Arkham Knight’s Season Pass Worrisome for the Industry

Batman: Arkham Knight is only a few months away and I honestly couldn’t be more excited, but the wait for its June 23rd release is getting harder as every day passes. This game is my most anticipated title of 2015. I’ve been playing all the previous entries in the attempt to tide me over but nothing is helping. I want something new to play; I want more.

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Excalibur1316d ago (Edited 1316d ago )

I canceled my pre-order, I'll just wait for a GOTY, I will not be part of rewarding a Devs for their greed.

And before someone chimes in and says all companies have the right to make money, yadda yadda yadda, you're right they do but there is a vast difference between profit and exploitation.

daBUSHwhaka1316d ago

Your spot on.Its greed,nothing more nothing less.Every Dev seems to think its reasonable to jumps on this greedy bastard band wagon and its killing the industry.Exploitation is all this is.Take a look at The Witcher 3,thats how you nail dlc.

zeal0us1316d ago

Sometimes it's not the devs being greedy but rather the publisher.

Notice how both Batman:AK and MK:X had some bs dlc. Who's the publisher and owner of the developers for both of those titles?
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Inc

freshslicepizza1316d ago

"There’s no reason they should be more than half the cost of a video game. Videos games are expensive as is, and now game developers and publishers are trying to nab your rent money with these absurd prices."

there is a reason, it's called development costs have risen dramatically over decades yet game prices themselves have pretty much remained stagnant aside from the one jump when hd came out and the xbox 360 started the price jump from $49.99 to $59.99.

everything in the meantime has gone up due to inflation. even salaries. you mix that with the ever expanding size of development of people working on these big titles, so much spent on marketing and this is what's to be expected. do i want to pay more and get less? of course not but let's not kid ourselves thinking the aaa market will remain sustainable the way it is.

abstractel1316d ago

You guys are jumping to so many conclusions. How do you know its greed? Looking at what they released is included in the $40, I am definitely getting the season pack. You guys are acting like you are not getting a full game if you don't get the season pack -- which you have no way of knowing. If the main game is like Arkham City in scope and length, and the season pass is extra on top of that, I am not concerned. You guys get worked up so easily. Seriously. Like kids who don't get all the candy in the candy store from their mom.

breakpad1316d ago

its not at all worrisome ....just BOYCOTT the damn thing along with the main game ...

DragonKnight1316d ago

Surprise surprise, moldybread is defending this. Still waiting for you to fork over $40 extra on a game and show us all moldybread, and I'm not talking about a Season Pass, I'm talking you paying $100 on a standard edition game based on principle since you're totally for this price gouging.

And your reasoning is immediately made null and void when you consider that PC development is just as expensive and yet immensely cheaper for the end user. I've seen people already talking about being able to buy this game for $35 on CDKeys. Explain that away.

@thunderbear: No, they aren't acting like they are getting an incomplete game. They ARE getting an incomplete game. The Season Pass contains story elements. The second that happens, the game is incomplete. The Season Pass is also NOT worth $40, not by a long shot. Congratulations on being the kind of sucker WB, EA, Activision, and Ubisoft love. You're the reason bad business practices continue.

freshslicepizza1315d ago (Edited 1315d ago )

"Surprise surprise, moldybread is defending this."

if things cost more to make then the additional costs will be passed to the consumer one way or another. is this really hard to understand?

