Why You Should Rethink Buying a Season Pass

Matt Trovalli of Gamers Heroes writes:

The trend of Season Passes in the world of gaming is only becoming more standard. If you don't know what a season pass is, generally, they guarantee access to DLC (Downloadable Content) for whichever game the pass was purchased for. For example, Ubisoft recently released a Watch Dogs DLC that adds 3 missions and a few guns and player customization options. Now, this DLC is selling standalone for $6.99 without the season pass, or players who purchased the season pass for $19.99 get access to the DLC a week early and also get it "free". Free meaning they don't have to pay the additional $6.99 because they bought the season pass for $20. The trend of "Season Passes" is definitely something I wouldn't mind seeing an end to. Here's why I'm against the concept of a season pass and why you may want to think before you buy.

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ArchangelMike928d ago (Edited 928d ago )

I agree that season passes are abit of a scam. I mean look at Battelfiled Premium. You're basically paying £100 for the full game. £60 for the original and £40 for premium.

However, with the industry getting high off DLC, I can't see the practice stopping anytime soon unfortunately. Especially as some games do offer very good DLC/Season Passes. Games like Bioshock Infinite and TLOU which offer extra episodes as well as other content I don't really have a problem with.

Ghost_Nappa927d ago

The full game is $60. Dlc maps are not part of the full game.

admiralvic927d ago (Edited 927d ago )

"The full game is $60. Dlc maps are not part of the full game."

I think Mike is doing the oh so tired and practically obligatory "its not the full game unless you buy everything, so you suckers are practically paying $100 for the 'full' experience" argument / post.

guitarded77927d ago

Some games have free DLC maps, making the DLC part of the 1 time purchase experience.

I can understand huge franchises like CoD, Halo and Battlefield doing it. They have a large enough player base that charging for maps doesn't tear the community apart, but too many niche, or fewer players are riding the DLC train.

I've only bought one season pass, and it was one of the earlier games to offer a season pass. Being early into the Season Pass thing, I expected all DLC to be included... I as well as many other gamers at the time didn't know that it just included certain DLC. So when they kept releasing costumes and skins and other things for an additional charge, I kinda felt like the season pass wasn't worth it.

I saved like $10 off buying all the map packs, but I really didn't play the game online enough for it to be worth my wild. I'm just not that into competitive MP. What does bother me is when they add a mode like co-op through DLC only, and don't include it in the core game. That's annoying. I'd like all game modes included with the $60 game I bought. If they want to add maps, costumes and skins with DLC, fine. Just don't take something that should be included (like a game mode) and make me pay for it separately. Most shooters include the campaign, competitive and co-op game modes on the disc, but recently, one of my favorite shooters decided to add co-op (my favorite mode) through paid DLC after I paid $60 for the game... pissed me off.

Sorry if I rambled... it's 6am and I've been up all night.

admiralvic927d ago

"I agree that season passes are abit of a scam. I mean look at Battelfiled Premium. You're basically paying £100 for the full game. £60 for the original and £40 for premium. "

I don't really get this math or really why people act like Season Passes are these separate entities. Season passes are, in the most literal of terms, nothing more than a bundle. Premium or not, if EA wants to charge £40 for a series of map packs, they're going to charge £40 for a series of map packs.

Naturally being that season passes are a bundle, they hold the same risks / rewards you would expect from a bundle. That is you're trading choice and options for a lower price and or some sort of bonus. Thats it and really season passes in a nutshell.

"Games like Bioshock Infinite and TLOU which offer extra episodes as well as other content I don't really have a problem with."

I'll probably get a bunch of disagrees for this, but how are extra episodes and such less problematic than map packs? Speaking for myself, I have less of a problem with map packs, since they don't feel necessary and are only important if you really enjoy multiplayer. Whats also great about map packs is that they release after a couple of months, which is usually enough time for them to make multiplayer feel fresh, even if you play the game every day. So even if you want to argue someone is paying "£100 for the full game," said person could still potentially squeeze 200+ hours out of it versus what, 30 max BioShock Infinite?

ArchangelMike927d ago (Edited 927d ago )


I hear what you're saying, and you are right that, bottom line no one forces a gamer to buy DLC. But the fact is that while a game is being made, more often than not, when it is "content complete" - that content then gets split up and sold separately as DLC. Heck most of the time the DLC gets announced before the game has even gone gold, just to prove the point. So yeah, essentially gamers are getting charged more for the "full game".

Why I sited Bioshock and TLOU is because the extra DLC content (the expansions) were made after the game had already gone gold. So they are true expansion packs in that sense, and were not just held back at the time the game went gold, so as to be sold separately.

My issues (and I think what the article is getting at) is not as much what the gamer chooses to buy at the consumer end; but the problem is that games are being sold 'piece by piece' to the gamer by the publishers.

Watchdogs is the best (worst?) example of this. There was so much DLC content for Watchdogs before it was even finished, and Ubisoft did not offer a single bundle that included all the different DLC. So the gamer doesn't really get to play the "full game" with all the 'content complete' missions - but only selected parts of the content complete game - depending on what version they chose to buy.

