In addition to being utterly fantastic games, there's a rebellious streak to the Souls series that makes it so appealing. We described Bloodborne as the "anti-AAA" in our Game of the Year article on the PlayStation 4 exclusive, and that applies to the franchise as a whole really; it's utterly uninterested in concession, and it couldn't care less about easing in newcomers.
It seems that even Dark Souls III has succumb to the Season Pass, however. The unannounced pre-purchase leaked on the Australian arm of Xbox's website, and has since been pulled. It mentioned that the sub would include two DLC packs, boasting new maps, bosses, enemies, weapons, and armour sets. There's no word on when these will roll out, however.
The good news, of course, is that From Software generally does damn good DLC, with the recent Old Hunters expansion for Bloodborne being an essential add-on. We expect the company to take its time with this content, so you may want to hold off snapping up the Season Pass as soon as it becomes available. After all, it'll be there waiting for you when the content's actually, y'know, announced.
[source store.xbox.com, via vg247.com]
Didn't Dark Souls II also offer a season pass? Nevertheless, it's a shame that such a great series uses an exploit like season pass, but at least From Software has made it known that they can make the additional content worth the payout, without compromising the basic content. Let's hope it stays that way.
Stop it please, all DLC should be free, if you wanna change your retail price to RRP £84.99 then please go ahead, if they tried to sell me the witcher 3 for 70 quid and told me I'd get 60-80 hours+ of story content I'd have been happy to pay but they also unfortunately went for the season pass option and so I'll wait and see if they release a complete version.
@Gogovsky Dark Souls 2 did have a season pass, but I don't feel that a season pass itself is bad. But a season pass before the game has come out is kinda gross in my opinion; if it is ready or far enough in the works to have a season pass, just include it in the game. That being said, the Souls series is my favorite game series ever, so I will definitely get that season pass.
I have no issues with season passes, DLC or additional content.
Just so long as it wasn't removed from the game.
@JaxonH does that include not finishing the game, does not finishing the additional content before release constitute an unfinished game, it's all very grey and the bottom line is that it's just another sly way to get all y'all money, this isn't stealth tax, it's through the nose extortion, a slap in the face and slight of hand into your purse
It depends. Additional content finished before the game releases may or may not have been taken from the game. It could have, but on the other hand, they could have just finished the additional content after the game but before release (games don't always release right after they're finished, as we all know- strategic release dates and all that).
There's no way to prove either way. But if I see a game which has all the features of its predecessor yet has additional content releasing day one I have no complaints. On the flipside there could be a game that doesn't release it's DLC until year after release, but if it's missing three modes that all of its predecessors had then I have a serious problem with it.
@Grawlog Console games are far cheaper to produce than PC games. Yet we will easily pay double the price for retail and digital. Plus we are forced to pay to play online.
When it comes to DLC, it's pure greed. Videogames these days are cut into pieces. You have the pre order DLC, the deluxe edition, the season pass, the exclusive PS4/Xbox content, the exclusive store content and on top of that a microtransation system for the online. Its ridiculous.
Yet games like Dark Souls aren't nearly as bad as the rest. They usually deliver a good main game and the DLC expands it. Plus they improve and expand the base game regardless.
I can understand DLC such as Driveclub when you're adding Bikes to the game but when you're adding story, it should be part of the game or you'll be missing out. The way Hitman and Destiny have sold their content is a mess but it is at least clear what you're buying.
@Neolit I had a lot of fun with Farcry 4 but gave up early as the story for me was atrociously boring. The yeti level seemed to be a great price of content earmarked for DLC, it's a shame it wasn't part of the full game.
What people seem to forget is that a 'game' can be finished - certainly by the majority of developers, long before it goes gold let alone releases. A game like Dark Souls (or any other game) may have a few months of play testing to find any bugs but essentially the game is finished. The developers have very little to do in the last few months apart from the odd 'bug' fix and rather than just sit around and get paid for doing 'nothing', they can actually make a start on DLC content. It doesn't mean it is pulled from a game, it doesn't mean you are entitled to it or part of the 'story' of the 'Disc'.
I have no interest in Dark Souls myself but looking at games like the Witcher 3, Mass Effect 2, Bioshock 2, Fallout 3 etc, these ALL had additional 'story' based DLC that was 'separate' from the main storyline. You don't miss out by not buying them - its not like you get to the last chapter and have to buy DLC to finish the game!!
