Is The Division's season pass exclusive content a big deal?
Season passes are everywhere these days. They can be in RPGs, shooters, and even racing games. Like it or not, season passes are now an inescapable feature of modern gaming. So it shouldn't have come as much of a surprise when it was revealed that The Division will have a season pass that includes includes three of its upcoming DLC packs.
Overall, this is a fairly standard practice for any game. However, there is a small, somewhat cryptic line in the season pass details that may cause concern for some: season pass owners will get "access to special monthly benefits including exclusive content drops and special events."
Normally, season pass holders get a discount on upcoming DLC pack, and maybe a novelty in-game item -- in this case a sawed off shotgun. But if you take the above statement at face value, The Division will have goodies for those that bought the promise of future DLC in a bundle. In other words, you can't buy the DLC packs as they come out and receive the exclusive content. At least, that's the impression that the season pass info page gives off.
But will it actually matter?
The phrase "paying for exclusive content drops" could mean anything from weapon skin drops to actual content like missions. "Special events" can include anything from double XP weeks to something similar to Destiny's Iron Banner event.
In a best case scenario, the season pass exclusive content will just let you level up a bit faster or maybe grant some kind of aesthetic item -- perhaps you could even earn a couple more credits. But it wouldn't be anything that provides an explicit advantage or actual content like full blown missions. Logically, Ubisoft would should take this route, seeing as how it would have a negligible effect on the audience.
But in a worst case scenario...
But let's assume that Ubisoft is paying absolutely no attention to their target audience and decides to give season pass owners actual content like missions and Iron Banner-esque events. From a practical standpoint, it wouldn't affect most people, since The Division (allegedly) has enough quests to blanket the map.
From a more moral standpoint though, it certainly doesn't seem fair. If Ubisoft goes down this road, they will essentially be punishing those who are prudent enough to wait and see exactly what will be in the DLC packs before buying them. Plus, there's the possibility that even if you buy all the packs separately, you could end up being locked out of the exclusive content simply because you didn't buy the season pass. This would effectively mean that you paid more for less content.
Unfortunately, even if this is the case, the resulting outrage likely wouldn't hurt Ubisoft too much in the end. (If Ubisoft is smart, they will withhold information regarding the season pass exclusive content until people have already bought the game.) However, it would certainly be cause for some bad publicity; and if history is any indicator, bad publicity can sometimes cause developers to re-evaluate their actions.
What do you think? Will Ubisoft (wisely) choose to limit the season pass exclusive content to aesthetic items, or will they punish people for being cautious?