That of subscription services undoubtedly represents an increasingly present model for the diffusion of video games. Let’s think, for example, of the surprise launch of Hi-Fi Rush, or of the success (or the very existence) of a project like Pentiment – which according to Obsidian would not be existed without the Game Pass.
However, there are different opinions regarding the contribution that subscriptions give to smaller video games, looking for a showcase. Some time ago we reported, for example, the opinion of the publisher of Tunic, who defined the subscription services as «terrifying and wonderful».
On the other hand, Yoan Fanise has a completely different opinion. The creative director of Road 96, former author of 11-11 Memories Retold and of Valiant Hearts, during the event we attended part a few days ago, dedicated to the upcoming Road 96: Mile 0, he also chatted about subscription services such as Game Pass and Netflix Games, emerging with very different opinions between two o’clock.
About Game Pass (which you can subscribe to at Instant Gaming) , in fact, Fanise currently considers Microsoft and Xbox as “the big winners” of this model, because it also allows slightly smaller projects to have a large showcase and be discovered from players who, perhaps, would not have bought them if they had had to pay for them individually.
«Game Pass is positive for us» reasoned Fanise, also in reference to the current availability of the first Road 96 in the Microsoft, “because of curiosity: it’s an all-you-can-eat model, you can find something and discover something new” he added, referring to the players who maybe they start a game they don’t know, just to try it, and then they fall in love with it.
«For now the big winners are Microsoft and their Game Pass, now there are many more chances to be able to tell people ‘hey, come and try our game!'”.
Just the availability of Road 96 on Game Pass, for example, has allowed the game to reach many people, to the point that its success has surprised even Fanise himself. “Suddenly you find yourself with so many people who are playing it – and not all of them would have gone to buy it” reflects the creative director.
At the moment, however, Fanise doesn’t know if Mile 0 will also come to Game Pass in the future – so there are no updates to provide on that front with the game’s expected release for April and our rich first impressions in this dedicated article.
And the Netflix Games model instead?
Fanise was a little more tepid, however, on the proposal of Netflix Games: for some time now, the subscription service has in fact included some video games to be enjoyed on your mobile phone – and the platform itself , according to Fanise, it’s a bit what limits the proposal.
«I hope Netflix Games moves from smartphones to PCs and consoles» said the creative director of Road 96. In the past, however, Fanise was also the author of Valiant Hearts, the sequel to which recently debuted on Netflix.
The reason behind the desire to see Netflix on PC and consoles is clear: “I find difficult to be fully involved in a gaming experience on my phone, you know? There are also middle fingers, to interact with the touchscreen, and then also because of the audio sector. It’s a bit of a paradox», Fanise smiles. Indeed, it is curious that a platform so close to you, yours, personal, manageable, manages to involve less than others, precisely because of how you interact and interface.
“In our game, for example, we need the sound sector” he mentioned, for Mile 0, where music is king. And thinking of playing it, perhaps with the audio mute, on the phone, would certainly do him a disservice.
Road 96: Mile 0 will arrive in April on PC and consoles. The title, very different from its progenitor, will mix narrative adventure dynamics with others from endless runner and rhythm game, in a continuous reinvention of the gameplay that also looks to the masterpiece What Remains of Edith Finch. If you missed them, you can find our impressions after the first hour of play here.
A few weeks ago, we recall, some analysts instead said they were perplexed about the long-term sustainability of Game Pass, stating that its proposing games of value in mass represents a somewhat unbalanced business.