DLC adds to the experience but is NOT required to play the game. It is purely optional. If you want 'more' then you can buy the DLC but its not necessary to play and fully enjoy the story and on disc content.
Sequels are easy to compare with their previous games to see if we are getting less content but in the majority of cases, the on disc content has at least stayed the same. The Witcher 3 is a much bigger game than the Witcher 2, BO3 has the most on disc content.
Prices may not have risen but development costs have - however so has the number of gamers and therefore the market has grown. It doesn't take that many copies for a game to become profitable. Publishers announced BIG quarterly profits - numbers so large they are unimaginable!
I have NO problem with DLC - its totally optional and Season Passes even less as its financially better for gamers who want to purchase all the DLC.
No issue with this. For critics though I think it's important to note that Bloodborne (published by Sony) had no season pass, yet with Namco Bandai we have had 2 season passes in a row. So it's not a developer issue.
Regardless, the 'Souls' games have been my favourite of the last two generations and From Software's DLC is always fantastic. So yup, I'm in.
I didn't know Dark Souls 2 had a Season Pass. Apologies, I should have checked that. Rookie mistake!
Still, the point of the article stands, I guess.
I know it is lame, but lets be honest. FROM SOFTWARE DLC's are worth their money, they keep you for hours, they have a story and it is a company that will put them on sale after acouple of months.
When is the right time to announce a DLC/Season Pass?? Personally I think announcing it before the game is released is NOT a bad thing. It shows the developers are looking to support the game long after its released.
Some special/collectors/limited editions of games (digital and physical) include a 'Season Pass' and its a bit difficult NOT to mention it prior to release when these are available for pre-order.
Just because its 'announced' doesn't mean you have to buy either. Its not going to affect you enjoyment of the game. You can if you want wait until ALL the DLC has been released and decide if you think all the content is worth buying - its cheaper than buying all the packs individually.
You can't criticise its 'value' before release and without knowing the full content. With sequels, you can make an educated guess on whether the content is likely to be something you enjoy. If the game itself is great, having more of the same (or at least very similar) isn't a 'bad' thing.
One Season Pass I regularly buy is Call of Duty. For me these enhance my overall experience and keep me playing long after release. In some cases, these also transform a 'poor' game into a good game - Ghosts is a good example of this. The Maps are some of the best in CoD history - completely addressing the issue of the 'large' maps and the Extinction mode was made a lot more fun and interesting by the additional 4 maps - more of an episodic story.
I haven't yet bought a few Season Passes I want - like the Witcher 3's - but I would still prefer to buy that than pay more for the same content by purchasing separately. The point is even though this was announced BEFORE the game was released, before any real detail about its content, I still have the CHOICE as to when (or if) I buy and it had NO impact on my enjoyment of the game or the story!
@BAMozzy It seems you are misunderstanding a crucial point. Even though sceptical gamers might hold off from buying a season pass before the content is proven to be good, many people still buy it, even before knowing what it will contain. This incentivates developers and especially publishers to cut out content that might and often should have been added to the base game, and add it to the season pass to make it more attractive or even nessecary to buy to get the full experience.
The worst example I can think of is Shadow of Mordor. The base game doesn't really have an ending, but it would have had one if season passes didn't exist. Another perfect example is Call of Duty. If people like you didn't buy the season pass for every game, the base game would probably have contained more maps to make the game more attractive. But as you say yourself, you pay full price for a game that is rather boring without the additional content from the season pass, so you pay another 75% of a retail price to complete the game and make a "potentially good game" into a "properly good game". That is horrible. My friends paid almost 100 euros for the newest Call of Duty. Activision would still be rich if they sold it for the standard 60 euros, but they want to be super rich because people like you allow them to.
Additionally, it is difficult for a group of friends to properly enjoy a multiplayer game together if only a few have the season pass. If I bought Call of Duty: Black Ops III to play with my close friends, I'd feel forced to fork out additional cash for content I don't want, because otherwise I wouldn't be able to play everything that they play. The result would be them shutting me out from one time to another, or maybe even most of the time, to play the DLC maps that I don't have. I'd definately cave in and buy the season pass as well in the end. That is why season passes, especially if they're announced before the content is even thought of, is dirty business.
@Gogovsky just about to say exactly that!
The Old Hunters for Bloodborne was solid, but added a great new challenge to the game.
