Your 2021 Gamepass Review with use of your time as a metric.

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sometingbanuble

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The default opinion is that gamepass is a tremendous savings. I don’t buy that. I only beat 3 games on the service Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order, My Friend Pedro , and Control. It did let me know that I hate the Ascent and 12 minutes. Considering what I paid for it I’m okay with it. I wasted a lot of time on countless games that clutter up my achievements and are totally forgettable. My membership has expired. The gamepass glory days of cheap are soon to be behind us (first hit is free or a $1). Since everybody believes in value. What about use of your time? Instead of money. Coupon clippers gonna clip.

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BaneFireLord

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#2  Edited By BaneFireLord

For having gotten a four year subscription lumped into an Xbox One X purchase for no extra cost it’s probably the best deal in entertainment for me ever and I’ll be happy to pay the monthly fee once my prepaid subscription ends. I’ve spent hundreds of hours with the service since I first got on board in 2018 and played a bunch of great games I would never have touched otherwise. A significant plurality if not majority of my total gaming time in 2021 was spent using it and I only see my use increasing as Microsoft’s big acquisitions start bearing fruit in the next few years.

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FacelessVixen

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What does it say about me for thinking that anyone around here expressing any sort of positive opinion about anything related to gaming is a spambot?

Am I really that jaded towards the community?

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frytup

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#5  Edited By frytup

This is pretty much me, yeah. I have more money than time right now, so it makes more sense to pay full price for the few games I can actually finish in a year than $15/mo for a basket of games I don't have time to play and may or may not be interested in. Also I'm a weirdo who likes to "own" my digital games library because it's not at all unusual for me to come back to something I bought months or years ago and pick it up again.

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brian_

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#6  Edited By brian_

I've had Game Pass since launch, and the last time I paid any money for it was two years ago, when it was on sale for $1. I've played about 15 or so games through Game Pass this year. Most of them won't make my GOTY list, a couple will, but I'd say, with the exception of maybe 12 Minutes, they were all worth my time to play.

Unless you're asking the broader question of "Could I be spending my time better doing anything else besides playing video games?". In which case, absolutely.

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Kyary

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#7  Edited By Kyary

I have a subscription through 2023. Did the whole buy 3 years of gold, upgrade to ultimate for a dollar thing, so all told I'm in about $180. It's basically already paid for itself, I had a good time with Forza 5, Flight Sim, Psychonauts 2, and Halo (there were others, those are the ones that immediately come to mind).

I've also tried a ton of games that I didn't stick with! This feels like a good thing though - if I spend an hour with a game and realize I don't love it, that's not really wasted time is it? For me, that is a better experience than buying and then refunding a game; often I just eat the $10 or whatever and hide the game from my steam library. There's also a much stronger incentive to not even try a game I'm not sure I'm gonna like, this is less true when the cost of trying a game is zero.

In short I find the actual user experience of game pass to be mostly good, even outside the "saving money" side of things (which is definitely true in my case!)

Also disclaimer I am being paid by Phil Spencer, I get 400 Xbox™ Store Points® every time I say something good about the Xbox® Game Pass™ Ultimate® service for Xbox™ Series® consoles and the Personal Computer

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apewins

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#8  Edited By apewins

I don't like how the GB crew always goes to "it's on Game Pass so try it out yourself". First, it takes time to download some games on crappy connections, but more than that, a lot of games take time to get going because you've got so much mandatory tutorials and world building. For Giant Bomb employees who get paid to play games, playing a game for five hours might be one work day. For me, that's 1-2 weeks of game time that I have after work and other responsibilities and I'd really like to spend that time on content that I'm likely to enjoy rather than testing out random games to see which ones stick.

Carrion was one game that I really didn't like, but by the time that I realized that the game wasn't going to get any better, I felt I was committed to it and suffered my way to the end of it. I don't necessarily need to see critics shit on games just for the sake of it, but some seem to be reluctant to say anything bad about games that are free* (*not actually free) and instead go to their default "try it out yourself, see if you like it". And to that I say, I can easily find a list of games available on Game Pass on the Internet, so you're not providing me any real value by just listing games that are on there.

I also agree with the Achievement cluttering. Maybe I'm a little sick in the head and I get that most people aren't bothered by it, but it hurts me to see a long list of games that I have one achievement in, you know the one that you typically get as soon as you start the game. And the solution is obvious, let us delete (or at least hide) achievements we don't want.

