They aren’t a rarity anymore. With any AAA title, there’s always a season pass to accompany it. Before DLC plans are even revealed, without even knowing if a game is worth it, companies are asking you to invest amounts that might be half the price of the game. In some cases, like Fallout 4 ‘s recent $49.99 season pass price hike, it costs as much as a game. It all highlights one thing. Season passes are never worth the initial buy-in price.
They look and sound attractive enough. All of the DLC for a game at a price that’s lower than if you had waited to buy them separately. It’s designed to trigger a sense of “now or never.” When the season passes first pop up, it’s tempting to cave and grab it, even if the add-ons haven’t been unveiled.
Except companies never remind you that the season passes will always be there. Or that there will be special deals to get the season pass at a lower price. WWE 2K15 is a good example. There was a brief period in March 2015 where 2K Games gave away the season pass for free, and it wasn’t at launch. The Borderlands 2 season pass often goes on sale during Steam sales. These promotions are often reduced, making it worth waiting before investing in add-ons.
Plus, you always have to consider DLC track records. Fallout 4 seems like a safe investiment. You can still get the season pass for it for $30 until February 29, which is $5 more than May’s Far Harbor expansion. Bethesda’s good about DLC too, so it’s safe. But for every Fallout 4 , there’s an Evolve , Batman: Arkham Knight , or even Aliens: Colonial Marines waiting in the wings. There are too many situations where these bonuses don’t deliver, keeping us from trusting the ones that will.
Especially because of the reliance such offers can cause. Look at Star Wars Battlefront . People who picked that game up almost have to grab the season pass, in order to ensure they have enough content to enjoy. In this case, even though it hurts their own experience, people shouldn’t pick up a season pass to send a message. They should show dissatisfaction by avoiding it or waiting for a massive sale.
Season passes are deceptively pretty things. They can provide a means of acquiring beneficial add-ons for a game. However, we have to be smart before blindly giving our money for such things. There will always be sales, always. Unless there’s a ridiculous deal or offer, it’s never worth blindly jumping into an investiment that’s half the cost of a game or more. Be smart with your money.