The season pass and massive game sale are a time-honored tradition at this point. It’s my understanding that both were meant to make gaming more economical and wallet-friendly. Microsoft’s Xbox Ultimate Games Sale kicked off on Tuesday with massive discounts on big-name games from Microsoft Studios and respectable deals from video game publishers looking to cash in on some of the older titles in their library. I, like so many an Xbox gamer, made coffee to nurse myself through a post July 4th productivity hangover on Tuesday. I then bolted to the Xbox Store for the Xbox Ultimate Games Sale. Since the Xbox Sale kicked off, I’ve thought frequently about season passes and massive sales in general. Both are starting to weigh on my mind.

The massive game sale came straight from PC gaming. Steam, the biggest PC gaming platform in existence, kicks off two massive sales a year. The store works with publishers to heavily discount their games, betting that they’ll make up for any losses with the huge amount of people all itching to make impulse purchases. In every way that’s important, Microsoft’s Xbox Ultimate Games Sale is exactly the same as Steam’s. The company teases and later delivers big discounts on games. Microsoft adds its own twist to the tradition by granting even bigger discounts for gamers that have its Xbox Live Gold subscription service.

Batman™ Arkham Knight (9) (1280x720)

Game sales grew in popularity because of Twitter and Facebook. They’re designed to entice people to spread the word about them to their friends. Of course, gamers do just that. When Batman Arkham Knight is just $15, why wouldn’t you? The idea behind season passes is different. Publishers don’t care if you tell your friends. They care that you’ll hand them extra money at launch in exchange for access to new content. Take Batman Arkham Knight for example, its season pass included six months of new content and updates. Of course, buying it and the game cost $100 at launch. Sold on its own, the season pass is $40.

What’s nagged me since the Xbox Ultimate Games Sale kicked off is how unfair some season passes have become. 

What’s nagged me since the Xbox Ultimate Games Sale kicked off is how unfair some season passes have become. We’re seeing games themselves get cheaper, but forget about finding cheap season passes. Of the entire stock of add-ons available through the Xbox Ultimate Games Sale, Just Cause 3 and Ryse: Son of Rome got discounts on their season passes.

Admittedly, I’m on an add-on kick. With this summer’s new games line-up a bit thin, I’ve decided to go back and play older games that have content I never got to try. It’s an idea I got after diving into the Season of Infamy upgrade for Arkham Knight. I’ve got other games on my list, including Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, Sunset Overdrive, Watch Dogs and Dragon Age Inquisition.

Dragon Age Inquisition Review (16)

Watch Dogs, a game that I enjoyed, has a season pass that sits at $20. Through the Xbox Ultimate Games Sale, you can purchase Watch Dogs Complete Edition for $20. Complete Edition gets you the game all over again, plus access to the content that Ubisoft offered after it debuted. Dragon Age Inquisition is the same story, but different publishing. It’s $16 to buy the game with its add-on content. I already own one of the three expansions and the game. The expansions are $14.99 each when purchased on their own.

I love the idea of season passes, compilations and massive game sales that make playing games just a bit cheaper.

I love the idea of season passes, compilations and massive game sales that make playing games just a bit cheaper. Publishers, you have to do better than this. Show some respect for the folks that supported your game before there ever was a sale.

If it’s been two years, lower the price on the season pass. Hell, if you really wanna go crazy, go ahead and include season passes in your big discount line-ups instead of trying to bait me into purchasing a season pass at full price or the complete title all over again.