Xbox Chief: We Need to Create a Netflix of Video Games

Megalith

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Phil Spencer thinks that the gaming industry could benefit from transitioning to the Netflix model, which has allowed riskier but more creative, original content to be produced. I think his argument is that subscriptions could allow for bigger games to be made since they could be split up and released episodically, but a continuous revenue stream could easily be abused—just look at the current state of DLC. But for me, dismissal of a Netflix-like gaming service is a lot more simple: the more content you give me, the likelier it is I won’t be watching or playing anything at all, since there is a point where there is just too much on the table.

Spencer feels that, from a creative standpoint, we need new types of narrative experience – but from a business standpoint, it’s getting harder and riskier to commit to those games. Is there an answer? Spencer thinks there is – and it comes from watching the success of original content made and distributed on modern TV services. “I’ve looked at things like Netflix and HBO, where great content has been created because there’s this subscription model. Shannon Loftis and I are thinking a lot about, well, could we put story-based games into the Xbox Game Pass business model because you have a subscription going? It would mean you wouldn’t have to deliver the whole game in one month; you could develop and deliver the game as it goes.”
 

Cyraxx

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There was a netflix of videogames it was called Game Fly :p

No but srsly, as long as micro-transactions have taken over - The video game industry will implode on itself... As they all try to sucker people in to "Achievements" that are based on buying something.
 

oldmanbal

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Not interested. Telling a story through an episodic tv structure is not the same as Netflix paying adam sandler to make a bunch of movies. I'm not saying there will never be a similar service, as gamefly seems to be pretty popular with people that use it, but they are not funding AAA games, nor will they be anytime in the near future. The amount of revenue it takes to step up from that AA level to AAA is staggering. While I love JRPG's and play essentially any that aren't complete garbage, regardless of the graphics, I don't see my personal interest being mainstream enough to warrant development in a scenario like this. We already pay 60$ for a new game and if studios can't manage to make that funding work for their continued survival and development, no amount of advertising or coats of paint on worn out products is going to award their lack of innovation and creativity. As far as PC gaming goes, I like that services like GOG who are owned by CDPR can bring in additional revenue to help fund massive projects like their next cyber/punk game. We already have crowd funded games that in some cases can be viewed as masterpieces if that is your particular forte in genre. There are already enough current sources available providing content that could keep me playing games indefinitely. Most people already loathe the 'season pass', 'dlc', and other subscription like services that offer limited content compared to actual game releases at exorbitant costs.

I'd like to see, if anything, more crowd funding, or early investment into full games, that can allow that niche community input into something that they want to be a part of, and increase their utility from the final product.
 

Methos

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Episodic gaming will revolutionize the industry! Remember how great Half Life 2: Episode 3 was?
Sin Emergence was another episode based title that never got past the first installment, but the tell tale games seem to be pretty successful.

How much would you pay a month for access to all the games on Steam, if such a thing were possible?
 

Master_shake_

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10 bucks a month for all the games i can play?

sure.

anymore than that you can go procreate with your hat.
 

twonunpackmule

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Sin Emergence was another episode based title that never got past the first installment, but the tell tale games seem to be pretty successful.

How much would you pay a month for access to all the games on Steam, if such a thing were possible?
Well, I already own 1075 of them. So, they would have to make it very cheap.
 

bigstusexy

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#1 Aren't companies including Microsoft?
#2 So says the company that has had "Arcade games" sold that I cannot play on their latest system?
#3 I bought Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and MvC2, yeah I'm not going to stop talking about how I can't get anymore until I can gain. So why would I rent bigger games only to possibly loose them?
 

SomeoneElse

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What he meant to say is "we can profit more from making half of a game and releasing it. Then when we charge 75$ a month and release 1/4 of a game over the next year of DLC. See this way people are paying full priced for games that we don't have to produce."
 

Darunion

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they want steady money streams. waiting a few years development for a "AAA" game is risky and a long time to wait for money. They want 6month turns on smaller packages instead.

Again with the exclusivity, this won't end major games, likely just be a hulu type thing that some pay for and some dont.
 

