Activision recently announced a season pass for Black Ops 4, called the Black Ops Pass, and people are not happy about it, as Kotaku points out in a report. The season pass will offer the multiplayer maps and zombies maps that you’d expect it to, while also offering another bonus zombie map and exclusive battle royale skins for the game’s newest mode, and this content will see staggered releases through the course of a year, which is all well and good.
The issue is that Activision aren’t offering any of this content individually- for now, at least. So if you want any of what they’re offering in the pass, you’re gonna have to purchase the whole thing, which will bring the price of your entire purchase, with the game itself and the pass included, up to $99.99. This is, obviously, an issue. For starters, the very point of any multiplayer experience is supposed to be inclusion, where you can play with all your friends without any issues or anything to prevent that from happening.
If you have a map pack and one of your friends doesn’t, or vice versa, you can’t play on the map, making that purchase useless. This is an issue that has plagued the entire concept of season passes for a long time, and it becomes doubly problematic with a battle royale mode. The experience simply cannot survive with a paywall in place, and the success PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite have seen with their free content releases, with paywalls being limited only to cosmetic purchases.
Hell, even EA and DICE, who rightly received a ton of flak last year for their monetization policies, recently announced that there would be no premium pass for Battlefield V, and that all post-launch content would be released for free. A similar announcement was also made by Ubisoft for The Division 2. It’s sad to see that Activision seem to be sticking with policies that most, if not all, others have realized simply don’t work too well in the bigger picture.