“Le Xbox Game Pass n’est pas fait pour moi”

"Le Xbox Game Pass n'est pas fait pour moi"

Ori, Halo, Hitman, Gears, Doom, Forza… Despite the more than tempting offer, I think Xbox Game Pass is not for me.

A story of perspective

This article is an opinion piece, it is by nature subjective. The author’s opinion is personal and not representative of that of the rest of the JV staff.

Xbox Game Pass no longer required. Microsoft’s subscription service that provides access to a catalog of over 300 games (across Xbox consoles and PCs) has established itself as an industry staple in just a few years. Nowadays, any regular gamer worth his salt almost has to subscribe to the service. And the truth is, there was a time not too long ago when I dreamed of something like Xbox Game Pass. A young student on a tight budget (and a bit stingy on the extremes) but with almost unlimited time, the idea of ​​paying little to play a lot seemed a bit like my idea of ​​paradise. Yes, but there you have it, there is no powerful enough PC available, and no Xbox consoles. So I prefer to opt for long games, certainly paid a high price but in which I could spend a good hundred hours without a problem. An investment that gave very good results, but that got me used to a very particular way of consuming video games. And then time passed. Her active life began and with it an influx of money larger than my small wallet at the time. Quickly, I bought a computer that holds up. The perfect opportunity to finally fall in love with this offer that has been improving over time. What was my disappointment to see that the object of my desire had become totally opposite to my habits as a player.

The most profitable game.

I’m not reinventing the wheel by saying this, but if there’s one game that, aside from multiplayer titles, has an almost unlimited shelf life, it’s The Witcher 3. This open-world fantasy just ticks all the boxes. Rich, good, very well done, exciting… The Witcher 3 is a classic, a monument to the world of video games. So you can perfect your culture while getting your money’s worth. The game that was released seven years ago, you can easily get it (with its DLC) for less than 20 euros. An affordable must-have offering nearly a hundred hours of gameplay, what do people want?


Xbox Game Pass: a bulimia of games

Recently, you will understand, I subscribed to Xbox Game Pass… or rather, I activated a free code. Before I went on vacation, therefore, I had a month to make the most of my non-investment. Perhaps some will begin to see the problem pointing out the tip of their nose. Because when, like me, we tend to want everything to be profitable, then we seek to make the most of the proposed catalog, chaining the games in an almost bulimic way. In a few weeks, I devoured a good ten games. What a golden opportunity, barely one euro per game if I had paid this month out of my own pocket! Even during big Steam sales, you can’t do better. Yes, but now, if a few years ago you had time to fully and serenely enjoy these games, today that is no longer the case.

Active life is not only the advantage of an income, it is also less time for leisure. And then, of course, there’s the paperwork, cleaning, shopping, and even other hobbies that mean you don’t have as much time to play as you used to. In this context, it is still possible to swallow a lot of games (I did the test) but at what price? Going from one game to another without taking the time to enjoy it, already thinking about the next one even before finishing the current one… I certainly made these games, but did I really enjoy them? In the end, I leave these few weeks with only one wish: relaunch a huge open world and lose yourself in it for hours and months.

All these open worlds that a lot of players find too crowded for anything, that’s where I enjoy the most. It is true that sometimes I fall in love with much shorter independent productions (like Endling, which we presented to you recently), but mine is above all Assassin’s Creed, Horizon or The Witcher. Some of them are present in the Game Pass you will tell me, and €9.99 (or €12.99) is not expensive to have access to them for a month. But it is stronger than me, seeing this thick catalog and not being able to get the most out of it frustrates me to a great degree. The dilemma is therefore the following: enjoy the chain of many small experiences or spend all this time on a single game outside of Game Pass?


Too many games kill the game

As practical as it is, Xbox Game Pass changes the way we consume video games, as Tiraxa shared with us a few months ago. Like her, many of them have acquired new habits as players, giving themselves the right to try more games. According to statistics shared by Xbox at the latest Game Developers Conference, Game Pass subscribers play 40% more titles than non-Game Pass subscribers. But it would also be interesting to see how many of them finish all these games. Because that’s the problem. Given the overabundance of possibilities and the impossibility of making a definitive choice, we find ourselves picking here and there never seeing the end of the games we release, or else devouring them all at once, at the risk of clashing information overload (or information cloud according to sociologist Edgar Morin).

Let’s take the continuous information heads. Throughout the day we are bombarded with information that is sometimes extremely serious. By force, this hype can really have harmful effects on our intellectual capacities (exhaustion, disconnection, attention deficit, memory loss, etc.). If the information overload of the name is mainly aimed at the field of information and communication, the mentioned effects remind me of the few weeks I spent exploiting Game Pass as much as possible.

Chaining the games to the chain, I found myself unable to back down from what might have scarred me or feel completely invested. Overwhelmed by the different universes, mechanics, and stories that overlapped in this short period of time, I don’t get much out of the hours I spend playing. and I’m almost unable to name all the games I’ve tried. I salute whoever manages to take advantage of the Game Pass without falling into this unhealthy overconsumption, because obviously this is not my case…

We can legitimately ask ourselves whether to work with information and communication technologies, instead of liberating ourselves, but wasn’t that the original promise? -, finally did not make us plunge back into the industrial age of assembly line work

Caroline Sauvajol-Rialland, “Right to Disconnect: Inventing a New Governance Model”


Bad for the industry?

Xbox Game Pass is undoubtedly a very good plan, but it is not so good for all players, or even for the industry in general. It was the former president of Xbox, Ed Fries, who was concerned about the impact that such an offer could have on the industry:

The Game Pass scares me. Because there is something similar called Spotify that was created for the music market. And when Spotify took off, it destroyed the music market. It’s literally cut the music industry’s annual revenue in half, and people aren’t buying songs anymore. Therefore, we must be careful not to create the same system in the gaming sector.

While Xbox figures show that Game Pass subscribers continue to spend money on games and other add-ons, it is still difficult to reach a firm conclusion on the economic impact of such an offer. I personally love being able to buy my games today, both to support creators (especially indie ones) and to get my own game. I am grateful to have this library that I can rediscover whenever I feel like it or share with friends as I please. A practice that is being lost more and more, to my dismay, although I understand the interest of investing in this type of service.

What really worries me it’s that to develop such an aura, Xbox Game Pass risks crushing games that aren’t there, and indie games in particular, in its wake. Yes, we know that Microsoft’s service already offers a good number of independent experiences in its service, and that is very good. But what about the others? In the future, will it be possible to see them prosper or will they be made invisible by the power of the Game Pass catalog (more likely that of PlayStation Plus)? Just as some have gotten used to considering watching a particular series or movie only if it’s on Netflix, gamers may look no further than its already well-stocked catalogue. That is why being part of Xbox Game Pass has become a real challenge for independent studios who sometimes engage in long discussions in the hope of finding a small place for their game in the Microsoft catalog.

So yes, as many indie developers have argued, Game Pass is a boon to them. But be careful that, over time, it does not also become your worst competitor. Although I didn’t particularly need it, that’s one more argument for preferring to buy my games at full price and finding my past consumption more reasoned and passionate.


About Xbox Game Pass

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