As we face another year inside of quarantine one of the things that I've noticed and certainly seemed reflected in the gaming industry itself fans, publishers', developers, and many of the people writing speaking and reviewing video game titles is that gaming as a hobby has suddenly changed its form since covid began.
It also makes sense whether its employees working from home or unfortunate individuals who've lost their jobs. For many there's more time to game than ever before and for many there's more of a reason to game than ever before even if it's just that momentary is a momentary submersion of the real life into a video game form for a small amount of time to destress and defrag from a hard day.
And that question preoccupies me often, has gaming changed its form, has the hobby actually adjusted or suddenly been influenced by covid or even more so has it been massively influenced by it.
I think it's fair to say that gaming as a hobby has changed not only the way people experience it but their expectations and the way that content is delivered.
The experience itself has changed just simply because the allotted time for many people has adjusted growing exponentially. And at the same time the expectations of that hobby suddenly changed. Many times a person who wants to engage in a game has only a couple hours in a night or maybe a couple hours on the weekend to play a game now perhaps with more available time the expectations for the games have slightly lowered there's a change in reflection in the acceptance of what you may get when you have a little bit more time on your hands sort of like binging ATV show versus watching a movie and the expectation of being dramatically interested throughout the entire subject.
But the most dramatic change, the most influential adjustment, that we've seen in gaming has to be its delivery and you can look no further than game-pass to see that game-pass is Microsoft's Xbox and PC offering that allows for people to get a subscription and play a certain number of games for free after that all of the games that are on the service can be played download and many can be streamed.
While game-pass itself has been around for a couple years it's in these last 1 to 2 years where Microsoft hasn't engaged with gamers on a far more critical level trying to make sure that the games that are on game pass aren't just the fodder you might expect on a subscription service but are instead many times hits moving their own 1st party exclusives to the service day and date.
But it's their 3rd party exclusives that have been interesting so far whether it be Outriders from Square, or Back 4 Bood from the original Left for Dead developers, Microsoft has left almost nothing on the table when it comes to what they want on their service this last month signing you be soft to also release their subscription service on game pass as well.
These subscription services as well as other bundle deals like Humble-Bundle have offered gamers a large library of titles even for those who are very budget constrained.
It's easy to forget that in the past there were no real budget titles and many of us have lived through the times where games went from $60 almost religiously to see some lower budget titles start to release at $40 now on steam seeing titles as low as 99 cents.
Whatever your budget and whatever your time allotted happens to be, gaming itself as a hobby has changed the desire to explore those fantasy worlds to separate yourself from the rigor moral of daily life has become for many not only easier but something that is absolutely vital for their own mental health.
It's my hope that is gaining and the hobby up gaming itself continues to change and fluctuate and modify as we live thru covid and hopefully into a post covid world that we see more companies embracing these kinds of deals and these kinds of situations offering gamers more and more of a chance to experience titles from developers who are people just like those who experience their games.