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I have noticed recently on Steam for a variety of games that they've started to sell something called a "Season Pass".

For an example of some of the season passes I've seen, see the following;

In both instances, these appear to be for future downloadable content which is/are not yet available.

Are season passes in terms of gaming a new thing? Is this something specific to Steam? Is it always essentially pre-selling downloadable content or are there other examples where a season pass for a game provides additional benefits?

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Modern Warfare 3 did something similar to this. Prepaying for Elite when pre-ordering got you extra stuff plus all DLC released during the first year. – yoozer8 Sep 23 '12 at 1:39
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Basically, it is a way of saying "Oh hey, here is not only our awesome game, but also all the awesome DLC we are going to release (or have released, or both)".

It's not something exclusive to Steam - I have seen it used in other places as well.

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