Sometimes Season Passes work though.
The Witcher and Dying Light spring to mind.
@ToOGoodOfAPlaya I agree. The Bloodborne DLC was a worthy addition to an already complete game. The same goes for Dark Souls DLC.
The Witcher 3's DLC is such great value for the money that I found it reasonable that they even named it something else than a season pass.
@Gogovsky What you don't understand then is that CoD has a track record for its games. Believe it or not CoD games have had roughly the same number of maps throughout its history - maybe differing by 1 or 2 - but the overall content has significantly increased. CoD 4 was just a campaign and MP. Now the game has a dedicated co-op section, 2 campaigns effectively, a time trial free running section as well as the MP and its 'combat training'.
Overall the game has grown significantly!! Battlefield is another series that has a track record and therefore easy to see if the on-disc content has been cut. These games are not 'boring' without the DLC but the DLC adds to the variety. There is nothing stopping anyone from reaching Max Prestige in MP, completing the Campaign and having fun in the co-op. The difference the DLC makes is 'nothing' to the game-play itself and the overall experience is only enhanced by its addition.
There is NOTHING stopping you from playing with friends without the DLC. If you party up with friends, you and they can only play the maps that EVERYONE has and you will be in lobbies with people that have exactly the same maps too - It doesn't stop you playing. As with ANY DLC or Game, if you don't have it, then you can't play it regardless. The point is though, you can still play ALL the disc based content with ALL your friends who have the game!
@BAMozzy It seems you didn't quite understand what I meant about getting shut out. Sure, if I'm in a lobby with them, we can only play the maps that everyone have. Therefore, they're not going to want to be in a lobby with me. The first couple of months, they played the avaliable Zombie-maps to death. They played them until they weren't exciting anymore. I could've joined them in that if I had the basic game, but come January or whenever, they'd prefer to play in the new and unexplored Zombie map, which I wouldn't have, so therefore I would be a restriction in their party.
Activision knows this, and that is why they go to the length of adding unique maps as a pre-order bonus, so that friends convince each other to even pre-order the whole lot. That's what my friends did. They checked with each other to see if everyone were willing to pay up those 100 euros, so that they could play every specific map at the release of each. That makes the base game "outdated" rather quickly, and people get better prepared for a new Call of Duty release all together just a year later. Activision has designed it so that people play each part of the game to death in proper order, by restricting variation from the get-go. If all of the DLC content had been there from the start, or at least most of the maps, one could vary to a greater degree and it would take longer to get sick of each map.
Now, about game size, games are supposed to get bigger as technology develops. To say they always had the same amount of maps isn't an excuse for season passes. The Witcher developer too could say that "The Witcher games have always been around 30 hours long, so The Witcher 3 will also be of that length with 2 or 3 season passes, for a cost of only 150 euros." But they didn't, because they are great and passionate developers. They know the income will increase with the production costs because more people buy games now. They will sell more copies. They don't have to increase the price of the game and release it in pieces.
@Gogovsky Games are NOT supposed to get 'bigger'. They maybe have new 'features' or 'Mechanics', better visuals, audio and maybe frame rates as technology grows but the point is - games are NOT necessarily meant to get bigger. Sequels are meant to offer a new but similar experience - a new story, new maps, modes etc but not necessarily bigger! You don't buy a book' and expect the sequels to have more words, you don't buy Albums and expect more tracks, you don't watch a movie and expect more minutes! You don't go to the same restaurant and expect bigger portions each time you return and still expect to pay the same! You don't pay to watch football and expect the matches to last longer each time!
Most games with their sequels tend to be 'similar' in size/scale with a few new additions/characters /mechanics and maybe a better visual presentation.
DLC isn't taken from the game to sell you it in pieces - it enhances and adds to the base game. There is no way that ANY of the games that have DLC (Uncharted, Last of Us, CoD, Fallout, Mass Effect, Witcher, CoD, BF, Batman etc etc) require you to buy the DLC to play and finish the game. You are not prevented from playing any aspect unless you buy DLC. If your friends don't want to play the on-disc content with you then that says more about you, your 'friends' and your friendship than the game. You can still reach exactly the same level.
I can enjoy a game without feeling the need to buy DLC, I choose to, because I want 'more' - whether that's story content, maps or co-op experiences. It is not compulsory!
