2020 presented me with an unplanned and unique opportunity to complete four season passes in roughly a months time. Since this will likely not happen again, I decided I should document what I learned about the differences in the passes.
Season Passes are the current preferred monetization method in free-to-play games and some retail games are using them as well.to continue monetization and player interactions over time. The consistent features of the passes seem to be a limited amount of time to earn rewards (usually new to the game and cosmetic) with free and paid tiers of rewards you unlock during the time the pass is active. While the free items are free to earn while the pass is active, the paid items require hard currency (currency you can buy with real money) to be paid to unlock them, and will often allow you to earn back the full purchase price of the pass if you earn a high level within the time frame the pass is active.
Below I will give a quick comparison of the four passes I was able to recently complete.
If my memory is correct Fortnite and DotA 2 started the Season Pass idea and the Battle Pass hands down has the most content in any pass I've looked into. In the Marvel pass they have 8 characters, not to mention other cosmetic items like tools, backpacks, gliders etc. They also have an extensive challenge system that has random daily challenges, and curated weekly and event challenges that both help you make fast progress through the pass and unlock new content if you complete enough weekly content, including skins. The way the challenges are spaced out make the pass relevant for it's entire duration in a way I haven't seen any of the other's accomplish. A late unlock Wolverine skin that is unique requires eight and a half weeks worth of weekly challenges to be completed. Each pallet swap of the 8 main skins require the majority of a specific set of two week challenges to be completed, so even in the last two weeks when you're well past max level you're still doing weekly challenges to unlock variants. Also these weekly challenges aren't retired at the end of the week so if you're on vacation, buy the pass late, etc., they're all still there to complete. Battle Pass is a very player friendly design. My only complaint is I thought I was getting to the end a couple times and kept getting more content, but really that's just more to do!
Magic the Gathering: Arena
Also experience to level up seems very limited. There are daily challenges, that will cache up to 2 previous days to give you a total of 3 days worth of challenges to grind at a time, daily wins, and one other bucket I can't remember. After you complete these I don't believe there is a way to progress your pass until the next day. This is probably a design limitation to control the flooding of packs and currency by people rapidly completing a pass?