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MajorMitch

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This year I played all of (or most of) Unsighted, Psychonauts 2, Unpacking, Forza Horizon 5, Sable, and Halo Infinite (campaign). Even just those games would have cost more than a year of Gamepass Ultimate at full price, and I always buy Game Pass when it's on sale. So I definitely came out ahead cost-wise.

I further dabbled in lots of other games like Age of Empires IV, Cyber Shadow, 12 Minutes, Carto, Indivisible, and Wilmot's Warehouse, and the only one I didn't like at all was 12 Minutes. I think Game Pass continues to be useful to try out a bunch of games like that, without committing to buying. I am perfectly happy with my time spent on Game Pass games. If anything I'd like more time to play more games on it.

There are also multiple games I bought and played this year before they came to Game Pass, like Subnautica Below Zero, The Forgotten City, and It Takes Two. If I had known they were coming and/or waited a bit, I would have come out even better on the Game Pass front. Anyway, Game Pass has been well worth it for me this year, both in time and money.

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ZombiePie

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This year I played all of (or most of) Unsighted, Psychonauts 2, Unpacking, Forza Horizon 5, Sable, and Halo Infinite (campaign). Even just those games would have cost more than a year of Gamepass Ultimate at full price, and I always buy Game Pass when it's on sale. So I definitely came out ahead cost-wise.

Not only do I want to echo this point in particular, but I also want to defend the idea of using Game Pass to test games out before dropping them after a few hours. Prior to Game Pass, most of the time I had to buy a game out-right if you wanted to give it a shot. Even if you bought it on sale, you're looking at spending the average monthly price of Game Pass just to try games out.

Even if you don't finish the game, checking it out and dropping without needing to invest an up-front cost it is a major value that Game Pass presents consumers.

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Eroq

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I got the series x with the game pass until 2023, and it's extremely good? The fact that me and three friends can just hop on any multiplayer game anytime we want is pretty amazing honestly, and now I don't have to feel buyers remorse when I bounce off a game. Yeah, not every game is a masterpiece, but I would've killed to have this type of service when I was a kid.

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TheManiacsGnome

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Gamepass as a service is great and PS Now continues to get better as a service. Overall these services have been nothing but a good thing as a consumer of games and I'm happy to have it, it has made a lot of things about games way easier to deal with. Not only did I find games like Deep Rock Galactic, but I didn't need to talk someone into spending 20-30 dollars and potentially dislike the game. It's not perfect, not every game is going to be a banger but I didn't spend money The Ascent.

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Besetment

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Sometimes I feel like I'm reading these forums filtered through Google Translate.

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Efesell

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#14  Edited By Efesell

Every other month someone tries too hard to convince me that Game Pass is "Not that good of a deal, ACTUALLY" and it's never going to take and I think you're all a buncha weirdos.

I didn't even use it that much this year. I might have subbed for 3 months at most, and at least one of them was a dollar deal. But whenever I did I can guarantee you that I played more than $9.99 (and a dollar) worth of games on it before letting it lapse again when I was finished. One of those games was the new Dark Alliance and I learned that it was in fact Straight Garbage and it didn't cost me $40 to learn that so I still consider it a positive Game Pass experience of its own.

So all in all Game Pass is still pretty fuckin' great, actually.

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liquiddragon

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It’s not hard to get your money’s worth out of any half decent sub service. It’s just a matter of whether you want to use it or not. I beat 16 games on GP this year and tried a handful of others. Considering I did the XBL conversion for 3 years for a total of $151, I’m well on my way to evening out, if I haven’t already.

I don’t think it’s for everyone, especially if you’re only into a few genres, and I tend to think the service will get worse over time. That said, it’s been great for someone like me that stayed away from Xbox for a decade+. I’m able to check out MS’ output from the last 10 years, as well as look forward to a decent amount of new releases for the next couples years, particularly cool indie titles and MS’ 1st party stuff.

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isomeri

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I played 16 new games for at least an hour through Game Pass this year on top of going back to stuff like the Master Chief Collection. At the same time I bought 7 games with only Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart being full price and brand new.

It's hard to say how much time I spent with the Game Pass games or how many of them I finished. However it does look like 6 Game Pass games will make it into my top ten this year.

Game Pass has really changed the way I play games. In the past I bought a game and felt compelled to finish it before starting something new, even if I didn't enjoy playing that particular game. I'm not much more OK with putting a couple of hours into something like Lonely Mountains: Downhill or art of rally and then move on to something different.

