"Hey everyone! There were some initial complications with the distribution of the “14 day, Buy and Play” reward tokens, and so we decided to provide the additional reward of complimentary access to the Crimson Map Pack, for a limited time, as a “thank you” to our customers that contributed to the success of the Halo 4 launch. Those of you that own the Halo 4 Map Pass via standalone purchase or the Limited Edition will not be impacted and will continue to have access to the content after the complimentary access period ends on Tuesday, December 18 at 9am UTC/GMT. Hope this helps clear things up! :)"This is, of course, nonsense. Or Backpeddling or "damage control", however you want to phrase it. When trying to fix the issue with Season Pass and Limited Edition buyers not being able to access the maps they inadvertantly made them free for (nearly) everyone. In the UK you'll have needed to pre-order from GAME or GameStation in order to have the requisite code, in the US all you need to have done is play the game online in the first two weeks after launch.
In a couple of posts on NeoGAF, 343industries Franchise Development Director, Frank O'Connor made it pretty clear that 343i staff were caught off guard by the Map Pass issues and apologised to those affected, he also said people had a right to be miffed that others were accessing the content for free and apologised again.
In light of Frank's apologies it's a little surprising that Microsoft would then go on to say that it was intentional all along. People can forgive mistakes, they can understand human error, but pretending that you intended to do this all along just leaves people feel shortchanged. There were people who paid 800MSP for the maps on Monday morning before the glitch surfaced, there are those that paid 2000MSP for the map pack under the promise of a 400MSP saving. Are they to be reimbursed? According to Microsoft they've paid money for something that they were always going to be entitled to get for free, right?
The whole thing is a PR nightmare and I feel genuinely sorry for 343i, they're having to deal with some viscous bile from certain quarters of the community, when this is a problem that has gestated almost entirely outside their studio.
- Cowboy Out.