DLC passes can be “really dangerous” for multiplayer, says Xbox’s Major Nelson

3 min read


Season passes can be annoying sometimes. There’s that FOMO feeling that you’re being cut out on some swell content that could have otherwise made it into the final game. In fact, getting a season pass that actually delivers properly-good post-game content is rarer than a good analogy to end this sentence with.

It can be especially irritating with multiplayer-centric titles, as an evening of frivolity and gentlemanly sport that will in no way whatsoever include slurs at your mom can be broken up when your pal doesn’t have the latest maps to be murdered on. And that’s something that Xbox’s Major Nelson agrees on. DLC passes can be “really dangerous when it comes to multiplayer, because what happens is it fractures the community,” Microsoft’s Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb said in the latest Podcast Unlocked episode.

‘You have the maps, I don’t have the maps, I didn’t buy that map but you bought that map,’ so when we all get together, ‘Oh, you couldn’t play the map.’

Hyrb thinks that 343 Industries nailed the formula for Halo 5: Guardians, by giving away maps every month and supplementing these costs by including microtransactions in the form of Requisition Packs. “So what 343 has done, which I think is rather brilliant, is that everybody gets the maps,” Hryb said.

But they’re going to make things up with the [microtransaction] Req packs. That’s how they’re having some additional revenue, I assume, on the side. It’s such a great way to execute it and keep the fans together.

And he might have a point. Those Requisition Packs have actually been pretty popular within the Halo 5: Guardians community, having made more than $1.5 million in revenue since last year’s launch. That’s nothing to scoff at, and due to the fact that they also purchasable with the in-game economy, there’s a decent balance there for casual and hardcore players to make optional use of them.

As for 343 Industries and their decision to toss maps at players for free, studio head Josh Holmes said that this was done to prevent the community being split down the middle into “haves and have-nots,” something that he mentioned last year to Game Informer. “When you have paid map packs and content, you divide the player base into two groups: the haves and have-nots,” Holmes said.

The people that have the map pack can play together but the people who don’t cannot. That to us is a real problem. So we’re delivering all the maps to all players free so everybody will be able to play together. That, we feel, is really important to having a great multiplayer ecosystem.

There’s a lot of new content hitting Halo 5: Guardians next week with the Hammer Storm expansion. That DLC will throw in a new map called Torque, Grifball and lots of new Requisition Packs.

Last Updated: February 26, 2016

Check Also

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep and the year ahead is being built “for the people who love it”

Destiny 2’s expansions aren’t just…well, expansions. They’re massive slices of content the…