7 in 10 gamers are open to renting their video games – research reveals

61% believe a subscription service is the ‘future of gaming’

Harris Interactive / Toluna

Consumer insights provider Toluna surveyed 2,015 active console and PC gamers aged between 16 and 45 in the UK.


Gamers moving away from ownership with subscriptions model becoming more popular

  • Some gamers are turning to subscription services as they feel they get better value this way. Cost is the key driver in determining whether gamers keep a video gaming subscription, with 27% of respondent stating this.
  • PlayStation Plus and Xbox Games Pass are the best known and most widely used gaming subscriptions, but their usage is far below the highs of subscription services from other entertainment giants such as Netflix. For example, 77% of gamers have used Netflix but less than a third have used Xbox Game Pass or PlayStation Plus.

But games on demand is not just a financial decision – quality and value are also key

  • Over half (52%) of active PC/console gamers said they were interested in video gaming subscriptions with a clear majority considering them high quality (79%) and good value (73%)
  • While the research shows that gamers who use services like Xbox Game Pass purchase fewer games, it does not mean that gaming revenues have reduced given the substantial cost of the subscription itself, plus the wider scope to purchase downloadable content and spend on in-game items from a wider roster of titles played.
  • Focusing on Xbox Game Pass subscribers, the core reasons for buying fewer games are down to the large library available on the service, with more titles and genres of games on offer, and ‘Day 1’ new releases of major games.
  • Subscriptions definitely broaden the play horizons of gamers with 3 in 4 respondents saying that they allowed them to try more games.
  • 66% of those surveyed said subscriptions offer many high-quality games, with 61% stating that a subscription model is the future of gaming.

Despite a move away from ownership, that’s still preferred

  • Only a minority of those gamers asked (25%) said they didn’t care about owning games.
  • While the majority prefer to own rather than rent, 7 out of 10 gamers are open to using a subscription model. Only 3 in 10 stated that owning games is important to them and they disliked the idea of subscribing instead of owning outright.

The role of NFTs in gaming

  • 22% of respondents have a negative view of NFTs in general although the majority (42%) are neutral towards them – likely due to a lack of familiarity.
  • 21% of gamers associated NFTs with investment and 1 in 5 believe NFTs are a fad.
  • 18% of respondents believed NFTs were pointless and 17% considered them as gambling.
  • On the more positive side, 17% of respondents said they were innovative and 15% believed they were a smart move.

Steve Evans, head of media and technology research, Toluna, said: “It’s clear from our research that video gaming subscription models are becoming increasingly popular even if gamers still prefer to own rather than rent. Gamers can see the key benefits gaming subscription models provide in terms of cost, quality and value for money. This offers an opportunity for the gaming industry to deliver an affordable and flexible subscription model to attract and, importantly, retain paying gamers on a long-term basis.”


About Toluna
Toluna delivers real-time consumer insights at the speed of the on-demand economy. With a commitment to leading by technology innovation, Toluna revolutionizes market research and empowers clients with the agility to instantly conduct quantitative and qualitative research. By combining global scale and local expertise with innovative digital solutions and award-winning research design, Toluna helps clients explore tomorrow, now.

Media Contact
Articulate Communications for Toluna, toluna@articulatecomms.com


  • Gaming
  • NFTs