If microtransactions are removed from games, one of these three systems will likely replace them

To say that the recent Star Wars Battlefront II sparked a massive push against microtransactions in gaming would be an understatement. Almost the entire gaming community rallied behind fighting the addition of loot boxes in lieu of the incredibly aggressive system Battlefront II utilizes.

Because of this, there's a higher chance companies will refrain from implementing microtransactions in fear of their games having a bad public opinion and reduced sales. If this happens, though, they will likely look to find another way to replace the income made by loot boxes. There are three realistic choices that come to mind. Each one has both merits and disadvantages, but all of them are more consumer-friendly than microtransactions that prevent satisfying progression systems.

Read: Video games benefit from fewer microtransactions — here's why

Subscription-based experiences

One feasible way that developers could make the same amount of money they make from microtransactions would be to adopt a subscription-based system in which players have to pay a certain amount at set intervals (typically once a month) in order to continue playing the game.

The main advantage of this type of business model is that longtime players will end up paying a large sum of money. For example, let's say that it costs $10 a month in order to play a game. People who love the game and plan to actively enjoy it for an extended period of time will end up paying hundreds for continued access — $120 a year, to be precise.

While this seems like a bad deal for consumers, it can also be seen as a good one depending on your perspective. Small, incremental fees instead of one large flat purchase allow for people with regular incomes to afford access to a game much more easily.

That isn't to say this system is perfect, though. If the game doesn't keep people playing in the long term, the structure of the subscriptions could backfire and end up earning companies a lot less overall.

Another more traditional system that could take the place of microtransactions would be paid downloadable content or DLC. Games like Battlefront II and Halo 5: Guardians offer free DLC with the tradeoff being that loot boxes are implemented into the game; by making DLC cost money, the companies behind games could make a profit that way instead.

While paid DLC likely won't bring back players as much as free DLC will, it's worth it if the game itself doesn't have to have a microtransaction system in it. Paid DLC pleases both sides: developers earn extra revenue, and consumers get a better base game without microtransactions in it.

It's important to remember that DLC takes quite a lot of time and money to create, and due to this, prices of map packs or new game modes could go up from more current DLC thanks to the rising costs of game development overall. Consumers may not like the sound of new content being even pricier after already paying $60 for the vanilla game.

Another issue, albeit small, with paid DLC is that it will divide the population of the game in question. Some players will purchase the new content, while others will not. This may not have too much of an impact, but it can cause matchmaking times to be a little slower.

Raising initial pricing

The last, and simplest, way that developers could make more money is by raising the price of their games. Considering that development costs have only increased, yet the $60 price tag has remained the same for years, this option feels justifiable.

Figuring out just how much prices are raised is key. Should developers choose this route, I think that increasing the cost by $10 is a fair and reasonable amount. That seems like a small number, but considering most $60 titles often sell millions of copies, that extra bit of money from each purchase will add up.

The biggest hurdle for a direct pricing increase would be getting the gaming community to accept it. People very rarely like change from a system that works for them, and the $60 standard has been working for them for over a decade.

On top of this, $60 is already considered a fairly large purchase for a game to many. Increasing that amount by another $10 risks causing some consumers to shy away from a purchase, fearing they might be spending too much on an entertainment product they might not like after all.

Your thoughts

Which of these three systems do you think would best replace microtransactions? Would you be willing to play a subscription-based shooter, or a AAA title that costs ten extra dollars? Let me know what you think.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.

