There’s no doubt that online multiplayer games has reached beyond its potential in the past generation. From its renaissance during the Xbox 360 and PS3 era to our current evolving landscape, it’s interesting to see how the multiplayer community and the publishers/developers feed off of one another to shape online multiplayer gaming and what that means for the game’s life cycle.
A game’s multiplayer life increases the more frequent developers update or add to the game, via paid or free DLC. With that said, gamers see a lot more of the infamous season pass ploy, an investment purchase for future content. These DLCs can range from customizable outfits or decals, maps, weapons, new story additions, and more. The consumer never fully understands what they’re acquiring or the quality of the content, just that they are getting it. We have seen developers stretch the band with consumers by offering $40 and $50 season passes, which rubbed gamers off the wrong way for more than one reason:
- Paying close to or more than $100 is required to experience what the multiplayer has to offer in terms of maps or even new characters.
- The pay wall alienates the community in the multiplayer game.
- Is the content worth the price of admission? It’s essentially a gamble, which most people are not comfortable with.
Now, let’s mention EA’s Star Wars Battlefront. For a $60 triple A title, the game was crushingly despised for its lack of content, unsatisfying gameplay mechanics and the $50 season pass that accompanied it. Despite its unmatched quality as a Star Wars title, the game was swindling consumers for the love of the franchise. With the recent trailer and details on Battlefront II, it was confirmed that there will not be a season pass for Battlefront II and DLC will be free to not divide the multiplayer community. This sounds like a great step forward for the franchise.
In relation, Overwatch has been using this method of service since its release, and the game and its community are flourishing. The core idea: pay $60 upfront, get all updates and DLC added free of charge. Sound good to me! If Battlefront II really sticks to that plan, the multiplayer life can be greatly extended, and we can see some great ebb and flow between the developers and gamers.
I understand Capcom may be in financial strains, but Street Fighter V could really benefit from this practice. It may be a little too late for the fighting game, but imagine how fruitful and large the SFV community would have been if all of the characters and stages came out for free. It’s a bit upsetting since SFV is a fun game, but it also shows that season passes for multiplayer games alienate their communities and decrease the game’s life. On the other hand, Overwatch and potentially Battlefront II are taking the best method to create longevity, interest and interaction in their games.
What do you think? Are you okay with paying for post multiplayer content, or would you rather see it as a long form service? Let us know down below!