January 21, 2018
If you’re like me then you are most definitely well aware of the whole Electronic Arts controversy that went down a few weeks (maybe months) back; how they completely botched the loot system for Star Wars BF 2. Overall, I would say it was a giant mess. They admitted to taking advantage of gamers and not caring about the loot system being the way it was designed. Lo and behold the company didn’t really seem to care that the share holders lost 3.5 Billion dollars because of consumer backlash. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying EA is the only company that does this (looking at you Ubisoft) as well as a multitudinous amount of other gaming companies that have microtransactions. I personally hate microtransactions overall. But there are some companies and games that, when having them, do them correctly.
Just to give a quick example of that, I can’t stand the fact people obsess over games that have little to no in game story. Games where you have to go to other forms of media just to get the information that may or may not be pertinent to the story are almost pointless in my opinion. Now, someone call Sir Mix-A-Lot because there is a BIG but with that statement. When it comes to additional content such as DLC and expansion and season passes there is one particular game that fits the billet on both of the previous accounts; Overwatch. It’s become a worldwide phenomenon but has absolutely no story that is either in game nor matters to the gameplay in the slightest. But I digress. My point is that Blizzard has taken Overwatch and new characters, maps, game modes, etc. are all free updates. This is in comparison to other mindless shooters such as the Call of Duty franchise for example. Season passes and DLC are all ridiculously expensive and even then, they have microtransactions for in game content that can easily be game breaking or cosmetic.
Bear with me, I promise I’ll tie Nintendo into all of this.
This brings us to Nintendo.
And being a Zelda centric website, this is going to focus mainly around Breath of the Wild, naturally.
Breath of the Wild, arguably one of the greatest video games ever created. Clearly from the greatest franchise ever created. The DLC came in an expansion pass that was a one-time payment of $20. With it you received a good number of additional mini dungeons that powered up the Master Sword (understandably so because stronger weapons de-incentivized us to really use the Master Sword often), as well as a massive additional story dungeon, lore, and many extra costumes and add-ins to make the game more fun for the hard-core Zelda people. This felt extremely fair priced in my opinion and I would even go so far as to say that we got much more then we bargained for. Granted Nintendo said that they aren’t doing any more DLC for Zelda but I’m ok with that. As hardcore a fan of the series as I am, I’m still not finished with everything in the game (not to include the 900 seeds) and I’ve just broken about 200+ hours into the game. IT’S ALMOST BEEN A YEAR AND I’M STILL DISCOVERING MORE AND MORE IN THIS GAME. This is how a company should operate with DLC.
I’ve read that companies ‘claim’ that gamers say they get bored very quickly with stale material in the games. Well newsflash, if you didn’t churn out the same Call of Duty game or Assassins Creed game every year to a year and a half and actually put thought and time into creating something innovative and awe-inspiring, you might see some of the success that Nintendo has seen in the past 10 months. Breath of the Wild has been in development since 2011, and look at all the praise it’s received. It honestly speaks for itself.
Let’s also take a second to talk about the amiibos for Breath of the Wild. Granted, there’s like 30 of them (but they’re neat collectibles for the shelves so of course I have them all) but what people don’t realize is that this is essentially DLC too. Maybe the prices of the amiibo anger some people, but I honestly believe that you are getting every penny’s worth if you use them like they’re supposed to be used. Every time I boot up the game I use every single amiibo I have to obtain the awesome items they offer. The brilliance with them is they are completely randomized in terms of their reward. You get the cool costumes that are specific to that one amiibo but you could also get valuable in game items that aren’t game changers but they might help you get over a little bump in the road you might’ve been having. Point is that you can constantly use the amiibo. Once a day is the only limitation. But you don’t pay a monthly fee, it’s not a one and done usage deal, you can constantly use the amiibo. In the big picture they’re a pretty genius move in terms of DLC for Nintendo.
Just to tack on to all of that, Breath of the Wild isn’t the only game that’s doing DLC correctly. ARMS and Splatoon have hopped on that bandwagon as well. In ARMS new fighters, stages, and weapons are all free in updates. As with Splatoon as well. These are unsung heroes in the additional content market.
People give Nintendo a lot of heat for a lot of things but DLC has never really been an issue with them. Some would also say that they haven’t been doing it for a long time. But at the same time, look at how long they have been doing it and see how successful it’s actually been. With all of these other companies trying to nickel and dime games for all they’re worth, gamers are either too stupid to realize what’s going on, or they are aware and they’re too lazy to do anything about it. Either way, Nintendo, I think you’re doing a great job. Keep it up.