I’ve had several blogs before where i’ve talked about how Pre-Order practices and Season Passes are anti-consumer practices with the bonus of how microtransactions are poisoning games. Now, it seems that it’s ok to sell Season Passes for the full price of entire games. The fault, in this instance, lies not only with the publisher, but with us consumers. We’re the ones who are perpetuating this culture among the publishers by buying bad content and underdeveloped games. Nobody knows what the future content for the Star Wars Battlefront Season Pass will be, yet people will still insist on buying that for the full price of the title (MSRP: 89.99$).
Even though we consumers share some of the blame, it doesn’t excuse the fact that game companies are exploiting their audience trying to milk more money from gamers who have already paid their heftily priced games from a full priced game. There no longer seems to be enough content there when you buy a game, especially on the first day. There are microtransactions, Season Passes and DLC ready to be bought before the game even works properly. In my opinion this is deception. You’re no longer concerned that the product is what you promised or even functional, You want profits at all costs from gamers and the average consumer.
Let’s take a game like Assassin’s Creed: Unity as an example. The previous games were pretty balanced when it came to acquiring upgrades for the game, getting progressively better gear, weapons and armour throughout the experience. However, Unity corrupts the traditional processes of progression in a game. You don’t get the regular abilities that have been a main stay for the series, you actually need to grind just to get the gear in-game where you can buy your way into a better character. To say that this design philosophy imbalances the game is an understatement, then you find out that microtransactions are available on day one. The game wasn’t even known to be working properly, and Ubisoft launched microtransactions worth $100.
I wrote a piece earlier this year showing how 2K treat their fans, not only shutting down servers for the game, they also had over $130 worth of content available on day one when Evolve was released. They delayed shutting the servers only after a huge outcry, but eventually shut them down anyways.
The publishers do it for money, to the extent that it’s clear they care very little about the consumer. When they continue anti-consumer practices in singleplayer games with DRM, horrendous amounts of glitches, pay-to-win and other various means to get money out of the player, we as a consumer eventually have to say enough. Because our most powerful weapon is our wallet, without it, they are broken. Sooner or later, they need to start earning our money, rather than ransom it.