Disney Speedstorm battle pass changes cause major uproar

Racing game Disney Speedstorm is currently facing a wave of player criticism, following changes to its monetisation.
disney speedstorm monetisation

Disney Speedstorm developer Gameloft is currently facing major backlash, following a decision to change up the monetisation of the racing game. Formerly, players were able to earn access to the game’s “Golden Pass” (aka its Season Pass) by grinding for Tokens. When its next season launches, players will only be able to unlock the Golden Pass by purchasing access for USD $9.99.

“Starting in Season 7, significant structural changes will be coming to both Golden Passes and the Season Tour,” Gameloft announced, in an ill-received blog post. “Our goals with the changes are: make our Golden Passes more engaging and faster to complete for players, allow players to focus more on which Racers they wish to unlock via Golden Passes, [and] give more rewards to players that can be used on any Racer in the game.”

As part of the listed changes, Gameloft confirmed that “Golden Passes will no longer be purchasable with Tokens, only as a direct purchase.” While there will be a free Golden Pass track with 100 tiers of rewards, better items will be gated behind the purchase of the premium USD $9.99 Golden Pass.

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The move has caused major frustration amongst Disney Speedstorm players, and particularly those who forked out for an early access Founder’s Pack, which included plenty of Tokens with the assurance they would be valuable for the future of the game.

“The Golden Pass will no longer be purchasable with tokens?!” Twitter/ X user Durand Lewis said, in response to Gameloft’s blog post. “That is possibly the WORSE change you could make! We’ve been saving up tokens BECAUSE of the pass!”

“Starting to regret purchasing a founder pack, saved my tokens for future passes and now they’re gonna be direct purchases?” user cgalafas said. “Guess I’ll stop playing.”

“I was really excited with this season but I cannot belive what I am reading,” greensimmeryt added. “I purchased the founder pack and I am very disappointed now… Two golden pass for one season (10EUR each) and also we cannot purchase it with tokens… it must be a bad joke. I hope you reconsider this.”

Responses to the change all strike a similar tone, as players express disappointed and outrage that saved Tokens now carry little worth, and won’t be useful for new seasonal content. An overwhelming majority have called on Gameloft to reconsider the choice, and the impact it may have on the game’s player community.

Over on Steam, calls for change are also growing, with players criticising Gameloft’s monetisation model and perceived “greed” towards players.

At this stage, Gameloft is yet to comment on the backlash or whether it will reverse planned changes, in response. It’s clear that player sentiment needs to be addressed, as voices are growing louder, but whether complaints are enough to change Gameloft’s plans remains to be seen. There’s likely more to come on this development, so stay tuned.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.