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…
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.
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?
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?