Bioshock Infinite season pass will open the doors

Posted by CB Droege

Irrational Games has confirmed its DLC pre-purchase bundle for its upcoming dystopian fantasy adventure.

Bioshock Infinite is one of the most anticipated games this year, and might be the game I am most personally looking forward to most in the coming months. Thus it’s a disapointment that the game has been unable to avoid some of the more outlandish sales tactics.

I know that DLC content is here to stay, and there will always be those willing to pay for it. I appreciate that, but there is a matter of intent which has lately become a contentious point for me.

Expansion content should be just that. It should expand the existing work and serve as an encore to the original game. Releasing an expansion should be a recognition that people loved your game enough that they want more, and you were willing to put more time into making it, but that’s not how it seems to work anymore. In today’s gaming industry, DLCs are planned right from the start, and often include lots of features that players end up feeling like should have been included in the base game, since they were clearly done at the same time. That’s not an expansion anymore, that’s selling a crippled product.

To be clear, I have no contention with special editions with fancy boxes, figurines, additional games, in-canon books, whatever, but cutting a chunk out of the game itself to sell back to us before the game even comes out just smacks of money-grabbing.

I expect it from the biggest game publishers, and I suppose it’s unfair of me to judge Irrational games by a different standard just because they’re a smaller operation, but I was still a bit disappointed when I got the press release letting me know that there is a ‘season pass’ available for Bioshock Infinite. Of course, it could have been the publisher’s call.

If you’re not familiar, a ‘season pass’ is essentially like a pre-order for a game’s DLC. You usually have to buy it either before the game comes out or very soon after, and it gives you future access to some specific DLC when it comes out. This is DLC that has already been planned, developed, and probably finished, but was left out of the full game with the specific intent to have fans buy into it. Meaning, fans who want the actual game, without any missing chunks, now have to pay a minimum of $80 ($60 for the game and $20 for the season pass). It’s presented as a discount pack, since the DLC items themselves are usually $10-15 apiece.

The Bioshock Infinite season pass opens eventual access to three DLC packs, and allows players access to many of the items which were previously announced as rewards for pre-order customers, like Industrial Revolution and some in-game items.

Bioshock Infinite and its season pass hits shelves on March 26, 2013.