Polish developer Techland was the team behind zombie killing affairs Dead Island and Dead Island: Riptide. While Dead Island never really lived up to the hype of that emotional, slow-motion trailer and Riptide was criticized for being buggy and for failing to build on its predecessor, plenty enjoyed the two games. That’s why there was so much pressure on the developer to do well with Dying Light, Techland’s latest undead-em-up that mixes things up by featuring parkour and enemies that become more vicious and lethal at night.
However, although many gamers have been looking forward to the game, Dying Light‘s release has been hampered by controversy. At first, fans had trouble actually getting copies of the game when production issues delayed its release in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East and critics were also unable to get copies of Dying Light for review (until the very last minute). Some suggested that Techland and publisher Warner Bros. were trying to hide the game’s faults to capitalize on early sales, but that was merely speculation.
And then an update saw mod support removed from the game and copyright claims took existing mods offline – Techland did apologize later and vowed to include mod support for single player in a future patch, but it was frustrating for many players regardless. Sadly, although Dying Light players wanted to focus on exploring loot caves, discovering Easter eggs and trying to complete no-weapon playthroughs, the game has been hit with another controversial announcement. This time, the Dying Light season pass appears to be making players pay for downloadable content that was offered for free as a pre-order bonus.
Available for $19.99 / £15.99 / €19.99, the Dying Light season pass provides access to the following three DLC packs:
- Cuisine & Cargo (February 10th) – Available exclusively as a part of the Season Pass offer, these two hardcore missions let players investigate buildings sealed off in the very first days of the outbreak. Explore the ominous corridors of once the most famous restaurant in Harran, and employ both stealth and combat to ransack a zombie-filled loading bay at the abandoned railroad yard.
- Ultimate Survivor Bundle (March) – Players will receive seven unique in-game items that will bring fighting zombies to a whole new level. Grab three special outfits and four blueprints for over-the-top weapons to make your adventure in the quarantine zone even more fun.
- The Bozak Horde (May) – The final Season Pass drop will deliver a new map and gameplay, playable in single-player and co-op. Go inside the Harran Stadium and test your combat know-how against relentless hordes of the Infected. Fight increasingly stronger enemy waves as you oppose a mysterious psychopath called Bozak.
Player’s issues with the Season Pass focus mainly on the fact the Cuisine & Cargo pack and the Ultimate Survivor Bundle DLC are both being given away by online retailers ShopTo and Amazon as pre-order bonuses. Meanwhile, Amazon is also offering this DLC and The Bozak Horde DLC to those who pre-ordered the ‘Be The Zombie Edition’ of Dying Light prior to the game’s delay. In addition to this, Techland is also saying that the Cuisine & Cargo pack is “available exclusively as a part of the Season Pass offer” but evidently that’s untrue.
Many players will be questioning why Techland and Warner Bros. are willing to make some players pay for DLC while giving it to others for free. Similarly, players will want to know why they are effectively being punished for choosing not to pre-order a game – especially when it’s standard practice to wait for reviews to be released before you buy a game. And, even if Techland and Warner Bros. wanted to incentivize early purchases of Dying Light, is it fair to be so harsh to those who waited it out?