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Superharman

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#17  Edited By Superharman

Okay, here's the rundown...I'm not including Psychonauts 2 since technically, I own it as I was a backer but short summary, yes, I got my moneys worth and the majority of these games I probably would have thought about buying at full price but never gone through with it:

Played and Finished:

The Medium, Hellblade: Senua's Sacrafice (I'd previously played it on PS4 but wanted to do another run), Prey, Genesis Noir, Outriders, MLB: The Show 21 (I won the World Series in Road to the Show...I consider that finishing it), Resident Evil VII (I actually ended up buying this for the DLC), Last Stop, Omno, The Ascent, Twelve Minutes, Recompile, The Artful Escape, Sable. Quake, Echo Generation, Unpacking, Forza Horizon 5 (I will be spending additional money on this), Halo Infinite (I did buy the battle pass)

Played for a bit, fell off/gave up on:

Undertale (I've finished this on PC), Anthem, Sea of Thieves, Dodgeball Academia, Moonglow Bay (Might return to this but had some rough technical issues on release), Space Warlord Organ Trading Simulator.

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glots

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#18  Edited By glots

Nothing but good things to say about it, really. Obviously getting the ”3 months for 1€” deal again recently makes it even more worth the money, but I felt pretty good about paying 9€ just for Psychonauts 2 before that as well.

…and seeing how there doesn’t seem to be anything too noteworthy (for me) releasing on PS5 or Switch until late February, I’d say it will continue to be a great service for the beginning of 2022 as well, as I dig into games I’ve wanted to play but have set aside because of playing something else. So for now I’m not too worried about it maybe becoming worse in the future either.

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Jared

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As someone who only plays a few games a year (outside of Nintendo games) Game Pass at $15 a month is a bad deal. I would rather pay for 3 games a year, heck even 3-5 at discounted prices, and own the games versus paying $180 a year for Game Pass to rent games. If you play a ton of games that are on XBOX / PC it's a great deal, I just don't have the time. There's a reason the Halo Infinite campaign at $60 is one of Steams best sellers despite being on Game Pass.

Also, if you get invested into a game and want to buy DLC, season passes, etc then none of that is included with the standard Game Pass version. At that point you are then buying DLC for a rented game on Game Pass.

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cat_herder

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I absolutely love gamepass, and have found that I've mostly stopped buying games for other platforms because of it (I sold my PS5 after buying Returnal because I couldn't stomach the value proposition of $90 CAD games).

In 2021 between myself and my partner we played

  • The Outer Worlds
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps
  • Hades (already owned it but played through again for 'cheivos)
  • Subnautica
  • Undermine
  • Phogs
  • Genesis Noir
  • Fe
  • Pikuniku
  • Unravel
  • Carto
  • Man Eater
  • Forager
  • Code Vein
  • Outriders
  • Doom Eternal (already owned it but played through again for 'cheivos)
  • Control
  • Boyfriend Dungeon
  • Riftbreaker
  • The Ascent
  • Scarlet Nexus
  • and finally, Halo Infinite which has replaced Warzone as my group's evening gathering point

Gamepass has removed the mental block from trying a game and just playing it until it stops being fun. I don't feel compelled to slog through a game past the point where I stop enjoying it because I spent money, because sunk cost fallacy has been a huge problem for me in the past.

I can't say enough good things about the service. The only knock I have against it is the Gamepass PC version of Control kept crashing like hot garbage for me.

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NameRedacted

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#21  Edited By NameRedacted

Game Pass, right now, is a good deal for the simple fact that Microsoft is literally giving Game Pass away for "free" or damn near free, compared to what the cost will be years down the road. Game Pass is not profitable and Microsoft is losing money. Obviously, they're doing this to drive adoption, to condition people to pay monthly without thinking (just another monthly subscription charge that few people think about and keep mindlessly paying, like Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, etc.), and to "trap" people into the service as you lose access to all the benefits of the Game Pass service (everything you haven't paid for) once you cancel your sub.

For anyone with more time than money, for people who play video games as their primary form of entertainment; for industry / media professionals (like GB, Nextlander, etc.) who work in video games, it's a useful service, provided you keep paying each month.

For me, an "older" gamer with more money than time and more commitments / hobbies, who already has a massive backlog of games to play between PC, Nintendo, Sony, etc. (including replaying older titles I love), who sees the ubiquity of subscriptions services (with every Corporation's hand in your pocket) as "death by a thousand cuts"; couple that with having dog shit broadband internet in the US, with data caps and throttling and all the other anti-consumer BS our internet monopolies get away with, it's not worth it.

