I just read this article on Kotaku and I have to say I’m simultaneously disappointed and relieved. Disappointed because Ubisoft, like many other developers before it are planning to turn a $60 game into a $100+ game (assuming you buy the standard edition, and not one of the many other pricier collector editions.)
Yes, according to what I read, Assassin’s Creed 3 is getting a season pass. What does this mean? It means Ubisoft expects you, the consumer, to buy their game, and then pay to unlock future content, but make you feel like you’re getting some kind of deal by purchasing both the game and the season pass together.
A season pass doesn’t even make sense for a game like Assassin’s Creed. Its multiplayer components are easily dwarfed by just about any other multiplayer title, and although Ubisoft has made great strides to expand upon it, I’ve never found myself compelled to play it for any great length of time. So does this mean Ubisoft is holding single-player content hostage? Perhaps.
Now I mentioned at the start of the article that I’m also relieved. Why is that? Well, because now I’m just going to wait to get the Game Of The Year edition of Assassin’s Creed 3 the article mentions. I refused to buy any additional Gears of War 3 content (I bought the standard edition) and now I’m not going to buy Assassin’s Creed 3 until I can get the most for my money.
Just how bad is this DLC and season pass situation getting? Let me give you some examples. Do you want to know how to access Dead Rising 2: Off The Record’s cheat menu? You might want to get a pen and paper. You ready? Okay. You log in to Xbox Live and buy the key to unlock it in the game. I wish I could say I was joking.
In February of 2011 I purchased the limited edition of Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 for $80, and thought I had made a wise investment. Here was the fighting game I had been waiting over a decade to play! Fast forward to July 20, 2011, when Capcom announced Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 and stomped all over my gaming dreams. And to make it even worse, UMVC3 also had tons of paid DLC. Granted it was just costumes for the most part, but still, the fact that they not only re-released a game that wasn’t even a year old, but then trickled out a slew of DLC for months afterward made me resent them.
Now, no one is saying you or I have to buy any or all of this ‘additional’ content, but in order to get the ‘full experience’ of a game these days, you’re likely going to spend more than the original cost of a game. And in my opinion, anything over the cost of the game is too much.
One major problem is that now we’re essentially buying a portion of a game, and developers are selling us the rest of it in pieces. It’s a wonderful business model for developers, but it devalues our purchase and creates a distrustful relationship between game developers and consumers. Most of us are wise to these tactics and will simply wait for a better option. We’ll just wait for the Game of the Year editions, discounts, and sales. So in the end, is it really worth it?
Last generation when you purchased a game you could expect to find nearly all of its content accessible and intact without any online updates, content keys, or barriers. Believe it or not, there was a time when characters, costumes and stages were unlocked by playing a game and achieving certain goals within it. These goals were things gamers once discussed among one another. They were achievements we were proud to talk about and ways we could evaluate each others skill. By taking these components out of the game unless you buy them separately, developers are removing a big part of the experience and reducing the number of incentives that make a game worth playing through more than once.
I hate that game developers keep trying to pull this nonsense. It’s not fair to the consumer. We already purchased the game, and I feel by doing so we are entitled to get all of its content. This is a frustrating problem and I’m taking a stand by not supporting it. I encourage you all to do the same.