There is no doubt that in 6-8 months Ubisoft will release the 'Complete Edition' with all the DLC for another £60. It's a scam!

ITPython927d ago

I rarely ever buy DLC, never seems worth it. I think the last time I did buy DLC was back in my Killzone 2 days in 2009. Usually the only DLC I get is from promos/pre-order bonuses and whatnot.

I always find it amusing the people who buy these season passes, I'm guessing they are the very same people who buy the "Limited Editions" of games for some outlandish price.

fenome927d ago (Edited 927d ago )

I've never bought a season pass and never will, I'm not down with grab bags. I did get the Limited edition of Destiny though, because I'd rather spend money on physical things (unless it's a vacation).

I like all the little stuff it comes with, and I'm interested in the lore. The Ghost edition didn't appeal to me, I would've prefered a statue over a toy. Honestly, I was hoping for a better Collectors edition. I would have swooped on a statue of The Traveler with a quickness.

Didn't even my Limited version came with the expansion pack too, so at least it got me the little extra goodies I like and also came with its moneys worth of in game content as well. Win-win for me.

matt139927d ago

Who the hell pays £60 for a game?

If you shop around a next gen game won't cost you anymore than £45.

Dark_Overlord927d ago

I've not paid more than £25 brand new (and that was for the Wolfenstein Occupied Edition), just waiting a week or 2 from release makes all the difference :)

fenome927d ago

I don't have a problem supporting certain developers. If someone makes games you like then you should contribute that. You do have to be careful though, because there are a ton of get the money and run, shady, and BS business practices going around right now. It kinda feels like some people will try the absolute worst just to see what they can get away with on BS hype and PR alone.

If you do actually support a developer though, you need to actually support them, unless you'd rather play a casual game on the phone of your choice.

Off topic:
I don't even own a cell phone anymore (haven't in over a year), and love the freedom after it's gone. I'm always around someone that has one, and have landlines at my house, either get a hold of me or I'll get a hold of you. If we don't end up talking then it obviously wasn't that important to begin with. I'm sorry, but my phone beebing at me at 2am because you posted a video of your daughter sneezing just makes me want to throw my phone at the wall.

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Cobra951927d ago

Never bought one. Don't think I ever will. It would have to be one hell of a deal for *known* paybacks. My biggest problem with the concept is that we don't know if what we're going to get over the period of the pass is great or terrible. I'm not willing to take that risk, even if I otherwise have confidence in the developer.

admiralvic927d ago

"My biggest problem with the concept is that we don't know if what we're going to get over the period of the pass is great or terrible. I'm not willing to take that risk, even if I otherwise have confidence in the developer."

This is probably the best mentality you can have. So far I've only gotten two season passes, which include Borderlands 2 and Destiny*. Now I bought Borderlands season pass because I thought the original game had some of the best DLC out there. With the exception of Moxxi, almost every pack had a memorable moment, awesome loot and a fair amount of content. However, I can't say the same for Borderlands 2.

For starters, 3/4 of the packs were outsourced and while I loved Torgue (I happened to get a DLC code for that pack, which really added insult to injury ~_~) / enjoyed Tina, I could live without playing Scarlet / Hunt. The packs also introduced a lot of trivial elements, were fairly glitchy, had odd restrictions (1 raid boss fight a day?) and much more. Needless to say, I learned my lesson and will gladly pay more more for the option to pick and choose what I want.

* I am considering the expansion pass thingy a season pass and I only got it because I preordered the LE.

Cobra951927d ago

Borderlands 2 is the perfect example. I considered the pass briefly, after my good experience with the first game. But I passed, in part because I wasn't happy about the direction they took the sequel (more MMO, less RPG). So I put the game down for the better part of a year. Then Assault on Dragon Keep came out (DLC 4), and that drew me back into the game. I ended up buying Torgue (DLC 2) and eventually Scarlett (DLC 1), both at a deep discount (like $5 each, if memory serves). I skipped Hammerlock (DLC 3) and all the silly added minor fluff entirely (like the hunter packs). I ended up spending less than the price of the season's pass, and getting only the stuff I wanted.

CorndogBurglar927d ago

I usually dont buy them unless its something like Battlefield or Halo. Something that I know I'll come back to in between other games. Most games I just usually get tired of before the 2nd or 3rd DLC is released, so season passes usually aren't worth it for me.

showtimefolks927d ago

Bought my one and only with borderlands 2 and wasn't happy. Never buying one again. L:e the dlc come out and than we will see, too many times the dlc isn't worth it anyway

also its pretty sad that a game developer usually has a separate team doing DLC while the main game is in development.

but the other side or atleast the argument i hear all the time is this. Well now games are supported long after release as to where once you were done with the game before that was it

I am a single player gamer so if something comes along than i am interested

XtraTrstrL927d ago

I bought one for Resogun recently, though it was more reasonable at $8. That's the only one I recall ever buying. Microsoft made the charge-em-for-everything idea popular. These greedy pubs and devs aren't gonna stop anytime soon, as long as people buy it - they'll dish it out.

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