Jimquisition: Reasons To Pass On Season Passes

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I agree on a whole though I do find exceptions in my own experiences. I enjoyed the DLC from Borderlands (Game of the year edition) that I purchased the season pass for the second game and I enjoyed that too. Also Pre-ordered the Super duper special edition of Dark Souls 2 as I love the series and I've got the special editions of the previous two and i wern't going to break my combo.

SolveMedia
GAME IS UP

not by a long shot.

Basically I agree with everything he just said. There has only been one instance that I was glad I got a "season pass" and that was in Battlefield 3 with the Premium. Definitely worth the money in my opinion, I think the 5 packs were $15 a piece plus getting priority in queues, a load of continuous bonuses like a new weapons and bonus xp all for only $50.

Jim, You're great man. But you know that. I have a question for you and the room: are there ever instances where you enjoy the core content of a $60 game so much that you don't mind trust falling into a company's DLC bullshit? I think of the recent Battlefeild 3 as an example of this idea. BF3 Premium delivered some great content (and also Armored Kill which was good, but kind of meh to most players who aren't into vehicle combat), and I saved a little bit of money by purchasing Premium early. It was a trust fall of around 30 or 40 bucks, but I was having so much fun with BF3 that I felt it was worth the risk to drop some dimes for the extra content. In other words, cost wasn't a factor in my decision to buy. I just wanted more BF3 and had a fair amount of confidence that the extra content would be good based on how much fun I was having with the main game. Thoughts my people?

kyomi7502:
Basically I agree with everything he just said. There has only been one instance that I was glad I got a "season pass" and that was in Battlefield 3 with the Premium. Definitely worth the money in my opinion, I think the 5 packs were $15 a piece plus getting priority in queues, a load of continuous bonuses like a new weapons and bonus xp all for only $50.

How the...jeez. I think I need to read the comments before I post. I forget I'm part of the Hivemind sometimes.

DataSnake:
The trust issue is why I like Volition's approach to season passes. Namely, that you can buy the season pass at release and have all the A-grade DLC appear in your game as soon as it comes out (in a weird inversion, the B-grade weapon-and-outfit packs are what you have to buy separately) or you can wait until all the DLC is out and then buy the season pass to get all of it at a discount. Hell, the season pass for Saints Row The Third is still available on Steam, and the last piece of DLC dropped more than a year and a half ago!

yeah I liked how they did that. it made a lot of sense, and really worked for the consumer

I typically only get a season pass if I have a good idea of what I'm actually going to get for it. Getting a season pass for Call of Duty? Sure, you know you're gonna get 4 map packs, which will include a zombie map if it's Treyarch's turn at bat. Buying a season pass for a fighting game? You're gonna get several new characters to fight with. Borderlands 2 I was absolutely fine with, because I got 4 enjoyable DLC campaigns (as they said when the season pass was released, no more no less) for the price of 3. In the end, it's just a matter of doing your research. If you don't think you know/trust what the studio is going to release for DLC for a season pass do not buy it (I definitely saw this one coming with Last of Us and Bioshock Infinite and thus didn't buy their season passes).

Jimothy Sterling:
Reasons To Pass On Season Passes

You were promised an episode on season passes, in the wake of Jimquisition complaing about downloadable content. There is a season for all things, and that season has come to pass.

Watch Video

I've known youre opinion on this for awhile, and I've never understood why you disliked them. I looked forward to this episode and I watched it with an open mind, but unfortunately I can't say I'm convinced.

While I agree the idea that DLC can be forced out for Season Passes, or put out too slowly. It doesn't change the fact that for some games I fully intend to buy all the DLC as soon as they come out, regardless of the general opinion of their content.

As long as the option to wait and pick the pieces up a la carte I see nothing wrong in developers giving me an option to buy it all at once at a discount, especially if that gives them more resources to develop their DLC as they intended. (Yes I know thats an idealist and probably naive way to look at it, although I'd like to think if a company screwed me over for that optimism I wouldn't be purchasing their passes for future titles)

There are wrong ways to do Passes. If the content of the pass is not clearly outlined from the start, if there is season pass "exclusive" content, or if there are no discounts for the bulk buy, then I would feel like I'd be getting hit for a pointless cash grab. However outside of those pitfalls, I think season passes just enable the consumer with more choices on how to purchase their goods, and I'm all for consumer empowerment.

is it just me or is Jim Sterling losing weight?