"And your reasoning is immediately made null and void when you consider that PC development is just as expensive and yet immensely cheaper for the end user. I've seen people already talking about being able to buy this game for $35 on CDKeys. Explain that away."

call of duty deluxe edition on steam is already available for pre-order and it's about $100. as for why this game may be cheaper it could be many reasons. one is unlike the console market there is actually a competitive store marketplace on the pc. you see, console makers like being walled off and you will pay a premium to help recoup costs for packaging which digital prices don't have to, along with retailers whom console suppliers want to keep happy. that means the competitive market is far more controlled with console gaming. sony and microsoft are both known for selling hardware at a loss, who is picking up that tab? places like steam means valve does not have that burden and they also don't have tons of development studios they need to finance. this makes the overhead for places like steam and origin much less so they can be more price competitive in the software.

console owners can't handle digital only, so how can we have prices like steam if the consumers are not willing to go there in the first place? some people just want everything to remain without a clue how to keep funding games that are now in excess of tens of millions of dollars. console owners are also not willing to pay more than $400 for a system, so now we have weak hardware with small upgrades and systems still struggling to get to 1080p (more so on the xb1) and frame rates above 30. they cheaped out on the gpu and want to have systems that can make profits. gamers have this mentality that consoles should be less than $400 and games should not be above $60 expect for rare occasions like limited editions. the mainstream gamer is set in their ways and likes to whine when anything changes. there are hundreds of games out per year yet we all focus on the big games like this. so of course they will use those titles to try new means to get more revenue. then if people buy these seasons passes on the popular games that structure will trickle down to lesser known games. it's business and you need to do what it takes to be profitable. so stop thinking like the ps2 days where everything was rosy.

you never did answer my scenario to those who say we get less but pay more than we used to. go buy shovel knight, it is just like nes games that used to cost $50 and it was priced for $15, so what exactly are you complaining about when games like the new batman game cost a hell of a lot more money to make, market and distribute than they did even 10 years ago?

No answer, just putting the onus on everyone else because it's not your job to manage budgets? typical.

"You're the reason bad business practices continue."

that's right, pass the buck and take no ownership at all that games cost more to make. everyone else if the problem expect for you right? go make your own game and then come back to us and tell us all how rich you are since you seem to think you know all the answers. tell us how the industry is to blame. not the consumer who demands better technology, more advanced gaming, prettier graphics and sound. then suggest it's their problem on how to budget the game as long as the prices remain to the consumer. yup, and going to the movies still costs $2.50 too right?

LamerTamer1315d ago (Edited 1315d ago )

The prices on steam are cheap for a simple reason, they are DRM filled digital only that you can't sell used or lend. You also don't really own them either. THEY dictate what PC you can use them on, change hardware and you need to ask permission to move them. They have control of "your" content.


Your NES argument is bad, sorry. The reason is the game market is HUGE today, much bigger compared to back then. Back then if you sold a 500k of a game it was a "big success", now that would be considered a bomb. More sales supports higher dev costs, it is called economy of scale.

freshslicepizza1315d ago


pac-man on the atari 2600 sold 7 million copies
super mario 3 sold 18 million
donkey kong country on snes sold 9 million
gran turismo sold over 10 million

how many copies did the last gran turismo sell in comparison?

it took 10 people to make super mario bros. 3, how many are working on the new zelda? the first gran turismo only had 15 people making it, how many are working on the new one? how much did each person get paid back then, how much is each person making now?

things cost more to make, it's pretty simple to see why some publishers feel they need to try and make money through dlc and season passes to help fund projects.

DragonKnight1315d ago

Yes, yes moldybread, I've heard all your corporate shilling before. *sigh* very well.

"if things cost more to make then the additional costs will be passed to the consumer one way or another. is this really hard to understand?"

Wholly irrelevant to the quote you used. This is a tacit admittance to defending corporate greed. But let's take a look at something shall we?

You say it costs more to make a game today than it used to. Ok. So let's take Final Fantasy VII. Popular game, sold around 9 million on PS1. It cost 45 million dollars to develop. You can check that figure out on the vgsales wiki if you want to.

So, adjusting for inflation from 1997 to today, that 45 million would equal about 70 million. HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM MMMMMMMMM!!

That, funny enough, seems right in line with today's development budgets doesn't it? Yeah, your reasoning is B.S. You have to go back quite a ways for your argument to be true. Even as recent as FFVII's development, devs didn't try B.S. tactics to nickle and dime even though dev costs were comparable. Don't try to feed that garbage here.

