Gears of War 4 Season Pass is Bullshit

Update: The Gears of War 4 Season Pass is confirmed to be $50. Source

Original Story:

The Gears of War 4 Ultimate Edition bundle has surfaced on the Xbox One marketplace. As details pour in on what’s included with the $100 package, I can’t shake the feeling that the Season Pass is a complete and utter ripoff.

If you aren’t caught up with all the news, purchasing the Gears of War 4 Ultimate Edition bundle allows players four days of early access. The game will unlock on October 7th, four days ahead of the full release. The other major component to the hefty $40 extra charge is the Season Pass whose contents are as follows:

  • Five items from the Vintage VIP Pack: Vintage JD character skin, Vintage Gnasher and Dropshot weapon skins, Vintage JD Emblem and Vintage JD Bounty for extra XP
  • Permanent DLC map ownership of over 24 additional maps (two per month for a year) for private matches
  • An exclusive VIP “Early Access” Playlist that grants a preview to upcoming modes, maps and variants
  • Six Gear Packs which unlock special character and weapon skins, equipment and abilities, and XP boosting bounties.

The reason I’m making this claim is due to two recent announcements for Gears of War 4: the inclusion of microtransactions and free DLC maps. But let’s start from the first point. Reaching level 20 in the beta essentially rewarded players with the exact same items. Instead of Vintage JD it was Vintage Kait. This is a very minor reward and one that many gamers will ditch the moment they obtain a new skin.

 

The second point is the permanent DLC map ownership for private matches. The DLC maps for Gears of War 4 will be free and will rotate in and out with other maps in the matchmaking cycle. However players can opt to buy the maps to keep them for unlimited play in private matches. First of all unless you consistently play private matches, this is worthless. Competitive Gears players, sure. Gamers that want to play against friends a lot, sure. But most people simply play matchmaking and are not affected by this. Not to mention you can always buy the maps you actually like instead of buying all 24 of them.

The third point is access to a VIP playlist that allows you to play modes and maps early. There is no additional information here as far as how early you get to play in the playlist. While this may seem enticing, how will it work if you’re friends didn’t but the Season Pass, will they be able to join you? What if hardly anyone buys the Season Pass at all, will the playlist be dead? What if people simply don’t use the playlist, will you be able to find a match?

The fourth and last point is in regards to Gear Packs. These are the microtransactions that have been included in Gears of War 4. They are also one of the worst kinds of microtransactions in my opinion: slot machines (only behind slot machines with items that expire). Gear Packs can be unlocked through in-game progression but they can also be purchased with real money. A quote from Rod Fergusson explains it best, “It felt like it added some engagement in terms of its not the, ‘Oh, I like Tiger Stripe. I bought Tiger Stripe. I’m done. I don’t need to engage with that system anymore. There’s no need for me to hang around.”. This ladies and gentleman is a slot machine. Instead of simply buying what you want (Tiger Stripe), you pull the lever and hope you get something good. Didn’t get anything? Pull again. And the best way to get someone addicted to a slot machine is to give them a few free pulls of the lever.

So this is what you’re getting for what is likely $40. Since Xbox already benefits from selling a digital copy over a retail one, I can’t see why they would jack up the price just for 4 days of early access. Instead they would just charge the standard $60 and hope that most gamers purchase it digitally over retail. I believe the extra charge is primarily due to the Season Pass, and that Season Pass is bullshit.

What are your thoughts on the Season Pass and Ultimate Edition for Gears of War 4? Maybe you just don’t give a shit because you get the game 4 days early? Maybe you like the new ideas? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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17 thoughts on “Gears of War 4 Season Pass is Bullshit

  1. ” What if hardly anyone buys the Season Pass at all, will the playlist be dead?”

    That is like asking what if no one watches the next Star Wars movie? There is no possibility of hardly anyone buying it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a terrible analogy. If no one goes to see the next Star Wars, I can still enjoy the movie. If a small portion of the community purchases the season pass, it will make it harder for me to find matches.

      And when you factor in the $50 price tag and the maps already being free, I don’t think it’s that big of a stretch.

