Is gaming currently being ruined by the seemingly never ending expansion of DLC options and season passes that are being thrust upon us?
Remember in the good old days when you went to the shop and bought a game and that was that. You played the entire game, had a great time and then moved on or became addicted for eternity. Then consoles and PC started becoming more connected and we were treated to free additions and mods to some of our favourite games. It was around this time that the bean counters at the publishers sat up and took notice.
Soon instead of getting free, or cheap, additional missions they decided to rather ship entirely new games for nearly full price. This model became massively successful and is still going strong today with Battlefield, FIFA and Call of Duty to name a few titles that change slightly annually and sell for full price.
But they publishers still knew they were missing out on the dedicated Call of Duty fans who only paid out once a year for a new game and so the magical DLC made its mark. Now 6 months after you paid full price for a game they would release 4 extra maps and a new weapon for half the price of a full title and the dedicated fans would lap it up. This cycle was then shortened to every 3 months and we got three map packs a year adding up to over the original price of the game.
But there was a problem, most people who purchase Battlefield and the like don’t end up playing for the entire year so how do the publishers get their money?
And as such the season pass was revealed. With the season pass you could save money by purchasing all three map packs up front for a cheaper price. Many many people now picked up these season passes and yet probably never actually played all the map packs. So once again the great accounting minds put their heads together to find out how to grab more of our hard earned money and we’ve now ended up at a fork in the road.
Watch Dog Milking
Watch Dogs is the first up with their season pass announcement that if you throw more money at them now you can not only get fancy new clothes but you are also given an extra single player campaign played as a different character, a new game mode with zombies androids along with some extra main story content.
To be absolutely clear, Ubisoft has developed a lot of the game, a game which had been delayed, that will only be shown to people who pay more for the game. You are not paying for extra stuff to be developed in the future. You are paying extra for something that is entirely completed.
The other version of the current DLC nightmare is Destiny. Instead of paying for extra upcoming content or for extra levels in the game you are paying to make the game easier. The new GameStop pre-order bonus for Destiny is an exclusive upgraded red sparrow which has a higher top speed and a faster acceleration than your competitors.
So if you want to be the best in your team you are going to want to pre-order so you can get to places quicker and win races easier.
Last Updated: April 30, 2014