"console owners can't handle digital only"

LMAO! Wrong. Console owners can't handle having no ownership of their games. Big difference. You seriously are the most ignorant person I've ever come across. You make general statements that sound plausible but don't hold up to fact or even observable evidence.

"you never did answer my scenario to those who say we get less but pay more than we used to."

I don't recall you ever asking me anything like that, but you probably did and I was just lost in the continued instances where the point flies so far over your head it reaches escape velocity.

Anyway, to answer your question, we do get less today, but we also pay less today. I never said we pay more for less, I stated the fact that we get less. I grew up during NES era, I saw the SNES era selling MK2 for $90 in my country, and all of this was before a standardized price for games that came about due to the success of the PS1. See that's the thing you just don't get. Sales of games are DECREASING compared to what they used to be. Partly this is because of multiple platforms. It's also because the value of games has decreased. Most people don't finish games anymore. It's simply not worth it to them because games are so poorly made and have overbloated budgets thanks to incompetent publishers.

An interesting thing I discovered about physical game production is that the development cost of said game, that is the actual coding, artwork, etc. of the game costs SIGNIFICANTLY less than the marketing and actual distribution of the games. These are publisher costs, not development costs. They have nothing to do with the quality of the game save and except instances where the developer purposely holds back funds.

You just don't get it. You refuse to understand because you're an apologist. PC game development requires the same amount of time and resources as console development, probably less in actual fact. However, the end result is that games made only for the PC are of vastly superior quality than console games. They generally have better production values and less problems. Ports are where the problems come from, and they are always because of incompetent development teams and publishers that don't give a damn.

DragonKnight1315d ago

Part 2: Gaming is hardly more expensive today than it was during the PS1's time. It definitely is more expensive than the Atari to SNES era, but that goes without saying with leaps in tech. Gamers are not to blame for DLC and microtransactions beyond being an excuse to continue implementing them because of idiots supporting them.

The problem is the publishing of games. It's the industry itself that doesn't know how to business, props up retailers they claim to hate, and does everything it can to nickle and dime consumers, or try to remove consumer rights. It's the Free Market at work. Make as much money as possible while trying to offer as little as possible. Those are facts moldybread. I await a picture of you at Gamestop paying $100 for Batman Arkham Knight's standard edition game. Give WB $40 out of principle.

Can't/won't do it? Well you know the saying. Put up or shut up.

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Yi-Long1316d ago

You really believe that if Rocksteady had simply said: "No, we want all this content to be in the game for our customers", that WB had told them they couldn't do that!?

Rocksteady has chosen to play the DLC-milking game, and they've done it with every game in the series.

The Witcher 3 has the same publisher, and they have made it very clear they won't nickel&dime us for small DLC content.

So clearly, you can't just put the blame solely on the publisher.

morganfell1316d ago (Edited 1316d ago )

In 2010, Black Ops was a $60 videogame with 4 DLC packs for $15 each.
In 2011, Modern Warfare 3 was a $60 videogame with a $50 Season Pass.
In 2012, Black Ops II was a $60 videogame with a $50 Season Pass.
In 2013, Ghost was a $60 videogame with a $50 Season Pass.
In 2014, Advanced Warfare was a $60 videogame with a $50 Season Pass.
In 2015, Black Ops III is $60 videogame with a $50 Season Pass.

In 2011, Battlefield 3 was a $60 video game with a $50 Season Pass.
In 2013, Battlefield 4 was a $60 video game with a $50 Season Pass.
In 2015, Battlefield Hardline is a $60 video game with a $50 Season Pass.

I am not defending the price but the story and features they are laying out in the main game seem fairly full prior to DLC. I understand the Batgirl DLC coming later.

However, if it is ready now put it in the game. DLC is most often planned through at the beginning of the game build so that design choices in the initial development accomodate DLC, not only in terms of story and such but also ease of construction as well as deployment to consumers.

