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Tech Firms Competing For Deals Means More Money For Video Game Developers

Video game developers are champing at the bit ahead of an influx of money from some of the biggest technology companies in the world as they compete to build a “Netflix for games.” At the center of the contest are Microsoft and Sony, followed by less gaming-centric entities like Apple, Amazon, and Netflix who have all launched subscription services in an attempt to bring gamers to their platforms.

The competition has resulted in an influx of cash to the industry. Microsoft, the second-richest company in the world, has been on an acquisition spree, buying the Call of Duty and Warcraft publisher Activision-Blizzard, the Skyrim developer Bethesda, and nine independent studios since 2017. Amazon and Apple, the fourth- and first- richest companies in the world, have similarly deep pockets. Sony, with a market cap smaller than other tech titans, has struggled to keep up, merging with the Halo and Destiny developer Bungie earlier this year.

There’s widespread hope too that the rise of subscription services will usher in a change in focus for the industry, away from multimillion-dollar AAA titles towards smaller, quirkier games that aren’t necessarily intended to gel with everyone in the world.

“Look back at Blockbuster,” said a producer at a major publisher who asked not to be named. “I would go to Blockbuster on a Friday, not even knowing what games are out there, to look at a bunch of physical games and pick one up for the weekend. With Game Pass, everyone’s just picking everything up, and they might only play it for a few minutes, but they’ve got the option to see if it’s for them.”

But, even those with little to gain from the model agree it’s currently working for gamers. Super Rare Games is a British company that sells physical copies of previously download-only titles, and Ryan Brown, the company’s “head of words,” argues that the two approaches can coexist.

“I use those services, they’re undeniably incredibly convenient,” said Brown. “But, for the people that feel like it, myself included, there are games that they’re going to want to be able to play in 50 years’ time, and that’s what physical games, in general, provide: ownership that you can’t have with a subscription.”

(All information was provided by The Guardian)

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