Are season passes a bad sign in games?

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After watching this:

I'm starting to wonder whether season passes just mean I should pass on the whole game itself. I've bought a few season passes before, the one I remember most being Halo 4. 343 is fairly upright with their business practices (they did give away ODST on the MCC for free as an apology for the multiplayer issues) and I think the season pass was worth it because I throroughly enjoyed Spartan Ops, but games lately have started to show that investing in them is NOT a guaranteed good time. Plenty of hyped games have ended up mediocre or worse (Destiny, Evolve, Titanfall, The Order: 1886), meaning a lot of people who blew money on them for extra content are probably not happy about that.

Add in the fact that knowing exactly what DLC you're going to make down the road leaves little room for added creativity and seems just a bit sketchy (in my opinion), and it just seems like season passes are something to dread rather than embrace, ESPECIALLY at those prices. Anyone feel the same?

Yes. They're probably my least favorite aspect of DLC that's getting embraced by game developers and publishers at this point.

It's obnoxious to get shortchanged when you don't want to play ball with exorbitant prices. And it rarely feels like it's worth it unless there's a very clear and visible plan laid out for the consumer. Even then, it's basically dropping money for something that sometimes isn't even really guaranteed. Even when there's a plan laid out stuff like this gets me very wary. Just looking at Mortal Kombat X and knowing I have to spend $30 extra to get the "full" experience with four new characters that don't even really exist yet (save Jason)...hurts.

Yeah, I could buy them individually, but the season pass price is better overall. Because fuck you.

I'm glad I haven't been buying true 'AAA' games for years. I'd be extremely fed up with all the shit that goes on with them.

Maybe I should care more....but I don't.

I treat a Season Pass like every other piece of DLC; do I think it's worth the price?

If yes, go for it! I just saved some money!
If no, don't buy it.

Granted, a large part of this lack of caring is my gaming habit. The vast vast vast majority of stuff I buy is (at least) half a year old because games drop in price so quickly that I find it really silly to buy at $60 unless I really want it. So the vast majority of time, what I get for the Season Pass has already come out (or at least most of it has) and I am now choosing between just buying all the DLC at once for a savings or skipping it.

They're a mixed bag, but I'm generally against them. Most of the time they're an excuse to either short the buyer on content, or take an ungodly long time to release it. Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel was really bad for the first, and Burial at Sea for Bioshock Infinite is a good example of the second.

For those unaware of the bullshit BL:TPS pulled, here's a basic summary: BL2 had a season pass that promised four DLC items, what we got were four very solid campaign DLCs, one of which is possibly the best expansion ever. Outside the season pass, there were also two extra characters (well, one was a bonus for...was it preordering or the special edition?), and four mini-DLCs that not a lot of people bought. The Pre-Sequel had the same offer...but when the DLCs came out, the season pass content was two characters, an arena DLC (BL2 had two of those in the main game), and one decent campaign expansion.

I don't think they're inherently bad. Essentially a Kickstarter (sort of) for an expansion pack delivered in installments.

That's not generally the form they've taken though. Even worse, there's been a trend of the Season Pass not covering all DLC, or even all DLC inside a time-period, causing confusion and devaluing the concept further.

You know you can buy a season pass at any time right? You don't have to buy it at the same time that you're buying the game. If you bought the game and you didn't enjoy it enough to warrant the purchase of a season pass then you don't have to buy the season pass. Similarly if you don't know how much content the season pass is actually going to provide you could always wait to see some of the dlc that's released before you decide to buy the season pass.

The problem isn't season passes, it's people buying content that they've never seen and then that content not living up to their expectations. If you buy a mediocre game and at the same time buy a season pass for that mediocre game and realize you don't actually want the dlc, then that's your own fault. Season passes aren't a limited time option, they aren't something that you have to preorder, you can buy a season pass at any time.

