You may have heard the term Live Service Games in recent times, but do you know what these games are and how they work? Not a lot of people do, but if you’re a gamer then we believe it is important to know these things. At the moment, several big video game companies are betting a lot on Live Service Games, and that’s because if successful, these titles can earn companies a lot of money because such games have a constant cash flow rather than pay once and never again.
Live Service Games explained with examples
Games as a Service (GaaS)
Live Service Games have been around for a number of years, but their popularity really took off with the rise of PUBG and Fortnite. Live Service Games, or Games as a Service (GaaS), are some of the most popular games today.
What are Live Service Games?
So, what is a Live Service Game, then? Well, it’s the type of video game that is designed to keep people playing on a regular basis for higher engagement. The idea is that instead of creating one game and then moving to the next to earn more money, it would make more sense to create a single title that spans a few years with new updates.
In order to keep players engaged, developers over the lifespan of the game must add new content on the regular. The more content, the more players will play and spend money, and that, if successful, can earn publishers millions of dollars in a short period of time.
For your information, Live Service Games are also known as Games as a Service or GaaS for short. For the longest time, many gamers were against these types of video games, but as the years roll out, we have witnessed folks warming up to such content.
Now, to some, Live Service Games are a new phenomenon, but in truth, they’ve been around for quite some time. For example, a lot of popular Facebook games in the past were Live Service Games, and the same can be said for World of Warcraft and other Massive Multiplayer Online games (MMO).
What makes a game a Live Service Game?
In order to make a game a Live Service Game, it should have the following features or options:
- Such games are played online. So, a good internet connection is required to play a Live Service Game
- A single game can be played for years with time-to-time updates
- New content or updates are provided regularly (in weeks, every month, etc.)
- New achievements are unlocked that keep gamers engaged and the game interesting to play
- You get new characters, weapons, maps, etc.
How do Live Service Games work?
When a developer creates a Live Service Game, the plan is to release content on a regular basis that gamers are willing to pay for, hopefully. Such types of content can include weapons, skins, maps, emotes, and more. In some instances, a developer might launch a new game mode for a limited time.
Game developers may even come up with a Season Pass scheme where players pay a one-time fee to gain unlimited access to all the newest goodies in a single season.
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How do Live Service Games differ from others?
In the most important aspect, these types of games are no different when compared to others. The part that sets a Live Service Game apart from others is the online component. For example, a single-player game, if successful, will gain new content several times after launch for a limited time.
However, a GaaS game, if successful, will get extra content for players spanning multiple years. PUBG and Fortnite are some of the primary examples of this as these games are two of the most popular GaaS titles.
Additionally, most Live Service Games are of a free-to-play nature. The developer or publisher makes a profit by including microtransactions among other things. This is why Microsoft launched Halo Infinite as a free-to-play experience because it plans to push GaaS-related services.
The good and the bad characteristics of Live Service Games
Pay to win: There is nothing wrong with free-to-play GaaS games, but some players are finding it difficult to support such plans because a few titles give an advantage to those who spend money over those who do not.
Anyone can play: Despite the above, the ability to play a game for free removes the barrier of entry for a lot of people who cannot afford to pay upfront. Furthermore, many Live Service Games off multiplatform play, which means, folks on PC can play with their friends on Xbox or mobile.
Earlier release: Developers can release a game early and tweak it according to player feedback. Bear in mind though if an unfinished game is released in a bad state, then this usually means failure as gamers will probably never return for seconds.
Constant updates: The biggest downside for us where Live Service Games are concerned, is how updates are handled. Expect to download and install new updates up to 4 times or more per month. If you do not have unlimited bandwidth, then we suspect this could be taxing, so please keep all of this in mind.
Are Live Service Games here to stay?
Due to their huge popularity, we see several major publishers looking to this route in a bid to retain players and increase revenue. We believe before long the market might become saturated with GaaS titles, with only a few findings huge successes. So yes, Live Service Games are here to stay, but most won’t reach their full potential.
Read: Free multiplayer games for PC to play with friends from home
Are there any good Live Service Games?
There are plenty of good Live Service Games or GaaS available to play. Below you can see a few Microsoft titles right now:
- Halo Infinite
- World of Warcraft
- Call of Duty: Warzone
- Sea of Thieves.
Now read: Free Online Games with no downloads required.