With news of Ni no Kuni 2‘s latest patch being released it’s got me thinking about the season pass. I’ve been eagerly awaiting new content for a few months now, but so far, Bandai Namco is being very quiet. With no news on when any DLC is going to be released or even what it’s going to contain, it does start to leave me a little fed up.
Season Pass Conundrums
Season passes can be strange things. You’re basically paying upfront for content that hasn’t been released yet, and you have no idea if it will be any good when it finally does get released. Sure, you might be wondering “isn’t that kinda the same as preordering a game?” well, yes and no. When you preorder a game, you at least know you’re getting a game, and you can also look up reviews before you make your purchase. When you buy a season pass, you could end up with anything. You’re always going to be hoping to get hours of additional story content and tons of fun new side quests. What you could end up with is a load of disappointing dross with nothing more than a couple of pointless cutscenes, a few crummy costumes, and a couple of lame weapons thrown in.
People buy season passes for all kinds of reasons; usually they’re excited by a game and so want to get all content as soon as possible. Sometimes they just want to show their support to a developer or maybe it’s just bundled into whatever version of the game they brought. Whatever the reason for purchase, it’d still be nice to have some kind of timeline for release or even some more details about what is being planned.
To be honest, I feel like there are very few positive reasons to throw your money at a season pass, especially when a game has first launched. It feels like it’s far too easy to get burned by purchasing a season pass that you’ll never make full use of. Imagine purchasing a version of the game with a season pass, redeeming the code, but then realizing shortly after you start that you’re just not that into the game. Most season passes are codes that you redeem on the PlayStation Store, so it’s not like you can just sell it on to try to recoup some of your money, or even gift it to a friend.
At this moment in time, the PlayStation Store doesn’t provide a whole lot of information on Ni no Kuni 2’s season pass. It mentions you’ll get the “epic expansions the moment they become available” and that you’ll get to explore new dungeons. While that all sounds good it’s difficult to stay hyped for a single-player RPG that, by now, you may have already finished. I’m having a hard-enough time trying to stay excited for Final Fantasy XV’s upcoming DLC and they’ve at least released information about what they’re planning to do and a rough timeline of when to expect it.
While it has been rumored that Ni no Kuni 2 might be getting two DLC releases those rumors were from when the game first released and as well all know sometimes plans can change.
Take a look at Mass Effect: Andromeda, for example. Fans fully expected to get at least a couple of single-player DLCs but ended up disappointed. Mass Effect 3 had numerous DLCs, which were widely praised by fans and critics alike, and so many were hoping that DLC could help fix some of Andromeda’s many issues. Unfortunately, all plans for single-player DLC were scrapped, with BioWare instead moving on to other projects.
Another more recent example of plans changing would be Friday the 13th: The Game. Due to ongoing legal troubles with Victor Miller (the screenwriter of the Friday The 13th franchise) over who owns the copyright, all future DLC has been canned. This is a shame not just for fans of the game, but also for all the people who had been working hard on creating new maps and game modes.
Is no news good news?
Okay, so while it’s extremely unlikely that Bandai Namco is about to get into any legal trouble over the Ni No Kuni series and thankfully the game has been well received by fans and critics alike. None of that stops the fact that sometimes, due to unforeseen circumstances, plans sometimes change. People leave teams, priorities get shifted, and sometimes things just don’t work out as expected.
It’d be awful if it turns out that the only content that gets released through the season pass ends up being loads of costume packs or other similarly superficial content like the season pass for Blue Reflection. Seriously, if you’ve not seen that little beauty on the PlayStation Store, then it’s worth checking it out just to feel your wallet have a mini-heart attack – £65.99 / $79.99 just for a load of costumes and one very bare-bones additional story scenario (which is sold separately for £0.79 / $0.99).
DLC and season passes don’t have to be all doom and gloom. When it’s done well, it can greatly enhance your gaming experience as well as saving you a bit of money. You only have to take a look at games like The Witcher 3 to see a perfect example of DLC done well. Hopefully Ni no Kuni 2 will end up with content more like The Witcher 3 and less like Blue Reflection.
For the moment though, Bandai Namco isn’t doing any of Ni no Kuni 2’s fans any favors by staying silent for so long. It’s really hard to maintain enthusiasm for a single-player RPG, when it’s already been out for a few months, and any news of future DLC seems to be nonexistent. Hopefully the arrival of the latest Ni no Kuni 2 patch is a sign that the DLC is inbound shortly.
Let us know in the comments if you’re still eagerly awaiting it or if you’ve already moved on to other games?