  • Just raise the price to $70 or $80 and call it a day. Or just keep it $60 and the option if paid DLC. Only problem some DLC is just garbage.
  • AMEN!  I remember buying games for $60-90... TWENTY FIVE YEARS AGO.  There were no problems with fragmented communities and those AWFUL microtransactions/loot boxes.  That is what has ruined gaming.  If they just charged a higher fee up front, then there wouldn't be any of these problems, at all.  And once paid DLC and Loot boxes are no longer issues, the devs can concentrate on EXCELLENT GAMEPLAY that EVERYONE can enjoy.  
      Whoever first thought up microtransactions should be shot.  Short term gain, but it erodes the gaming industry and hurts it overall.   I can't believe how cheap they sell some games.  How is anyone supposed to make money.    
  • "I can't believe how cheap they sell some games.  How is anyone supposed to make money." There are way more gamers than 25 years ago so selling in mass compensate for the lower price. When a game like Cuphead sells at over a million digital copies in such a short time, the game becomes a huge success even if it costs just around 20-25 bucks. Having said that, I agree with almost everything you said...
  • I may pay for dlc but i will not buy a game that I know offers play to win crates!!! That is just stupid. These companies make a butt load of $$$ and I refuse to donate to their cause....screwing the gamers!!
  • If it wasn't for the fact that the big studios post bigger earnings for each quarter, far outpacing the inflation, these three could be an option... But seeing as they are already making money... Why?
  • Because they are a business and the point of a business is to be as profitable as possible.  I don't know about you but, if I'm going to work extremely hard, invest my own time and energy to create something valued by others then I expect to be paid handsomely.  No one works for free.
  • this is a silly statement, todd. Nobody who is a consumer should care what profits a company makes. Giddora's point is that they are making tons of money, so suggesting they should charge more to make even more ridiculous profits is silly, and he's right. If you're a developer you can charge whatever you want, and consumers will buy or they won't. that's how capitalism works. It doesn't work by consumers defending being ripped off as you're suggesting it does.You're also confused that people "investing time and energy to create" are generally the same people getting rich off of AAA game releases. They're not.   As a consumer i think AAA games are already too expensive (for many it's climbed up significantly up to $100 CAD, despite our currency being roughly unchanged over decades) and won't buy any until their prices fall signficantly. I'm currently buying roughly 3 year old games so they're down to a more reasonable price. 
  • "If you're a developer you can charge whatever you want, and consumers will buy or they won't. that's how capitalism works." That's exactly my point.  To suggest that a business is already making enough money so they should not be trying to make more is silly.  That is the antithesis of capitalism.  As a consumer...if you don't like it, don't buy it.  The market demand will influence pricing strategies but, a business will always be looking for ways to grow and maximize profits.  Your strategy works for you and that's great, that's how it should be, but, that shouldn't preclude a company from following what has been a successful strategy to date.
  • @todd Well, I think that even in a capitalistic economic there is always something called consumer satisfaction and even more when it comes to a complicated target market like gamers.
    There is also something called trying to keep the industry alive and a sustainable business model.  Not all these companies implement these practices. A positive image is also important in any business.
    EA's share dropped by quite a lot recently.
    Gamers not being happy makes a load enough noice. Media talks about it. Partners like Disney or even Sony are pissed and very soon investors will not be happy. And they will just leave. It's not a necessity because other companies who are ALSO in this capitalistic economic world don't do it.
  • "Nobody who is a consumer should care what profits a company makes" Unless that consumer happen to be a company fanboy. And his priority is that of a company over fellow consumer and the entire industry...
  • They are not working for free. They are making hundreds of millions.
  • So when you post a positive amount of money in your savings at the end of the year, that should exempt you from getting a raise?
  • not so much just that but payng dividends to share holders and cost vs profit slim profit margins thin investment!  
  • I see a combination of all three.  Subscription based services seem to be taking off, and part of that will be the stabilization of initial prices and discounted paid DLC.  But without a subscription I see the initial cost of games going up to about $70 per AAA title.  As much as it pains me to advocate for higher prices; they need to keep up with inflation at a minimum or else these developers will see increasingly slim margins.
  • In general, I favor the third option.  For most games get all of the consumer's cost up front and let the consumer buy or not.  I can see using option two if that method is better suited to some unique nature of the game.  
