The lights are on
In what might be the least surprising announcement related to one of 2014’s anticipated launches, Respawn Entertainment founder Vince Zampella confirmed post-launch plans for Titanfall. There will be a season pass.
“We’re not being pressured to do it [by EA],” Zampella says. “We’re going to do paid DLC, but we’re also going to do free updates. There are things that we want in the game that we didn’t get in the final game. So we’ll add private matches. We’re going to do a season pass, just because if you buy it up front, you get a deal. We’re not doing microtransactions. It’s just ‘buy it up front and you get a better price.’”
Season passes have become a routine practice in the industry for two core reasons. First, they capitalize on the excitement of launch, when many players have themselves convinced they’re in it for the long haul.
Second, season passes help with publisher cash flow, even if they are held as short-term liabilities and recognized as revenue incrementally, relative to DLC drops. One of the most important aspects of a successful business is accurately predicting revenues, and the cushion provided by season passes is significant.
Zampella also addressed the campaign multiplayer purpose and length, as well as how it connects with the standard multiplayer. “It’s a couple of hours on each side,” Zampella said. “It’s not meant to be training. It’s meant to be introduction to the lore, the world, the story. To get you engrossed in what we’re trying to bring to you.” For more on Titanfall, check out a recent preview.
Our TakeI’ve become more cautious about season passes, and I’ve yet to purchase one that I’ve seen all the way through (Mortal Kombat was the closest, with Injustice a close second). They tend to be foolish expenditures for me. As much as I like Titanfall, I’ll wait until the first DLC is knocking at the door before I make a decision.
(Note: Someone asked me about Telltale Games "season passes," which I didn't mention for a specific reason. Given the inherent episodic model and that, in some cases, it's the only way to purchase the game, I don't view them the same way. But, yes, I do buy those.)