In recent years it has become a standard across the software industry – leaders and innovators in specific sectors such as Adobe as the cornerstone of the design field use a subscription model to sell a whole package that somebody may not need complete access to, we see modern video streaming services use the subscription model to see if they can find a large enough audience to push a new original show or movie to – people will excuse a low, constant entry cost if what they receive holds good value to them which is why we see this more and more.
The next big subscription push we may see is within the gaming market – the model isn’t exactly a new one as it has been used since the early 2000’s in large MMORPGs such as World of Warcraft to fuel development cycles and meet the larger demand that comes with a larger player base, but modern games especially within mobile markets rely on microtransactions – small one off payments here and there – to keep themselves going, or in the case of many still, ads – but these can be quite intrusive and off putting for many too – but both practices have started to receive a lot of attention, and not the good kind. Regulation changes also hurt companies as restrictions are placed on who can access the service – currently the online casino industry within the UK is facing pressure with Gamstop, an initiative to reduce problem gambling but may eventually take a different form, and whilst there are ways around this as Maximum Casinos are a good resource for those not registered to Gamstop, the subscription model could be the next step many take toward a more sustainable and safe bottom line. This becomes increasingly true as many gaming providers now have multiple IPs underneath them – it could be a step to granting premium access across the network of games.
And the reason it works so well is often with its own simplicity – at a relatively low cost many don’t think twice about signing up, and as the costs stay low there is a reliance that either the service is kept in the hopes that updates will come and it can be returned to easily, and for others that the subscription is kept running but forgotten about. It’s a genius move, people will pay for a product or service they may not be currently using, or have completely forgotten about, if the price is right. Many of the bigger library holders have already taken the step toward the model as we have seen things like GamePass become increasingly popular, and as we see more information around how successful an option this may be for smaller games that rely on their income in a different way, the shift may start – but it’s can’t be doubted that the subscription model has changed the way many of us approach paying for a service, and that it is also here to stay.