There are certain staples in the gaming industry. Every year, you can count on specific titles. Certain shooters will always get a new installment. Sports games keep coming around again. There are even the MMO-likes that end up getting sequels that continue the story, but maybe didn’t need an entirely fresh start. Ever count how many different iterations there are of certain Arc System Works fighters there are? While games as a service are a concept that still need some perfecting, it seems like they could be a good fit to get rid of the $60 yearly upgrade fee for certain series.
This comes after some Rainbow Six Siege news from Ubisoft. Rather than go ahead and make an entirely new game, Ubisoft intends to keep improving on what the company has got. The 2015 game is not slowing down and, in a Daily Star interview, Brand Director Alexandre Remy said, “We don’t want a sequel whatsoever. We don’t want to segregate our community between the different platforms. In an ideal world tomorrow, we’d love players from every platform to be able to play together. We are approaching next-gen with the same spirit.” Considering rumors of backwards compatibility and the possibility of ports, it could be possible that a sequel wouldn’t happen. More operators and maps could just be added as it goes along.
Consider how well this would work for games like Call of Duty or Battlefield. In these cases, the base gameplay could stay the same year after year. We could keep the same multiplayer, then see the developers add new modes and maps. Perhaps every year, a new campaign is made available for a certain price, like $39.99, for people who enjoy that part of it. Every few months, there could be new weapons. Rebalancing could happen on the regular.
Think of how well this could work for sports games. With ones like Madden and MLB The Show, we could see incremental updates. People could purchase updated rosters from year to year. If new modes or developed, they could be sold as add-ons. It could even end up following the MMO expansion approach, where every year people could pay a fee to just make the game they already own and are enjoying a little better. It’d save money and probably make people more willing to stick with and continue playing the games.
It would be a boon for fighting games too. We already see Capcom doing this with Street Fighter V. Instead of a new installment, we received the Arcade Edition update and fighter passes that keep bringing new characters in. Tekken 7 had multiple fighter passes too. Think of how this sort of approach would have helped a game like BlazBlue: Continuum Shift, which received the updated II and Extend versions. Guilty Gear X2 is available in #Reload, Slash, Accent Core, Accent Core Plus, and Accent Core Plus R variants. Imagine how much easier and enjoyable it would be to just have this sort of games as a service approach that doesn’t split the audience and allows people to continually move forward in an easier way.
Games as a service is a concept that should be approached with caution. Developers and publishers should look into it and be certain it is the right idea. It could make it easier to keep up with sports games and avoid endless iterations that might only be good for a year. It could keep fighters relevant and avoid splitting audiences there. We’ve already seen the good it can do for shooters with Rainbow Six Siege. It could be worth giving a chance.