Poll: Season pass vs micro transaction vs loot boxes; Which one is SALVAGEABLE?


Elite Member
Jun 8, 2015
Oh boy, here they are; The three unholy trinity bestowed unto us by the big corporate assholes.

First, we have the season pass. You pay essentially less for the dlcs/expanisions as a bundle. The purchasers usually get the content before the standalone release of the dlc. Problem is, Season pass means most of the good contents are in the dlcs, whether it's a new gear, area/map, or campaign.

Next, we have microtransactions. These are usually in pay-to-win format where you can pay a little extra to give you advantage or minor cosmetics. Mobile gaming industry is absolutely saturated with microtransaction, and the concept is getting into the AAA games.

Finally, we have the loot boxes. This usually goes two ways; either be cosmetics only which does not give any advantage OR have the whole in-game unlocks depend on the loot boxes. We all know how SWBFII by EA went down.

So out of these three, which is tolerable to you?


Making lemons combustible again
Escapist +
Feb 9, 2008
A Barrel In the Marketplace
Microtransactions only really makes sense for a game that doesn't have a purchase price to begin with(like a browser or mobile game). Charging for content in a full priced game is complete bullshit though.

While I disdain pre-ordering and the culture around it, a season pass makes sense if you were going to buy all the dlc regardless. However, if it turns out the DLC is shit and you got ripped off by paying for it in advance, you have only yourself to blame. Much like pre-orders in general.


Muse of Fate
Sep 1, 2010
They all have their place and can work honestly. The problem is when games are built around such things instead of just adding them (microtransactions/loot boxes) afterward as a way to skip by what some players feel are minor annoyances for a few bucks.

-Season pass: You kinda know what you're getting in expansions from certain game series/devs like a Bethesda, Gearbox with the Borderlands games, and probably CDPR. Buying expansions as a bundle with a discount makes sense. Plus, those season passes are usually always available so even if all the DLC has come out (and you heard good things), you can still buy the season pass. It's really completely on us for being dumbasses and buying it earlier than we need to. It's not like they wave a minor discount in front us and take it away before the content is actually out.

-Microtransactions: There's nothing really wrong with someone wanting to fast-forward the grind for a bit of money. Maybe someone wants to start out as an MVP player in the create-a-player mode for any number of sports games instead of building the character to that. Maybe someone would like to have that 10th level prestige emblem on day 1 in COD4. If I was Activision, I'd gladly take money for that. Or how about Bethesda/CDPR charging $5 to start max level in Skyrim/Wticher 3, what does it matter? The problem arises when progression systems are built around microtransactions instead of the game just being made with normal progression in mind and allowing players to skip it if they so want. COD4 was obviously designed without microtransactions and the progression was fine. Adding in options to skip it via money wouldn't have been an issue for me. Problem is when human greed takes over and you get stuff like Battlefront 2 and the NBA 2K games now.

-Loot boxes: I like loot boxes least of all 3 but even they can be done well enough to reward players for playing the game. The main problem I have with loot boxes is the fact that you can't just pay in-game currency (most of the time) to buy specifically what you want. I thought the loot boxes in Mass Effect 3 would be perfectly fine if I could've just bought what I wanted with in-game credits. I did stop playing the multiplayer of ME3 because of the loot boxes because it was so frustrating trying to unlock new characters via random chance. If I could've just saved up to buy them, it wouldn't have been an issue honestly. Then the loot boxes could be there to try your hand to get something you want on the cheap if you get lucky enough.


Elite Member
Mar 4, 2014
They can call work, I guess?

Honestly, the gamete of stuff like microtransactions is too broad to declare what arbitrarily works and what doesn't. Since the OP's question is "what is tolerable for you?" I guess...all of them? If I find it tolerable, I'll engage in the practice. If not, I won't.

That said, I'll vote for microtransactions. In F2P games, there's a clear case for them existing.


New member
Oct 22, 2009
I'd prefer a return to fully complete expansion packs, personally. Not likely to happen, but I almost never felt cheated by a proper expansion, and actually have fond memories of most of the games where I ended up getting one.

IE, much of the Total War series, Mechwarrior, Red Alert, Crysis Warhead, Heroes of Might and Magic series, Neverwinter Nights (1 and 2), Mysteries of the Sith, Red Orchestra 2: Rising Storm, Titan Quest (Immortal Throne), etc etc.

Alternatively though, on the business side of things, maybe if AAA devs would... stop pumping out garbage titles at such frequent intervals we'd actually see some better quality, quality worth a slightly higher baseline price tag. I'd much rather have fewer games that I actually genuinely enjoy rather than a buttload of games that I couldn't bother playing for longer than an hour or two.

