Why are Battle Passes everywhere? Battle pass popularity, explained

If you haven’t seen any, you must have a nice home under that rock.

Image via Epic Games

If you play just about any game with online functionality these days, you can expect to encounter some form of a battle pass. Most of these are utilized as timed exclusive rewards that you earn by playing the game over that time frame. Battle passes are getting to be a little overdone lately, though. Here is an explanation of why so many games use battle passes and their popularity.

Why do so many games use battle passes?

The reason so many games are chasing after the battle pass monetization scheme is simple, it makes a lot of money and keeps people playing your game. While there are some people who would decry seeing a battle pass come to their game, they have proven to bring and maintain a playerbase over long periods. Fortnite is the biggest mainstream success story for this, but there are others that continually bring back fans every season, like Dead by Daylight, Overwatch 2, Apex Legends, Call of Duty, and Rocket League.

Battle Pass popularity in video games, explained

With all that said, there is a problem with oversaturation in the battle pass market. Companies see the gangbuster sales and attention that the games listed above get and want to get a piece of that pie. That leads to games like Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League forcing in a battle pass and microtransaction store to try and entice players to keep returning to it. The thought is the more attention you put into a game, the more likely you are to put more money into it. However, if that game can’t garner and maintain that audience, it will fail and be shut down like Knockout City and Rumbleverse.

While some people will automatically denounce battle passes as unneeded, there are situations where they are beneficial for everyone involved. For starters, it doesn’t fracture the gaming community like DLC packs from the early 2010s did constantly. If the content is all cosmetic and easily unlockable with a healthy amount of time invested, it can be considered worthwhile to keep investing in that game. This can allow developers to keep making the experiences you love to see in the multiplayer space. However, the game content needs to be enough to keep players coming back.

The biggest problem with battle passes right now is that too many games are trying to benefit from that style. The big dog games like Fortnite can pull them off and keep people happy, but we don’t need every upcoming game to feature them, plus microtransactions on top of buying the game for full price. There will likely be a correction at some point where fewer games use battle passes, but until something else as popular comes around, they will remain the choice for online multiplayer companies looking to make money.