King February 26, 2019

Photo: iStock

New Delhi: Gone are the days when users had to buy physical discs from retail or e-commerce stores to play video games. Access to 4G speeds has reduced the time spent on downloading games. After online game stores such as Valve, Microsoft and Sony, more big game publishers are entering the distribution business, selling games via their own online stores. EA Sport Origins is one of the leading examples of this trend. All its popular titles such as Battlefield, FIFA and Need For Speed are available through Origin Store on Windows and Mac. Ubisoft, the publishers of Assassin’s Creed and Far Cry franchise have got their own store as well.

More publishers are joining the bandwagon. Earlier this month, Epic Games, the makers of multiplayer online shooting game Fortnite, launched a new game store for PC and Mac users. It will give away one free game every two weeks for the entire year. These game stores are engaging with their audience in different ways. Some are offering free access to new gaming titles for monthly subscription fee, while others are giving away huge discounts. Steam is offering huge discounts up to 75% on new and old games. So the Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, which costs  2,999 is available at half the price during the ongoing winter sales. Konami’s PES 2019, priced at  3,390, is up for grabs at a 50% discount.

In subscription-based platforms, Origins provides multiple options. So users with limited budget can go for the  399 monthly plan which gives access to all old games and 10 hours of free access to new games. For unlimited and early access to new games, users will have to switch to the  999 monthly plan. Microsoft also rolled out its Netflix style subscription plan called Xbox Pass, which costs $1 in the first month and $9.99 every month after that. The pass provides unlimited access to all new exclusive Xbox One titles.