Season Passes are the video game industry’s latest hook to trick players into handing over more of their money up front. I’m here to tell you not to.
DLC is pretty much commonplace these days with video games. They are the new expansion packs from days past (though, some companies still produce them today). DLC can expand your favorite game beyond its initial release date with multiplayer and single-player add-ons.
Season Passes, on the other hand, are relatively new, having been started by Rockstar Games with the “RockStar Pass” for L.A. Noire. Ever since then most if not all AAA publishers have followed suit.
These days we see multiple versions of a single title sold at stores, one of which is the Season Pass, which usually includes all the future DLC to be released sold at a discount.
This concept of pre-paying for DLC just doesn’t make sense to me. Half of the time you don’t even know what the DLC will be. Will it expand the single-player experience, or will it just add new maps to the multiplayer? Without this knowledge why would you pay for something that is unknown up front?
To top it off, companies like EA and Activision (among others) have increased their Season Pass prices, which are now not that far away from the games release price if you were to just wait.
So, why shouldn’t you buy Season Passes? Companies listen to money.
They don’t care if we complain because they see the numbers and the numbers tell them that gamers want Season Passes. For as long as tell them that it is acceptable, they will continue to charge us up front for something we have no information about. It is what they want: your money up front. They can then half-ass the product afterwards because they already have your cash.
If this trend continues things may get worse. It could become common ground for companies to rip things out of the game and sell them to you in the Season Pass (in some cases this is already happening). The only thing they will listen to is if we vote with our wallets.
That is why you really shouldn’t buy Season Passes, because paying for a product up front without ever knowing what it is, is not only bad for the consumer but bad for gaming as a whole.