I think the real disruptor to PC game pricing for Microsoft is going to be PC Game Pass. We will be part of that and see how gamers respond to the notion of subscribing to a game as opposed to outright purchasing it. But the number one thing is to keep our community happy.
What would make you guys, as the community happy? Having to pay a larger, one time fee to then own AOE4? Or paying smaller, recurring fees to “rent” access to it?
As a person who is mostly interested in one title or franchise, AoE, I will definitely buy it. But I have plenty friends who play one title at launch and then move to the next one, so they are more than happy with the gamepass.
I mean, this question seems to presume that there’s only once answer allowed, but the current implementation of Game Pass allows you to do it either way. I personally will want to purchase it outright (because I’m a hopeless AoE fanboy), but I have nothing against people who want to just try it using a subscription service.
Age of Empires is the kind of game you replay over and over again during years, so buying it once and forever is the logical answer here imo. In fact, it’s a shame that Microsoft doesn’t publish their games in a DRM-Free format, too.
The presumption that there only exist these choices is false.
Starcraft 2 was shipped as a buy box copy with 2 expansions to come. In the end of its development cycle in the most recent years it changed to being free to play on multiplayer and having additional content that you can buy (mostly cosmetics and announcers but also a couple of campaigns and co-op commanders so real content too) while at the same time the campaigns were obviously locked for buy the box content.
I think this approach is great. Buy the box for all the content: the campaigns, co-op stuff whatever. But, at the same time have multiplayer ranked and casual (normal mode- not fun modes) be free to play or at a very very very cheap monthly sub. Or a combination , like you can play 5 games per month free but you have to sub to play unlimited.
This i think is very important to keep growing and retaining player base on multiplayer which will be healthy for the game overall
Game pass is also providing xbox gold for those who have an xbox, making the exact cost a little less clear. It also isn’t providing access to just a single game, but hundreds. Which again makes this question much muddier.
Depending on how many games you would buy and how often, along with how often you play them, it is very easy for game pass to be much, much cheaper, or absurdly expensive if you don’t play often or buy many. It also provides some serious discounts on games, which can pay for the service by it self.