Season Passes & DLC – Do They Need To Be Stopped?

DLC and Season Passes are nothing new, well all know that right? They’ve been around for a fair time. But, is it just me or are they popping up even more, recently? It seems like every other game gets a season pass added on to it. Not only that, but the fact that these passes and the DLC contain exclusive content for one console or another, or content exclusive to the season pass, it really feels like us as consumers are being screwed with.

With the recent release of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, the obligatory season pass has also been released. It’s offering up 4 loads of DLC across the next 12 months, each one containing new maps and multiplayer modes, and probably some new gear. Fine. That’s what I’d expect to see from a DLC pack for a game so heavily focused on multiplayer. Is it a bit expensive? Yes, probably, but arguments could be made for it being worth it.

Generally I don’t buy in to the season pass, in fact, I’ve never actually bought one, but I can understand why some people would want to buy it, it saves them a bit of money instead of buying DLC packs individually. And as someone who has put in hundreds of hours to multiplayer games, it can make sense to want to extend your experience with new maps and modes etc… But what the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Season Pass has done has annoyed me even more with the announcement that Zombies will be included, and ONLY included in the season pass.

Now, zombies was one of those game modes that really helped the series stand out, people would always talk about it, and how much they loved it, I loved it too. But now they are limiting it to the season pass, and you know that they’ve done this purely because it’s such a popular game mode and Activision and Sledgehammer will feel that it will help sell the season pass. It just feels like a big F YOU to everyone. “Hey guys, we know that you all love zombies, so we’ve brought it back to Advanced Warfare in all its next gen glory… But only if you buy a season pass, LOLZ!”. It could be that zombies will be released separately at a later date, but you can guarantee it would be at a price, because if it wasn’t, that would be screwing over the season pass holders, wouldn’t it! It just seems like this kind of stuff should already be included in the game. It’s probably already on the disc anyway…

z

Want play Zombies? Sure, it’s only £35.

It’s not just the Call of Duty people who are at it though. Guess who else is? Yup that’s right, Activision… Oh, hang on… Umm, well this time it’s with Bungie though, for the Destiny DLC. And this time it just screws over a couple of platforms.

Ok, we knew that Sony had entered in to a deal for exclusive content to only appear on the PS4 for roughly a year. That’s fine, whilst it’s a little annoying to be missing out, I can live with it. But the fact that Xbox players are being charged the exact same price for content that they won’t be able to play for a year, is pretty poor. How about this Bungie, I give you £10 now for the Dark Below DLC, and then next year when you release the rest of the content for the Xbox One I will give you the other £10! Deal? No, didn’t think so… I don’t understand the decision making behind this? Who sat there and thought. “Ok guys, here is the idea for our DLC, offer PS4 players more content, but charge everyone the same price.”. Did they really expect people to just be ok with this? Personally I think the whole marketing and PR campaign behind Destiny has been one disaster after the next.

This trend for so much DLC or exclusive deals needs to stop, or at the very least slow down. I don’t mind buying extra content, but it has to be worthwhile, and the problem I have with a season pass is that a lot of the time you don’t know if it will be worth it because it’s announced so early. That is why I stay clear of them. DLC packs are slightly different because you know what you are going to get.

tdb

For Xbox One it should be “Some of THE DARK BELOW”

The quandary with games like Destiny is that I’m bored of what I have on offer at the moment, so I want to buy the DLC to give me more stuff to play. But I really don’t like the fact that one console is being limited to what they get (albeit for a year), but paying the same price. There will no doubt be many others who are in this situation and go on to buy the new content – including me, probably. I hate it, I know that that makes me part of the problem, but I want to play the game because generally I like it, but, like I said, I’m bored of doing the same stuff at the moment. This will undoubtedly lead Activision and Bungie to think it’s ok because “Hey, people are still buying it.”.

