Gearbox revealed to Polygon that it will not release a second Season Pass for Borderlands 2. Although the success of the Borderlands 2 DLC warrants additional content, Gearbox feels that fans don’t want that content bundled for them.
The spokesman for Gearbox told Polygon that through the course of releasing additional content (they called it their “grand experiment”), the team realized that “fans are happy with an a la cart menu for DLC because they can pick and choose the content that they most want to buy and really customize their Borderlands 2 experience.” The mixed feelings many fans have about the first round of DLC might justify Gearbox’s approach to how it releases its extra content.
A fear of being obligated to create a certain amount of additional content might also motivate the team at Gearbox. The additional content the company plans to release includes the Vault Hunter Upgrade 2 Pack, which consists of a level-cap increase and a new map as well as new skins and heads for the characters. Some new challenges, raid bosses, and enemies will also be added to the game in the Headhunter Pack: T.K. Baha’s Bloody Harvest DLC. These DLC packs might be stuffed with content, but nothing suggests that the content rivals the sheer amount of gameplay included with the first Borderlands 2 Season Pass.
As indicated by past events, Gearbox works best when it’s not attached to any previous obligation. The promises the company made about Aliens: Colonial Marines compelled many fans to lose faith in the developer when the game didn’t meet expectations. For comparison, Gearbox stumbled its way through developing the first Borderlands, even changing the game’s graphical style deep into production, and the company ended up creating a massive hit. By having a free-flowing process when creating new DLC, the company allows itself to follow inspiration and potentially deliver content that rivals the best of the add-ons to date.
Gearbox pre-emptively responded to those fans who might be upset that their Season Pass will not include future DLC by stating that the team has “been clear from the beginning” that the Pass would only include four additional add-ons. The company followed that by saying it thanked its “most passionate fans” by “including the first Ultimate Vault Hunter Upgrade Pack in the Season Pass.” Gearbox has had more than its fair share of PR woes in the past, so the over-explanation bordering on pre-emptive argument shouldn’t be too much of a surprise.
Despite some mishaps, the company seems to be setting iteslf up to deliver quality content in the future. By freeing itself of the Season Pass while still adding extra content to Borderlands and promising to deliver a brand-new IP on the next-gen consoles, Gearbox embarks on a path that might remedy fan ire over Colonial Marines. Some might say it would take some kind of magic to cleanse the company of past missteps, but with a magician at the head of Gearbox, anything is possible.