential users. Also, players think retails are more reliable than online gaming.

Problems with Re-Subscriptions

Another huge problem that the monthly subscription gaming model will face in the future is the number of re-subscription. Players won’t re-subscribe when they end their favorite game. But, when players purchase physical games, the game industry can generate revenue through equipment and other cool gadgets.

Few Game Options

Once you subscribe to the monthly gaming model, you might feel disappointed because of the few game options. When you visit a store, you can find exciting collections from different game companies. But, with online subscription-based platforms, you can choose from the options that the platform offers. This means that if you purchased Xbox Game Pass, you cannot play games available on PlayStation Now.

Different Than Netflix

Netflix has a similar model as Xbox Game Pass. But since they are a video-based subscription platform, they can update new content every day to entertain their audience. You cannot say the same thing for the monthly subscription gaming model because producing high-quality games takes a huge time. This will bound GaaS platforms to limited games. For instance, EA Play offers 500 games to its users, which is not enough. If you want to target a huge crowd, you have to publish multiple games in different genres.


These were a few challenges that the gaming industry might face in the future. It would be best for companies to ensure they focus on physical releases without completely abandoning the cloud-based model.