Our world is driven by money. We all know this to be true. Most of us spend our life working day in and day out to get to the next pay cheque, just to be able to continue living. It is a sad state of affairs, but our society would not function any other way. It has unfortunately became the norm. Over the years, prices have gone up time and time again, and everyone is out to try and take every single penny that you own.
The gaming industry is a great example of this, and with the recent loot crate epidemic, which was riding the coattails of the season pass, it is clear to see that as Gamers, video game companies are doing what they can to bleed us and leave us dry.
This is of course not saying that about everyone, and at the end of the day they are just trying to run a business and MOST of the employees are also just trying to live within their means, but occasionally some video game companies tend to take the piss and see how far they can push us before we rise up and rebel, causing the industry to shift and change.
The recent outcry with Loot crates in Star Wars: Battlefront 2, causing EA to first of all to make it cheaper when spending in-game currency (bought with real world money) to unlock previously paid for extra characters, was dropped dramatically, and then the currency was dropped entirely! This is not the first time that loot crates have gotten into the gaming news recently, what with them appearing in non-multiplayer games such as Shadow of War, and Call of Duty also added them into their most recent title in the series, but it seems that SW:BF2 was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
It looks like the gaming industry is going to have to look for a new way to squeeze extra money out of us, as, mark my words, this will be the end of Loot crates. I am sure a few games will still try and use them, but this will be met with negative feedback, and slowly but surely, this will be a thing of the past, at least for a while.

Season passes went a similar way. Of course they are still around, but less and less games are starting to feature them. There was a point in the last couple of years, when every game had one. At first the season pass was for games like Call of Duty, where they would release 4 of so expansions to the game (extra multiplayer levels, customisable options, extra missions etc), and each one would cost you around £15 quid. However, if you bought the season pass when the game first came out (for about £35 – 40 pound), then you would effectively get all the DLC for £10 or so cheaper, but this means you have to spend £80 for the game on release. They throw in an extra multiplayer level or some other kind of incentive for players to be rewarded with upon purchase, but they will have to wait until the map packs are released to access the rest of the content they have paid for. It sounds good in theory, and later down the line when the map pack is released and you have forgotten about paying the £80 all in one go, getting a nice little ‘free’ content to the game feels like a little treat.

This was a solid way to go about it, but of course the gaming companies decided to abuse this. Some games featured multiple season passes, so £40 only got you the first 3 or 4 DLCs, but then you would have to spend another £40 a year later to be able to access the next load of expansion packs.
And as with how loot crates have become recently, even non-multiplayer games featured season passes for their story DLCs. Games like Assassin’s Creed, Watch-Dogs, and Batman Arkham Knight, all feature season passes that players can buy upon purchase of the game.
With some story driving single player games, such as Fallout and the Witcher, it can be overlooked. As both of these games offer huge expansions that are totally worth your money. The developers added in a lot of extra content, with new missions, a new storyline, and everything else! DLCs like The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion’s – the Shivering Isles, and the Witcher 3’s Blood and Wine are incredibly enjoyable and are almost as in-depth as the base game itself. In fact these DLCs, along with Fallout 4’s Nuka World, and Skyrim’s Dragonborn, are even longer than some full-price base games themselves.

In my opinion, in these instances, it is perfectly acceptable to have a season pass so long as the rest of the content available is also to this high level of quality. In the games mentioned above, it totally is. But it is when the DLCs that come out for a game are not up to this standard. They are over before you know it, or they add nothing to the core game, or they are simply crap, then have multiple of these, along with different cosmetic items, and expecting people to fork out another £40 upon the game’s release, is just a money making scam.
Of course it is entirely up to the choice of the players. We don’t have to purchase these. But sometimes the games themselves entrap us. Dishonoured continued the story of their main game in DLC form, and their sequel continued the story even more, to the point where I had no idea who this character was that everyone was going on about, and it made me feel as if I had missed a lot of content, similarly to missing a couple of episodes of a TV show.
This is more difficult to handle than the others, but maybe the developers should keep the major stories for the sequel, and just give an interesting sub-plot that helps build up the base game when it comes to DLCs.

The problem is that people want everything. Back in the PS2 days, and the years before, we got everything on one single disc. We were given every piece of content that was available for this game. The developers even went out of their way to fill up the game as much as possible.
A great example of this is the game Golden Eye for the N64. The game came with 18 multiplayer levels, and 2 unlockable bonus levels. The new Call of Duty comes with 9… and there are also 3 that have been found on the disc which appear to be locked and will be unlocked when players purchase the first piece of DLC early next year.
That right there is a clear illustration of how the industry has changed to suck as much out of us as possible. 20 levels to 9.
While I appreciate that it takes longer nowadays to design levels than it did on the N64 days, what with the graphical demands, as well as balancing the maps so that there are no game ruining sections, I still thing that the clear lack in the number of maps we are given in today’s games, without the need of purchasing DLC, is a sad state of affairs.

It is always good to see developers keep the longevity of their games going long after the preliminary release, what with updates to the game (fixing glitches and bugs), as well as good DLC to keep the game fresh and enjoyable, so today’s current state is not all bad.
Personally I think that the games industry needs to go back to basics in terms of DLC and expansion packs. Instead of season passes and loot dates, developers need to just release the DLC and just have it sitting there for if the player wants to purchase it. No content featuring extra weapons or ability unlocks in multiplayer focused games which gives one player a clear advantage over another.
No loot crates. These things need to go.

While this method of DLC has been question in the past (think back to the infamous Horse Armour of The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion), this is normally content that adds nothing to the game and is clearly cosmetic customisable options, which becomes the player’s choice if they wish to be stupid enough to had over their hard earned cash. There is nothing that says the developers cannot make a shit ton of crap content for their game and ask for money off of us. This type of thing happens everywhere all the time and not just in the games industry. It is just that it is up to us as the players to make the decision whether or not we are actually going to buy it.
Things like Season Passes and Loot Crates are doorways into realms dominated by money sucking vampires who do not care what the players get in return. While there are plenty of examples where these methods of delivering additional content to players (not so much in terms of Loot crates), are a positive, there is just so much bullshit that comes along with it. If one company does it, and it works, then suddenly every Tom, Dick and Harry development company want to throw one of these into their games, and soon it becomes an epidemic.

As the dust settles following the SW:BF2 scandal, I predict that we are going to experience a gradual change in the gaming industry. Watch this space and keep your credit card details close to your chest.

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