The term “live service” is something that many individuals in the gaming community have grown to detest, and we can’t blame them for it because they have pretty valid reasons for feeling so strongly about this. Although live service titles are often released by major companies such as Electronic Arts or by long-running franchises like Call of Duty, there have been several fairly medium-sized studios that have tried out live service games.
One example of these studios is Turtle Rock, as the developer has confirmed that its upcoming zombie horror game Back 4 Blood will feature live service elements. According to the studio, the game will include several characters, skins, and other cosmetics. In addition to that, some of these will only be available to those who pre-order the Back 4 Blood Ultimate Edition or via the annual game pass.
Considered by many to be the spiritual successor of the incredibly popular Left 4 Dead franchise, Turtle Rock Studios’ new zombie shooter will feature a multiplayer mode that supports up to four players, and a PVP mode with up to eight players.
What’s more, it was recently announced that Left 4 Dead’s director system will also be present in Back 4 Blood. So, it’s safe to assume that both titles will most likely have several similarities, even despite Turtle Rock’s efforts to separate Back 4 Blood from its previous work.
Among other things, Turtle Rock Studios also previously revealed that it already has three DLCs planned, which will include characters, new story content, as well as a new type of infected. Now, that last detail bothered many people for fear that the new type of infected will be included in the day one DLC. That being said, even if this won’t be the case, many gamers are still wary because they’ve already been disappointed before by exploitative season passes.
To fuel the fire further, Turtle Rock has been criticized in the past for how it deals with season passes and DLCs. For instance, its previous game called Evolve had a total of $136 worth of DLC content during its release. As you can imagine, that’s a lot of money.
Not only did Evolve have different day one DLCs separated into 44 days, but it also had a Season Pass that was priced at $24.99. The studio eventually lowered its prices, but it was most likely too late at that point, as the game already began to lose its popularity.
As Evolve’s player base quickly declined, Turtle Rock Studios made it into a free-to-play title, but that didn’t seem to do much for the game’s survival. The developer eventually shut down Evolve’s servers back in 2018. Given this information, you can’t help but wonder if the DLCs and Season Pass played a major role in the game’s end.
That being said, it’s not the end of the world just because Turtle Rock Studios still continues to utilize the season pass system. There’s still a chance that the studio was able to learn from its past mistakes. After all, annual or season passes aren’t inherently bad features—it all depends on the studio on how it chooses to utilize them.