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The Season Pass

June 7, 2013

Dear Reader,

I’ve spoken before about my feelings about downloadable content.  I’ll sum them up for those who may be new; I don’t like it, and I won’t buy it.  The season pass continues with this trend with a few notable exceptions.

A season pass is a pre-purchase of dlc with the promise of delivery within a certain amount of time.  I disliked dlc enough; now they’re asking customers to pre-pay for dlc that hasn’t even been announced yet.  It doesn’t strike people as a problem that once it’s announced, they may not like it, but no longer have the option not to purchase it.

Let me give you an example.  I loved Borderlands (and am enjoying Borderlands 2), but I hated the Moxxi expansion.  It was so bad, in fact, that it ruined the game for both my buddy and me, and we didn’t do the 4th and final xpac because we were so disgusted with Moxxi.  Borderlands 2 – almost immediately upon being released – offered a season pass for its dlc alongside it’s first dlc package (which is another problem well documented elsewhere).  I might have potentially considered paying for that one (despite my vehemence against DLC), except  I cannot guarantee there won’t be another Moxxi.  If I hadn’t played the first one, I might not know that, and be locked into something I’d hate.

Beside this rather greedy business model is The Walking Dead, which does the season pass correctly.  With Walking Dead, there essentially wasn’t a cost outside of the season pass; purchasing the game as a whole meant purchasing the season pass, as well.  That’s a similar strategy as one might see for an MMO; no initial cost, but a subscription.  The difference is this subscription covered a specific set amount of time (the first “season” of the “show”).

As I’m sure you’ve guessed from my explosive love of that game, I purchased the Walking Dead.  The season pass there made sense; it wasn’t an additional cost for a complete product; it was the complete product.  I’d like to see more of that; there’s no reason a game like Borderlands 2 couldn’t be released in a similar fashion.  Sure, it would be more expensive, but the development was, as well, as I have no problems with that.  Then, since you’d “paid” for access for a whole unit of time, they could release complimentary improvements to the game without needing to nickel and dime you for extra outfits and the like.

Endless Space is a good example of that one, except they didn’t advertise it as a season pass; you just bought the game and get free updates with new features and content.  You know, like games used to provide for us – for free.

She’s smiling because she never played Moxxi’s Underdome.


Stubborn (and fed up with nickels and dimes)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. kaleedity permalink*
    June 7, 2013 10:41 am

    Oh man this is getting so bad in some parts of the industry

    It’s being especially frustrating in fighting games. It’s fun when players purchase DLC characters, you face them online even though you haven’t bought them, and you can’t figure out what they can do locally.

    You basically have to hope that people post accurate data about them on forums. Luckily enough the Persona 4 Arena game hasn’t had this issue. Blazblue had this issue with many characters, and it’s looking the same for Injustice.


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