This could be the case with the delayed release having allowed sufficient time for portions of the team to complete the add-on. Its delay after the game launch could be for little more than appearances. I also find that offering the DLC for purchase now to be a bit lame. It reveals they are far enough along in the design phase to calculate profit. Or perhaps overcalculate it. They also have yet to ever demonstrate DLC worthy of that price. One short mini campaign and the selection of skins for battle arenas few play along with those same battle arena maps that few play. Lame.

On the other hand, attack WB as you like but they are only offering that which gamers have shown in sufficient numbers they are willing to purchase.

Yi-Long1316d ago

@Morgan: your examples are map-packs for MP games.

I'm not saying I support those (I also waited for the discounted Premium Edition of BF4 before I picked that up...), but obviously good maps in an Online MP game give you endless more hours of gameplay to enjoy, instead of short SP campaigns, skins and Challenge-maps.

morganfell1316d ago


If you note, I am not supporting this DLC at this time, merely stating facts. And whether something is worth it in terms of time vs money is just your opinion, or mine, or anyone's. Value is relative to the individual and not based on some scale that was created outside the laws of time and space.

Some people detest MP DLC where paid overpowered weapons are released only to be rebalanced once the items become free and feel such practices are dishonest at best. It is in effect, pay to win. Yet many of these same people defend such practices and attack free to play titles under the erred belief all such games are pay to win despite the contrary often being true.

Many people can't stand MP and feel that bang for your buck is not based on length of play. For others quantity rather than quality is their sole yardstick. I like MP but I would rather have a meaty, immersive title that is 8 hours long, moved me and made me think after I put down the controller instead of a year long lag fest that takes forever to fix. Other people evaluate all of it, time and content, granting various weights. However, a mini-campaign, a few skins and a battle arena or four costing almost as much as a full title does seem a little on the greedy side.

Yi-Long1316d ago

But Morgan: The people who can't stand MP won't be buying Battlefield or Call of Duty at all. And those who buy Call of Duty for the SP, won't care about MP map-packs, cause it won't affect their SP-experience, nor does it make the SP feel incomplete.

I think we both agree in our stance against DLC. However, I do believe a 50$/€ Season Pass for 20 news maps orso offers more value for money to fans of the series, than Single-Player short campaigns, skins and Challenge-Maps. And again, I wouldn't buy either at full price. But a game like Battlefield 4, with the MP maps, you'll be able to play that for years on a regular basis, and it will keep being a satisfying experience.

Obviously, that also only works with big popular games like Battlefield, where you can be sure there will still be people playing it 2 years from now, as opposed to 'smaller' MP games, where offering map-packs will actually split up the community and make people leave the game completely.

morganfell1316d ago

You are correct that we both have issues with the current state of DLC. Where we part ways is that we disgaree as to the subjective nature of the appeal of DLC. And it is subjective.

I prefer quality over quantity. I play MP but I will go back time and again to an incredible story regardless of its length because for me, story is the most important aspect of a game. But I also recognize that is not true for everyone.

You seem to feel that this is a one way street and no matter what an individual prefers, MP Map packs are a better value...period. And I am telling you that this simply is not the case because it is as the old saying goes - different strokes for different folks.

As I stated, I love MP. And when I game such matches I enjoy them but after 4 hours I walk away...with nothing. Where as story driven narratives tend to always leave me with something, even if it is a question. You have to realize that it varies among players and you cannot make a blanket statement that one form of DLC is a better value because it is at the end of the day...subjective.

LamerTamer1315d ago (Edited 1315d ago )

@morganfell "I like MP but I would rather have a meaty, immersive title that is 8 hours long, moved me and made me think after I put down the controller"

8 hours?! Dude, that is a pretty short game. I mean you can easily beat it in two sittings, and one if you have a little more time. That proves how mission creep for games has set in. Games get shorter and shorter and we accept less and less. Pretty soon 4 hours will be a good length campaign for your $65.00 and you get the "full" 8 hour game if you cough up another $40.00 for DLC missions cut from the original game.

morganfell1315d ago (Edited 1315d ago )


Yes, 8 hours. One of the reasons I say that is I am looking at the bottom end of the SP scale and do so to make a point. It isn't about length. Quality does not arrive with an attached tape measure. The minute you employ such a tool to measure an experience then you have missed the point of that experience.