I'm... mixed. If the publisher or developer has acquired a certain amount of good will from me, then I have no issue shelling out more money after I've bought the base game. It's especially important to me that the DLC I buy is not content ripped out of the main game. If the DLC is actually extra content and I believe it may be good, I'll buy it, if it's a season pass and the developer has good will from me, then I'll buy the season pass. I've bought two season passes, one for Assassin's Creed Unity and the other for Injustice God's Amoung Us. One disappointed greatly, thankfully, I was given Far Cry 4, but chances are I'll be buying AC Victory used this year, and the other was okay. On an unrelated note: Batgirl kicks much ass.

I've no problem with extra content, no matter how much it is. As long as the main story, and side missions started in main game, aren't held behind a pay wall, I'm okay with it. Gamer's could opt to not buy the season pass and wait until they know, in great detail, what they'll be getting. If anyone buys a season pass and is disappointed then, at this point, the blame is on them. We've been given examples of season passes meant to screw people out of money and all over the internet there are articles saying very clearly, in big letters, DO NOT BUY ANY SEASON PASSES. When the player buys a season pass they take a leap of faith. They can't be mad when the hay bale isn't there to catch them. They should have looked first. Especially when so many have face-planted before them and even more so when it's their fifth time jumping.

I do intend to get the season pass for Batman Arkham Knight. The reason for this is because I already know what I'm getting. The Arkham series very much so reminds me of Dynasty Warriors. The mechanics stay very much the same, so gameplay wise you already no most of what you'll be getting. That, and Batgirl has been confirmed as DLC. So yeah. I'll pay for Batgirl and Nightwing. I'll take this leap of faith and count on Rocksteady being there to catch me. If they don't, I wont complain. I'll learn that Rocksteady is not to be trusted and will change views accordingly. Live and Learn.

Dirty Hipsters:

You know you can buy a season pass at any time right? You don't have to buy it at the same time that you're buying the game. If you bought the game and you didn't enjoy it enough to warrant the purchase of a season pass then you don't have to buy the season pass. Similarly if you don't know how much content the season pass is actually going to provide you could always wait to see some of the dlc that's released before you decide to buy the season pass.

Quoted for truth. The issue is increasingly companies are expecting you to spend money on something that hasn't been released and you don't know the quality of. With season passes they are also often being incredibly vague about what you are going to get. Adding insult to injury, they often don't even include everything under the season pass.

The optimal time to buy a season pass is probably just after the final piece of content has been released. Then you know exactly what you are going to get and can evaluate it sensibly.

Kolby Jack:
After watching this:

I'm starting to wonder whether season passes just mean I should pass on the whole game itself. I've bought a few season passes before, the one I remember most being Halo 4. 343 is fairly upright with their business practices (they did give away ODST on the MCC for free as an apology for the multiplayer issues) and I think the season pass was worth it because I throroughly enjoyed Spartan Ops, but games lately have started to show that investing in them is NOT a guaranteed good time. Plenty of hyped games have ended up mediocre or worse (Destiny, Evolve, Titanfall, The Order: 1886), meaning a lot of people who blew money on them for extra content are probably not happy about that.

Add in the fact that knowing exactly what DLC you're going to make down the road leaves little room for added creativity and seems just a bit sketchy (in my opinion), and it just seems like season passes are something to dread rather than embrace, ESPECIALLY at those prices. Anyone feel the same?

They have been around for a long time now it seems, and I've hated them from the beginning. I think it was bad enough to have DLC being developed alongside the games themselves, and the idea of pre-ordering DLC as part of a season pass before a game is even released is one of the most ridiculous ideas I've ever heard of, that said it's been going on for a while now, and since people will keep buying it, it's not going to change. As much as I'd love to see some kind of massive video game crash followed by a re-birth I just don't see it happening. My generation spent too much time listening to those talking them down about how it was no big deal, this kind of thing snowballed as we feared it would, and now we're seeing millennials who have never known things to be another way just accepting it.

I try not to be defeatist but when it comes to geekdom, politics, and everything else I'm actually just getting tired. What few minor points I've made have been outweighed by spitting in the wind too many times, and being the guy who can say "I told you so" after the fact loses it's appeal after a while especially when nobody remembers or learns. The only problem with just saying "let the industries gouge everyone, I'm done" is that sadly it effects me too.

