Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo may have stood together on The Game Awards stage last December to celebrate video games, but now they hold together as part of a government investigation. The tiny deals in the back of Mukesh Ambani’s bid to tackle Amazon Headed by the UK government’s Competitions and Markets Authority, the research is focused on discovering whether or not the three companies are committing unfair practices with their online services.
They say that they’ve personally written to the three companies to “help better understand their practices.”
This investigation targets the use of roll-over contracts in Xbox Live, PlayStation Plus, and Nintendo Switch Online. The CMA is currently deciding whether the auto-renewal policies enforced by Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo give consumers enough notice before charging more money.
A key target during this investigation will focus on the monthly number of games gifting to consumers as part of their subscription. While Nintendo only adds to the library of NES titles and Xbox Live consistently has four games a month, Sony’s recent game reduction has been a point of contention for online subscriptions. While the CMA is clear to state that they have not yet decided whether or not these companies have broken consumer protection law, however, if the CMA does determine that the companies are in breach of this, they could take enforcement action. You can email your views here for those who want to input their matchmaking thoughts into the CMA’s investigation.
Discord’s focusing on growing their service and user base right now, and once that’s done! It will start looking for ways to make money from users. Till Discord becomes essential in gamers’ life, users will leave if they start charging.
Steam offers match-making for free because 1) it’s a PC gaming culture 2) they can’t suddenly start charging the user for those online services. And no one can; even Windows 10’s Xbox lives matchmaking has to match that freemium culture.
Steam offers for free don’t mean console makers have to follow.
Valve produce no HW (well, they did, with minimal effort, and they failed. Steam link failed too), so there’s no HW R&D, advertisement, and distribution network costs. Valve doesn’t create / plan/design OS, API, game-related API, etc. Valve spent pretty much nothing crafting nothing but store app and server hosting installers... piggybacking Steam on MS’s SW and earn from royalties. MS and business partners started custom shader and ray tracing; where’s Valve?