If I had Brad's amazing fast (and amazingly cheap) gigabit fiber in the Bay Area, that would be one thing, but Comcast is the monopoly in my region, so you grossly over pay for whatever "broadband" you do get.

Many people I know are shocked when they actually look at their monthly finances and all those "tiny" monthly charges (like stopping for coffee at Starbucks everyday--I know a LOT of people who do, without a second thought) quickly add up to a large amount each month and a very large amount each year, regardless of whether or not they used the service.

I rarely play games at launch, so when I get around to something, it's already heavily discounted / on sale on STEAM, etc.

What's more, as many other industry professionals have voiced concerns about, how is a subscription model going to impact video game production and what type of games get made to fit that financial model, e.g. games as service games with micro / macro transactions, more games broken up into "paid", episodic DLC's, less AAA blockbuster games, more / smaller / shorter games, etc. etc. Anything to keep you subscribed and keep you paying on top of that.

Microsoft didn't spend $8 billion dollars on Zenimax Bethesda for no reason, they're chasing massive games they can attach a monthly service fee to (like WoW in its glory days), but also sell mtx, and paid dlcs.

I also have concerns for how subscription services will further drive market consolidation (subscription services are constantly hungry for new content), which is a net negative for gamers / consumers in general (it stifles competition and creativity in the market), when former 3rd party games / devs are tied to one platform, as we've seen with MS's Bethesda purchase (and no, "PC" is not a platform, not when a Windows PC is the only viable option for gaming on PC; having a "choice" to play on one Windows / MS machine or another is not "multiplatform").

P.S. - Game Pass on PC is straight-up janky dog shit compared to Game Pass on console, so that's another pass for me.

tl; dr: Game Pass, right now, is great for some and not for others. Microsoft is literally giving away Game Pass, operating in the red; don't be surprised when, a few years from now, that "good deal" is no longer the "free ride" it is right now. The first taste is free, afterall.

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sometingbanuble

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Humanity

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I had at one point made a comprehensive list of all the games I had played on the service within a year and tallied up what they would have cost me to purchase individually and it came out to be easily more than twice the cost of a full price annual subscription to Game Pass Ultimate. So for me it has been an exceedingly good deal. Like mentioned above the biggest strength of the service is eliminating the barrier to entry for a lot of games - especially smaller indies. I played Omno and Exo One, two games I would have typically never purchased, and I enjoyed both quite a bit. I was ale to enjoy them because they were part of a subscription. Launching Exo One and finishing it in a single sitting is a "fun experience" as opposed to a poor value proposition if I had purchased it individually.

If you're the type of person to buy a game and then play and replay it for the next several months then it's not a service for you. If you're like me and you play a game and then move on to another game then it's a great deal. Game Pass is especially useful in those gaming draughts where no big releases are going to hit for 2-3 months and then you can try out a bunch of indies and other games you overlooked in the meantime.

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Efesell

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#24  Edited By Efesell

I mean it’s wholly unimportant whether game pass eventually loses what makes it so good. PS+ was worth celebrating in its day and now it languishes in the shadow just sort of limping along. Game pass will backslide someday or be upstaged in a similar manner.

But I see that argument a lot too of “oh it’s good NOW but..” and I guess what I’d wanna know is: Who cares?

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csl316

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Game Pass is like a gym membership. You get what you put into it, it's a deal if you use it. It's like software as a service.

If you don't use it, buy the games alone or buy the gym equipment alone. More upfront cost but you'll have exactly what you need.

Game Pass has been a huge deal for me, and will continue to be so. Even if it gets bumped up $5 a month.

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AV_Gamer

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#26  Edited By AV_Gamer

I actually decided to do the holiday 2 months for one dollar deal and got Game Pass for my new gaming PC. I'm currently playing the Halo Infinite campaign and liking it so far. It's open world Halo and it turns out it's a perfect fit and should have been done a lot sooner. I've also downloaded Outriders, Scarlet Nexus, and more. Will eventually get to Forza 5. I'm getting my one dollars worth before I decide if I want to keep it or not.

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Topcyclist

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@sometingbanuble: This whole idea that it's not worth it and I only play like two AAA games on it and id rather just buy what I want when I want is so weird to me. It's like before gamepass everyone and their mother was adamant that gamepass was DOA including GB if i remember (fair it's their job to speculate). Then it went to its too good to be true. Then Streaming (which it does now and is awesome to try out games without wasting space and downloading time and for low spec pcs) oh streaming has too much stuttering why even try unless it's perfect.

