Jimquisition: Reasons To Pass On Season Passes

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 NEXT
 

I've bought season passes before, but I have a few rules I follow when it comes to them.

1: All of the DLC included must already be out.

2: The DLC has to get generally good reviews from people.

3: The DLC better have story content.

As a result I've only ever bought the pass for Saints Row 3, and Borderlands 2. For both games all the DLC I even wanted in the first place was part of the pass, so it wasn't an issue.

Seasons passes are incredibly pointless on the pc, just wait for steam sales and you can get the dlc cheaper than the season pass.

I've sworn off pre ordering games after Rome 2 was released unfinished, the worst part is that I still enjoy Rome 2 but since creative assembly is very busy patching the game it feels pointless to go on since in a few months the game will actually be finished.

I can't argue that Season Passes are generally-speaking a bad deal and consumers ought to be wary of them, but I don't think that publishers should stop offering them. Pre-selling DLC ensures that the publishers don't get on the developers asses about releasing the DLC sooner since statistically, DLC sells best right after release (source: http://www.joystiq.com/2010/08/16/eedar-consumers-have-greater-interest-in-dlc-a-month-after-game/ ). This is why on-disc DLC was such a common practice. With Season Passes, the publishers get to maximize DLC sales and the publishers get to take their time and do their DLC right.

That said, everything Jim says still holds more-or-less true. When you buy a Season Pass, you're assuming that you're going to want to buy every ounce of DLC released for that game and you're trusting that the developers and the publishers are going to deliver in a timely manner. And unlike something akin to a pre-order or a Kickstarter pledge, your Season Pass doesn't typically guarantee anything specific. From a consumer standpoint, this is almost never a good deal for you.

I just accept this particular extortion as a necessary evil. I generally like DLC as a concept and in order for DLC to be deemed a worthy investment to most AAA publishers, they have to find a way to cash in on it quickly. They tried on-disc DLC and this led to both underwhelming DLC and pissed-off consumers. So now they're trying to have it both ways. To their credit, I can't really see a better way for them to do it. Yes, they could just make good DLC and sell it piece-mail, but again, statistically their audience will have decreased dramatically as they focused their attention on newer, fresher games.

So long as publishers don't FORCE us to buy Season Passes in order to get certain DLC, I'll just see it as an idiot tax so the developers can take their time to make decent DLC for me to buy later on.

I stand by the fact that a season pass is an option, it is a show of goodwill from the purchaser to the supplier that they trust that the DLC will be good and they are paying them beforehand because of that belief. If someone doesn't want the season pass and decides that they want to wait then that is all and good, they get the upside of seeing the DLC but the downside of a higher price.

I also hate it whenever anyone complains about the Borderlands 2 DLC season pass, to me It's one of the few season passes done extremely well. They stated beforehand what people were going to get, released said DLC they promised and made a few more, of course you're not going to get the other DLC with the season pass, that's not what they promised. To ask otherwise is to ask for something extra when you already payed for a set amount of DLC and received the DLC you payed for.

Haven't bought a season pass before the DLC releases BUT I remember the Steam Sales that sold the Borderlands 2 season pass for near half its price so the discount on the expansions was a no brainer, but that is one perk that appears exclusive the PC gaming most of the time (if not all).

I also noticed the clip of Injustice: Gods Among Us, an interesting example as the season pass was for just four extra characters, characters they had planned in advance according to sources for predicted them. The many costumes packs of course weren't and the last two characters were released AFTER the season pass, both being characters fans demanded the most apparently. THEN being a fighting game, there are many huge updates and free compatibility bonuses. And finally in the end it was all made irrelevant with the recent news of an "ultimate edition"..

...so basically they did both right and wrong. Confusing.

Certainly learned my lesson after getting the Borderlands 2 Season Pass.

I loved the game itself and don't regret buying it, but then 4 pieces of DLC on top of that is too much for me.

Season pass = Waste of money in 95% of cases.

So basically, it's like Kickstarter. Crank out some cash and hope it won't turn into shit. Amirite?

I think I saw this "season pass" thing in Gears of War 3 first.

I thought it was pretty stupid from right off the start. But hey, if someone wants to spend their money for unknown, go ahead.

I only really take part in DLC if I REALLY like the game. I ONLY take part in season passes when I know the content in them is actually worth something. So that about equates to one season pass I've gotten pre DLC release and that was for Borderlands 2 but I knew what was in it because I actually took time to do research. I'm actually pretty surprised the Battlefield and CoD Season Passes weren't brought up (premium is a season pass too). Seriously, $50 for maps is ridiculous. I know it takes time to make, but it fits in with the "paying nearly $100 for a game without all the content in it" argument.

