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I disagree. The natural business model will be a mix between subscription services and free to play games with micro transactions. Microsoft (and others like EA) is already moving in that direction with game pass (monthly subscription gets you all first party games plus partner games).

The biggest concern is going to be internet availability and data caps. I tried the beta for Project Stream (now Stadia) this past winter. It worked well and was impressive, but I have a good internet connection with a 1TB cap. I have friends with much worse speeds and harsher caps and I am not sure if this would be viable for them.

I am more concerned about 'physical' gaming being phased out. I doubt Stadia will do this soon, but I like building a new computer every 4 years for playing games. Maybes it's something I won't actually miss(like how I don't miss CDs for music), but it remains to be seen.

F2P games are the incarnation of grindy.. and more of them is the worst thing that could happen to gaming.

For some people, the grind is the main attraction, especially if it's well balanced. Look at Path of Exile, that's one hell of a grindy game and people absolutely adore it.

Is the grind an integral part of the gameplay, flow and pacing of the game? Fine.

Is the grind a way to slow progression in order to make micro-payments more desirable? Fuck. That.

Or worse, a hybrid like Assassin's Creed Odyssey: a $60+ game that gets super grindy, but reminds you that you can opt into micro-payments to get a little experience or coin boost...

I really enjoyed it for the first 20 hours or so.

Morrowind was way more grindy than Odyssey (make 50 steps, a monster attacks you, repeat until the end of game). Odyssey just made all enemies within +/-2 levels of your own character, contrary to Origins, where levels were preset for each area.

I downloaded two mods pretty much instantly for Morrowind: no cliff racers and being able to run without losing stamina. Saves uncountable hours.

People love Path of Exile because it's essentially a slots machine.

Also, it doesn't have that high of a playerbase.

While I am not a fan of many F2P games, their popularity and impact are undeniable.

The trap that you should avoid falling into is assuming that's the only way games can thrive. F2P games are huge and dominate the conversation, but I think indie games are the best they have ever been. My favorite game last year was Into The Breach, and by all accounts it sold well in the same market that Fortnite dominated in.

Games are evolving in weird ways, but it's in a multifacted and diverse way.

Into the breach was a great game, but it is unlikely to have sold as well if it wasn't for FTL's success.

Eh, probably to some degree, but at least anecdotally for me, "new game from FTL dev" got me to watch the trailer, but the concept is 100% what hooked me.

Oh, for sure, I feel exactly the same way. ITB is one of my favorite games in my steam library, and that's the same way I discovered it. The argument I was trying to make is that a lot of people wouldn't have had the opportunity to be hooked had it not been for the "new game from FTL dev"

FTL was a Kickstarted game from devs with zero pedigree (to my knowledge) and it was also a indie hit. While I agree Into The Breach owes some success to the devs being established now, but I don't think you negate my point about this being a time where games of all types can thrive.

Game Pass works because you're essentially temporarily unlocking a library of games to be downloaded to your device. It really isn't an indicator they're moving in the same direction as Stadia.

It is kind of another beast altogether for Google, Shadow, Microsoft (xCloud), etc. to dedicate actual hardware for your usage. Shadow and others like it are essentially remote VM w/ GPU that you rent by the hour. Stadia, xCloud, etc. we don't know what the business model is going to look like. The only positive here is that Microsoft, Google, and Amazon are all cloud infrastructure companies so in theory, they could price their offerings cheaper than a company that is a tenant on their systems.

It's not just game pass though. Microsoft has flat out said they are moving towards streaming. They are also doing things like making Xbox live a service on the Nintendo Switch, iOS and Android. Game Pass the way it is today is just an indicator into how things will be.

Microsoft has made clear that they want Xbox to be a platform independent of the physical box they sell to people. They are 100% going in the direction of Stadia. The big question is how they are going to do it in regards to their next console.

They have announced xCloud, yes, but have they announced the business model/pricing? So far, pretty sure the answer is no. So it may be a subscription, but it may also end up being akin to renting a VM with GPU in Azure. Time will tell.

> The only positive here is that Microsoft, Google, and Amazon are all cloud infrastructure companies so in theory, they could price their offerings cheaper than a company that is a tenant on their systems.

That would be considered unfair competition and they would probably be fined by EU, I guess

I agree with your comments. I'd also add Stadia could operate a traditional platform/store model as well. It'd be a big ask for big publishers to launch their huge-budget flagship content straight into a content bundle. But you could have them sell access to people with Stadia accounts same as they sell physical/digital copies to Xbox/PS/PC owners.

Imagine simply moving all hardware support issues "in-house" or at least trading in all of the pimply teenagers with hardware issues for a single team of engineers working for one of the smartest companies in the world.

The vast majority of your support department can be let go.

Fortunately PC Building Simulator is now a game

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