I’ve been waiting for Batman: Arkham Knight for a long time. Every trailer gets me drooling. Each new game mechanic revealed makes me excited. Each (and every) delay resulted in me feeling sad for a mere moment, but eventually becoming hopeful for the game turning out to be all it can be.
But this week, Warner Brothers dropped a bomb about the game that left a more bitter taste in my mouth: a season pass is headed our way. In the gaming world today, season passes for games are hardly news. Any story “revealing” a season pass of content for a recent AAA release never truly pulls the rug out from under me.
This particular season pass for Arkham Knight is offering content for six months after the game is released in June and was originally named on Twitter to include “story missions, supervillians, and more.” WB added details afterwards regarding Batmobile skins, “advanced” challenge maps, alternate character skins, and new drivable race tracks. All for $40.
Yes, you read that right. $40, which translates to exactly 2/3, or 66% of the MSRP of the game’s $60 price tag. $40 – the price of a full, complete, and brand new 3DS or Vita game.
I’m not fighting new content being released for a game after it hits store shelves (mostly because it doesn’t seem to have a chance of slowing down any time soon). My problem with season passes similar to Arkham Knight’s is the feeling that they just do not reach their value. I realize that I am not being forced to spend a penny on a season pass anywhere or anytime. But as long as they stay profitable for companies, they will continue making them, which in my mind, will negatively influence the development of games in the long run. I gave WB and Rocksteady the benefit of the doubt every time Arkham Knight got delayed. Now content that very well could be included in the main game is being sold to me separately. I know it’s been debated a million and one times, but I miss the days of buying games and knowing what is on the disc is the entire and complete package (Though to be honest, the abundance of indie titles available to me on my consoles is doing that just fine).
I don’t like tying a game’s value to its length – but will the content included in the season pass really equate to 66% of the time that I spend in the main game? Will the skins, costumes, and side missions (whose length are entirely unknown at this point) be a better value of my money than anything else?
By simple logic, the $100 you now must spend to fully own Arkham Knight would mean WB is splitting the game into two: giving me 60% of the content on what should be the “full, main game”. Arkham Knight is not the only offender, but it’s the most recent one that will make me leave GameStop on June 23 feeling like I only got a portion of a purchase. Not even Batman himself can save me from feeling a little bitter at this situation.