With the absurd increase in game production costs, companies focused their searches to increase their profits even more. One of these alternatives is called “Game as a Service” (or GaaS), an increasingly common practice in this industry. Come with me to learn more about the term, its advantages, disadvantages and examples.
When we use the term “Game as a Service” to describe a game, we are referring to a business model. Profit is still the main goal, but it’s a little different than a standard launch.
In this case, it is not enough to just put the title in stores and wait for its sales, the intentions are to hold players for much longer by offering new content and creating a periodic payment flow.
There are works that are free to play but offer extras like cosmetics or campaign bits. Others cost the price of a full game (between $59.90 and $69.90), but they also create additional reasons for the user to keep spending.
Therefore, the company maintains its purpose of holding players’ attention for as long as possible.
But how do companies profit?
By keeping the game active for many years, all companies need to do is direct game production resources to create new ones. The main forms of monetary receipt are:
- Microtransações: Buying an item of clothing for the character, skin for a weapon, or anything at lower prices falls into this category;
- Season Pass (or Battle/Season Pass): The player purchases a ticket to actively participate in a season, earning exclusive items for their avatar during the process;
- Subscriptions: More popular in MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online), this model asks the user to pay a monthly fee to use all available resources.
The smartest part of Game as a Service is the good feeling it brings when saying that there is no need to spend extra money on the game, as almost always the default base is enough to have fun.
Thus, people end up opening their wallets to visually stand out with their characters or to acquire complementary missions, all with the idea that they do so to support the production company.
In other words, a game in this business model is only as durable as the interest of its player base.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Game as a Service
With the huge variety of options for those who want to enjoy gaming on consoles and PCs, it’s not easy for a work to stand out. The same happens with GaaS, forcing companies to plan very well the marketing of their works.
The advantages of this business model for fans are:
- Longevity: if users embrace the title, it can last for years, adding more and more content;
- Community: Game as a Service titles tend to develop a passionate and involved community;
- Renovation: Because of their long duration, these works are frequently renewed, either through content additions or updates and balances.
On the other hand, there are points that deserve attention. Some of the disadvantages are:
- Launching issues: Several games arrive at stores incomplete, often with bugs and the like. It ends up taking time for companies to fix everything;
- Support need: Games of the Game as a Service model need massive support from users, that is, if few people are interested, it is likely that the work will be discontinued (see Anthem);
- Aggressive monetization: Free-to-play or not, it’s a fact that companies strongly push people to spend money on GaaS. It can be through packages as in Star Wars: Battlefront 2more resources to guarantee wins as in Clash of Clans, etc. Either way, there’s always a new reason to make him open his wallet or send that Pix;
- FOMO: Known as “Fear of Missing Out” (or “Fear of Missing Out”), it’s a way companies have found to manipulate their players into spending more money. Thus, companies create a temporary limitation to purchase content in games, making users make purchases so they don’t stay out of the game.
Know some games that use this model
You may already be familiar with certain GaaS titles. Even so, I separated a list with some names:
- Path of Exile;
- Knockout City;
- Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Extraction;
- Call of Duty: Warzone;
- League of Legends;
- Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn;
- World of Warcraft;
What’s your favorite Game as a Service? Do you think this business model is valid? Tell us your opinion!
With information: HP.