Games becoming more expensive is not necessarily a bad thing - That is, as long as that extra money translates to quality.

But paying for things in advance is most certainly not doing us as customers any favours. Paying in advance is what enables companies to ship products that are completely broken yet still make a profit and stay in business.

Pre-orders and season passes are both paying in advance for products of indeterminate quality and/or quantity.

If I can ascertain that it's worth my money, I don't mind dishing out that money. Would I prefer not to? Sure. But things cost money to make.

Season pass to me just guarantee that I'll be waiting for the GOTY edition, which basically any good game will have eventually.

I only ever buy season passes after all the content has been released for it. That way, I know exactly what is in it, how good the stuff in it is, and I get a discount.

The only time that I ever got a season pass before everything had come out for it, was the Batman Arkham Origins pass, and that was because it was on sale at Humble. Lo and behold, I was disappointed. Sure, the skins were a nice touch, but the Ninja Bruce Wayne character was crap, and the Cold, Cold Heart story DLC broke for me, and I never went back to it.

Season passes are a great deal for you, but I would only advise getting one when all of the content inside has been released so that you know exactly what you are paying for. The problem with DLC is that it has a habit of being really wonky sometimes. Sure, you can get something great like Undead Nightmare for Red Dead Redemption, or you could land yourself something fairly crappy like a skin pack or a horse armour pack. Pre-ordering DLC just seems a little weird to me, especially if you do so before the game is even out.

I like season passes. They tend to save someone five or ten bucks buy thr DLC in bulk than individually. Personally I think people should wait until all the DLC is out to get the season pass. I also believe that Collector's Editions should come with the season pass like how Mortal Kombat X did.

I think the fact that anyone, anywhere is defending immensely anti-consumer practices like this is extremely sad.

Buying something digital in advance is kind of weird to me. Pre-Orders make sense when it's a physical copy which might actually be sold out, PSN or Steam aren't going to run out of digital copies of a game.

Anyway only times I bought a Season Pass were The Walking Dead which I didn't regret and Bioshock: Infinite after all the DLC was released because it was cheaper than just buying the two parts of Burial at Sea separately. I really like the idea of giving you a discount if you buy all the DLC for a game after it's released but not if you are charging extortionate prices for that DLC in the first place with the Season Pass being the reasonable price. Like how a store might sell something for a higher price for a month so they can then reduce the price to it's actual value and act as if you're getting a good deal. On a similar note I also like Game of the Year/Ultimate Editions of games with the base game and all the DLC.

Kolby Jack:
343 is fairly upright with their business practices (they did give away ODST on the MCC for free as an apology for the multiplayer issues)?

Wait when did they give away ODST?I have the MCC and don't recall getting a copy at any point

They are a good sign for me, because that makes it very clear the game is actually getting finished within a year of it's release and I should wait until it does.

If you can't keep your pants on however that shit gets you shafted.

Pretty much.. they're asking you to pay upfront for stuff they may or may not make. It's like Early Access but with less assurance.

The concept behind season passes is interesting, but the problem is that not all developers will manage to live up to their own promises. I paid for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel's season pass in the assurance that 2K Australia had at least a year's worth of content updates lined up - but we know how that turned out.

On the other hand, I'd paid for the second game's season pass as well, and THAT one really gave me enough for my money. Granted, Krieg and the later level expansions weren't part of the pass, but having access to all of the added campaigns at a reduced price was a fairly solid deal.

Overall, however, season passes make me think we should just skip buying games on Day One and wait for the inevitable GOTY edition that packs all, if not almost all of the DLCs in with the retail experience, at the cost of said retail experience.

What I don't like about season passes is that other than the first thing, people who buy them early don't really know what they're going to be getting themselves into. I suppose I have bought a season pass recently, if the Mario Kart DLC bundle can be counted as such, but Nintendo was really upfront about what was included (8-tracks per pack, 3 characters per pack, 3 vehicles per pack). Then there's Arkham Knight which is offering a $40 season pass which will include...Shut up.

