The Worst of 2015: EA’s Half Game Season Pass Assault
Much like every year within the video game industry, 2015 had a lot of bad to go with it’s good. With a number of publishers adopting much more abusive business practices, 2015 became more a year of frustration and concern more than anything else. From games releasing in barely working states, to games with barely any content, it’s a worrying sign for time ahead. This is worst of 2015.
EA, The Half-Game Prince
In truth, the last few years have seen EA play around with various ways of handling DLC. At it’s best, the sheer amount of free DLC released for Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare, and at it’s worst…Star Wars: Battlefront. 2015 saw EA mix free DLC with ridiculous season passes, often with more marketing than the core game. This all took a turn for a worse as EA began to release smaller and smaller games, without changing the asking price.
Battlefield: Hardline kicked off the trend. Launching with a handful of modes and maps, EA still wanted the full retail price attached. Hardline offered a single player mode, but it’s length and quality made it feel entirely forced. The heart of the game was it’s multiplayer. It may have been fun, packing all the familiar Battlefield thrills, but the lack of maps allowed repetition to settle in quickly.
EA’s glorified season pass, known as Premium, made a return…just with less playable content. It took months for new maps to be released, leaving Hardline’s player base dwindling. The map number situation never improved, with a very small amount of new content ever coming to materialising. That full price retail release, with a barely worthwhile season pass, left a lot of underwhelmed customers.
This bring us neatly to Dice’s latest release, Star Wars: Battlefront. Packing a whole four maps, and only two decent games modes, Battlefront was barely half a game. The writing had been on the wall for some time. With three versions of Battlefront released, with the top end costing £90+, it was clear this was just a cash grab. Battlefront’s pre-order DLC earned itself a trailer, even before the full game had lunched. Season Pass details were revealed, again, far before the game’s retail release. Battlefront suffers from various issues, but content is undeniable the most glaring problem.
Frustration is the main feeling towards Battlefront’s lack of content. After various delays, and a promising Beta, the lack of content just felt like a huge kop out. It’s hard not to cast a cynical eye towards EA as they gleefully boast about 16 new maps with the £40 season pass. It’s also hard to keep a positive outlook on a business practice so fiercely defended by the consumer it’s mugging off.
After years of trying to see the positives of EA, 2015 truly battered any good will I held towards them. The sad part is, I can only see this getting worse and worse.