Season Passes – The Way they Should Be

by on 02/28/2017

I suppose we can get this out of the way.  I don’t really care that much for season passes.  I have only bought 2, and I feel it was more because they came with a collector’s edition.  One for Borderlands 2, and the other was Destiny.  Anyway I think they are a waste of money, well not a waste but more a kin to Loot Crate.  If I wanted to buy the content I should just buy it instead of getting a bunch of stuff that is cool, but really not for me.  I always point out the Bioshock: Infinite Season Pass as an example of why not to get a Season Pass. We were promised a cool single player expansion (which we finally got) but we got a multiplayer game mode instead. I never did care for the multiplayer in Bioshock so I was glad I didn’t get the season pass.  But when the we got the single player expansion of “Burial at Sea” it was 2 episodes at $14.99, and the season pass was $29.99. So for the price of the season pass I still got all the experience I ever wanted.  There are always exceptions to this rule and I know there are examples where all the DLC is amazing (Borderlands 2), with the Season Pass completely worth it, but for the most part I don’t think they are.

I kind of fell away from games last year and am just getting back into them, and by doing so have found a couple games that do DLC and Season passes like I feel they should be and surprisingly its one of those devs/pubs that aren’t really that popular, Ubisoft. Last week I got to play For Honor and was really excited about the release so I went to go see which version I wanted to buy, thinking the DLC/Season Pass may be worth it.  I came to see that the DLC is obtainable through normal gameplay, it’s just when you buy the DLC you unlock (or purchase faster) the other characters.  So for a person who can’t play that often can just unlock new things, whereas a player who can play a lot doesn’t need to spend the money.  That is a really cool system! I wondered what other games did it like this, and I didn’t have to go too far at all.  Rainbow Six: Siege is also like this.  I finally just picked it up at 50% off (wanted it digital) and saw that all the new operatives were either bought or rewarded with time put in.

I hope this is a trend that starts to stick in the industry.  This isn’t really a pay to win, although it could get like that for upgrades and skins, but more of a way to get players who don’t have the time to invest in a game.  Now I feel I won’t need the pass, but may get it when I realize how much time I actually play of these new games, but that’s the beauty. I’m sure they will sell the in game Steel or Renown at smaller prices so I can get enough to buy just one character for a fraction of the price of the DLC, just to give me a taste.  Either way they are getting their constant revenue from gamers throughout the year, but people who can play and do play are rewarded as well. They do add other things in the Season pack like skins, emblems, or whatever but that really doesn’t appeal to me (right now) so I don’t have to pay for it.  The 5% renown boost on R6:S is kind of interesting but really not that big of a deal.  So if it takes 25,000 renown to get a new Operative it would only take you 23,750 renown only 1,250 less which is like 2 or 3 rounds.  The goal should be to play more anyway, not rush to the finish so I would be ok with “earning” the characters.

I also understand that DLC like this can get out of hand like GTA:V and their somewhat new Import/Export content where some cars costing millions of dollars.  GTA Money can be bought with real money at a rate of $2.99 for $100,000 up to $99.99 for $8,000,000 in game. Newer cars cost upward $6M so that would equate to somewhere in the neighborhood of $70 to get 1 car.  Again this money can be acquired through normal gameplay and doing heists, but if you just want to have the new cars you can go buy the ATM cards called Shark Cards.  I know that I read an article saying that GTA:V has sold something like 75 Million copies since it came out, that’s 1 copy for every 5ish people in the US alone and 1 in 100ish people on the planet.  Think about that out of every 100 people in the world have GTA:V, that’s insane.  So couple that with all the in game content they are making and it is all profit! The new content costs money to make for sure, but most of it is just new cars, new guns, and new skins.  That just takes their team of 3D/2D artists a couple days to build and perfect and out it goes to sell for $70 a piece… I’m not condemning this kind of DLC, in fact if I make a game I hope I can generate that much fun with just adding new cars, but I would be interested how much money it would cost in real dollars to own everything in GTA online. If anyone knows let me know 🙂

I do hope that DLC starts to go this way where it is almost paying for the lack of time you don’t have or want to put into the game.  Sure you can play 25 hours to get a new Operative in Rainbow Six, but why would you when you can just pay $5 to get them. On the other end that would make a good stream or video for your content, or a fun goal for you and your mates to try and do. Either way I’m glad DLC is going in this direction, but still think the season passes aren’t really that good for the industry.  Here’s hoping that the trend I see in Ubisoft takes off, and money hungry bean counters don’t ruin it.

Do you like Season Passes? Does DLC Make your want to punch yourself in the face!? Let me know, or don’t 🙂

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