All gamers are quite accustomed to seeing downloadable content (DLC) being released for games. It's something that we've grown to accept, no matter how many times we may say that a game should come with all its intended content. With DLC on the rise, publishers have turned to the glorious 'season pass' to generate income before any DLC has officially been released. Although the season pass has definitely helped publishers turnover more profits, what does it mean to us gamers? Is it a great way to grab all the DLC for our favourite games at a better price? Or is it a way for publishers to deceive gamers into paying for content that isn't really that great?
Typically, publishers market season passes to gamers by advertising a discount. This allows players to purchase all the planned DLC for a lower price - meaning that they can put that money saved into other things...like more games! Games like Borderlands and [L.A. Noir](tag:865020) have used the season pass to discount the DLC, taking between 25% and 50% off the total cost. And trust me, it has been worth the saving! What could be better?
Well, the other awesome thing about season passes is that gamers don't have to remember to buy each DLC as it gets released. The moment the DLC hits the store, season pass holders already have it. Season passes can even allow gamers to get access to the DLC earlier! Star Wars: Battlefront's season pass allows gamers to get access to all four DLC two weeks earlier. With all that in mind, there couldn't possibly be anything wrong with season passes, right? ...right?
Unfortunately, my dear gamers, there are some downfalls to the concept of season passes. It can leave gamers open to pre-purchasing DLC that was not what they expected or that simply never gets released. The Call of Duty series is notorious for over-pricing season passes that grant players a few new multiplayer maps, early access to some weapons, and some fluro pink weapon camouflage - all for a little less than what the games themselves cost. Even Fallout 4 may face some of these issues, as Bethesda have not confirmed how much DLC will be released for the game. PCGamer highlighted this issue further.
That said, all we have is Bethesda's word that they "know that it [DLC] will be worth at least $40" and a reminder that they could even do more than that. Of course, they've left out the part where they could also do less. They also have no information on what the DLC will entail, which I guess makes sense given that they're trying to avoid "spoiling" even the base game.
Paying $30 for a season pass that we know nothing about? Sorry if I appear a little concerned, Bethesda. I still love all of your games, but I've been burned by season passes before. I'm looking at you, Call of Duty!
Is It Worth the Gamble?
Honestly, I can't tell you that. I've seen season passes give gamers good savings for epic content, and I've seen them burn a hole in my wallet for nothing more than a crumb of DLC. In the end, it is always up to you!