Season Passes Don’t Belong In Single Player Games

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$70 Isn't Enough Apparently; Studios Need Even More Money!

Story Highlights
  • Season passes have always been controversial, but they have no place in a single-player video game.
  • They often revolve around cut content, and in other instances, season passes are sold on a promise of content that does not even exist.
  • Using this trick, publishers lure players into spending more than just $70 on games.

Recent game releases truly leave me regretful for the big publishers and developers who have become mere shells of their former selves. Nowadays, most games seem like cash grabs designed to empty your wallet.

Season passes are all the rage for publishers looking to squeeze every single dollar from consumers on top of already expensive games. For the unfamiliar, a season pass is an advance purchase for future content that will be released for a game.

Also, developers often offer exclusive perks for season pass owners. In a world where microtransactions are already so prominent, I don’t see a good reason to chase season passes so aggressively.

This is even more true for single-player titles. In my opinion, this practice does not belong in the single-player genre.

Why it matters: Season passes are already controversial in multiplayer releases. Their inclusion in single-player games shows how publishers are slowly turning our favorite games into cash grabs.

Single-player Games Should Be Complete At Launch

Elden Ring
Elden Ring Did Not Nickel-and-Dime Its Customers With A Season Pass

Even a hefty $70 price tag can’t prevent modern AAA titles from being plagued by problems at launch. Whether it be bugs, performance hitches, or lacking content, AAA games disappoint more often than not.

In the past, developers have been called out for cutting content from the base release to sell as part of a season pass later on. What makes this worse is that developers already begin advertising DLC before a game is even released.

The last thing I want to discover before pulling the trigger on a new purchase is the fact that the full experience will be locked behind an extra paywall. AAA studios charge premium prices today, yet I don’t seem to be receiving a premium experience as a consumer.

This is why I appreciate FromSoftware’s approach with Elden Ring. The game was deemed Game of the Year for many reasons, with one being the fact that it practically had too much content at launch.

A DLC announcement was not made until one year later, and FromSoftware unveiled the first DLC trailer two years after launch. This is how you do DLC, focusing on extra content after the base game is finished.

Pay More, Play Later

YouTube video

Another major problem with this trend is the fact that single-player games are inherently different from multiplayer games. In my case, I typically stay invested in a single-player title from beginning to end and move on.

When this type of game receives new content several months later, I find myself reluctant to jump back in months later, especially since the content is not guaranteed to be too special.

For instance, I remember the amount of DLC Rocksteady Studios sold for Batman Arkham Knight’s season pass. As much as I enjoyed the base experience, the DLC episodes were short and underwhelming, making the purchase feel like a scam.

For a whopping $40, Rocksteady Studios bombarded Batman Arkham Knight players with loads of skins and challenge maps. The story content included Batgirl missions that lasted one whole hour and the Season of Infamy narrative, which comprised 4 side missions.

This purchase felt like a slap in the face since it cost just $20 less than the $60 base game.

Buying A Promise & Star Wars Outlaws Controversy

Star Wars Outlaws
Star Wars Outlaws Can Cost Up To €129.99

Even at $70, many games fail to deliver at least the bare minimum. Publishers lure buyers into purchasing gold and ultimate editions, forcing them to pay for undisclosed content.

As the buyer, you don’t know what you’re paying for. This is my biggest gripe with the trend since publishers practically sell a promise and drive a game’s price to 2x the original $70 cost in doing so.

That’s exactly what has happened with the upcoming Star Wars Outlaws. While the game looks quite appealing, Ubisoft is already shoving these expensive editions in my face. The special edition options have received unanimous hate, and rightfully so.

The ultimate edition costs a whopping $130 and is digital only. Not only that, but all the editions offering a season pass feature an exclusive Jabba’s Gambit mission that was probably cut from the original game.

Amid rising costs, buggy games, and the prevalence of microtransactions, the last thing we need in a single-player game is a season pass. This is why I hope to see this trend going away at some point in the future.

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