Jamcie Kerbizz

New member
Feb 27, 2013
None. Normal expansions and for f2p, normal item store. All of these options contain cancer. It's just a matter of time till it develops to a point, where it starts killing gameplay again.


Nemo saltat sobrius
Mar 9, 2010
Wow, so far I'm the only one to say lootboxes. Well, they are the worst... but I can salvage them easier than I could microtransactions and season passes. Fixing lootboxes is easy...

Don't offer any way for them to be purchased with real money.

Just a reward for playing that anyone can get. No trading (so no offline for pay deals) or selling back. No online auction house. Just several rewards for playing that eventually everyone could have, but with luck you could get a good one early... maybe. We used to have something like that. Unlockable features. No one complained. I don't think randomizing which ones you get in which order would be so bad. Conversely, I'm not sure how that would be better than just having some non randomized unlockable features... but whatever. There, its easy. I fixed lootboxes. Of course, there's no way for a publisher to exploit that lootbox system for moar MOAR MUNEY... but whatever. Fuck em.


Censored by Mods. PM for Taboos
Mar 1, 2009
None of them.
You could even have added Steam/DRM and Pre-orders to the list, and I wouldn't have voted for any of them.
Also, isn't loot-boxes just micro-transactions in another form?


Trump put kids in cages!
Mar 8, 2011
Season passes can be ok as "DLC bundle" things, since based on my Steam purchase style, I like bundles. I will certainly buy any season pass of any Bethesda game. Though I think Rainbow Six Siege is the only game that actually had seasons of passes.

Lootcrates are ok when it doesnt cost real money. I certainly enjoy getting a crack at a few ESO lootcrates when they do some event that lets you earn a couple for free, but I will never actually pay for one.

Microtransactions can die in a fire.


New member
Dec 27, 2009
I could tolerate season passes unless they made it blatantly obvious that the content that they are selling was already finished before release and cut just to make you pay more.

Microtransactions can be done well, like adding new skins post release or giving some extra boosts in a SP game as long as the game itself doesn't suffer for it. It has no place in MP unless it's just cosmetic.

Lootboxes can just go F themselves, EA replaced game progression systems entirely with those and even if it wasn't made to milk the players of their money they would still be a horrible design choice.


New member
Dec 7, 2008
I clicked on the wrong option because I misread the poll (I missed the 'AT' LEAST and read it as "LEAST") but I really do not have a big issue with Season Passes. If you trust the developer, for some strange reason, you could try and shoot for a discount. Especially for developers like CD Projekt Red or Paradox Interactive which have done right by their customers in the past. I admit I was flabbergasted when Paradox came out and said "yeah, the DLCs for our Season Pass have been kinda underwhelming. So we're adding the next two expansion DLCs for free". How often has that happened? (recently at least)

If you are a more discerning customer and want to pick and choose what you get, then buy the content on its lonesome. Not all Season Passes are remotely worth it but some do offer good value, especially if you came late into the game and can see what you buy.

Microtransactions can go die in a tire fire but at least you can get what you pay for. It is a willing and informed transaction (usually) between the consumer and the company. The invisible hand of the market will intervene if such microtransactions prove to unbalance the game; if spending money makes your character so grossly overpowered compared to others in a competitive milieu then odds are the game will simply bleed out as everyone else goes on to something different.

Now lootboxes are the latest form of deviltry to have come into fashion. They have all the ills of Microtransactions married to the insidious thrill of gambling. You could in theory spend an obscene amount of money to get a lot of junk that you never wanted. Thus it can go die in a tire fire while also being skinned alive.


New member
Dec 28, 2012
I've vaguely liked the idea of a Season Pass an early adopter bonus. It's the only one that be salvaged for a game that's already full priced.

i.e. if you buy a game during its first week or two of release you get any future DLC for free automatically as a thank you for paying full price and trusting the developer.

This way at least rewards trust and enthusiasm rather than exploit it by forcing an extra bit of money of people who don't want to miss out.

Season passes as they have been used so far are basically DLC long term pre-orders which is dumb.

Reasonably priced cosmetic microtransactions are fine in free to play games but pay to win is always bad and microtransactions in paid games is always greedy.

I don't think loot boxes are ever going to be ok for me anymore as the primary way of selling items to players. Maybe a free-to-play game could have a few starter kits which are essentially loot boxes if that is in addition to having microtransactions for specific items.

