Game Subscription Price Increases Are Inevitable – See What’s Happening with Cable and Streaming TV

By Todd Russell Oct19,2023

Maybe the biggest issue with physical game media being less common compared to game subscription services is the initial lower suscription prices, but once enough people switch to this model, it’s open season on pricing. Keyword is “initial” because pricing will creep up, as has been happening with streaming channels vs. cable via Streaming was supposed to save us money, but it’s getting more expensive. Here’s what it costs in 2023.

Cable, meanwhile, is not much more than — and it can actually be less than — a collection of streaming services. Direct comparisons aren’t easy to make, because many cable TV services are bundled with internet but, in August, the Financial Times calculated that ad-free subscriptions to Disney+, Hulu, Netflix and Peacock cost $87, versus $83 as the average cost of cable, making the streamers more expensive than cable for the first time. (Another option is satellite TV; provider DISH is currently advertising 190 channels for $79.99 a month.)

So, what’s the answer? Head back to physical gaming media? The problem with physical media is it’s usually just a DRM disc that is used to show ownership of the game, and the game is still downloaded from a network. We often aren’t playing these $60+ games off the disc itself. What’s the point here? That we’re being herded to digital, digital, digital, and that may not be either better or lower cost in the long run, despite the great deal it currently is with services like Game Pass and day one release.

Update 10/19/2023 @ 9:10am PST: It’s ironic this article was written over a week ago and today’s headline stories when this was published is about Netflix raising subscription prices again via Netflix raises prices for its premium plan::

In an effort to bring in even more revenue, Netflix also announced it’s raising the price for its most expensive streaming service by $2 to $23 per month in the U.S. — a 10% increase — and its lowest-priced, ad-free streaming plan to $12 — another $2 bump. The $15.50 per month price for Netflix’s most popular streaming option in the U.S. will remain unchanged, as will a $7 monthly plan that includes intermittent commercials.

Yesterday, before seeing news of this increase, I suggested to my wife that we cancel Netflix. We don’t really watch it that much any more and they just keep raising and raising prices while the number of shows we actually want to watch continue to decrease. This is precisely what I’m worried about with game streaming services at some point …

Update 10/21/2023 @ 10:30am: GeForce Now price increase for Canada and parts of Europe, see:

Update 10/28/2023 @ 12:15pm PST: Came across another article (That’s one pricey subscription) talking about how Netflix is the bellweather for price increases, but also mentions their reliability which is stronger than some of the other streaming services, plus it includes this cool graph.

UPDATE 12/27/2023 @ 10pm PST: In January 2024, Amazon Prime members will have to pay $2.99/month more to get what we’re already getting: ad-free viewing of TVs and movies.

Amazon said in its email that it will “aim to have meaningfully fewer ads” than traditional TV and other streaming providers.

The ads, the company said, “will allow us to continue investing in compelling content and keep increasing that investment over a long period of time.”

Amazon Prime ads on movies and TV shows will start in late January | AP News

The super, slippery slope begins! It’s not long ago the price of Amazon Prime was raised as well, so this is just more piling on.

UPDATE 2/19/2024 @ 8:30pm PST: Willbert Napolean, a Calfornia man, has filed a lawsuit against Amazon citing “deceptive” advertising of services involving the additional $2.99/month required to receive ad-free service.

The change in terms, the lawsuit alleges, violates consumer protection laws in California and Washington which prohibits a company from engaging in “unfair” or “deceptive” business acts and practices

Amazon Prime Video lawsuit seeks class action status over streamer’s ‘ad-free’ rate change (
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