While we’re not quite ready to call “Horse Armor” just yet, Bethesda’s Fallout 4 DLC plans seem like a raw deal for their fans
Today Bethesda Softworks announced a handful of DLC chapters set to make their way to Fallout 4 over the next few months. While it’s hard to fault the developer for bringing new experiences to players who’ve been plowing their way through the sandbox RPG since it released on November 10, 2015, the recent confirmation that they intend to up the price of the game’s Season Pass from its current $29.99 price to $49.99 on March 1, 2016 comes across as nothing more than a tasteless slap in the face to consumers.
In announcing the Fallout 4 Season Pass price increase, Bethesda’s reasoning was that they have expanded their plans to release more than the 3 pieces of content detailed today, which included the new chapters Automatron, Wasteland Workshop and Far Harbor, which offer new quest lines as well as a handful of customization options, including the ability to train and capture Deathclaws as well as build and customize robotic companions. While we’ve yet to get our mitts on any of these chapters, which are set to kick off on March 1, and continue to roll out on a monthly basis until May, what we’ve seen detailed by Bethesda doesn’t exactly sound overly ambitious and worth the added $20 price hike, especially if future DLC plans continue the ongoing theme of merely tossing in more ways to dress up your followers and build new things – all concepts which PC gamers have been enjoying for free for months at this point.
What’s more concerning than the rather anemic sounding offerings revealed today is Bethesda’s apparent reasoning that DLC requires a price hike when it’s become more ambitious than originally expected. This seems to imply that players should anticpate the content included with their $30 Season Passes to be little more than uninspired fluff, while any real effort on a developer’s part almost warrants the price of an entirely new game. This kind of logic sets a shameful precedent that consumers won’t soon forget. While those who purchased Season Pass are grandfathered in at the lower price, those who decide to wait it out to see if the DLC on offer is worthwhile end up paying substantially more than their peers or end up having to shell out $90 on a new game ahead of time to ensure they get the best price on DLC that could ultimately be tremendously underwhelming.
This isn’t the first time a developer has decided to up the price on their DLC ahead of its arrival. Back in November Techland increased the price of the massive Dying Light The Following expansion from its original $14.99 price tag (half of Fallout 4’s season pass, mind you), to $29.99 due to the huge scale of game’s recently-released expansion, “The Following”. While this price hike was certainly unwelcome, it’s still a far cry from the $50 Fallout 4 fans will be paying for a handful of pieces of DLC that as of right now don’t sound like they offer a great deal more than what PC players can already enjoy for free. Especially when you consider that for a mere $10 more you can purchase the Dying Light: The Following – Enhanced Edition, which includes the core game, DLC and a host of improvements to the original release. Simply put, Bethesda doesn’t seem to be offering fans their money’s worth when compared to the competition.
Here’s hoping Automatron, Wasteland Workshop, Far Harbor and the rest of the DLC planned for Fallout 4 end up offering some substantial enhancements to the game’s formula to justify the jump in price. After all, we’d love another reason to dive back into the irradiated wastes a few more times. However, we’ll feel pretty burned if what’s on display isn’t ultimately worth the price of admission. In any case, we’ll find out if Bethesda had gamers’ best interests at heart in a few short months. We’re not quite ready to scream “Horse Armor” just yet, but we can’t help but shake the feeling that this move by Bethesda has cash-grab written all over it, and we sincerely hope this doesn’t begin to set the standard for how DLC is marketed with future releases.
So, what are your thoughts on Bethesda charging so many bottle caps for their latest DLC offerings? Do you think what’s on offer will be worth the $50 price tag for those who miss the March 1st deadline to purchase the Fallout 4 Season Pass? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.