  • From what I understand the actual game development costs are continually falling and are much cheaper than they were 5 years ago, more likely the added costs are for PR, the two biggest games recently musy have had had to sell maybe half a million units just to cover the costs of advertising, etc.  The bigger issue here, is there are odd games that make huge amounts of money, and the publishers are desperately wanting to duplicate this successful revenue on every game they now publish even on a game that doesnt fit with that type of explotastive system. I agree something needs to change, setting clear lifetimes on games and building upto the desired output will benfit everyone, introduce loot after N time, add more and more content, not just DLC, trying to justify free DLC for up front loot progression will just kill the userbase, and then your left with your WHALES after maybe 2-3 months, slowly implementing the loot boxes and DLC and extra content, without breaking progression will give you a good userbase and keep the whales happy.
  • "From what I understand the actual game development costs are continually falling and are much cheaper than they were 5 years ago..." Do you have a source for this statement?  I can't imagine that that is actually true.  Yes, while the cost of the supporting infrastructure for developing a game (hardware, storage, development software licensing) most likely has decreased, those are only a couple of the costs a company will carry to bring a game to market.  You already covered off marketing...which has risen and is vital to the success of a game in today's markets.  Salaries of developers has absolutely risen exponentially from where they were 10 years ago.  I don't work in the gaming industry but, rather in enterprise software...developers are in high demand and if you want the best you have to pay them.  Related to salaries are employee benefits...again, these costs have risen substantially.  Healthcare, stock option and equity grants, etc. all required if you want to retain the best talent and you have to have solid programs to attract and keep them.  Can go on but, I think you see what I'm saying.
  • Game Developement has fallen, the cost of producing it may have risen due to other factors, like PR, advertising and such.  The overall management of the final production cost is the problem, the getting the game written and working is so much cheaper, its all the extra's that are not really needed.  You dont pay your own sub company X million to advertise it, and then take it out of the game revenue, you are literally paying yourself to increase the cost of the game.   I stand by statement game developement is continually falling and is much cheaper than 5 years ago.
  • "I stand by statement game developement is continually falling and is much cheaper than 5 years ago"  Except you can't support the statement with anything but your opinion. Do you develop games? do you even write code, or art, or anything that could be used to develop games? Sure it's a lot cheaper to get into developing a game if you're indie, but AAA requires more and more people, people that don't work for free.
  • Yes I have and still do develope.
  • Ok so what company do you work for that claims developing a more complex game has gotten cheaper? The only thing I can see that is cheaper is Indie dev. You can get Unity or Unreal for free, so your price of starting is basically 0 where as in the past it was a lot higer to get an engine, and you're not paying yourself. But when you have to pay (I think the industry has claimed about) $10000 per employee per month, that means the costs go up with more employees. More assets, less time = more employees.
  • 400ppl x salary x 4-5 years + out sourcing + HW + SW + license + contract workers + etc.... Has salary gone cheaper and cheaper YoY? As a consumer, do you want to use devs use the same tech over and over and over like what Japanese are doing? Here's an old news.
    A game from 38 Studios (capital was $50m dollar) sold more than 1.2m copies in 90 days went bankrupt.
    Balance point was 3m copies.
    Studio was created in 2006, game released in FEB 2012, June 2012 went bankrupt.
  • That article is missing an important point though in 38 studios case. They made the mistake of takeing a loan from a corrupt state here in the U.S. They got the loan, and then were forced to pay it back early AFTER moving to that state and building a new facility. I dodged a bullet since I was almost hired by that company. But yeah, it's not cheap to make a AAA game, and people that think profit for a publisher is bad are fools. If you make $100m profit, some of that goes into the next game.
  • I think this has to be addressed the other way around: why do they spend so much money on AAA titles? Why don't they make double-A games instead? Those triple-A are most of the times flawed in some way (usually beautiful graphics and poor gameplay and/or performance). They all think they are making the next cash cow like GTA so they spend millions and millions in making their own engine and hiring the best artists and expanding dozens of stupid features while the core gameplay is not fun or long enough to justify 60$ + in game transactions... https://www.quora.com/Why-have-video-game-budgets-skyrocketed-in-recent-...
  • I hope that AI will help reduce man-hours a lot when animations and secondary characters/models/maps will be generated rather than manually crafted.
  • > I hope the AI will help
    What Ubi and other AAA devs are doing / researching.
    OR, you can do what Japanese devs are doing, stay with traditional static keyframe animation. > I hope the AI will help
    ps: Your investment might give you 0 result, still has risk.