I'm just waiting for that fateful day when developers and publishers make a season pass for a game and don't release all the dlc for it before "dropping support because 3 million copies sold wasn't good enough"

Oh Jim, the stuff that gets recorded at the end of each session is just as good as the damn message, but you really had me laughing this last time. Perfect microphone timing.

I agree that ordering a season pass before understanding what content you get is pretty much bullshit on the publisher's part. Only season pass I've bought was for ACIII when I understood what each one was and wanted all of them (who knows why). The crap Gearbox has pushed out with BL2 has been really, really poor CS when, as you said correctly, the good stuff is outside of that. I'm also annoyed that Gearbox feels the "need" to charge money for raising the level cap: that's a patch add-on content, damn it!

I don't buy season passes for two reasons: I don't know what I'll get and the amount of money I'll save on a gamble doesn't outweigh the disappointment of actually getting poor DLC. I'm not saying they should go away, as in some cases it may work out well for both consumer and publisher (CoD? Do they have passes?), but every customer should think a little harder about what they'll get out of their money.

But good on Levine for creating DLC after the core game was done, eh? Haven't you brought up that funny aspect of Day 1 DLC for months?

(And thank God for Jim!)

One of the things no one brought up, not even in the comments is the problems with with hard drive space. The old x-boxes only have 20 gigs and that's not including all the patches and software updates. I don't even buy DLC because it's too much of a hassle to get my console online and have to worry about what to do with all the data.

This used to be the publishers problem because they had to worry about where to store the data, usually on a disk, cartage, ect. Now it's our problem and we're paying the publishers to unload their problems onto ours.

Pat Hulse:
I can't argue that Season Passes are generally-speaking a bad deal and consumers ought to be wary of them, but I don't think that publishers should stop offering them. Pre-selling DLC ensures that the publishers don't get on the developers asses about releasing the DLC sooner since statistically, DLC sells best right after release (source: http://www.joystiq.com/2010/08/16/eedar-consumers-have-greater-interest-in-dlc-a-month-after-game/ ). This is why on-disc DLC was such a common practice. With Season Passes, the publishers get to maximize DLC sales and the publishers get to take their time and do their DLC right.

You know, it is possible to release a game and not release any DLC. Imagine that, selling the complete game the first time and not having to worry about consumer interest waning in your game a month later - because they were completely satisfied the first time!

Ruzinus:
How to Season Pass:

Wait for all the DLC to be out.

Notice that the Season Pass is still sold.

Wait for the Season Pass to get a Steam Sale.

Make purchasing decision.

Pretty much my modus operandi concerning season passes, except I usually buy the game as well.

I tend to view a season pass announcement as a negative when buying a game and makes me hold off until the inevitable Steam sale rather than buy it at full price.

You'd know what I'd love to see more of instead of season passes?

An "upgrade pack" that combines all the DLC into one plus whatever additional in-game features that come with a Gold, GOTY, Complete Edition, or whatever they call it, instead of just buying each one. GTA IV's EFLC was a great decision, but nobody else caught on.

...However, if they do this, they might as well realize that they need to offer it a rather low price. For people that have waited so long, and possibly paid $40-60 for the game, there's going to be little initiative left to check out those expansions or DLCs.

This episode reminded me of car shopping about a month ago, let me explain.

When I purchased the car, the dealership was very big on wanting to sell me the extended warranty for the car. I would have the original warranty but this would give me another 2 years. It was tempting, but in the end I decided not to buy it, why... Because I had no idea what types of repairs that I was going to need to pay for down the road.

Which brings me back to DLC and season passes. Pre-ordering a season pass is just like buying an extended warranty for pretty much anything that could be repaired. You are paying for the repairs / gameplay before you ever know what it is going to be. In the case of the DLC the DLC could be 2 pieces of junk and 1 good DLC, in that case you've most likely paid $20 for 1 decent DLC. If you ended up just buying the 1 good DLC than it would have been more cost effective.

Bottom line is if the company didn't stand to make more money by offering you a "deal" on something, they wouldn't offer it. Sometimes deals are good (got to love Steam sales). As Jim points out, they already have your money, they don't have to deliver on what they sold you, except in name.

I disagree with the part about the Borderlands 2 Season pass. Anyone who was confused about what they were getting didn't pay attention, it specifically said that the season pass include 4 DLC packs. And since they cranked out 3 of the DLC before they released the Psycho, it was obvious the final one would be another level expansion.