Sean Hollyman

New member
Jun 24, 2011
If I had to pick one, I'd probably go for season pass. If you think you're going to get a lot out of the game, and plan on playing a lot of the added content then that's a good option.


New member
Feb 17, 2015
All of them. None of them are inherently bad. They are all revenue tools and with any tool its a matter of how they are used.

Many games did good on their season pass. At least the ones I've looked at.Borderlands for example. Microtransactions are the same. You pay for as much of the extra stuff as you want. Lootboxes, are totally optional., You never have to open one.

The problem that comes from these things mostly stems from basic human nature. Lootboxes irritate people because they feel like they're missig out, or worse someone else will have the shiny cool looking skin and they won't. Same for MTX, and the same for the Season Pass.

Personally if I had to pick the most superfluous its the season pass. Any smart consumer knows to wait for the GOTY edition.


New member
Aug 18, 2017
Phoenixmgs said:
You kinda know what you're getting in expansions from certain game series/devs like a Bethesda, Gearbox with the Borderlands games, and probably CDPR. Buying expansions as a bundle with a discount makes sense. Plus, those season passes are usually always available so even if all the DLC has come out (and you heard good things), you can still buy the season pass.
That's why I'm not bothered by these at all, it's basically a bundle of all the add-on packs that you can either preorder or buy later. I bought the Witcher 3 one when I saw the Hearts of Stone reviews, by that stage I was happy to spend double as I was sure Blood and Wine would end up being worth it. Particularly where something is definitely an add-on pack and not just 4 extra maps and a gun skin it can be worth it to buy as a bundle.


Elite Member
Nov 15, 2012
Season Pass can work, but you can't do all the playing about with the model that is common nowadays. No time limiting it, making it an exclusive pre-order, or suddenly splitting it up into multiple seasons. It needs to the complete bulk deal (it also needs to be a deal, there's been a few that have offered no discounts), and its clearly catered to dedicated fans, but the premise isn't totally flawed.

Microtransactions should only exist in a free-to-play game, or with definitive and demonstrated results to the game they're in. If you're going to jam MTs into your non-F2P game, you'd better come with some hefty ongoing updates, and damn sure have your own servers and not P2P stuff if you're online. Don't mix them into the core gamplay loops and mechanics (Not even in free-to-play), and definitely don't try and run microtransactions for "ongoing development" while also running a subscription fee or steady DLC stream.

Loot boxes are the objectively bad ones. You're blocking customers from making purchases they want to make, forcing them to purchase things they don't want to, and most cases are masking the odds behind the transaction. Alongside a proven effect of making the average cost of the product well beyond what passes for a standard for skins and the like.


Made you look...
Aug 13, 2011
Plano, TX
United States
While all of them are honestly ?salvageable,? the only one I feel has a viable place other than further lining the money-lined pockets of corporate gamedom are Season Passes; the other two just reek too much of crookedness. A bundle for future DLC makes sense as long as said DLC is a hard definite (i.e.: currently under development) and not a promise written in the sand with the tide of ?other priorities? or ?in light of lower than expected sales? coming in.


New member
Mar 6, 2012
Definitely the season pass. There are actual legitimate consumer reasons to buy them some of the time and, in fact, I have happily done so on occasion when I knew I would buy the dlc anyway and would save money with the pass.

Just, y'know, be aware of what you are paying for and that you are essentially saying 'I trust this publisher enough that I am actually willing to give them money in exchange for something at a later date that they have not even made yet.'


Formely Gone Gonzo
Jun 30, 2014
inu-kun said:
I thought about having a thread for this but might as well put it here: The existence of all those can be attributed to the price of games remaining the same despite inflation: http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/10/15/the-real-cost-of-gaming-inflation-time-and-purchasing-power.

So for example, let's compare with 2010 prices of 60$ (since not a lot have changed in the gaming sphere). Rather than paying 68$ for a game (if adjusted for inflation) USA consumers pay 60$ and likely give around those 8$ on average through DLC and microtransactions.
Counter-point: That article fails to provide examples of game development costs. Moore's law, third-party engines and outsourcing are common practices that effectively counter inflation. Unnecessary high-budget marketing, whale hunting and unrealistic expectations increase costs and have become bad habits.

They also use lots of fiscal loopholes for reducing tax expenses

If anti-consumer practices like predatory lootboxes and microtransactions are required to sustain the current AAA industry, it's result of bad business decisions rather than inflation, and those corporations don't deserve a pass. Shame on them and in anyone excusing their practices!