  • Suddenly crates sound just fine... don't know why people making such a stink out of them when they are balancing the market... something has to pay for servers to maintain high speeds, stability, anti hacking efforts, etc ongoing a year or two later. Dlc sucks when it fragments online communities and makes the player base smaller over time. 80$ a game is going to be a risk if the game sucks, people are going to want guarantees... I would have demanded a refund on battlefront 1 for sure.
  • If "something has to pay" for all the things you mentioned, then these companies need to figure out a better business model.  Roll that into the price of the game.  Quit disguising these costs and pretending you're providing additional value.
  • Just rise the price and done!
  • I'd rather have free game expansions with paid cosmetic items (like in Titanfall 2) seems to work the best to me
  • All 3 are still bad, why should I buy a game and pay a subscription fee to continue gaming? That sucks more than Microtransactions. To me paid Dlcs will be much better.
  • I don't know if they are saying pay for the box and also pay the sub, but it works for World of Warcraft, plus microtransactions, and paid DLC. That game aside, look at EA Access, or Game Pass, or PS Now (is that the right name?) subscription based gaming services where money certainly goes to the publisher. I personally am ok with the subscription based model if it's done like the 3 I mentioned, or increased cost of the game itself. Inflation is a thing, and games have been $60 for a long time.
  • The only subscriptions I would be interested in are games which I play a lot and would have regular updates. I love the NBA 2K games, although I haven't bought in a couple of years because I haven't had as much disposable gaming income. If you offered me a subscription of $5 USD per month (the same $60 per year) including each new year's game, that would tempt me to ultimately spend more money than I currently am buying every two or three years. It just sounds like less to say $5 a month for a game you love instead of $60 a year for incremental upgrades. Similar philosophy as Office356 or Adobe CC. I like the paid DLC model when it's done well. I think of Dragon Age Inquisition. I loved that game. I read that the DLC were solid additions to a story and characters I loved. Even though the hours of entertainment per dollar spent was not as high, it was worth it when I already loved the game. Counter-point was when Rise of the Tomb Raider came out. I loved the previous game, and thought I'd go ahead with the Season Pass in advance when it went on sale soon after release*. I loved the one that was tied into the main story, but didn't care about the multiplayer ones or the extra modes. Maybe that would be solved by being more clear what a season pass will include, although that kills some suspense when it comes out. A couple of years ago the prices for games in Canada jumped because the US dollar was doing better against the Canadian dollar. When we bought our Xbox One, it was $60 US or $60 CDN, a good deal for Canadians. Now it's $80 CDN, a bad deal for Canadians. The first game I saw at $80 I was not happy about. In principle, I'm fine with raising prices as long as that is making it to the developers, not sitting in the bank accounts of the executives, but there was still a gut reaction of "wait, games are $20 more now!?" I have a hard time imagining which studio would be the first to do this and face that wrath - it might only work if they do some price-fixing by all agreeing to do it at once. Everybody would still be just as mad, but at least it would be distributed. *There's another idea: don't put them on sale a month after release. Make consumers make hard decisions between paying twice as much now vs in a year. It's not a hard decision most of the time to pay half as much in a month.
  • WoW has both paid DLCs and a subscription, yet the amount of content that is added regularly is no match to what these other games can provide 
  • WoW has both paid DLCs and a subscription, yet the amount of content that is added regularly is no match to what these other games can provide 
    We also have to remember that WoW also allows you to play the same game, with the same people for the past 13 years.
    Instead, the likes of CoD, etc require you to purchase what is essentially the same game, again, move to different servers and abandon any of your friends who doesn't follow nor can you go back and play the old content you once did.
    When you think about the cost of a WoW sub for the year, and you get to continue playing your characters from many years ago with friends from many years ago, in a world (s) build up on many year ago, it makes you wonder why EA and other publishers continue to dilute their multiplayer gaming population by releasing a brand new game and multiplayer setup every year and abandoning their old content. For the price of a new CoD game + seaon pack, you're already paying the same as a WoW sub for the year.
  • I agree, there are a lot of mmo's pushing that gaming model but no other genre and it makes absolutely no sense to me.
  • Just about every game I buy has a "season pass" or "ultimate edition" option which is essentially paid DLC where you get extra content delivered over the next year or so. Typically it runs an additional $40 and drives the initial purchase price up to $100. If you want just the base game, that is fine. If you want the DLC later you can add it separately. I'm happy with that option.
  • If they raise the day one price, then the preorders and first purchases will fall down to oblivion. MT had to be only on F2P or ONLY cosmetic items. Companies like EA screw it up greatly trying to force full price game + MT affecting gameplay
