Should We Give Up On Owning Games? | Spot On

Picture this: It’s the year 2045 and you want to show your future partner/child/pal your favorite game of 2023, Alan Wake 2. You’ve still kept your trusty PlayStation 5 around, waiting for nostalgia to inspire you to dust off the old console and boot it up once more. But as you do, you discover you don’t have Alan Wake 2 installed on your system. And the PlayStation store no longer supports the PlayStation 5. And the game was never available to purchase physically, so… you get the picture.

For years now, digital game sales have been on the rise while publishers have simultaneously emphasized that the video game industry’s future and growth lies in the subscription market. However, for that to be realized people need to be okay with one small thing: not actually owning games.

This week, Prince of Persia: The Lost Crown released and it is incredible. But that’s not the only thing Ubisoft debuted. The publisher has taken its subscription service and rebranded it as Ubisoft+, while also changing up the offering. Ubisoft’s director of subscriptions, Philippe Tremblay, spoke to to talk about these changes, but there was a choice quote that definitely angered some. Tremblay said that gamers needed to start getting comfortable with not owning their games.

This week on Spot On, Tam and Lucy discuss the rise of the subscription model, growing concerns over ownership and preservation, and what this all means for us as consumers and for game developers working to get things made.

Spot On is a weekly news show airing Fridays in which GameSpot’s managing editor Tamoor Hussain and senior producer Lucy James talk about the latest news in games. Given the highly dynamic and never-ending news cycle of the massive video game industry, there’s always something to talk about but, unlike most other news shows, Spot On will dive deep into a single topic as opposed to recapping all the news. Spot On airs each Friday.

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