Are season passes a bad thing?

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CJTreader

Known Poster
Premium Member
#1
For a while now, some consumer advocates have been attacking season passes which, as I'm sure you know, give you access to all DLC (future and released) so you don't need to buy it all piecemeal as it releases. Personally, this has always baffled me. If season passes aren't your thing, I get that. Maybe you prefer to wait and verify the quality of each piece of DLC before making a purchase. However, hoping for the demise of this practice when there are so many people like me that like it seems like anything but consumer advocacy. What are your thoughts on this?
 

Obama

Known Poster
#2
I agree if I know the dlc will be on par with the main game and worth my money I'll buy the season pass. Fallout 4 I brought the season pass because it was worth the money and is easier making one large payment and installing all the dlc at once than making lots of little payments. Also it tells consumers before hand how much dlc there will be.
 
#3
I don't see the problem with content delivery via a season pass system, as long as it's optional. A lot of people like to promote consumerist attitudes, especially when it comes to entertainment, but I think the question of season passes are generalized a bit too much in many discussions. There is an unfair assumption that season passes are universally utilized to release unfinished/incomplete games as a service with an extra cost for cut content. Said content separated from the main package is then deceptively branded as supplementary to the core experience.

However, I think it is much more rational to judge season passes on a case-by-case basis. Chances are, especially with blockbuster franchises, EA and Activision are going to try and milk everything they can from whatever has already been developed as some sort of "Expansion" and have their customers pay extra in the form of a pre-announced expansion pass. Not a fan of that, but if that's what the company wants to do to make a profit, especially when maintaining those live service games, it's their choice. I don't even mind people complaining about it, publishers should move away from that in order to release more content-complete games.

I think it would also be wiser to promote post-release content after launch, as it removes a lot of skepticism that many hardcore fans have. The initial game should make the best first impression possible, and announcing paywalls early forms a perception of arrogance coming from the dev/publisher. Although I'm not a marketing expert by any stretch, I'd think that it would much more advantageous to gain trust in the long term by consistently delivering a complete package. That way, a season pass appeals to a wider audience, as you hook more people into an already solid product. You're not going to get returning customers with half-assed, short games that fail to provide enough entertainment.

If the game seems like it's going to be feature complete at launch, great. If you're a big fan and want to have the convenience of pre-ordering the extras in advance, I say go ahead. Season passes can be a great way to give people a discount on the whole DLC package if they have confidence in your product, and I genuinely think that the larger problem comes down to trust. It's much better to complain after the fact, unless it's already clear that the publisher is trying to screw people out of their money, like a season pass locked behind a special edition. Bickering about a season pass before anyone knows what the content is will always be a pointless battle, and people shouldn't be shunned for their investments into fake, digital worlds. After all, they're the ones paying for it.

For me, all I care about is a complete game that delivers on its promises, and if they want to add some extras or release previously unpolished cut content as DLC then more power to 'em. If it's a game I know I will invest many hours into (from a developer that has credibility in making a complete game), then a Season Pass seems like a good investment so I don't have to worry about purchasing individual DLCs after the fact. The quality or worth of a "season pass" varies from company to company and game to game, it's a lot more productive to give feedback on particular cases rather than criticizing the practice as a whole.
 

CJTreader

Known Poster
Premium Member
#6
I don't see the problem with content delivery via a season pass system, as long as it's optional. A lot of people like to promote consumerist attitudes, especially when it comes to entertainment, but I think the question of season passes are generalized a bit too much in many discussions. There is an unfair assumption that season passes are universally utilized to release unfinished/incomplete games as a service with an extra cost for cut content. Said content separated from the main package is then deceptively branded as supplementary to the core experience.

However, I think it is much more rational to judge season passes on a case-by-case basis. Chances are, especially with blockbuster franchises, EA and Activision are going to try and milk everything they can from whatever has already been developed as some sort of "Expansion" and have their customers pay extra in the form of a pre-announced expansion pass. Not a fan of that, but if that's what the company wants to do to make a profit, especially when maintaining those live service games, it's their choice. I don't even mind people complaining about it, publishers should move away from that in order to release more content-complete games.

I think it would also be wiser to promote post-release content after launch, as it removes a lot of skepticism that many hardcore fans have. The initial game should make the best first impression possible, and announcing paywalls early forms a perception of arrogance coming from the dev/publisher. Although I'm not a marketing expert by any stretch, I'd think that it would much more advantageous to gain trust in the long term by consistently delivering a complete package. That way, a season pass appeals to a wider audience, as you hook more people into an already solid product. You're not going to get returning customers with half-assed, short games that fail to provide enough entertainment.

If the game seems like it's going to be feature complete at launch, great. If you're a big fan and want to have the convenience of pre-ordering the extras in advance, I say go ahead. Season passes can be a great way to give people a discount on the whole DLC package if they have confidence in your product, and I genuinely think that the larger problem comes down to trust. It's much better to complain after the fact, unless it's already clear that the publisher is trying to screw people out of their money, like a season pass locked behind a special edition. Bickering about a season pass before anyone knows what the content is will always be a pointless battle, and people shouldn't be shunned for their investments into fake, digital worlds. After all, they're the ones paying for it.

For me, all I care about is a complete game that delivers on its promises, and if they want to add some extras or release previously unpolished cut content as DLC then more power to 'em. If it's a game I know I will invest many hours into (from a developer that has credibility in making a complete game), then a Season Pass seems like a good investment so I don't have to worry about purchasing individual DLCs after the fact. The quality or worth of a "season pass" varies from company to company and game to game, it's a lot more productive to give feedback on particular cases rather than criticizing the practice as a whole.
Yeah. Even when it comes to games that are released incomplete and content-dry, I don't understand how that's because of the season pass. It seems that the 'problem' is more DLC in general. Just look at The Sims games or basically anything from Paradox. It's usually bare-bones at release and they slowly make a full game with piecemeal DLC. No season pass involved.

I agree if I know the dlc will be on par with the main game and worth my money I'll buy the season pass. Fallout 4 I brought the season pass because it was worth the money and is easier making one large payment and installing all the dlc at once than making lots of little payments. Also it tells consumers before hand how much dlc there will be.
Yeah, exactly. I usually don't get the season passes for Ubisoft or EA games for instance because I don't know if they'll be quality. However, I know the DLC for a Fallout rpg, Cyberpunk 2077, Kingdom Come: Deliverance (I wish KCD had a season pass *sniffles*), etc will be great, so I'll get the season pass if there is one.

Lets delete season passes and then delete video games forever
You antifa super soldiers better be prepared. The days before we epic gamers rise up are numbered #GamersRiseUp😎😎😎
 

Wolfensanity

Moderator
Staff member
#7
For multiplayer games, yes. For singleplayer games, it depends, however I'm more inclined to say no.

Battlefield and Call of Duty games have a bad history of dividing up the community with their expansions and map packs, and for a multiplayer shooter, this is bad for obvious reasons. I don't care for season passes on singleplayer games but they've never bothered me much. If you're unsure if you'll like each of the DLCs, you should always just wait for each of them to release, then decide which ones are worth your money. This is the way I've always approached it.
 
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