Then there are games that are more focused on single player like Sunset Overdrive, this also has a season pass on offer. But for £15.99 with the addition of two campaign expansions, new weapons, new character outfits, amps, and traps. It actually doesn’t sound like too bad value. But the major thing is, is how long will those campaign expansions be? If they are only an hour or two, I don’t think I want to stump up £15 for that. And that’s where the problem with season passes lies. Having to pay up front for, basically, unknown content. This then gives the developers and publishers free reign on what to do with it, they already have your money, what difference does it make to them?

Sunset_Overdrive_forall_Fizzie

£15 sounds cheap, but how much content is it?

Then we have a game like Halo: The Master Chief Collection, who are offering 4 campaigns, over 100 multiplayer maps, and forge mode all under one game. I know that this is slightly different because it’s a remake. But 343 or Microsoft could’ve quite easily held back some of the maps for some DLC later down the road, and people probably would’ve bought them. But instead, they’re chucking it all in together for one price which represents a pretty incredible deal.

What do you think? Has it all gone a bit too far with exclusive content effectively restricting peoples access to certain elements of games unless you stump up some extra cash?

– Will

 

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11 thoughts on “Season Passes & DLC – Do They Need To Be Stopped?

  1. The one thing that Nintendo is surprisingly ahead of everyone else at this generation so far. Their DLC & ‘Season Passes’ have actually been fairly priced and actually offer content that’s value for money. As mentioned in a previous article the upcoming Mario Kart 8 DLC / Season Pass adds 50% more content to the game. And Hyrule Warriors DLC is adding characters, weapons, maps, missions on a monthly basis.

    Of course this does raise the question of why not package it all into the game on launch?

    But other developers don’t do it either and are a lot more lazy with their content (looking at you WWE2k15… worst season pass ever)

  2. On the topic of the platform exclusive content in Destiny, my guess is Sony paid Activision (or Bungie) some coin to cover the cost of the development. By doing so, this keeps the cost of the DLC the same as the competitors console, yet provides increased value. Not that I agree with the process…

    As to the whole Season Pass concept, I’m not sure where I land on the matter. I appreciate an outfit looking to create a predictive revenue stream to cover the continued cost of development and support, but then isn’t that what a solid title should do in the first place? Create something that has people clamouring for more!

    • I know what you mean. I think my main issue is that somtimes it feels like they hold content back just for some DLC. Obviously I could be wrong.

      • Completely agree with you here. Using Destiny as the example, Bungie has said as much. Sure the product isn’t finished, but the two DLC packs were already well into development with the data on the disc. Imagine if Bungie simply created a timed release for this content and supplemented it with DLC.

        And I failed to mention – no zombies mode means I don’t pick up COD:AW. Not sure I’m down with committing to the Season Pass for the sake of it.

      • I’ve been going back and forth between wanting COD:AW. The zombies thing is annoying. But I think I will still get the game. But not the season pass.

      • If the cost of the title drops a bit – either for Black Friday or the holidays (Boxing Day up here in the Great White North should do it) – I might pick it up. I just don’t want to invest in something that I fire up for a few nights and then put back down.

        *coughcoughWolfensteincough*

      • I used to put many, many hours in to COD, but have given it a miss for a few years. But I feel like this one could get me back in to it. So would potentially be worthwhile.

  3. It would be ok if the pass was reasonably priced but I’ve just bought Advanced Warfare here in Australia @ $69 and the pass is another $65!! That’s pretty much buying two copies of the game! If it was say $30-$40 that’ be reasonable. BF4 and Hardline has done this too which is bad since I remember BF3 + Premium at release was around $80 total!

    • Yea I know what you mean, the prices are crazy. For Battlefield Hardline and season pass it was about £100. Needless to say, I passed on that one.

      • BF: Hardline was worse, $89 for the game and $69 for “Premium”. I was gonna get it at the same time as CoD: AW but the store wouldn’t price match it so I didn’t end up buying it, which ended up being a good thing anyways. Pretty sure I won’t be buying any more future CoD & BF titles because of this, plain-money-grabbingly-ridiculousness!!

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