The threats to the preservation of video games are something very real, and over time we are seeing it more and more clearly. It is undeniable that the video game industry is advancing technologically by leaps and bounds.. Although technological improvements in both software like in hardware are essential for a growing future in the gamingthere are times when these collide with the preservation of video games physically and as we knew them years ago.
Who doesn’t remember the first moment they bought their favorite game? or the arrival of a classic that they were looking forward to playing in arcades, or on the legendary GameBoy or Nintendo 64 and many others. Putting the discs in the console, that smell of plastic when buying a new cover… These are things that are still present in the industry today, but with the explosion of the digital marketmore and more players are choosing to play and enjoy the titles in this way.
Hence, the preservation of video games is extremely important. Will physical stores close? Will companies get carried away by this trend and will the physical market take a backseat? Let’s analyze all these situations in the following article:
Microsoft’s cloud plans and the new PS5 model
The video game industry is always exposed to change and evolution in different areas. And sometimes this leads to the classic and the purest essence of video games is left aside. We can see an example of this in the latest announcements by Microsoft and Sony. For example, Microsoft announced its plans to make the cloud and its streaming game services extremely relevant in the company’s future.
In fact, there has been talk of removing physical Xbox games from stores, leaving only access to games using a digital key or on platforms such as Game Pass. And Microsoft has not been the only one that has taken steps towards an increasingly digitalized world.
Sony also talked about its plans to release a Digital PS5 to which a disc player could be optionally incorporated. All of these are more than clear indications that companies are betting more on the digital market, and progressively displacing the physical one. Fortunately, Nintendo continues to maintain its essence in this sense, and the physical market continues to be a priority.
Games as a service
The term games as a service has become very popular in recent years. What do we mean when we talk about games as a service? To games like Fortnite, Call of Duty Warzone and others of this style, which are presented to the public normally in free format, and are continuous over time. That is, they will receive content periodically for years, and will be divided into seasons. Each season will have a kind of battle pass with unique rewards.
Normally the monetization in these games does not come from the installation of the game itself, if not the entire store and passes that will arrive over the years. Destiny 2 is another clear example of gaming as a service. Does this mean that the traditional game is dead?: No.
At least not yet, but it is true that more and more games or companies have ventured into trying this entertainment model, whether we like it or not, has had the support and interest of millions of players around the world… The eternal dispute of what is good or not in the world of video games never seems to end.
Terminology that comes from English “Digital Rights Management“. DRM is a form of protection, so to speak, for any product that is available digitally. This is something that all titles have by right when they are put on sale in a digital store (whether their own or third-party). It also happens with other products such as e-books.. The objective of DRM is to preserve the author’s rights over a specific work, making its copying or distribution without permission illegal.
DRM is a concept and at the same time a device with an encryption system that combines hardware y software to protect that digital product in question. It is a term that has had a great boom and growth in recent years with the almost virulent appearance of the digital market (cinema, series, video games, ebooks and much more). In essence, it is not something negative by any means, although there have always been discussions about whether it is useful for the author if his work has DRM or not.
Who doesn’t know about subscriptions? It is something that is practically present in all areas of digital entertainment. From the typical subscription to a service streaming from movies and series, to subscriptions to different services in the video game industry. Nintendo here is no exception. All large companies currently have their own subscription models:
- Xbox It has Xbox Game Pass and its variants such as Core or Ultimate.
- PlayStation It has PS Plus.
- Nintendo has Nintendo Switch Online.
It is a business model that has been established over the years, and not without some controversy around it. Mainly the negative comments have gone to Nintendo Switch Online and PS Plus, since for thousands of players, Xbox Game Pass It is a tool that allows you to know which games you may like and which ones you may not.in addition to the fact that developers are not financially harmed when their games enter the service.
The case of Nintendo Switch Online has been improving over the years, enjoying unique offers in the eShop, going through an incredible catalog of games from classic consoles. Nintendo’s online service has experienced a boom in recent years, despite the fact that its birth was riddled with criticism and reluctance. We can also see this in PS, its PS Plus service is essential to be able to play many titles online although it has never enjoyed a good reputation.
Subscriptions mean that, in a way, the purest and most classic essence of games has been lost. And instead of enjoying a physical game, Many users resort to a digital “trial” that in many cases translates into a possible “non-purchase.” of a specific title. Leave your opinion about it in comments.
The erosion of the physical games market
And this change could not have been possible without the foundation of the entire video game industry: Players. We ourselves have been the ones who, over the years, have gotten used to being sold half-baked games and then buying DLCs, to resorting to digital keys because they are more convenient, instead of going to the store and picking them up physically. our favorite game as it was a couple of years ago. We have been the main reasons why this business model, increasingly based on digital and subscriptions, is triumphing over physical sales of games.
- The convenience of being able to have the game digitally, if the disc or cartridge breaks.
- Las subscription facilities and the immense catalog that it offers us.
- The security provided by DRM to companies and video game creators above the physical market.
These are just some of the guidelines that have allowed the physical games wear out compared to other options that seem safer and more effective in these times.
Is this a bad sign? I don’t believe it. At the end of the day, society is changing, Technology is changing, and video games are also adapting to people’s needs., as well as the new markets that are opening up thanks to the rise of digital. Of course, the survival of the physical gaming ecosystem and all the stores linked to it have to survive over the years. And we, the players, have the most important role to play in this.
The rise of digital stores and their offers
The digital market had its beginnings more than a decade ago, but with each passing year, more titles are added to enter this market directly, In many cases, there is not even a physical version.. The rise of digital stores (Eneba, Instant Gaming and others) has allowed players to often purchase their favorite games from the comfort of their home, and at a price that is sometimes well below official stores. of the companies (Nintendo, Sony or Xbox and more).
- The continuous sales.
- The great discounted catalog we have.
- The convenience of being able to have the game instantly and forever, with the assurance that the hardware will never fail (because it doesn’t have any).
- The ease of shopping from home or anywhere in the world.
They are just some of the characteristics that have made digital games continue to rise, while physical games are in continuous decline year after year.
The preservation of video games
And finally, we come to the section to preserve video games in every sense. This is not about marking the digital over the physical, or the other way around. It is simply in our power to maintain a balance and that there are plenty of options so that the community can, in the end, decide what is best for them in each situation:
– Active preservation: This is the type of preservation that characterizes organizations dedicated to preserving the originality and interests of video games. Companies and distributors would fall into this range. Since it depends on them how to distribute the game, whether a strong digital market or a physical one is more appropriate. It is one in which the gaming community cannot do much, since it corresponds to decisions practically oriented towards economic benefit, and in some cases the legacy that certain sagas may have left in the video game industry.
– Passive preservation: To preserve is to keep something, and not lose it forever. This is something that players and the entire community must keep in mind. The world and video games are changing every day, it is up to us to know how to choose if we want digital to prevail, or for there to be a balance. Players are the basis of the entire video game market. Our voice can allow us to change companies’ extremist policies (as was the case with Unity and others). In the end, if the digital market prevails, it is because our passive preservation will have failed.
It is a delicate and difficult topic to discuss. Are you in favor of there being balance or that the digital market ends up taking over with all that this entails? Remember that we always read your opinion in comments and it is very important to us.
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