I have been a gamer for almost as long as I can remember. I remember sitting on the living room floor playing an original Pong system with my father and brother. All through my childhood, into my adolescence, and now into my adult life my memories are all positive when it comes to gaming...until recently, but I will get into that in a moment. I have lived in the Golden Age of the gaming industry. I have seen games evolve from black and white to the outstanding high definition graphics we have today. I have lived through the evolution of the technology to wireless controllers and internet connectivity that has brought many of our beloved games that oh-so-powerful online multiplayer. This technology has come at a price, a price that the game developers and game backers have passed on to the consumer. In some ways, the Golden Age of gaming were simpler times. You would pay money for a game...a finished game (another subject for another time)...you would go home, plug it in, and play it to your hearts desire. Like all things, technology evolved. Games became a growing, breathing industry. Gamers wanted and expected more. Developers answer: Downloadable Content (DLC). Season Passes, pre-order bonuses...and now, heaven help us, Turtle Rock Studios (TRS) has introduced pre-purchase content with their new title Evolve.
Let me say that I loathe the fact that I have to pay extra for DLC and season passes and whatnot on games that are broken upon release. I despise the fact that I have to pay 15-100% of a game that i already payed for's price for a season pass or make a pre-order to basically unlock content that should already be included in the game. I've seen Season Passes run from $10 up to $60 for the most popular games. So now being a gamer is not as cheap as it used to be. Games are getting more expensive, which is understandable because they are getting more expensive to develop. So Game developers came up with an answer for this too. Game developers slice off whole sections of games and offer it later, for a fee as DLC. "Wait just a minute though" screams the developer! "If you buy the season pass, you will get all this content as it becomes available and you will even save money because you will get it at a discount!" As gamers we have become accustomed to this and have now accepted it as canon. Now that we have accepted it, gaming companies are going to start to push the envelope and see what else we will accept. That is exactly what TRS has done.I will explain myself, butt first let me explain my history with evolve.
I was foaming at the mouth to see and play it since I saw the first trailer. I was so stoked! The minds behind Left for Dead had created another game that looked amazing! Even though, like many games, the release date was pushed back. Fine, not an issue, I figured they had some bugs or kinks to iron out. The Beta is released...I flip my shit. My jaw drops. The game is amazing, but not without problems. It has a few bugs. One would expect that in a beta. "They should be able to iron them out before release" I tell myself. The long awaited release date finally arrives....and it's like playing the fucking Beta. Some in the community even argued that the Beta played better. To this day, despite patches, matchmaking in the game is a big pile of crap that still needs work. This, in my opinion, is a huge oversight on the part of TRS. How are you going to have a game, that at the very basest of things, is a game that was intended for a party system and to be played with your friends, much like Left for Dead 1 and 2, and fumble the ball in the matchmaking department? Several patches in and all i have seen on the TRS forums are that they know the matchmaking system is having issues and there will be incremental improvements over time in future patches (no, really, look it up sometime) *slams face into keyboard multiple times here* INCREMENTAL IMPROVMENTS OVER TIME...
I digress on the whole point of my rant though. I pay an extra $25 for a season pass, which again I hate to do because I'm shelling out hard earned money for content that should already be in the game. Now, we as gamers have an understanding that if you purchase a season pass you get all future expansions and extra content for that game...or so I thought. I purchased the digital deluxe on release day. Included in the perks of the digital deluxe are some monster skins, unlocked second tier hunters, THE SEASON PASS, and upon release the new hunters and monter...or so I thought.
I went to download the hunters which have been released tonight and all was right with the world...then I clicked on the behemoth...surely, there is some mistake...it has a price tag on it. 14.99?! They want me to shell out another $15 on a monster that, at least I feel, should be included with the season pass. I've already shelled out $80 for the game! I take a deep breath and consult the almighty Google, hoping, praying that there has been some mistake. Apparently the behemoth is only free to those who pre-ordered or pre-purchased the game.
Upon further investigation on the forums, I'm shocked to see that many gamers are okay with this (undoubtedly the people that pre-ordered or pre-purchased the game). Many, on the forum say you should read the description before you purchase your item. Okay, yes, I will give them that. It is my responsibility to acknowledge and understand what I am spending my hard earned money on. In all fairness, in the description, it does not say that the next monster is included in the season pass.
Season Pass...THIS is where i have the problem. The term season pass has always meant to us gamers that you get All future downloadable content for the game, thats why some of us are willing to fork over the extra money. I feel that TRS's use of the term "Season Pass" was intentionally misleading. Yes, I said it, I believe TRS has turned Evolve into a money grab. If it was not intentional, why not call it, oh i don't know, a Hunters Pass or something that does not lead the gaming community to feel they have been blindsided?
So what can be done? How do we keep the gaming industry intact, pure, and honest the way it used to be. Many will say we can't. As gamers, much like in the games we play, we control our destiny...at least as far as the gaming industry goes. What happened when Xbox one (XB1) came out with all of their announcements for online required and no game sharing? The gamers revolted! The PS4's pre-orders doubled that of XB1. Microsoft stocks took a big hit, people were fired...and things changed. We gamers have a power...and with that power comes great responsibility.
My disappointment and anger with TRS runs deep right now. I will not be paying for the behemoth. And they will definitely be releasing a nasty e-mail...or perhaps i can just cut and paste...