How the Video Game Industry Pivoted to the ‘Catalog’ Model

Some of the most significant developments in the history of video gaming are currently underway.

We are seeing cloud gaming take off at unprecedented speeds, gaming software and hardware reaching new heights, and new frontiers such as VR and AR completely revolutionizing how we conceive of gaming.

However, a more quiet revolution has slowly but surely had what could be described as the most significant impact on video gaming for at least two decades.

The pivot of game and console developers away from the standard ‘single purchase’ model that has defined game consumption since the first Atari game was released, towards a more ‘Netflix-style’ gaming library, has occurred so quickly yet remains largely unremarked upon.

This ‘catalogization‘ of video games stands to completely alter how we engage with the medium and has its origins in surprising places.

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Let’s take a closer look.

Recent Developments

When we describe the catalogization of video games, there are a few major recent developments that come to mind.

One is the release of Microsoft’s Project xCloud, which allows subscribers to ‘stream’ console games via their mobile phone, tablet, or computer.

This means that users who do not even use an Xbox One are able to scroll through a library of 50 titles via their mobile and choose a game to play just by clicking.

This unrestrained, fluid, and instant form of gaming and game selection has been widely replicated elsewhere in recent years.


Apple’s Apple Arcade platform allows subscribers to switch seamlessly between cloud-hosted console games via their online games libraries, whether on mobile, tablet, or laptop.

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Nintendo’s Switch Online subscription service allows players around the world to browse through dozens of games and play whenever they feel like it, all for just $2 a month.

It’s fair to say that we are finally seeing the ‘Netflix’ effect on the video game industry, thanks in large part to new technologies.

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The Role of Online Casinos 

While developing cloud computing technologies have greatly assisted the ‘catalogization’ of video gaming, that’s not the whole story.

When one looks at online casinos, which have been running on such models for decades, it becomes clear that Microsoft xCloud is by no means a pioneer.

Online casinos have built their business model on near-unlimited gaming choice for users since they first opened their doors.

If you’re looking for a platform that allows you to seamlessly hop between hundreds of different games in one library, you can play online casino games that offer hundreds of slot, roulette, blackjack, poker, bingo, and live casino games all in one place.

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There are zero restraints on what games can be played and no need to download any software or ensure that you have supporting hardware.

Since their inception, online casinos have also made use of recommendation and personalization algorithms that show individual users the kinds of games they might be interested in.

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Other major sectors of the gaming industry are only just beginning to consider the use of such technology.

The result has been that online casinos have offered the kind of technology-driven choice and ease-of-play for decades that consoles are only just beginning to roll out.

The video game industry is changing for good. It is becoming clear that in a few years’ time, the idea of paying $70 to purchase, download, and install a single game will seem positively retro.

Perhaps that is for the best.

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Rahul Setia was born and raised in the Kaithal, Haryana. He worked at brands like Jabong, ProProfs etc. He was also in the List of Top 100 Social Media Influencer's 2019 by Status Brew. He lives in Delhi/NCR and is a Digital Gig & Founder of Websites i.e,, Follow me on: LinkedIn, @rahulsetia007 and Facebook.

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