Games as a service


The concept of "games as a service" has significantly transformed the gaming industry, shifting from traditional one-time purchases to continuous content delivery and engagement models. Here are some key insights from experts on this evolution:

  1. Shift from Single Purchase to Continuous Content:

    • Tim Morten explains that historically, developers would release a game on a CD-ROM and then move on to the next project. However, players desired ongoing content updates. This led to the introduction of downloadable content (DLC) and eventually the current model of games as a service, where continuous updates and new content are provided digitally 1.
  2. Free-to-Play and Subscription Models:

    • According to Jonathan Lai, the gaming industry has mainly transitioned to two business models: free-to-play and premium games. However, with the rise of AI-powered games, these models may shift further towards a subscription model to sustain the ongoing costs of dynamic content delivery 2.
  3. Console Gaming and Subscriptions:

    • The console gaming market has seen a significant shift with subscription services like Microsoft’s Game Pass, which offers access to a broad library of games for a monthly fee. This model has proven successful by being more consumer and third-party publisher-friendly 3 4.

      Evolution of Gaming

      Tim discusses how the gaming industry shifted from one-time purchases to continuous content updates, mirroring the software industry's subscription model. Jason highlights the benefits of games as a service, allowing studios to provide ongoing content and engage players more effectively.

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  4. Evolution of Free-to-Play Games:

    • David Rosenthal and Ben Gilbert highlight the shift in free-to-play games from models where progress required payment to models focused on aesthetic purchases, which led to the broader adoption of games as a service where players could buy virtual goods that don’t necessarily offer competitive advantages 5.

These discussions illustrate how games as a service have become a fundamental part of the industry, enabling continuous content delivery, frequent updates, and new ways to engage and monetize the player base.