Halo 4 - a lovely looking game but currently in the middle of a confusing PR reversal.
Season passes are becoming ever more popular (and are likely to be even more so next gen) and this is just another take on that – paying up front for downloadable content in the future.
All well and good, except for some reason Microsoft issued the first major map pack for free.
What happened was that the Limited Edition also gave you the option to unlock eight specialisations for your multiplayer character before anyone else, giving you something on an edge online. Howver, a code was emailed out for these specialisation boosts to anyone that played online in the first two weeks of the game’s launch, and that code also unlocked the first set of maps.
According to reports and more reports, that was a mistake, with Microsoft’s own Twitter channels confirming that this was in error. Fair enough, people make mistakes, and although those that bought the game felt short-changed, it at least meant more people were playing online on the new maps.
But – wait for it – Microsoft then tried to turn it around. “As an additional reward to those customers that participated in our ’14 Day, Buy and Play’ program (which ran from Nov. 6 – Nov. 20), we are providing complimentary access to the Crimson Map Pack for a limited time, says a press release.
“There were some initial complications with the distribution of the ’14 day, Buy and Play’ reward tokens, and so we decided to provide the additional reward of complimentary access to the Crimson Map Pack, for a limited time, as a ‘thank you’ to our customers that contributed to the success of the ‘Halo 4′ launch,” the blurb continues.
That’s lovely, but this “14 day, Buy and Play” program didn’t exist before this press release – at least not when I did a custom date range search in Google – the only results are from the last couple of days and there’s nothing before the 6th or 7th of December. An odd way to promote a program, eh? Kotaku (and others) seem happy enough to run this PR, but there wasn’t any mention of this before this accident, so I’m a little confused.
Especially as all this only affects US gamers, so I can’t even check.
The Xbox Twitter account this morning seems to now be labeling the maps as a ‘trial’, further complicating the story. They’re suggesting that those that got the map for free will then have to pay for it if they want to keep it…