ZodaEX

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#1 Aren't companies including Microsoft?
#2 So says the company that has had "Arcade games" sold that I cannot play on their latest system?
#3 I bought Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and MvC2, yeah I'm not going to stop talking about how I can't get anymore until I can gain. So why would I rent bigger games only to possibly loose them?
Why do you need multiple copies of MVC2?
 

SighTurtle

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Hitman was episodic. It was good. I'm not ready for subscriptions yet but I do see the industry moving closer to that model.
 

Lunas

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There was a netflix of videogames it was called Game Fly :p

No but srsly, as long as micro-transactions have taken over - The video game industry will implode on itself... As they all try to sucker people in to "Achievements" that are based on buying something.
Believe it or not game fly is still around...
 

Armenius

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Sin Emergence was another episode based title that never got past the first installment, but the tell tale games seem to be pretty successful.

How much would you pay a month for access to all the games on Steam, if such a thing were possible?
Nothing, unless I could still download the files to play locally on my own PC. If that were the case, maybe $20-$30 a month, considering it takes me 1-2 months to complete a new AAA game with the free time I have available.
 

Methos

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Nothing, unless I could still download the files to play locally on my own PC. If that were the case, maybe $20-$30 a month, considering it takes me 1-2 months to complete a new AAA game with the free time I have available.
I feel about the same; 25-30 bucks a month and I'd probably bite. I don't have the free time I once did either. I'd probably still save money though, over the impulse purchases and ever growing backlog of games I might very possibly never play.
 

tetris42

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Boy, I can't fucking wait until all games are streamed so you can never play a game again once they shut the server off because it's not profitable.
 

Fleat

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Hitman was episodic. It was good. I'm not ready for subscriptions yet but I do see the industry moving closer to that model.
This. I was a huge naysayer when I heard Hitman was going to be episodic, but I think it actually improved the experience. Each individual level has so many things to explore and try and they continually released "special" hits that often added entirely new elements. For me personally, it kind of forced me to slow down and try a ton of different things in each location that I otherwise would have blazed through.
 

iRevert

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Didn't netflix try to launch a gaming company already and decided that gamefly already had enough a market share that it wasn't worth the cost?
 

scojer

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The hitman games were successful.
It just has to be done right
 

ChadD

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This is going to happen at some point Nvidia built the hardware and software already. All that is required is a shield like device with hardware game streaming codecs and fast servers / pipe. The issue becomes the end users connections. So far that has been the stumbling point. The shield service with a good internet connection was very very good... and anyone that says otherwise never tried it. High end $3000 PC level graphics on hardware not worth more then a few bills. That is the future.

Of course the average users connection is the issue... and that will solve itself at some point. Continuing to stuff $600 worth of budget PC parts and sell them to the masses for $500-550 isn't a great model really.I doubt we see a super powerful PS5 or any next gen console again. (and no I'm not counting MS upcoming failure as a console launch) Mobile/Switch style hardware with the proper codecs to enable steaming will be the new standard.

I remember when the Dreamcast shipped with a built in modem and had a cheap Ethernet adaptor. It seemed far to radical and an idea that was years ahead of its time. Turns out it was only really a year or so early. I think right now that is where we are at. The game streaming services really aren't all that far away, the only issue is latency, if you can view 1080p netflix and can play a MMO without wanting to kill your machine you should be able to handle a gaming service.
 

Exavior

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Don't know how or why some people are mixing subscription and stream. One doesn't equal the other.

EA already has their EA Access which is a subscription service that gives you EA games. Microsoft is currently testing their own service (might only be for insiders). You download the game just like you do any other digital download game.

One of the issues with services like this is trying to get everyone on board. You will never convince EA and everyone else to put their games into such a program as they won't get a lot of money from it. So in the end you end up with one service per publisher. Which makes it cost too much and not be worth it.
 

krotch

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Don't know how or why some people are mixing subscription and stream. One doesn't equal the other.

EA already has their EA Access which is a subscription service that gives you EA games. Microsoft is currently testing their own service (might only be for insiders). You download the game just like you do any other digital download game.

One of the issues with services like this is trying to get everyone on board. You will never convince EA and everyone else to put their games into such a program as they won't get a lot of money from it. So in the end you end up with one service per publisher. Which makes it cost too much and not be worth it.