The second reason is I am not a hypocrite. I say something and then I follow through.

People claim they want quality. They say it all of the time. You can see one thread after another and they talk of how they long for an extremely well made title. Damn the length, give me a game I will remember! They opine constantly of how it is the experience that matters.

Quality over quantity.

Yet when truth be told, they are the Golden Corral of gamers. They just wish to gorge their minds on medicore to low grade offerings with little concern for the refinement. All that matters is that there is a lot of it. Battlefield 4 had some decent maps. But the MP, the rubberbanding persisted for more than 6 months on multiple platforms. Is that quality? And of course there is the overpowered/underpowered weapon sleight of hand to drive DLC for which EA and Dice are famous. They should be ashamed and gamers should crucify them for such actions but they do not. Perhaps their lack of action is a testament to how well they have been played. Marketing has consumed them.

You cannot decry DLC and then applaud the BF series for they are some of the worst offenders.

People can disagree if they want but watch how people respond, saying one thing in one article and acting otherwise elsewhere. Zero consitency.

Art doesn't have a length. I don't mind some mindless gaming now and then and distractions have their place. But I am older and I want moments I can remember. Experiences that provoke me to do something other than a virtual (or real) fist bump. I wish for those instances where I am digging through a book I own because the game referenced something and it gutchecked me, or afterward I sat by my firepit out on my back deck and pondered something the game did that made me reconsider a point of view. Or just simply enjoyed how a team put a new spin on something classic.

And more than what you call mission creep is trash overrun. This is where they throw a great deal of DLC out for a high price yet it fails to work for months and months. Something shorter and playable vs something broken. Something thought provoking vs a shallow experience you forget 2 seconds after setting down the controller. Who is getting worth for their money?

For me and those like me, more isn't about volume but rather the pedigree of the content.

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Yi-Long1316d ago

I absolutely agree with you, which should come as no surprise for regular visitors here.

I'll just be patient and wait for an affordable GOTY edition which should be complete.

If they never release such an edition, I'll go out of my way to make sure these greedy devs won't get ANY of my money.

Vote with your wallet.

I would have had absolutely no problem picking this game up on day 1 for full price. Hell, I was looking forward to it. But not like this.

The Witcher 3 will be bought on day 1 for full price. Their attitude towards DLC is much better, promising actual long extensions, and they have a better track-record and voiced opinion about DLC, so I trust them.

I don't hate ALL DLC. As we all know, there IS good value-for-money DLC available, like the GTA4 Episodes, or the DLC for the first 2 Trials games, etc etc... but sadly, it's rare, and most cases of DLC are just about milking and greed. And I for one won't be supporting that.

Stoppokingme1316d ago

Waiting for a GOTY could become a problem too.

If more and more people start waiting for Goatees, the publishers could catch on and say "screw the customers for waiting so they can get free content" and not include as much content or even bother making Goatees altogether.

kayoss1316d ago

Arkham knight is just the tip of the iceberg. Activision's already announced a $50 Season Pass for their upcoming Call Of Duty game. If these season passes keep selling, the developers will just going to try to push the boundaries. This will lead to:
1. Contents that should have been on the main game will now become DLC, leading to incomplete games
2. DLC/ Season Pass will become the norm for all games and price will increase.
3. Games content will be locked on disc.

caseh1315d ago

"Activision's already announced a $50 Season Pass for their upcoming Call Of Duty game."

It's more than an announcement, it's a bloody pre-order which I find laughable.

The next step here is awarding pre-order bonuses for season passes for a game that hasn't even launched. How messed up is that...

