Over the past few years, the battle pass has become the primary means for many games to find post-launch financial revenue. The system, which usually requires players to complete daily and weekly challenges to unlock game items at different levels, has many issues that can affect players’ gaming experience. Despite this, battle passes are still by far the best option game developers have to keep their work profitable after launch.
While the concept existed in one form or another as far back as 2013, Battle Passes have become a gaming juggernaut with Fortnite: Battle Royale, which offered players a two-tier, tiered rewards system. While there were cosmetics and in-game currency available in the free tier, players looking for the best rewards could (and still can in fortniteit is Season 3, Chapter 3) pay to unlock the premium battle pass and earn even more rewards. Since then, most multiplayer games have introduced battle passes to some degree, with even Infinite Halo adding battle passes, to a mixed reception. Despite the flaws in the system, the battle pass trend is set to continue for some time.
What Makes Battle Passes Terrible
The main purpose of a battle pass is to give players a sense of progression as they unlock new cosmetics or currencies to spend on items. While not a problem per se, a major downside to many battle pass systems is the daily and weekly challenges required to level up. To make the battle pass different from the standard levels in the game, the developers usually separate the battle pass challenges from the typical victory conditions. This translates to in-game frustration as some players may pass up kills to take the steps they need to level their battle pass.
The separate free and premium tiers have also been criticized, as some battles pass as Infinite Haloit is The Season 1 Pass offers very few customization options for free players, with the majority of armor unlocks carried over to the paid pass. Even with Halo with season 2 improving from the previous season, the game struggled to keep players invested. While players shouldn’t expect the free tier to pack as much content as the paid tier, those who are unwilling or unable to pay for the pass may feel disrespected if it appears the developers don’t want to. not give free players something interesting.
The seasonal model, popularized by Fortnite and retained in nearly every game, exploits the fear of missing out, forcing players who want the highest rewards to complete challenges for hours before the pass expires, then it’s on to the next season . For games with slow battle pass progression or cumbersome unlock conditions, players can easily get exhausted trying to unlock the items they want, spoiling the gameplay experience. The system can also appear as predator, especially when players are offered ways to pay to level the pass.
Why Battle Passes Are Always Better Than Other Options
While the battle pass system can feel frustrating and exploitative, the system still manages to be better than what came before it. Most modern gamers might not remember when multiplayer games would introduce paid DLC map packs, which could end up killing a game’s player base by separating those who paid for new maps from those who didn’t. haven’t done it. Despite the problems with its current tier system, PlayStation Plus only provided players with online play. games like World of Warcraft also experienced worse monetization, despite requiring paid subscriptions to continue playing and releasing expensive expansion packs.
Where Battle Passes really look best is when you compare them to Loot Boxes. The loot box monetization system has drawn enough criticism that countries are warning companies to limit their practices. While battle passes can be criticized for keeping highly sought after items in paid battle pass slots, players with a guarantee of when they can get the desired legendary cosmetic are better off having to spend money. real on a loot box with only one chance at the item. Loot boxes are so despised that EA won an infamous world record for defending them.
No matter how the developers go about it, gamers will probably never fully accept the way games seem to keep making money after launch. Despite the flaws and frustrating design behind the Battle Passes, it looks like the developers have finally found the best answer to maintain revenue while continuing to deliver additional game content to fans. With near-unanimous agreement to keep gameplay-affecting items out of battle passes, the system’s biggest benefit is its optional status for those not interested in the latest cosmetics, allowing players to take advantage of what they love longer than ever before.