Last Updated on August 23, 2021
We see a battle pass monetization system in almost every single new game that is coming out.
Which begs the question…
What will come after this battle pass craze?
Battle Passes Are Here To Stay?
With any new games coming out like Splitgate, Halo: Infinite, Call of Duty: Vanguard and others that have already stated that a battle pass will be included with their game…
Is it a sign that battle passes are here for the long haul?
My guess is that yes, we are going to be seeing battle passes for many years to come.
The battle pass monetization method was created with Fortnite and a bunch of companies have followed suit because it allows them to mass produce a bunch of cosmetics and rewards for playing their game.
Monetization strategies have changed a lot over the years and I think that we can all agree that a battle pass is MUCH better than some scammy loot box system.
At least, with a battle pass, you are able to complete missions, level up and unlock exclusive rewards.
I think that we will see a shift away from loot boxes and gambling to more and more mission-based monetization systems.
Splitgate is a terrific example of a mixed bag of rewards systems.
In their beta, they have a free battle pass for all players that gain XP points and level up their battle pass track to snag up some exclusive rewards.
Then they also have missions that you can complete to unlock different weapon skins and whatnot. It’s akin to what Call of Duty games have done in the past (a certain amount of headshots unlocks a certain skin, a certain amount of kills, etc).
Personally, I’d love to see a shift in the industry to reward players some cosmetic items based on how well they do in a game mode, a specific weapon or for how long they have been playing.
Let’s Go Back To Mission-Based Rewards
The market is always right and we, as a collective, have accepted battle passes as a form of monetization with games because we want to support the developers and unlock cool skins.
It wasn’t too long ago when cosmetics were only locked behind skill-based missions – you couldn’t even buy skins if you wanted to!
But since companies realized that we players will pay for extra skins and features… Battle passes have become the norm in the industry.
This hasn’t been a big issue. If the battle pass in a game provides a high level of value and it isn’t terribly grindy… I’m definitely buying it and supporting the developers – especially when it is a free-to-play game!
Then you look at games like Call of Duty which charge money for their battle pass when you’re already likely spending $60+ for the game itself… Where all of the coolest and best skins are available for a one-time payment in an item shop.
It’d be cool to see these monetization systems change to a more mission-based system rather than simply “grind out the game and level up the pass” type system.
Fortnite does a great job with this as they have NPCs and little quests to complete which gives you a bunch of XP points towards the battle pass.
Splitgate decided to offer different weapon skins based on how well you do with a certain weapon which is a system that I have missed dearly.
We will have to see what 343 has in store for their battle pass… I really hope they decide to offer weekly, seasonal or monthly missions to boost up points towards their battle pass.
What Do We Value Most?
As gamers, we get to dictate what these companies are going to do with their monetization systems.
We have seen firsthand what has happened with Blizzard and their loot box system… Even some governments have gotten involved in banning loot boxes as it is planting seed of gambling addiction with young gamers.
If we continue to speak out and let developers know what we value most then they will follow suit! We have all accepted battle passes and a bunch of developers have created their own passes to cater to what we want.
So we have to ask… What do we value most?
Are we okay with battle passes for the long haul?
Do we want to continue to shift to mission-based rewards rather than paying up each season for all of the best cosmetics in a game?
Personally, I appreciate challenge-based rewards mixed with a battle pass as a means of progression for us and monetization for developers.
I’m certain that another huge change, like when the battle pass method was created, will happen sooner rather than later.
Innovation is what breeds great games.
Battle passes, and monetization in general, will one day change in a big way.
There Will Definitely Be A Shift From Battle Passes
Maybe it will be whenever VR gaming becomes a mainstream platform.
Or maybe some new up-and-coming indie company will take the world by storm with some kind of new progression and monetization system that will change the course... Fortnite isn’t going to be the only game to come up with a new idea for these types of progression and monetization systems/mechanics.
I look forward to what kind of changes will come! I feel that battle passes will stay relevant for quite some time yet, but it’s inevitable that a new innovative system will be born one day.
What do you think of battle passes?
How long do you think that battle passes will stay as a “norm” for monetization and game progression?