If we waited for everything to be perfect Iphone 1 would come out today to capitlize on all the features missing in iphone 1 vs 10. My point is we need to give things a chance more.

Second. OF course its worth it. Even if you played 1 game for 10 minutes a day. thats 3600 minutes, thats 60 hours enough to beat 3 or 2 AAA games. 3 AAA games on release these days cost 60-70 so lets say 60 to low ball. So 180 total.

The idea that You cant get a deal on gamepass is crazy, no one pays full price for it. Microsoft is fine with that. You get enough points to buy it for free just using BIng.

Ok add to that some people say the 1 trick still works twice.

Add to that amazon still sells the 1 year long subs for live and they go down to like 35-45 bucks.

So to be clear paying 135 for 3 years of gold plus 1 dollar or microsoft points to change it to gamepass ultimate is a bad deal when you get Doom Eternal = 60 bucks, Halo infinite = 60 bucks, and a bunch of old and new AAA great games you would otherwise never buy or try and if you like it...buy it at discount or wait till its free on epic games store or another service. Just buying 2 games new in a year nearly gives you enough for the equivenant game pass for 3 years. If you even by one 5 dollar game each month, it's enough to merit game pass, if you get 50 cents a day it merits game pass. If you have a free 10 minutes while you poop to play games...it merits game pass. I think the debate is closed, the only reason not to get it is if you hate games, hate Microsoft, are a shrill for other systems, or really have no time or money for it. But again, skip a lunch 1 time a week and it merits game pass. If you ever buy more than 3 games a year (new 60). It merits game pass.

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Topcyclist

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@apewins: To be fair they assume you can also stream them now. If your afraid you wont like it you can speed run it as in skip all cutscenes rush through, watch cutscenes on youtube in fast forward when the game has some walking section or something, theres ways to game with low time on your hands. even 30 minutes each day you can finish a game low energy in a month. Thats time to watch a tv show. I dont get the whole absolutely no time unless you really just work nonstop or have kids so sorry if your in that situation. Hope things get good and you can relax to a long nice game. XD.

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Topcyclist

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@jared:alot of people push this idea thats really outdated. I think when you by in bulk, get the xbox live to pass conversion at most expensive you can find a 3 year card 180 + 1 to transform. Any game you like you can buy at discount and its usually better priced discount than off gamepass. You also have the fact you tried the game out and skipped ones you didnt like it. The whole idea well its too good to be true...do like moviepass i still dont get why people were angry they got to go to the movies unlimited and for free (talking about the people it worked perfectly for.) cause it was too good....180 is like 3 AAA games and you get what 100+ for 3 years. Those games even at 5 dollars a pop would cost 500 for one year. I still cant wrap my head around why people think its such a bad deal. Even if you charge 1 dollar an hour, you go to the movies for 15 bucks and 2 hours of entertainment...1 dollar an hour, play one game a day for 1 hour for a year thats 365 dollars of entertainment. Way less than 60 bucks. IDK man.

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Topcyclist

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@efesell: Its only good if its free lol, then people will say its too good and they have no time, buying games gives me an incentive to play them. Iphone had lowered the price of values for games cause all the 99 cent or free stuff. People screamed foul at that too and its too good to be true, bubble will burst, nothing can last on such a model...now they are one of the biggest in the market. I say ignore arm chair economist.

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monkeyking1969

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#31  Edited By monkeyking1969

Worth it if you use it; and if you don't use it not so much. And that part seems okay...but the other part about how games get made. I think the effiencey of package deal hurt the peopel making these games, and only profits the publishers.

So much in gaming now seems like we trade our souls, so the we can have a tiny bit of convience. I do not think Game Pass or any services will ever lead to the people who MAKE these gamess getting paid better. Such services do no promote fair and equitable work places, just factories the churn out junk.

♪♪♫

It costs that little yet making it took a dev fucking hours (fucking hours)
It costs that little 'cause their boss raised the dev's unpaird hours (unpaid hours)
EA don't need my skills 'cause the games low qulaity is hidden by GamePasses monthly bills
It costs that little 'cause the dev emplyee has no power (no union powers)

I know you think these prices are so low
But do you consider devs life is full of woe
So, my boss say, I'm free to walk away
But, hear me when I say it is not that easy
It costs that little 'cause I never see my baby.

♪♪♫