It has been long known that Nintendo has held off on dipping their feet into the waters of paid downloadable content. For years, they have been releasing full games at retail and never asking gamers to delve deeper into their pockets to have the benefit of a game’s complete experience. However, a few months ago, Reggie Fils-Aime announced via Nintendo Direct that New Super Mario Bros. 2 would offer paid DLC in the form of new level packs to supplement the main game. This is the first time Nintendo has tried using DLC to their advantage, and many fans have been criticizing them for it, expecting Nintendo to fall in the line as other companies, who release $60 retail games with standard features that require extra payment to unlock. Satoru Iwata has recently shared Nintendo’s stance on the matter of paid DLC. There are several quotes on the issue, and I, for one, believe Nintendo’s stance is the right choice.
“we cannot, and should not, ask our consumers to embrace the situation where they are required to make excessive payments. Doing such things might be good for short-term profit, but it will not serve our mid-term and long-term business developments.”
“I think, when the player has exhausted what’s in an existing piece of software, when there are no more challenges and there is nothing more they can do, if we then introduce a new level or a new character—something new for them—we just increased their motivation to want to go back; we’ve also increased the amount of time they’re going to enjoy that software. And one thing Nintendo has determined as a company policy, what we are not going to do is create a full game and then say, ‘let’s hold this back for DLC.’ That’s not our plan. We’re definitely not doing that. It’s an extreme example, but I think there are examples of games where you get that initial purchase—the very core part of the game—and everything else around it is all DLC. However, if you do that I believe customers will have no motivation to go out and buy the retail package to begin with.
“So our goal is to create DLC in such a way that consumers do not feel that they have been cheated or deceived. Now I believe there are people out there, readers, who have are worried about that, and we just want to ensure them that we have that in mind and want them to know that that’s not what we are planning on doing.”.
No gamer wants DLC to be necessary to have a complete experience, and though it’s been clear for a long time that Nintendo fully understands this, it’s good to hear that they won’t be embracing the tactics of other companies as they move forward into the lifespan of a console with much stronger roots in the online system as a whole. So do you think Nintendo will hold true in their stance, or do you think greed may push them to publish unfinished products and complete them with DLC now that their online capabilities allow them to utilize DLC properly? Do you think that the effort Nintendo puts into a game’s bonus material will be worth an extra few dollars, or do you think that they should run DLC in a similar manner to Brawl‘s Smash Service from way back when? Fire away!
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