I think it all depends on the source really. FPS titles almost never get complete/game of the year editions that have everything released as DLC like the Arkham games did so the only way to really get everything would be to download those extras. I see that as being kind of shitty since I'm the kind of person who has no problem snubbing a game upon release and waiting 5 months to a few years down the line when I can pay $20 or less for those same games + all of the bonus content.

captcha: Get Over It...no, I don't think I will.

Only two types of people buy into season passes. People with a lot of money or people with not enough brain. It's a ridiculous concept. By refusing to be vocally against season passes, gamers have allowed the gaming industry to take another step towards milking the consumers by chopping off their games into pieces. And now they want you to pay for something without telling you what it is under the threat that if you don't get it, you'll be missing out. It's not going to disappear for fuck sake. It's all digital anyway. The game companies have finally found a perfect way to sell you their games for $100.

I can't blame the game industry. The opportunities are too good to pass up.

Gamers buy those vague promises out of their own volition, when they can simply wait for the DLC to become discounted.

The consumer has a right to complain if the pass doesn't live up to expectations, but if the promised content was vague enough that there can be no false advertisement, all you can still say boils down to: I paid for shit, the end.

Not particularly. I just wait until all the DLC is out and if a Season Pass then seems worth it, then I pick it up.

Just pick up a game's "complete" edition when it becomes available. If one doesn't become available, make a choice some time after release and the DLCs are out. Pre-ordering and season passes are paying for vague promises for something that doesn't even exist. If you like paying for things that don't exist based on a promise, for $39.99 up front I'll ship you some snake oil in 3 months that cures ANY ailment.

What you don't like to pay $30 and not know what you are buying? What next time you say you care about value and..oooh you are one those gamers.

Yes I agree, these "Buy our DLC even though you are not sure what is in it" deals are horrible for the person who pays for it. Sure you might get that piece of DLC but what if it isn't that good. I am not even going in what if it sucks I just say what if it is kinda there but not really that good.

And worse what if DLC that was promised doesn't shows up until 2 years later when you stopped playing the game.

Game Companies have about 1 year in what they can expect their game to be played before it is relegated down to the budget box on steam. That means that within the first year it is out they need to recoup as much money as possible. This indeed means that DLC passes are here to stay.

For gamers though it is smarter to wait it out and see if the DLC is worth it. Or wait for the Game of the Year release 2 years later with all the DLC.

So there we are, joy to the world, the situation in gaming these days. I guess at least we have less "special" editions with statues and other things. Fun as those are they take up space and in the end are worth $5. These DLC passes are just like these special editions are.

Yes I know later special editions actually we're more 5 DLC codes added to your copy. And no statue or anything in sight.

I think, from a business perspective, it's really smart.

Wait, wait, hear me out. Games have become ludicrously expensive to make, everyone knows that by now. I remember dropping $75 after taxes on Chrono Trigger back in the 90's, and in perspective, $59.99 is cheap for modern games. I'm shortening a lot of points to be concise, but it's clear that publishers would very much like (or might even have needed) to charge $89-99 for the huge AAA games with modern ultra-graphics.

For me, it's an issue of how soon you want the game. You can pay the $59.99 to have the "core experience" as early as possible, and another 20-30 to get the other 1/3 or so spread out after release. This sounds like total bullshit in the context of "complete" games costing $60 like they always have, but its the alternative to paying $90-100 at retail.

If you have the patience, or don't have that kind of money, it is inevitable that in 6-12 months there will be a "GOTY" edition, the full and complete game you wanted for the $60 you've always paid. It's not at all ideal, some are more greedy about it than others, but I can't help but think that something had to give as far as the budgets/marketing to revenue ratio is concerned. At least with every game with DLC having GOTY, the financial success of a game isn't exclusively looked at in the first week of sales.

I'd rather the concept of DLC wasn't co-opted to be used outside of the expansion format we were used to, or the way we were hoping it would be used, but the way it ended up being utilized is pretty smart. This is saying nothing of DLC for pre-ordering, retailer exclusive DLC, and the price gouging that is total bullshit in Europe, Australia, and other countries. Somebody had to pony up for the spectacle, and we've paid more than $60 before in order to have it (Donkey Kong Country, anyone)? I just try to not think of publishers twirling their moustaches like Dick Dasterdly, it's not as simple as that.

