Arkham Knight’s Season Pass Worrisome for the Industry

Batman: Arkham Knight is only a few months away and I honestly couldn’t be more excited, but the wait for its June 23

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release is getting harder as every day passes. This game is my most anticipated title of 2015. I’ve been playing all the previous entries in the attempt to tide me over but nothing is helping. I want something new to play; I want more.

Thankfully, Rocksteady is setting up new content for the caped crusader to embark on. Batman’s night just got even longer when Warner Bros. announced the season pass that will offer even more content for fiends like myself.  We’re supposed to get, “New story missions, additional super-villains invading Gotham City, legendary Batmobile skins, advanced challenge maps, alternative character skins and new drivable race tracks.” Although all that content sounds tempting the price is grinding my gears.
seasonspassinsert2Warner Bros. and Rocksteady honestly think for $39.99 the content they’re giving fans is justified with that price tag. That’s outrageous.  Season passes since their inception have progressively cost a lot more than previous years. They aren’t even providing that much more content than what we’re used to seeing either. There’s no reason they should be more than half the cost of a video game. Videos games are expensive as is, and now game developers and publishers are trying to nab your rent money with these absurd prices.

This is disconcerting for the industry as a whole. If successful, and it will be, other developers will jump on board and start making their season passes sell for $39.99 as the default pricing. It’ll become a trend that gamers won’t be able to neglect and that’s worrisome.

Yes, delivering more content is awesome. It has always given players another incentive to dive back in the world for more experiences that they’re genuinely interested in. All that content coming at a slight discount than what you can find them individually at their respected stores depending on your platform of choice.  But at this rate, and I hate to say it, in no time these season passes will be the same price as the games we buy.
seasonspassinsert1Most of the content provided in these season passes contain little trinkets and single player story arcs that may add a few hours on the playthrough but is that truly enough and most importantly, is it fair?

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Let’s check the facts. Batman: Arkham Knight season pass gives you, Batmobile skins, (Should be unlocked through player progression), Character skins for Batman and others, (Should be unlocked through player progression), advanced challenge maps, (Should be unlocked through player progression), new drivable race tracks? Unless I’m going to another city, like Metropolis, most of these tracks will be used from in-game presets. So it should be, you guessed it, unlocked through player progression. All of which is most likely prepared prior to launch and could have been included. That’s the back breaker, these companies are taking advantage of the fact they could be getting more money for something back in the day was included for free.

The only two things that I get that shouldn’t be unlocked with player progression is the additional story missions and super villains not found in the main campaign invading Gotham City. But even those two things should be 15.99-19.99 at the most. The others might be worth a dollar and somehow we end up at 40 bucks?
seasonspassinsert4It’s insane that people will pre-order these things without even seeing what they’ll eventually bring. There’s too much uncertainty.  No one has played this content, not even the developers because they’re either currently in the process of planning what it will be or deciding when development of the content will start after the game launches. I don’t know how much content I’ll be getting, I don’t even know if it’ll satisfy my needs. I don’t know if I’ll even be a fan of the villains they bring on board. They could be obscure villains I don’t care for. Yet Warner Bros. is asking for this ridiculous price for the privilege of new content.

But the funniest thing about this so called season pass is all this content, that I’m talking about, will be placed inside of a “Game of The Year” edition for the price we should be getting it all for down the line, at launch. Warner Bros. and other developers will soon realize that everyone will buy these things because gamers won’t say no. It’s insulting that they’ll get away with this and sickening that this could be a precursor for even more ludicrous prices to come.

Does the price bump of season passes scare you? Let me know in the comments below.