Should we Pass on Season Passes?


So what do you guys think about DLC preordering? You know, what some companies call "Season Pass" or something similar, where you buy the subscription (is what they are calling it commonly but it is not really a good word for it) and get x amount of planned DLC in that package. Essentially you are prepaying for it.

Battlefield has Premium, COD has Elite, Borderlands has a Season Pass, Uncharted has Fortune Hunters Club, etc... This is a new trend to get people to buy the DLC all at once. It is a fairly good value as a $30-$50 price tag on these plans gets you DLC that would cost more than that.

So is this a good thing? A bad thing? Neutral?

Here are my thoughts.

It is good because it is a good value. If you think you will buy the DLC anyway, then you are saving money by getting these packages. That is a really good thing when you intend to buy the game and most likely at least some of the DLC. You can get it all for an easy buy in and lower price.

This is what I think is bad though, you are presuming that the DLC will be worthwhile. True, I would say more times than not if you think the game is quality enough to consider DLC then the DLC will be a quality addition. But that isn't guaranteed.

I think it might also be a ploy to get the retail price point higher. Whereas historically a game would be $60, then would drop in price but the GOTY version would release with all DLC and that version would be $60, we can already see changes to that model. Battlefield Premium Edition is releasing soon, which will include the normal game as well as the Premium subscription. Price of the item is $70. Is that a value? Yes it is. The Premium subscription is $50 alone, so essentially you get the main game for $20 at that point (whereas $30-40 would be the normal standalone price). So the value is there, but the price point is raised. After doing that a while, I bet we will get a little less in the bundles, but the price point will be established at $70 and will stick. I can see that creeping in now and I don't like it.

Thirdly, I only really like the concept if you can buy in at any time. Most games are like that from what I have seen. But there are others, like the Uncharted Fortune Hunters Club, where you had to buy in immediately to get the deal. I forget exactly, but I believe it was offered just before the game released and had a deadline of just after the release. I don’t like that sales model. Either you will offer a bundle of add ons, or you won’t. Don’t do it limited.

So what is the take away on this? Do you buy these DLC subscriptions?

I have. I do. I think they are of value. But does it support something that might be slowly eating away at the video game industry? I have this nagging feeling like it does. Will it have a negative effect down the line? Are DLC packs the new DLC argument (Meaning, the argument of content held back from games so it can be sold as DLC)?

What says you?