MetalDooley:

Kolby Jack:
343 is fairly upright with their business practices (they did give away ODST on the MCC for free as an apology for the multiplayer issues)?

Wait when did they give away ODST?I have the MCC and don't recall getting a copy at any point

Microsoft said that when ODST comes to Xbox One, people who played the Master Chief Collection in its first month will receive it for free. ODST's not out yet, but they basically confirmed its existence by saying it. Awesome for myself, given that I only really played the singleplayer when all the shit was going down, and ODST is my favourite after Halo 2.

Evonisia:

Microsoft said that when ODST comes to Xbox One, people who played the Master Chief Collection in its first month will receive it for free. ODST's not out yet, but they basically confirmed its existence by saying it. Awesome for myself, given that I only really played the singleplayer when all the shit was going down, and ODST is my favourite after Halo 2.

To be fair, I think the ODST campaign is an addon to MCC not a standalone thing. Though I'd be happy to be wrong. ODST has some of my favorite parts in all the halo campaigns and the more people who can experience it the better.

When I see season pass, if it's a game I'm interested in, it means I will wait for the inevitable GOTY edition. That way I will also be able to see if the DLC was worth it.

I don't see much point in pre-ordering DLC. It makes about as much sense as pre-ordering a PC game before the minimum requirements are posted.

Yes Season passes are a bad sign, You're paying a chunk up front for content you haven't seen, for a game you don't even know you're going to like yet.

They're not going anywhere though, as we keep buying them. So the Publishers will keep offering them.

Yes Season passes are a blight upon the gaming industry just like DLC is and I hope they go die in a fire.

I don't want my games to be cut into tiny bits and then sold to me again at a later date. This is why I have refused to buy any season passes for any game.

Expansions are a totally different thing, which I agree to and buy regularly (WoW expansions and Blizzard expansions in general), because they offer a great chunk of content for a low price.

If Warner Brothers think they can get 40euro out of me for a small campaign with Batgirl, maps, skins & races for the Batmobile they have another thing coming.

Adam Jensen:
Only two types of people buy into season passes. People with a lot of money or people with not enough brain. It's a ridiculous concept. By refusing to be vocally against season passes, gamers have allowed the gaming industry to take another step towards milking the consumers by chopping off their games into pieces. And now they want you to pay for something without telling you what it is under the threat that if you don't get it, you'll be missing out. It's not going to disappear for fuck sake. It's all digital anyway. The game companies have finally found a perfect way to sell you their games for $100.

Explain to me how it's anti-consumer.

You don't have to buy a season pass before knowing what dlc is going to be included in it. You can buy each dlc separately if you wish, you can buy the season pass after all the dlc is released if you want to get all the dlc at a discount. No one forces people to preorder the season pass in order to get any of the dlc.

A season pass, to me, is something that says wait a year. Wait for the complete/ultimate/goty edition to be released and then you'll have everything for $60 or maybe even less.

Honestly it depends on the developer who is releasing the season pass. If Bethesda would release a season pass for the new Fallout or Elder Scrolls game, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. I'd know they'd deliver on it. And also as Dirty Hipsters said above, you can buy it at anytime, I did that exact thing for Shadow of Mordor and Arkham Origins. You are not forced to buy it day 1 or something.

I don't view season passes as banes on the industry like a lot seem to.

Windcaler:
A season pass, to me, is something that says wait a year. Wait for the complete/ultimate/goty edition to be released and then you'll have everything for $60 or maybe even less.

Not to mention most of the bugs and problems are usually fixed by then, though it's sadly becoming less certain.

I do the same thing, except I usually wait over a year. Right now I have a rule I won't buy ANY more games until I've completed my current library. God knows when that will be.

The way I see it, there are TONS of amazing games out there that I've never played. Even if they aren't new, they'll still be new to me, so why not check those out instead of whatever the newest release is.

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