      Like

      1. What I was getting at was that it will sell well no matter what. Phantom Menace proved that the name Star Wars is only needed to sell well, Batman vs Superman proved that what the critics say doesn’t matter in terms of sales. In the video game world, a season pass with a numbered Gears of War attached to it will sell well. Your typical gamer won’t do a tenth of the research you did, and just buy it or the shiny inevitable collectors edition.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You could be right. Plus I think the amount of gamers that want to play the game 4 days early will outweigh everything else. So they’ll all have the season pass automatically.

        Like

  2. Definitely agree with your thoughts and opinion; so much more value can be added to these Season Passes, but seems they’re thrown together blindly and gimmicky just for $.

    What’s worse, is for any real Gear’s fans, not the blind fanatics, but fans whom appreciate the series and have common sense will see how poor the Season Pass truly is.

    And the whole new method of the map rotation is very bitter sweet. Like they’re free, but why then force people to buy them for Private Matches? Coalition should just keep them free, completely, period. Plus don’t take them out rotation! Just make Playlists or better yet… allow us gamers to create our own custom map rotations for regular match making 😃

    Here’s to hoping there’s an outcry and they make changes to the fans that care.

    Like

    1. I used to hate the idea of season passes, but they’re so ingrained now that I don’t mind them. This one really strikes a nerve though. I agree with you, the maps should be free for private matches as well. I’m hoping there are also DLC playlists with new maps being the only maps in the rotation.

      Like

    1. Fanboy? Of what, Sony? I have one working console, an Xbox One. And I’m not a typical journalist that is told what to say, what not to say, and how to say it. I say whatever I want. Don’t like it? Go somewhere else.

      Like

  3. so for $50, the only unique thing you’re getting that no one else gets is skins? you get to try the other content regardless.

    Oh, and how much you want to bet those VIP playlists are going to be full of sweaty tryhards reminiscent of the call of duty competitive playlists.

    Like

  4. at the same time, this is actually good since you’re not forced into buying a mandatory season pass to get the full experience.

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    1. I’ve heard that line of thinking from other people. While I do agree it’s nice that you can experience the whole game without paying, it is still a ripoff for people that are going to pay. They’re essentially shoehorning it in with the Ultimate Edition knowing people will fork over the extra $40 just for the 4 days of early access.

      Like

      1. sorry to tell you, but was there a guy with a weapon who told you to buy the game? if its a ripoff, just dont buy the game.. simple ha?

        Like

  5. $40 for 4 days early access is a rip off. When I turn on my Xbox one no I see ‘you can play Gears of War 4’ now if you have the ultimate version it makes mad & want to return my preorder for a refund. What’s the point? If the game’s ready to play on the 7th give it to everyone who pre-ordered. Penalising people who preordered but did not pay the extra $40 is bad PR in my book.

    In Australia its $100 for the standard version so my $100 is not good enough for Microsoft? I’m looking at refund because I feel cheated. Games are expensive enough without this crap going on. I’m being penalised for only handing over A$100.

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  6. I agree. I did not do any research just bought the hard copy with season pass. To my dismay when the first DLC released all I got was maps I’ve played in Gears 3. . This was bad enough; however, I can only play them in playlists or game types I don’t like. What a complete ripoff. . It’s like paying to see a made for TV movie. Wow I can play host it privately anytime I want? Greeeaatt… I can’t even find players that have microphones to befriend, nevermind getting 9 of them together at once. We were robbed. What incentives do people have to purchase this pass is what I’m wondering. . What planet does this make sense. Much preferred the previous fail at DLC from GOW 3 at least then you could play the maps you wanted in game types you wanted.
    Rant concluded

    Like

  7. 99€ for a Retail game that Cost (in Germany) ~~ 60€ so i Pay 100€ to get the game
    5 Days early, get some neat Character, the old Marcus (what else do you need?) and the Season Pass…

    And yea its soooo bad to get the old loving maps back, indeed, you guys maybe never play GEARS OF WAR, you may play Gears… shame over you all! i jumped 10meters in the Air after i read checkout is back… but maybe i’m a REAL Fan…..

    Like

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