  • I'm fine with your last two options.  I am absolutely opposed to subscribing just to continue playing.  Personally, my preference is paid-DLC.  Any game I purchase should be playable, period.  I should be able to complete whatever missions, etc. are in the game with default content.  DLC would be to enhance or extend the game.  For instance, adding maps or weapons or types of ships. I get that developers want to continue a revenue stream.  That's why businesses exist...to make money.  But, VALUE is ALWAYS expressed from the point of view of the CUSTOMER, not the business. It won't take long to run off the customers if you are intent on holding them hostage so you can keep milking them for money.  There's a big difference in providing additional paid content that you convince me that I really WANT to have versus making me pay additional for things I NEED to have in order to play the game.  I like the way Elite Dangerous is set up.  You buy the core game, and you absolutely can play the game forever with just that.  There's enough variety that you never have to pay again if you don't WANT to.  BUT, if you want to land on and explore planets, you purchase the Horizons DLC.  If you want to customize the look of your ships, your SRV or your commander, you purchase those things (although SOME free additional content does exist).  I have probably spent an additional $100 on additional content after having purchased Elite Dangerous and the Horizons add-on.  And I'm good with that because I find VALUE in it. But loot crates are a stupid idea (I view the current implementation of Engineers in Elite Dangerous the same way...it's like gambling, which I'm steadfastly against as a gaming mechanism, particularly if I have to pay for the way a lot of loot crates work).  Subscribing to continue playing is also a bad idea.
  • Yep, this is the camp I'm in as well.  If I pay full price I should have a full game to play without having to pay to complete.  Then, if the developer creates more content for that game and it looks interesting to me...give me the option to buy it.  Easy.
  • I'm perfectly fine with microtransactions and loot crates as long as everything in them is also available through normal means of game play mechanics or is just cosmetic. It's when you lock that super OP item behind a pay wall and make it extremely rare that everyone takes issue with it. At that point you're also strongly encouraging gambling, which can be a problem in itself. I'm also fine with paid DLC as long as the quantity and quality of the DLC justifies the cost. If you try and push DLC on me and it's only an hour worth of content yet is half the cost of the base game that has dozens of hours of content, that's just absurd. I'm also fine with subscription based games. I'm an MMO veteran myself and am very familiar with that type of practice. The catch with subscription based games is you need to constantly be improving the game and providing new content to keep players returning. Otherwise, people will begin to leave and your revenue stream will start to dry up. Once that happens even those diehards will begin to leave due to lack of population and community. All of those are justifiable methods for providing a continuous revenue stream to developers. The one method I don't agree with is raising the initial cost of a base game. As the article mentions, they are already expensive as it is for some people. Honestly, I can't remember the last time I paid full retail for a game. I don't have the time to invest in games like I used to so I don't even bother buying them as soon as they first come out. I usually wait until there's a sale or something to pick them up. Even then, I still have a few games that I haven't even started playing or haven't even gotten half way through. While raising the initial price of a game doesn't directly affect me, it still doesn't solve the problem of a continued revenue source for developers. All it does is help their bottom line on initial sales. It won't help them six months from now when they need more income.
  • People used to buy games and that was it, now they bnuy games and then they are still asked to pay more.  N ever had this int he Amiga days.,  
  • AAA games are far too long for our ever shortening attention-spans. I'm amazed they're continuing to grow and keep people engaged. Just keep single player games the same length and we don't need to raise the price...
  • Remake HALO1 with more detailed model, texture, effects, use more costly physics simulations, active ragdoll, dynamic keyframe animation system, but keep the story and gameplay, whatever as it is... still cost more, no? Do it again few years later, cost less?
  • I mean, the reason they're using lootboxes is because those other options aren't actually viable. They've been tried in various ways. People are already struggling to justify $60, they'll shrink their sales too much if they increase the costs, and the dev cost increases are higher than they can price in. AAA games need to be massive 5+ million sellers or they lose money.    And guys, revenue isn't the same as profit. EA suffered a 41 million dollar loss last quater. They're projecting a 64 million dollar loss next quarter. Activison makes the majority of it's profit from WoW and Hearthstone; CoD is basicaly breaking even or a loss at this point, and they don't have much else. The AAA space is pretty screwed, the market has room for a small number of hugely successful titles, and everything else is gonna lose money despite selling moderately well. If you aren't double digit millions in sales volume you're not worth making. Microtransactions and lootboxes are all sorts of problematic, but they flipped the economics of that, allowing for lower sales volumes to stll turn profits by letting people with gambling addictions to subsidize the rest of he playerbase, which isn't willing to pay the full cost of development. It's exploitive as hell, but I really don't see any other solution for them, other than reducing scope, scale, and quality. Dev costs have to come down, because revenue isn't going to go up enough any other way. The three options presented here have been tried and will not work; they either shrink the number of people who buy or fail to increase revenues sufficiently. 
