A battle pass is a form of monetization strategy in video games that rewards players with in-game stuff for playing the game and accomplishing specified objectives.
Starting with Dota 2 in 2013, the battle pass concept became a popular alternative to subscription payments and loot boxes in the late 2010s.
Battle passes usually consist of a free pass for all users and a premium pass with yearly or seasonal fees for better equipment and cosmetics.
Overview Of The Game
Microtransactions may or may not be required to acquire a battle pass in a gaming environment.
Battle Passes provide a number of reward levels, which may be completed by earning enough experience to unlock the corresponding prize.
In-game items such as “skins,” “emotes,” and other non-gameplay components, such as character and weapon customization possibilities, are the most common kind of reward. In order to show off these unique customization choices to other players as a status signal, higher-level awards are available.
With conventional gameplay and in-game challenges, as well as microtransactions, several games allow players to speed up their development through a “Battle Pass.”
If a game offers both free and paid battle passes, the latter may have fewer or less desired prizes, but the former tracks a player’s advancement through the paid battle pass and lets them purchase it at any time in order to take advantage of the latter’s benefits.
In most cases, battle passes are only available for a short period of time before being replaced by a new set of prizes for the next season. Seasonal battle pass goods are often unavailable after the conclusion of the campaign.
When a player knows that a specific prize is only accessible for a short time, they will rush to purchase and finish the battle pass in order to ensure they get their hands on it before it expires, bringing in more money for the game.
To prevent having the progression seem like grinding, a combat pass’s advancement towards rewards must be matched with anticipated gaming duration and what gameplay aspects contribute to this.
Depending on the game, several names for battle passes may be used. The “Rocket Pass” and the “Survivor Pass” are two examples of in-game currency in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Rocket League, respectively.
A battle pass was first shown in Valve’s Dota 2 during an event surrounding The International 2013, the game’s annual e-sports competition.
The “Compendium” featured special in-game material and other advantages for those who bought it, with 25% of all proceeds going to the event’s prize pool. In 2016, Valve included the Compendium to the International Battle Pass, and in 2018, it became a monthly subscription alongside Dota Plus.
In 2015, Valve introduced “campaign passes” to Team Fortress 2. In exchange for the campaign pass, the player had to do certain tasks throughout the event. Using these passes in Epic Games’ Fortnite Battle Royale increased their popularity in 2018.
Its unprecedented success brought attention to its monetization strategies. The free-to-play game released new cosmetic items and emotes every 10-20 weeks. The Battle Pass was introduced in the game’s second season when the player base grew rapidly.
Battle passes are bought using V-Bucks, an in-game currency that may be bought with real money through microtransactions or earned playing Fortnite: Save the World. According to analyst Michael Pachter, Epic sold over five million battle passes on the first day of the third season in February 2018, bringing in over $50 million.
After Fortnite’s March 2018 mobile device expansion, income projections were in the hundreds of millions of dollars per month, mostly from battle pass purchases. The video game industry was also grappling with the problem of loot boxes, another monetization method in which players pay money to unlock boxes containing a random array of in-game things.
Several government-related organizations criticized loot boxes in the late 2010s, claiming they promoted gambling, especially among youth. Battle passes were preferred over loot boxes because players could see all the benefits they could receive, even if they had to spend a lot of time finishing all the levels.
Publishers might also benefit from providing players the option to purchase into completing levels. Other publishers began evaluating battle pass usage, with gaming journalists speculating that games that once depended on loot boxes or functioned as a service may begin offering battle passes as an alternative.
Many mobile games, like Call of Duty Mobile, PUBG Mobile, Clash of Clans, and Brawl Stars, now provide a battle pass system.
There are two editions of the Battle Pass, one that is freely available to all players and one that is available to purchase in the Item Shop. The latter is the proper Battle Pass, with the free component being noted in-game as the “Free Pass”. Despite this distinction, the Battle Royale community at large frequently uses the term “Battle Pass” to describe both components together along with the current season as a singular entity.