According to Id Software Studio Director Tim Willits, Rage 2 will become a "different game" months after its initial release.
Video games are no longer stagnant pieces of media, and, much like multiple editions of the same novel or special editions of some beloved movies, games can now change and evolve based on audience feedback. While patches and updates have occasionally been used to shoehorn additional microtransactions into an already bloated game, they’ve also been used to introduce heaps of worthwhile content into titles months after their initial release. According to Willits, such will be the case for the upcoming Rage 2.
“It’s honestly the direction that the industry is moving toward,” Willits stated in a recent interview concerning the studio’s post-launch support of the game. Unfortunately, that’s come to be a somewhat tainted concept in the eyes of many gamers, as publishers like Electronic Arts and Activision often conflate the concept of further support with the “games as a service” model, a system that is widely recognized as thinly-veiled attempts at adding more recurring purchase options into a game. Willits was quick to point out that this won’t be the case for Rage 2, though, stating that it should be viewed as a “supported game” rather than an example of a live service.
We don’t quite know what sort of content is in store for the sequel to Id’s 2011 apocalyptic FPS Rage, but we do know that, despite a lack of any true multiplayer components, the game will feature some nondescript “social elements.” Willits also seemed to imply that a majority of the game’s post-release content will come in the form of seasonal events that gamers are used to seeing in games like Call of Duty, Destiny 2, and Fallout 76.
While everyone involved with the game’s creation has remained fairly tight-lipped about what sort of content will be added to the game following its May 14th release date, we do know that a major part of it will be doled out in the form of paid DLC. Though it has been confirmed that Rage 2 will receive quite a few free DLC updates, Bethesda won’t be going the way of Star Wars Battlefront II or Battlefield V by nixing paid ancillary content.
One of the main concerns surrounding this ever-evolving sort of development style stems from how heavily Id and Bethesda will rely on microtransactions. While broad, unique swaths of gameplay would undoubtedly keep people engaged, it’s hard to say just how excited owners of the title will be over things like more microtransaction options or additional character skins.
Id has confirmed that Rage 2 won’t feature any loot boxes, but that doesn’t rule out any other sort of manipulative schemes typically found in AAA games. If the planned extra content involves digital currencies or unnecessary cosmetics, it’s unlikely that players will choose to keep up with the game once they’ve seen it through to the end.
As it stands, Id’s upcoming release seems slated to be a fairly standard experience for 2019. It’s very rare to see a development studio of its stature come out with a heavily-marketed title and never return to it once it has been released. Gamers should expect ever-changing seasonal events and things of that nature. The only question is whether or not the free and paid content it has promised will be at all worthwhile.