I rediscovered an old post that I’d written about the idea of game subscriptions – this was back when Origin Access (now renamed EA Play) was first announced in 2016. I can see that I was curious about the concept of renting a library of games, and posed the question of whether it would be worth it to consider.
I never did sub to Origin Access, but fast forward a few years, and I’m in love with PC Game Pass right now. As a matter of fact, I fired up a couple games this weekend – one that I enjoyed but wouldn’t have bought due to my own preferences and reasons. It has ultimately been saving me money.
The idea for this revisit also came from the recent announcement that Humble Choice is also providing a library of games along with the monthly choice games. I’ve never subbed to Humble Choice simply because I already have too many games in my backlog to keep adding to it monthly. Not to mention, many of the games I’ve seen in Humble Choice I either wouldn’t buy or I already own if I was interested in it.
In this environment of gaming subscriptions, it’s almost as if Humble needs to step it up for the monthly cost. I’m sure there are folks still happy enough with their random game picks each month, but with options out there like PC Game pass, not having a library is just not competing.
I’ve also been turned on to Prime Gaming lately, thanks to my sister pointing out that it also provides random monthly games you can claim and keep. I already pay for Amazon Prime every year, so I may as well snag free games, right? This system is a bit different in that you must log in to select your games to keep them in your library. It also requires yet another launcher, which is a bit annoying, but it is what it is.
Another service that I didn’t even consider to be a subscription service is Nintendo Switch Online. I mostly pay for it for online gaming, but I’d forgotten that it has perks in providing a library of Nintendo and SNES games, too. So that counts!
My Thoughts on Gaming Subs
Maybe it’s because I’m getting older that I’m less worried about ownership and more into experience. There are some games that, yes, I want to own it and I will go out of my way to purchase that game (physical if possible).
But seeing how many games are in my backlog and knowing my gaming habits, I’ve become less worried about owning those games on the fringe. You know the ones I mean – the games that you’d like to just to try out, but wouldn’t necessarily need to keep forever.
When I was younger, this idea would have horrified me. What do you mean that I would temporarily have access to a game through a sub? And that the company chooses which games are in the library, which can come and go depending on business decisions and licensing agreements?
Heck, I didn’t even buy into Steam until it was established because I feared buying digital copies of games – I mean what happens to my games when Steam folds? Nothing lasts forever.
But after being in a more digital environment and seeing how the games I enjoy come and go over time, the idea of a subscription that allows me to dip into games just for the experience isn’t so scary anymore. In fact, I find a sense of freedom in it.
No longer do I keep filling up a backlog and snagging games on sale because I want to try them – games I often don’t even play until much later, if at all. Instead, I can sample games and decide if they’re worth being on my forever list.
More importantly, I can experience games that I wouldn’t normally have tried because I tend not to buy games (lately) unless I know I absolutely must play it. This allows me to expand my gaming horizons while saving me money. And… if I find my next new favorite game, I’ll be supporting a gaming dev with money I might not have before.
That being said, I am not pro ONLY subscription models for games. What makes it work for me is that there’s a balance between owning what you really want and trying the rest out.
For a pretty cool list of gaming subs and their prices, check this page out!
Do you have any gaming subscriptions? If so, do you use them and what do you think about them?