Unless you're referring to the "Premiere club" which said you were getting the Mechromancr as a pre-order bonus?

I'm sorry to be that person but... the correct phrase is champing at the bit, not chomping.

The only season pass I've ever bought is for Bioshock Infinite and that was after I had completed the game anyway. I loved the game so much I knew I was going to buy the DLC afterwards despite reviews. Some games just get me that way.

Most times DLC doesn't interest me anyway unless it's a significant addition to the story.

I only ever buy DLC for a game when I've completed it, loved it so much, and wanted more, which is why I bought the extra chapters for Fire Emblem: Awakening. Stuff like bonus weapons, extra EXP don't interest me at all.

Awesome episode. The last bit was very well said.
Mic dropping a la Jim was funny too.

I will pre-order a game early at GameStop just for the simple fact that I like having a sort of 'game bank' where I can go in and make small payments here and there on upcoming titles I'm interested in as I get the cash for them. This has helped me out a lot in the long run and I don't mind pre-ordering a game. I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with that concept. Pre-ordering DLC though, that's another concept entirely.

Just as Jim said, I'd rather play a game first to find out if it's worth expanding upon. In instances like Bioshock Infinite, there are obviously only going to be two of the three DLCs offered by the season pass that will even be worth. An arena-style shoot-'em-up gallery? No thanks. A story told through two DLCs that changes up the story and setting almost completely? Hell yes. But I could have only bought those two on my own and they're the same goddamn price as the season pass, only I'm out money about 7 months ago and still have nothing to show for it.

Halo 4's season pass frustrated me even more - almost all of the map packs released under the season pass were garbage, and now there's a new DLC that not only adds new maps, but other gameplay features such as new armor and armor powers. Oh, and it's not included in the season pass despite being just as expensive as previous map packs. Yeah, that's bullshit. One of the map packs I never even use because I don't play in games small enough to use them.

I'm pretty much done with any kind of season pass. I can see them being great for the dedicated CoD player that you KNOW is going to get all of the DLC anyway, but it all seems pointless for me. The two games I thought I'd really want to have the pass for ended up disappointing me so greatly that I'll be passing up any future season pass purchases.

Yph:
I disagree with the part about the Borderlands 2 Season pass. Anyone who was confused about what they were getting didn't pay attention, it specifically said that the season pass include 4 DLC packs. And since they cranked out 3 of the DLC before they released the Psycho, it was obvious the final one would be another level expansion.

Yeah but that's just it, Jim's argument is mostly that you never know what DLC packs you're going to get with those ambiguously labled '4 DLC packs.' I think a lot of us would rather have had an extra character than a level expansion.

Halo 4 - 3 DLC Packs. I had no way of knowing the only good one wouldn't be included in the season pass. It's purposefully left ambiguous so that they don't have to explain themselves to you when they screw you over.

I buy season passes of TV show son iTunes, though I can safely say that video games are a might different, since while there's... usually a good chance that you'll get your entire season's worth of episodes with a TV show, there's no guarantee that video games publishers will follow through on all the DLC they promise in a season pass.

I personally enjoy waiting for a year or so after all DLC is out and then buying it during a sale. If no sale ever shows up or if it isn't worth buying to begin with then I just never see it.

Probably why I've only bought two season passes in recent years. The Borderlands 2 season pass after everything was out so it was more like me grabbing a bulk package and the damn thing was on sale anyway, and Metro Last Light because I trust 4A that much.

How can you blame them for trying to charge customers for content that's to even be developed. I would love to that in my line of work, specially if by doing so I'm not even required to give even a time table of when the content to be delivered.

Pay now and get the product when we say so. You don't have to be a master mind to see that load of BS on that model.

But the game industry just seems to be spoiled rotten to the point where they actually make demands on the users (at least that's the impression I get by looking at their business models and listening to guys like Jim).

I tell you this, let go of the hype machine. Don't believe the hype, don't drink the koolaid and never, ever pre-order anything. Heck, I don't even buy games on release day anymore. Fight for your money friends cause the people making this decisions aren't and never will.

I don't preorder games very often, unless I know for sure I'll like it, and there's not an insane amount of VARIETY of preorder bonuses depending on which store you PO from (I'm looking worriedly in your direction Assassin's Creed franchise. III and IV coming with flags, mini-statues, books, and whatnot along WITH bonus missions and weapons?) and I wait until I complete the main game before deciding on what DLC to get. I'm odd that way. So this Season Pass nonsense is just that, and I ain't buying it.