  • How abot cut the development cost? And by that I mean marketing cost which is MASSIVE for these companies...
  • Not all Halo 5 modes work with those box tho... there are standard modes as well.
    Warzone (PVP) is prob the one people hate.
    Warzone Firefight (coop)... everyone brings out their biggest gun fighting common enemy... I c no harm... we are all on the same side and is quite fun running your enemies over this way. Middle Earth has loot box but it progressed fine, no? Do they take away legendary gears from normal progression? Did they make the boss extra hard because of the real-cash-loot-box? How about in-game-currency-loot-box-only? How will it impact the progression?
    I'm playing AC-O... so far so good...
  • So the 3 tiered system isn't good enough? Base game $60 deluxe $80 and ultimate $100 or for NBA 2k18 ultimate is $150. If you have prices like that then why do you need to raise them? Just seem like pure greed
  • Maybe the game developer companies can do a subscription similar to Xbox Live.  So lets say you want these options from UbiSoft, then you get a Ubisoft yearly pass for $40 or something and that takes the place of the microtransactions.  And it could include so many additional coins or whatever per month, per game being played.  
  • They make more than enough already on these games without doing any of those. Tell the CEOs and boardmemebers they will have to cut back to 3 new swimming pools this year.
  • Subscription is the way forward I think. I've always said that and stand by it. Not by game but rather by publisher. I'd happily pay say $5-$10 a month to Ubisoft and to EA for unlimited access to their entire catalogue. It's the way forward. These publishers will have a pretty consistent income stream and games gauge budgets accordingly. Even if they sold the games initially at full price, then you had to wait a month before they were available for subscribers... Being the way games are released now anyways, it's about a month before they become playable.
  • I'm all for the Publisher subscription model, EA Access is incredible, I don't even care if I don't play an EA title from the vault for a couple months, the advantages of the system are incredible, I may not play their games on release, but I still play them.
  • Wait why should there be a replacement? 1) these companies are using this strategy to maximize profit nothing else. They don't need have these policies in games.
    2) gaming is one of the few industry where we see some "consumer" come and defend anti-consumer policies. 
    3) Paid DLC was suppose to be the thing that these companies survive and keep making games against this so-called "rise in price of making games".
    4) If games are that expensive to produce, how about cutting cost making them? Most of these games are sequels that uses assets from previous games. I believe what's gone up is marketing cost. Why the HELL should gamers pay for that rise in marketing investment? Subscription-based system is the worst possible answer. 
    I hope Xbox game pass, PS Now, EA access and these renting system ALL fail and die. The focus would be amount of content and number of games rather than quality of games. Look at Xbox game pass. It's about the "more than 100 games" not the fact that most are really old games... Not only that. This is renting service. It's killing the notion of owning a game.  Paid DLC? 
    The thing about DLC is that I really don't want part of the story of the main game to be  locked behind a DLC. Also if the are going to have a so-called season pass or VIP pass then that should include ALL THE content. Increase the price? 
    How about have just one price instead of the million of different versions? Let them put the price they think their game deserve and let's see how it sells. If they want to raise the price to $100 then they can do that it's a free world. An open market...
    But I find it funny how they talk about price when they have never actually decreased the price of digital games... The problem is that these companies are driven by greed. They'll have ALL of these + MT + loot boxes + various versions of the game + "pay money or you'll get the game late" + "remastered/ultimate" version + sponsored DLC or product placement + "commercial exclusives deals with Sony or MS" + "timed deals for DLC with Sony or MS" + "exclusive content deals with Sony or MS"... It's mostly these major rich companies who are doing this to please their inverstors. The answer is so simple. Cut production cost if it's too expensive. And by that I mean marketing cost...
  • There's a fourth option, $10 a month is way to much imo. It should be no more than $5 a month, imagine having multiple games it becomes far too steep. So you have games priced at $65 plus $2.99 a month for multiplayer + season pass for dlc / seperately priced dlc or $5 a month for multiplayer + season pass for dlc / seperately priced dlc at a higher discounted rate of 50.