In today’s video game industry, games are released with the intent to add new content after the initial launch. In many cases, studios try and schedule content-drops around real-life events, seasons, and holidays. This Halloween season is no different where popular games are getting updated with new Halloween-themed or horror-themed content. Some notable titles with Halloween-related content this year include Among Us, Call of Duty Warzone, and even Id Software’s Doom Eternal.
Each of these games I mentioned provides a different approach to seasonal events, but all come together to drive home the greater point that these events are important. Why are these seasonal events even remotely important, you might ask? Well, for starters it gives a sense that the games are “living” alongside their players. Additionally, developers can flex some creative muscle by distributing both free and paid cosmetics as well as adding new game modes and updated maps, all of which are only temporarily available for that event.
Everyone likes customizing their characters. Whether it’s just changing to simple recolors or full-on skins or anything in-between, people like having their unique look. With events like Halloween 2020 for Doom Eternal or the simple Halloween celebration in Among Us, players are given choices to customize their own spooky look.
In Among Us, players are given access to new Halloween hats and an updated look to the map Skeld. This is simply a way for players to express themselves with their little crewmates (or imposters) as they run around attempting to complete their tasks (or kill everybody). These free hats and visual map changes are just a fun little way of celebrating Halloween in-game and that’s all there is to it. This, of course, isn’t the only way cosmetics are handled around holiday events as Doom Eternal takes a different approach.
In Doom Eternal, players are rewarded with player banners, icons, skins, and more by gaining event experience through completing various weekly challenges. While these cosmetics serve as a means of customization for players they also represent their achievements and dedication. This is primarily because all of the events for Doom Eternal have been temporary. If you aren’t able to unlock the cosmetics in the allotted timeframe then you, unfortunately, miss out. A similar story can be said, regarding the content released for the Haunting of Verdansk event in Call of Duty Warzone.
Maps and Modes
Games celebrating holidays is nothing new, but it is a good way to experiment with game modes and the visual design of maps. In the Haunting of Verdansk Halloween event for Call of Duty Warzone, map changes have taken place. Verdansk is now in the darkness of night in the new Haunted Vardansk map and with it comes a myriad of additions. Zombie Royale, Juggourdnaught Royale, Nighttime BR, and Nighttime Plunder make up the new atmospheric game modes in Warzone. This isn’t even mentioning the other game modes added into the event for the multiplayer of Call of Duty Modern Warfare owners.
These new modes are typically a good sign. It usually means that the developers are experimenting with new ideas to keep players engaged or even grab new ones. If you want to know more about the Haunting of Verdansk event, Eurogamer has written a detailed overview of these new additions to Warzone.
It’s All Temporary
Missing out on time-limited content is a huge part of the experience of these seasonal events as unfortunate as that sounds. It’s reasonable to assume that temporary maps, game modes, and cosmetics drive player activity up and in turn cause more people to continue playing and spending money after said event. The fear of missing out is definitely a component of that increase in player activity. There’s no telling when these limited maps, modes, or cosmetics be available again so players actively go out of their way to access them.
Generally speaking, when developers plan some of their content drops around holidays and seasonal events, it’s great. More developer support usually means more content for players and more content means more player activity. The end goal of these events is to get more people into the game whether they’re new or returning players, and that’s ultimately great for the longevity of games.