Gaming PC as a Subscription

Gaming PC as a Subscription

When you have a hammer, everything becomes a nail.

During my time selling pc components and systems, this idea floated around for years, creating a tiered subscription model for pc hardware. You would get updates according to your tier based on a pre-defined upgrade schedule.

It has some great benefits, including a much more substantial customer connection than a one-time purchase. You get more touchpoints like during the upgrades and would add a lot more value by offering extra services.

But as it is typical when you are product instead of customer-focused, you are looking for ways to sell your product differently or to different segments. When you look from the consumer side, you realize that this problem is solved much better technically with cloud gaming.

You have the same monthly subscription model, but instead of asking consumers to pay for the hardware that runs your games, you remove a necessary evil by letting customers only pay for what they want.

Sure, gaming pcs also have other possible use cases, but when you look into 1000$ graphic cards every year and adding the cost of the rest of the hardware with roughly 500$ and an upgrade cycle every three years to stay current. You end up with 1500$ for 36 months, which approximately equals 42$ a month. Much more than the 9.99$ something like Stadia or Amazon Luna asks for.

This is just one story of many. It only marks for me a very profound one.

As I have spent years in the category, you become more and more pulled into the narrative. You start to lose track of the big picture and the overreaching goals. You lose track of customer needs and instead focus on the business needs. Create more money, sell more, get customers cheaper.

When you start to lose track of the actual customer problem you are solving, you are not getting forced enough to innovate and disrupt yourself. You become so focused on re-purposing your current assets in new ways that you get blind to actual innovation and advancements.

Those disruptions are happening in every industry, with even the best companies in it. What is also good to keep in mind is that even relatively new industries are not protected against it.

Especially when the disruption might come from a not so obvious source.