Just about everybody’s got their own gaming subscription at this point. EA has Origin Access, Microsoft has Xbox Game Pass, Ubisoft is introducing Uplay Plus, and subscriptions will likely play a big part in the future of streaming services like Stadia. According to one report, game subscriptions aren’t just the future – they’re already here.
30% of US consumers pay for a gaming subscription service, according to a report from Deloitte Insights (via Wired). That’s 30% of all US consumers, not just those who actively play games. Broken down by age group, 53% of millennials (now up to age 35, for the record) have a gaming subscription, up from 44% one year ago.
Exactly what rolls into the idea of a ‘gaming subscription’ here isn’t clearly defined, but it likely includes online services like Xbox Live, PlayStation Plus, and Nintendo Switch Online, as console players are the most likely to have a subscription at 63%. It’s not quite the same thing as the newer brand of subscription access to games, but it does indicate that players are broadly willing to pay a regular fee for gaming regardless.
Around 60% of multiplatform players have a subscription, but only about 20% of PC players do. (Though subscription options on PC have admittedly been more limited until pretty recently.)
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Yet with services like Uplay Plus launching only on PC – after all, it’s where publishers can create their own ecosystem – we’re seeing plenty of those options go beyond consoles. Companies seem keen to push their respective subscriptions, but we’ll have to wait and see if it really disrupts the existing market over time.