Takwin1316d ago

I also cancelled my preorder. I will wait until this is a complete game, even a year or more later, and on sale for less than $20.

I will make a stand with my wallet and I will not support this tactic of purposely designing incomplete games and selling the complete one for $100.

ninsigma1316d ago

Why not just buy the game and not the season pass?? Batman looks like a cool game and it seems they have put a lot of work into it so I have no problem rewarding the devs with a sale in that sense. But obviously the price of the season pass is ridiculous (in fact most season passess are, which is why I have never paid a cent for one). If everyone just said no and didn't buy the season pass then they'd get the message I'm pretty sure.

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RECONshift1316d ago

I remember the days when DLC was announced way after a game was released, and being super stoked about it. Now just hearing DLC is nauseating, or hearing season pass for that matter. This shit is starting to get old.

kurruptor1316d ago

I prefer knowing ahead of time. I don't collect my games. I trade them or sell them when I'm done with them. So knowing what kind of DLC will come helps me decide whether to keep it or sell it.

Adexus1316d ago

I've got the game pre-ordered for PC but they can shove their season pass up their greedy collective asses.

TransientDreamer1316d ago

Don't like it? Don't buy it. This is ancillary content. You can enjoy the game to its full extent with or without it.

Sokol1316d ago

Can we? How do we know the content they are showing down our throats is actually not a part of a full game?

Because the publisher told us so?

I'm sorry I don't believe that for a minute. I won't support this type of company policy. I'm might be overestimating however this amount of DLC and Seasons Passes leave me little fate and honesty.

I fully agree with you on don't like it don't buy it. :)

TransientDreamer1315d ago

I have more proof that it isn't than you do that it is.

kayoss1316d ago (Edited 1316d ago )

Dont you miss the days of when "DLC" were just an after thought of a game. Small things like different costumes, one or two extra characters, etc... Now they are become small production games of their own.

DLC is no longer called "Downloadable content" its more "Disc Locked Contents".

TransientDreamer1315d ago

Because the medium has evolved and grown bigger to the point where a game's story can continue past what's on the disc.

Takwin1316d ago

I honestly think this content is part of the core game and this is a new trend in gaming by the largest companies to remove basic content and charge for it as DLC. Now the DLC has become 2/3 of the price of the actual game. IT IS LUDICROUS.

n4rc1316d ago

its crap content for the most part...

if people didnt buy it, they wouldnt put it out..

everyone seems to expect the goty edition at launch for $60... the only reason they release those editions later on is because sales have tapered off..

honestly... if devs and pubs followed the model you all seem to want, the gaming industry would die..

Excalibur1316d ago (Edited 1316d ago )

You obviously didn't read the article, this overpriced "DLC" are things one would normally unlock during progression of a game, this content is stripped out during development and then added day one as a season pass so in essence you are paying $100 for the full game.

dcj05241316d ago

Do you have evidence for that?

Sokol1316d ago

You really need a evidence? Do you believe publisher will admit it to you they are ripping you off?

Use your common sense and research. Don't just blindly believe everything. :)

n4rc1316d ago

yeah... thats it exactly but you seem to miss the point

the total content is $100... or you can buy the base game for $60.. this content was created entirely to be sold separately or they wouldnt waste the money on creating it

thats the way it goes... inflation is what it is.. not to mention competition and needing to invest more to stand out etc..

so either game prices go up like everything else, forcing you to spend $100 on a game... or they can go this route and those that want it can buy it, those that dont can still enjoy the game..

coke is a great example.. i remember 750ml glass bottles being 0.75 as a kid.. then i remember 600ml plastic bottles were 0.99... then it dropped to 591ml and now to 500ml all while going up to 1.99...

so they release a little 414ml bottle for 1.49

this is how business works... the problem here is most gamers are kids and havent clued into this fact of the world.. i remember buying road rash on my Sega Genesis back in the early 90s and it was .... $60! (ok maybe $50.. long time ago lol)

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