The lights are on
Season passes have been an ingenious method to capitalize on launch hype and pull in additional revenue for content to delivered later. But what happens when gamers get shy because of the console transition? Microsoft is providing a consumer-friendly answer that should keep the money flowing.
The company is guaranteeing the value of season passes by providing an equivalent one on Xbox One with the purchase of a participating Xbox 360 content pack. For instance, if you buy into Call of Duty: Ghosts or Battlefield 4 for the entire season, if you decide to upgrade to Xbox One along the way, you'll get to keep your content on both systems.
Season passes, while representing deferred revenue, provide a burst of cash and ultimately net more money by hooking players with content up front, even if those DLC packs are never downloaded. They have been a huge source of comfort for companies like EA, which recognized $120 million from Battlefield 3 Premium in its last quarter of fiscal year 2013.
[Source: Xbox Wire]
Our TakeThe biggest challenge in monetizing season passes is fear. We're starting to see trepidation about unknown content, but the console transition introduced a new doubt. "What if I decide to upgrade?" was a looming worry for many that Microsoft and partners have deftly put to rest.
Given the titles involved, we expect that Sony will step forward with a similar plan very soon. The two titles mentioned aren't exclusives, which means the publishers are just as likely to want to put this problem to rest on both platforms. We've reached out to Sony to find out if these arrangements are in place for the PlayStation 4.