Earlier this year, Goat Simulator developer Coffee Stain announced that patches and additional content would soon be available for those who had purchased the original game, and that the extras would come at no extra cost. Game designer and PR manager Armin Ibrisagic explained that the main reason for keeping the DLC free is that “it’s nice,” and that “a good relationship with players… is the best long-term investment you can make.”
This philosophy is not one that is shared by many AAA developers. Ubisoft’s open-world hacking game Watch Dogs has nine different editions coming out on May 27, which cost anything from $60 for the standard edition to $120 for the Dedsec Edition. Just in order to access all of the single-player missions, you’ll need to shell out at least an extra $20 for a Season Pass.
It’s been clear for a while now that many developers are sectioning off parts of games in order to charge consumers extra for them, and with Ubisoft’s recently-announced sequel Far Cry 4 this practice just got a little bit more shameless. Although Far Cry 4 isn’t out until November, GameStop is already listing a $30 Season Pass for the game that you can pre-order now, although there aren’t yet any details of what it will give access to.
The price tag for Far Cry 4‘s Season Pass is $10 more than those for Watch Dogs and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (though not as expensive as Call of Duty Season Passes, which now cost almost as much as the game itself). What this means is that accessing all of the content available for the game will cost an extra 50% of the standard edition price. Needless to say, the reaction from gamers has so far been less than positive.
Ubisoft’s reputation for creating great game franchises seems to be continually marred by practices like always-online DRM, day one DLC, and extra content only available on specific platforms. Announcing a $30 Season Pass before players have even seen screenshots or a trailer for Far Cry 4 feels almost intentionally antagonistic, and selling pre-order codes for it without even detailing the content is just a little bit complacent.
Far Cry 4 will be set in the Himalayas and will feature a villain called Pagan Min and a protagonist called Ajay Ghale. In addition to the Season Pass, Ubisoft has also announced a Limited Edition that will be available to those who pre-order the game, and which will contain three “bonus” single-player missions.
Far Cry 4 will be available for PC, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3 and PS4 on November 18, 2014.