Yes, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion had Horse Armor, a questionable chapter in Bethesda’s past, but they’ve come a long way and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 3’s long list of DLC expansions demonstrates Bethesda’s desire to give gamers a lot more than their original release titles offer.
“We love making them and you always ask us for more. To reward our most loyal fans, this time we’ll be offering a Season Pass that will get you all of the Fallout 4 DLC we ever do for just $30.” At a cursory glance, this statement from Bethesda, themselves, when announcing Fallout 4’s season pass sounds like an enticing promise indeed.
After all, Fallout 4 has gone down a treat as one of the highest rated and most critically acclaimed games of the year, so all of Fallout 4’s DLC for just $30, or around R430 at the time of writing, sounds a little too good to be true – actually, it’s a little cheaper than that on PC thanks to Steam’s migration to the Rand.
Are you freaking kidding me?!
We’re more than finding it difficult to justify purchasing Fallout 4’s season pass; we’re downright distraught at the number of gamers who have sprung at the opportunity.
“Based on what we did for Oblivion, Fallout 3, and Skyrim, we know that it will be worth at least $40, and if we do more, you’ll get it all with the Season Pass.”
$30 for $40 worth of content, sounds like a deal! That is until you read the line just before that one. “Since we’re still hard at work on the game, we don’t know what the actual DLC will be yet, but it will start coming early next year.” And FYI, Oblivion’s DLC was nowhere near worth $40.
Early Access and Kickstarter campaigns are one thing. They promise content in the future, but justify asking for your hard-earned dough by demonstrating plans and, at the very least, providing proof of concept. Bethesda did away with all of that, not really promising much at all, and we lapped it up. And if Bethesda can do it, why can’t everyone else?
So if you purchased Fallout 4’s season pass, you’ve forfeited your right to complain about lacklustre or otherwise abusive DLC, particularly from the likes of EA and Ubisoft.
Not only is it a fairly hypocritical stance to take, but publishers will always take tangible stats like sales, objective measures of success that they and their shareholders can use, before a rather subjective and highly unpredictable measure like perceived community opinion. After all, if everyone is buying the DLC, then all of those complaints made can’t really be the majority opinion, now can they.
And don’t give me that holier than thou claptrap; great as Fallout 4 is for many, the huge array of bugs and performance woes the game suffers from is proof enough that Bethesda is far from perfect.
Bring on the new age of season passes, where publishers and developers alike vaguely promise content in the future, but never really need to justify your purchase.
There is no quality assurance in place for DLC the likes of which Fallout 4 may or may not see. All they need do is provide you with around $30 worth of content, and irrespective of its quality, you can’t really complain.
Did the season passes from games like Evolve, Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Destiny, Saints Row: The Third and Titanfall not teach you anything? All of these season passes, we might add, came from promising titles developed big name developers and backed by even bigger publishers.
Imagine a world where no one bought the season pass. Immediately, Bethesda’s development team would be forced into a boardroom and tasked with planning the DLC to come, to have something to show and earn our purchase.
And should that not quite succeed, they’d be forced into producing some fairly extraordinary content before we went ahead and purchased the rest via the season pass.
Funnily enough, at Fallout 4’s launch event, game director Todd Howard said that Bethesda will monitor community feedback and deliver on the things we most talked about, shared and want.
At the moment Howard, much as we love your game, we’d imagine that most gamers want patches, a game that doesn’t tank its frame rates continuously and one that doesn’t freeze your character as a motionless puppet when you have the sheer audacity to use a terminal in-game.
There really is no reason whatsoever to purchase the season pass at the moment. Why would you? Does it affect your game now? Will it change the DLC planned? It’s rhetorical, there are no plans at the moment.