Video Game Subscription Boxes

One of the hottest trends to come out in recent years is the introduction of subscription boxes. You can have these boxes delivered to your door and there is one for about every theme imaginable. You can get food boxes, yoga boxes, and even sock boxes. The options with these things are truly endless. The only catch is everything is randomized and you have no clue what you’re getting other than maybe a few spoiler items and a set theme. It’s no wonder that a few game-based boxes have popped up. Would you trust someone else to pick your games for you though?

How They Work

So, the way these boxes work is very easy. You put in your consoles and favorite genre’s and maybe even list the games you have. You pay between $24.99 to $39.99 for a basic box full of 3-5 games delivered to your door monthly. There are a few different companies to choose from some dealing in retro and other in newer generation consoles. The magical people behind the box pick out games especially for you and send them to you with care. If you don’t like the games you got though, oh well.

Each month you will be recharged based on an agreement between you and the merchant. You can buy longer-term boxes usually for a small discount. You can’t get refunded unless you have a pretty good excuse for not wanting to continue with the company. There also are usually higher tiers you can pay for that will get even more games sent to your door monthly. All you need is a credit card and a love for surprises to get started!

The only problem is game boxes try to sell you a high number of games for a small price. If you play games and know how a startup company works then you probably know this doesn’t always go so well. These boxes allow you to give it the games you have, but what if you have almost every game because you’re an avid collector? There is no way these boxes can afford to send you Chrono Trigger plus three other games for $29.99.

Ok, I See Some Issues Here…

Well, there actually are quite a few issues with these programs. The first being that the boxes are totally random and this isn’t going to work for a lot of people. This is because just like with food everyone has their own tastes in games. The average gamer could find a new series they love or just end up regretting their purchase. Then you have the serious gamers who are into a lot of genres. These gamers may find that the games they are being sent are mainstream ones that they skipped over for a reason or even cheaper titles they know better than to buy. The problem with this is you can easily end up with something you don’t want.

Next, we probably should talk about the quality of games we may see in these crates. The games can be decent play like something from the Halo series or an awful game like E.T. The games that come in subscription crates historically haven’t been the best. One of the first ones to ever come out literally ghosted and ran off after they failed to understand how much backlash they could get from sending out cheap games. This box actually gave people less value than they would have paid by simply going over to Gamestop and buying the products themselves.

The problem isn’t all to blame on the companies though. Gaming is a very expensive hobby and these aren’t things you can usually buy on a deal in bulk unless you’re a major chain retailer and it’s a newer game. This causes it to be really hard to sell an honest sub box for gamers. Most people subscribe to these mystery boxes not only for the surprise but because you get more than you pay for. This is pretty hard to give you with the game market. Most games are not sold below $10 for retro consoles which are the main focus for many of these companies. So, find three worthwhile game to put in a box and make the customer happy while earning money is pretty difficult.

Another problem is this can turn into a money sink pretty fast. You get stuck with a pile of games you don’t want and are virtually worthless. If you get on of the highest tiers from sub companies than you could have paid for a new game and possibly its season pass. This can make you go from happy to utterly disappointed if you spent a large sum of money on these games. While you may not get games you’ve played before the ones you get may be the ones you never wanted to play before.

Fixing This

This would be a very hard box to get around making successful. Maybe, a larger company could team with Gamestop for a digital box. In this case, you would buy the box to get a game and accompanying merchandise with it. I don’t really see a successful way to have a game box with multiple games from all generations without playing with fire a bit. If we were talking maybe, something like DS game the market prices are decently stable, but even then you’d never really see a Pokemon in the box due to their pricing.

If you do want a mystery assortment of games though there is one suggestion I can give you. Subscribe to Humble Bundle monthly it is cheap and you get a selection of digital games. Generally, all the games are good and they get them due to the charities they support and Humble Bundles ties to the industry. For console games, this may be a little harder to find. If you do feel like trying out a sub box full of games try going for one of the lower tiers to keep yourself from taking too much of a hit.

Jessica has been working with the gaming industry for about two years now. She enjoys playing quirky Japanese games and learning about the newest trivia in the industry. When not working with games you may find her chilling with her naked cat Prince Noko... he's pretty cool we guess.