Ever since Netflix introduced their streaming service to the North American market, it caused a severe drought for movie rental services like Blockbuster and other small mom-and-pop businesses like it.
Streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and even Amazon completely dominate the market for on-demand movies and television shows because of their convenience. Video game titans such as Microsoft and Sony are now starting to capitalize on the online streaming market with Xbox Game Pass for Microsoft and the ever-evolving PlayStation Now for Sony.
These video game streaming services, specifically Xbox Game Pass, are starting to cause drops in stock prices for companies like GameStop, who heavily rely on physical distribution. Investors are currently peeing their pants as they watch their money go down the drain and why wouldn’t they? According to VentureBeat, GameStop’s stock prices dropped nearly 8 percent after the reveal of the service alone.
However, GameStop and your local mom-and-pop shops can still live long enough for you to get your physical-gaming itch fixed. The online streaming of entertainment, such as movies and video games, are still at its infancy stage. There is plenty of work to be done when it comes to stabilizing their networks to make these services run efficiently.
Sony’s video game streaming service PlayStation Now requires the user to have a fast internet connection to access the enormous library of video games that it offers.
This is where Microsoft has Sony beat because Xbox Game Pass allows their subscribers to download their games so they can play it offline for up to 30 days. Despite this advantage, the problem of pricing is still there.
These services are not cheap. A three-month subscription for PlayStation Now can cost you $45 on top of what you pay for your internet bill. Microsoft’s offering may be better on paper but subscription prices will not be released until later this year.
But the video game industry has always been adaptive to keep up with current times. According to an official blog post from PlayStation, private testing with PlayStation 4 games on PlayStation Now is currently in progress. This means that more recent games are on its way to the services. In fact, Electronic Arts’ subscription service called Origin Access already offers their customers their most recently published games for a limited amount of time.
There is no doubt that physical media is becoming extinct and GameStop’s inevitable demise will go along with it. With video game streaming services becoming better and better, it is only a matter of time before GameStop locations disappear. But even though physical media is dying, the market will probably live on. But as for businesses like GameStop? They will have no chance to live unless they adapt in the ever-changing world of video games.