Sheo_Dagana:

Yph:
I disagree with the part about the Borderlands 2 Season pass. Anyone who was confused about what they were getting didn't pay attention, it specifically said that the season pass include 4 DLC packs. And since they cranked out 3 of the DLC before they released the Psycho, it was obvious the final one would be another level expansion.

Yeah but that's just it, Jim's argument is mostly that you never know what DLC packs you're going to get with those ambiguously labled '4 DLC packs.' I think a lot of us would rather have had an extra character than a level expansion.

It was announced here http://forums.gearboxsoftware.com/showthread.php?t=144987 that the season pass would consist of "4 add-on campaign packs" that include new areas to explore, new adventures to undertake, new enemies to overcome and more".

Now, I get that not everyone reads the forums, but the information was there.

I think the Borderlands DLC was actually kind of well done as the season pass told you from the get go what you were getting, the first 4 story DLC. The rest, extra heads, colours, etc was the fluff you could drop a few quid on.

This is, of course, helped by the fact that I enjoyed the game and played it alot along with my brother and our friends so not to risky a bet I suppose... couldn't think of another mordern game i'd do it for though...

Well said Jim, I have never bought in to this season pass crock of shit thankfully. You can guarantee it will all end up in a Steam sale eventually so you can grab it then at a even better price.

Also good to see a mic drop, reminds me of pre Escapist Jimquisitions.

Sheo_Dagana:

Yph:
I disagree with the part about the Borderlands 2 Season pass. Anyone who was confused about what they were getting didn't pay attention, it specifically said that the season pass include 4 DLC packs. And since they cranked out 3 of the DLC before they released the Psycho, it was obvious the final one would be another level expansion.

Yeah but that's just it, Jim's argument is mostly that you never know what DLC packs you're going to get with those ambiguously labled '4 DLC packs.' I think a lot of us would rather have had an extra character than a level expansion.

Halo 4 - 3 DLC Packs. I had no way of knowing the only good one wouldn't be included in the season pass. It's purposefully left ambiguous so that they don't have to explain themselves to you when they screw you over.

Except in the case of Borderlands 2 they clearly announced that the season pass only covered the 4 story campaigns, not the characters or cosmetics. I saw the announcement in several places. They didn't at any point just ambiguously say they'd release some DLC, they said exactly what we'd be getting. In my opinion, Gearbox handled it fine with BL2.

The root of this entire problem is trying to sell a product before it's out yet and even proven to work in the way someone intends. In the long run, it's basically trying to play a balance sheet out of consumer loyalty to see how much they can wring out of individual fans before finally mothballing whatever franchise they are attempting to sell.

Heck, part of the reason they are even doing seasonal passes is so that they can sell DLC to people who normally wouldn't buy it because they finish the game and move on before it gets released. This is especially true of linear single player titles like Bioshock Infinite, where once someone beats the game chances are they probably wont come back for DLC.

I've always thought it was pretty shitty of developers to release a season pass *ALL FUTURE DLC!* There isn't even an asterisk that says "some". Even at THAT they can decide what to include or exclude from the season passes. It just reeks of something horrible that I can't articulate.

We're getting a bit of an echo here but I agree that season passes are mostly harmless. The offer doesn't go away after the game is released so there's no need to pre-order them. They're normally pretty up front about their content. They extend the life of games at a reduced cost. The DLC itself may not be up to your standards but that hasn't got much to do with selling it to you at a discount.

The only Season Pass I've ever bought in my life has been that of Darksiders 2, I already finished it, loved it and I wanted more, so I went ahead and bought it.

Also, I already knew what it included and it was at a discount, wich this game also applies the mess of not including every bit of DLC on it's Season Pass a la Borderlands 2.

For $5 I can't complain, but I definitely wouldn't buy it at full price.

My logic for not buying a season pass is quite simple. I don't know what the content is going to be, and by the time it's out I'll be done with the game anyway and move on to something else. If I want the DLC later on, I can get it for less than the season pass. It's not going anywhere.

The food analogy is inaccurate Jim. A more accurate one would be that you buy and get a 3 course dinner (the game itself) and being told to pat in advance for the promise a "special" dessert. You have no idea what it is but you're expected to pay for something that could range from an expensive cake to a bowl of toxic mush. That is assuming you do get the dessert given the pastry chef could quit in the next 5 minutes.

THAT's a more accurate analogy. Season Passes sell you on the promise of a vague unknown. You don't know what it is or even if it will come out. And the game industry isn't trustworthy enough to make such a promise worth the time to say it.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here