I have no idea why they mix them either. My PS Plus account is a subscription. It gives me access to the like 3-4 games they release each month. I can download them to my system and play them. I also have access to any prior game that released, so long as I grabbed it when it was available. If I didn't do that, then I have no access to those prior games.

But ya, I don't see you getting all the devs/publishers to jump onto a single service. They all want their own. Just look at how we now have Steam, Battlenet, Origin, uPlay, etc. I simply see the same thing happening with game subscription services.
 

cptnjarhead

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Not exactly a fan of subscription gaming service, but like everything else... things are changing. I think back to the first time i installed half life 2. Never used steam and did not want to either. So purchased HL 2 on CD for $59.99 and was super excited to play it. Well, two hours later running in circles trying to get the game to run, stupid verification thingy. I was so pissed that i wrote a long scathing email to valve stating how pissed off i was, and i vowed never use steam. Fast forward to 2017... i have so many games on steam i lost count, using Steam link in my living room about 3 time per week and I have the app on my phone, so yeah... i hate change, but if you want to play games in the future...sometimes you have to make compromises. Or just give up gaming and spend more time with your wife.... hmmmm
 

Armenius

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This is going to happen at some point Nvidia built the hardware and software already. All that is required is a shield like device with hardware game streaming codecs and fast servers / pipe. The issue becomes the end users connections. So far that has been the stumbling point. The shield service with a good internet connection was very very good... and anyone that says otherwise never tried it. High end $3000 PC level graphics on hardware not worth more then a few bills. That is the future.

Of course the average users connection is the issue... and that will solve itself at some point. Continuing to stuff $600 worth of budget PC parts and sell them to the masses for $500-550 isn't a great model really.I doubt we see a super powerful PS5 or any next gen console again. (and no I'm not counting MS upcoming failure as a console launch) Mobile/Switch style hardware with the proper codecs to enable steaming will be the new standard.

I remember when the Dreamcast shipped with a built in modem and had a cheap Ethernet adaptor. It seemed far to radical and an idea that was years ahead of its time. Turns out it was only really a year or so early. I think right now that is where we are at. The game streaming services really aren't all that far away, the only issue is latency, if you can view 1080p netflix and can play a MMO without wanting to kill your machine you should be able to handle a gaming service.
Not only that, but it is yet another streaming service that is going to eat into peoples' bandwidth caps, which are sadly becoming more ubiquitous.
 

tetris42

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Don't know how or why some people are mixing subscription and stream. One doesn't equal the other.

EA already has their EA Access which is a subscription service that gives you EA games. Microsoft is currently testing their own service (might only be for insiders). You download the game just like you do any other digital download game.

One of the issues with services like this is trying to get everyone on board. You will never convince EA and everyone else to put their games into such a program as they won't get a lot of money from it. So in the end you end up with one service per publisher. Which makes it cost too much and not be worth it.
They're not the same, but in both cases, it represents a loss of control for the end user. Traditionally, if you bought a game, you own it. It's yours to play as long as you want. Under both streaming and subscription, it represents a paradigm shift where you can only play it if the company says so. It's ironic you mention EA, since you can't play Battleforge, The Sims Online, Darkspore, etc. A pile of games that you paid money for, but can never play again is what lies at the end of the rainbow of subscription / streaming services.
 

SvenBent

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Not only that, but it is yet another streaming service that is going to eat into peoples' bandwidth caps, which are sadly becoming more ubiquitous.
Bandwithd caps. keeping USA a third world country since... i don't know far to long OK... not going to waste time to look it up on wiki.... just go google it.
IF YOU HAVENT HIT YOUR DATA CAP AHAHAHAHA.....

Where is my morning coffe...
 

Aireoth

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ugh, more ways to turn something fun into a pile of garbage. Why does it seem like we are dead set on creating some version of a dystopian future, own nothing, rent everything, die and be recycled.
 

bigstusexy

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Why do you need multiple copies of MVC2?
Because I have two 360s, one that says at home and one that I will take when I visit people. Also if the HD dies on the one place i have it, I cannot download it again. I just want the software I payed for and can still legally play, the system's DRM will allow me to play it, it does not have to be sold again, I just no longer have access to the data and cannot put it where I want it.
 
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