Pat Hulse:

Thanatos2k:

Pat Hulse:

Obviously that's possible, but I'd prefer having DLC as a viable business model for a number of reasons:

1) Development time is hell and it's difficult for producers to find the right balance between focusing on fine-tuning the game engine and the mechanics and producing the actual content for the game. All too often a game will ship before it's ready because the developers were focused more on cranking out a large amount of content rather than perfecting the core gameplay. A DLC model makes it more economical to focus on quality over quantity.

I disagree. It's done the opposite - devs now are being split off from the main teams and shunted onto DLC development INSTEAD of perfecting the main game. Worse, console games are starting to acquire one of the few downsides to PC game development - the "we'll fix it in a patch" syndrome where the initial product is flawed and they'll fix it later (perhaps in a DLC!). Despicable companies like Capcom even have the nerve to include bug fixes and balance changes IN THE DLC, essentially charging you for patches.

2) Too many developers reinvent the wheel even though it's often unnecessary to do so. How many full-priced sequels end up just being recreated copies of the previous game with new assets and content? How many sequels could just as easily be produced as DLC for a fraction of the cost? Imagine instead of rushing out sequels every 2 or 3 years, developers just made one really solid franchise entry per generation and produced seasons of episodic content like "The Walking Dead" does?

Episodic content is episodic content - that's not exactly DLC - that's you buying the actual game in sequential pieces as it gets made, not buying the whole game and then getting extra crap shoved onto it (or pulled from it to sell back to you).

3) It theoretically allows developers to take more risks since DLC tends to be lower-investment. They can try out unusual ideas or test out different mechanics or give younger, less experienced (but often more ambitious) developers a chance to cut their teeth on something smaller-scale in the AAA industry, perhaps leading to more innovation in a perpetually stagnating high-budget industry.

DLC's been around a while now - when has this EVER happened? The closest I can see would be something like Far Cry Blood Dragon which is more of an expansion or mod than DLC. DLC never produces anything that is more innovative than the original game. Modders do - and that's free for everyone.

My point isn't that DLC does all of these things but that, done properly, DLC can do all of these things. I'm not trying to defend the current practice of DLC but rather to suggest that abolishing it entirely isn't the right solution partially because of things like "Blood Dragon" and the concept of episodic content in the first place (which wouldn't be possible without a pre-existing DLC infrastructure)

You act like it isn't possible without DLC, yet history has already proved otherwise.

Blood Dragon is an *expansion.* See, that's how things used to work. The game comes out, if they want to put more work into it and make more content they make an expansion. The expansion would usually have a significant amount of content to justify the price which was often 50-75% of the original asking price. It doesn't even have to continue the original game - it can be a self contained module like Blood Dragon. See Half Life Opposing Force.

Now with almost all DLC they charge you rates that are completely out of whack with the original cost/content ratio of the original game. It's why most DLC is scams, especially costume DLC and the like.

Episodic content wasn't possible without a pre-existing DLC infrastructure? Wrong. Numerous games throughout gaming history have done episodic content of sorts without DLC. .Hack is probably the best example. They had no problem.

Why do we need DLC again? Both methods worked completely fine before. Digital distribution is not DLC. All DLC does is reduce the quality of the development process and rob gamers of content they should be getting.

and also that favoring the "Season Pass" gimmick over the "Day One DLC" gimmick is a step in the right direction. It's still not an ideal system and definitely puts the lion's share of the risk on the consumer as Jim points out, but it also potentially alleviates a lot of the problems you cite. The reason producers shove developers onto the DLC rather than onto perfecting the core gameplay is because until the "Season Pass" gimmick, producers were trying to get DLC ready for launch. With the "Season Pass" method, however, they can take their sweet time without sacrificing potential sales.

It's not a step in the right direction, it's a 90 degree turn after having already gone off the path. You're still going in the wrong direction.

Ken Levine was right, game development takes time. Good lord, Jim, and everyone else, if you bought a season pass, you should have calculated the wait time required to make what's basically an expansion to Bioshock Infinte, which itself spent 5 years in development. Be patient. Stop bitching. It's gonna be awesome, and you know it.

Of course Jim's right that the season pass for every other game doesn't deserve to be bought. But still, if you bought one, you knew what you were getting into.

Season Passes may as well be an all-in-one deal where EVERY. PIECE. OF. DLC. is available at your disposable but that has yet to occur.

Besides, Season Passes have reached an all-time low when the latest Batman title has SKINS as the highlight of it's pass...

If Half-Life 3 came out and had a season pass for DLC I would buy it, because I just trust Valve that much with my money.

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