Limited-Time Offer: Disappearing Content In Games

Before patches and DLC, video games were released as complete products. Now, developers have increasingly implemented time limits on in-game events and items, encouraging players to buy their games and act fast. Here is a list of prominent titles with elements that come and go, or in some cases never return.

Pokémon GO
Certain Pocket Monsters in Pokémon Go are limited to specific locations, but at least they persist whether you’re there to catch them or not. The availability of other Pokémon is dependent on time-based challenges. For example, developer Niantic issued a challenge to players to catch three billion Pokémon in six days to unlock Farfetch’d, but that elusive bird was only available worldwide for two days worldwide and has reverted exclusively to Japan and South Korean. Legendaries like Kyogre and Ho-Oh were temporarily available through Raid Battles. Niantic also spawns normal Pokémon with unique moves once a month at community day events, similarly to rare event Pokémon players can download for the mainline series titles.

Call of Duty series
The closest thing the Call of Duty franchise has had to limited “content” is double XP weekends, but Infinite Warfare and Modern Warfare Remastered have limited-time maps, modes, and cosmetics. The Summer and Shamrock events in MWR introduced visual spins on the popular maps Bog and Downpour, respectively. Prop Hunt was a previously limited mode that became permanent after strong fan feedback. In Infinite Warfare, the Gesture Warfare mode had players kill each other using emotes, such as shaping your hand into a gun to shoot an opponent, or clenching your fist to literally crush enemies. In addition to Reinforce – which tasked players with capturing points to revive teammates – both of these modes were limited and have not returned to the game. This isn’t to mention seasonally themed camos and calling cards are also especially prominent in WWII’s multiplayer with recent events like Winter Siege and the Resistance. 

The Sparrow Racing League was a pretty big deal in Destiny. Guardians put down their guns for a change and raced each other with their Sparrow hover bikes, and while this mode may return to the sequel, it’s unlikely it will return to the first game, meaning its tracks and cosmetic content might be lost to time. The same goes for the series’ ongoing events like The Dawning (which featured exclusive cosmetics) and the Festival of the Lost (bringing nighttime versions of multiplayer maps to the Crucible).

Guild Wars 2
MMOs thrive on evolving content that breathes new, diverse life into its worlds. World of Warcraft and The Elder Scrolls Online are great examples, but Guild Wars 2 is particularly relevant. Its holiday events give players limited opportunities to acquire rare items and access new areas, modes, and bosses. Events such as Shadow of The Mad King and The Wondrous Workshop of Toymaker Tixx contain a boss and dungeon that only come around once a year. One-time events with special aesthetics and items – such as Queen’s Jubilee and Dragon Bash – have not returned in several years.

Metal Gear Solid V
Forward Operating Bases are a curious element in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. You and other players can invade each other’s bases to steal soldiers and supplies. However, there are also weekly events in which players can raid bases with different scenarios and challenges crafted by the developer. The missions included assassinating a rogue soldier plotting to take down Mother Base, infiltrating hotspots, and killing or extracting as many soldiers as possible.  During these raids, players can earn limited-time weapon camos, emblems, nameplates, and clothing.

For Honor
With every For Honor seasonal event, the world’s deadliest warriors must adapt to new conditions. During Halloween, The Feast of the Otherworld introduced a new mode called Endless March that featured skeleton hordes and tougher versions of enemy combatants players had to defeat to conquer zones. The Frost Wind Festival put a spin on the usual duels with a battleground made of ice that falls away over time, which is directly taken from one of For Honor’s campaign levels. Faction-specific items and cosmetics come with each event, and more are on the way later this year.

Ghost Recon Wildlands
In December, Ghost Recon Wildlands launched a special event that tasked players to hunt or be hunted by the Predator. Solo players or groups who managed to track and slay the Predator were rewarded with its mask and heat vision ability. This special event came to a close in early January. Fortunately, more content is on the prowl.

Final Fantasy XV
Last year, Final Fantasy XV players who needed to get away from it all could head to the county fair-like Chocobo Carnival, where they could play mini-games, win prizes, and dance like giant, yellow birds. Those festivities lasted from January 24 to February 20, 2017. In the same vein, the Assassin’s Festival featured a crossover between Final Fantasy XV and Assassin’s Creed. Like the Chocobo Carnival, there were mini-games to play and assassin’s outfits to don, but the DLC also featured Assassin’s Creed stealth mechanics, and players could perform leaps of faith. The Assassin’s Festival ran from August 31, 2017, to January 31, 2018.

Assassin’s Creed Origins
While this game’s Final Fantasy crossover content doesn’t appear to be timed at the moment, the Trials of the Gods challenges are intentionally limited. These challenges allow high-level players to periodically challenge(Please visit the site to view this media). Those who manage to defeat Anubus, Sobek, or Sekhmet are rewarded with powerful gear, but they only appear one at a time each week.

Monster Hunter World
Monster Hunter World on PlayStation 4 had a free quest that allowed players to obtain gear inspired by Horizon: Zero Dawn. Players had until February 8 to start the first part of the quest to get Watcher-themed armor for their Palico, but no date has yet been given for when players can hunt down Aloy’s armor, or whether any of these armor pieces will return.

Rainbow Six Siege
Rainbow Six Siege has become one of the more popular online shooters in the past couple years, but hasn’t received many PvE updates. That changed with the addition of the Outbreak event. Up to three players team up to take out an alien threat in Truth or Consequences to earn exclusive loot. The event only lasts four weeks. More details on the event will emerge during the Six Invitational on February 13.

In March 2016, the Hitman community chose to assassinate Gary Busey over Gary Cole in the “Choose Your Hit” contest. In the episodic Hitman title, Agent 47 was tasked with killing Busey, dubbed “The Wildcard,” because he was an actor who refused to continue making a film, thereby wasting millions of dollars. The event lasted from July 21 to July 28, 2016, and it was one of dozens of “elusive targets” like “The Pharmacist” or “The Bad Boy” that players could assassinate.

Rocket League
Sometimes even the smaller pieces of DLC don’t last forever. In September 2017, Psyonix delisted the NBA Flag DLC pack from digital stores. Those who already purchased the pack were grandfathered in, making these small pieces of sports fandom a rare commodity in Rocket League.

Limited content may have only just started to pick up steam, but it’s sure to continue and expand as games go for more post-launch content. What are some events or items lost to time that you would like to see return to games like these? How much content do you think should be limited? For more on what we think 2018 will bring, check out this list.

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