@Bad-MuthaAdebisi I doubt its news to you that it costs a lot of money to continue to develop content for a game for months (sometimes years) after its release. This leaves you with three options:
1. Don't support your game with new content after release. (How it used to be)
2. Support your game with new content and charge those that want the new content for it. (DLC/Season Pass/Expansions)
3. Support your game with new content and charge everyone for it. (Raising the core game price) This will lower overall sales by making the barrier to entry higher.
The fourth option, to keep supporting your game after release with new content, for free, is not a strategy that will work for most developers, and most games are not massive hits that will continue to sell for near full price for awhile to make this tactic actually produce a profit.
So I say, PLEASE CONTINUE WITH THE DLC! I love it! Just as long as the DLC adds content to the existing game, and its not some stand alone story with a different character, etc...
@BAMozzy "Bigger" is perhaps not the best term to use, but when it comes to video games, one expects the next game to be somewhat richer in content. This differs between types of games. A game like Uncharted is more comparable to a movie or a book, and the enrichment of content will be focused towards graphics and a new creative story. But generally one expects the next entry in a series to offer more than the last. That is why many people were dissappointed by GTA IV, for example. And with a shooter like Call of Duty, where the story, gameplay and most other aspects will always remain very similar, they could at least expand the amount of content we can use. This has gone very slowly to not spoil the audience, because they aim for a full new release every damn year, and when it does expand, it comes at a rough price. They sell millions of copies. It wouldn't hurt to earn some goodwill by impressing the customers without having them pay through their nose. But they don't need to impress or earn goodwill, because they get truckloads of money from every teenager and his/her friends.
Nonetheless, if you claim that games are not chopped up to add to the DLC package, you are simply wrong. It is not so in all cases, but it's an ever growing problem. There are so many examples. Why does Batman: Arkham Knight have two season passes, when other games offer more than the value of those two season passes with a single one? Because the publisher is a moneygrabber! Why are certain fighters in Mortal Kombat X locked out in grey, as if they weren't even additional content? To tempt you to buy them! You can fight against them, but not play as them without paying extra! The fighter is already there! I remember my early days of gaming, when we didn't need that kind of additional content, because additional content was already on the disc ready to be unlocked THROUGH PLAYING, NOT THROUGH PAYING MORE! New maps, new characters, additional levels, ect. It was something to play for, not to pay for. These bastards just figured they could make teenagers pay for them instead. But many developers choose to refrain from this, because they love games. Activision and WB Games do not love video games. Gaming is big business now, bigger than ever, so it attracts money-grabbing businessmen in a bigger scale than before, and these businessmen develop exploiting strategies. That's the point of their job! To earn money for the company as easily as possible, without compromising the brand!
About playing with friends, don't be silly. If you paid for additional content, have been waiting for it, and is already sick of the older content, you want to play it. It doesn't mean you dislike your friend, it means you want to play what you've bought. That pressures others to by the same as you (in these multiplayer games), because you want to stay as a group with the same interests. You can't possibly not understand my point. If so, it must be on purpose.
@thedevilsjester I'd argue that once the core game is complete and so much so that it's selling in shops then the DLC produced is a far easier and cheaper process to produce, charging season pass prices that slowly creep towards the cost of a full AAA game is absurd, look now at the proposed £40 for Fallout 4 season pass, for that price I expect Fallout 5, Star Wars battlefront doubles it's price just for some crumby maps, that's all the game is, they may as well not sell the game at all and just sell it on a map by map basis
@Bad-MuthaAdebisi I do agree that the DLC cost is getting out of control ($24?! for one piece?!) but wether or not its significantly cheaper to make depends entirely on the game and the DLC. The artists, composers, story writers, level designers, and developers are all still paid the same rate.
You can always reuse all your resources for DLC, in which case it costs next to nothing, but you can also build all new levels, design new art, new music, new voice acting, and add new functionality to enhance the game. These cost the same post-launch as they would have during development. A good batch of DLC sits comfortably in the middle.
If I get a good 30+ hours out of the core game (and I enjoyed it) then I will gladly buy any content DLC for the game. If I get less than 30, then I feel they short changed the game.
Can we just stop stripping games of half of it's content so we can make more money? No? Good luck playing the full experience when these downloads go dead in the future. I don't mind there being DLC like outfits and such you can always play without them, maybe a few weapons, big deal right. But when they cut out levels and dungeons I get grumpy.
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