The big Nintendo news last week was that their big AAA Switch launch title, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is getting a season pass. While Xbox One and PlayStation 4 users probably wouldn’t bat an eye at that news due to the landscape they’ve found themselves in for a while now, things are understandably different with Nintendo. I think this caught on for a couple of reasons.
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Let’s be real here. Nintendo isn’t really known for its post launch content. They’re typically a company that packs their games with content for launch. Once it’s out the door, that’s it. One and done.
Lately though, the idea of post-launch support is something they started to experiment with on the Wii U, to great success I might add. Some of their major first party titles like Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros, and even Hyrule Warriors all got paid content post launch. In my opinion, I thought the prices were handled extremely well especially with Mario Kart 8. Other games like Splatoon also got a ton of downloadable content for free, keeping its fan base going through the typically long droughts of Wii U software.
The other big reason why people took notice of this news is that The Legend of Zelda is a sacred franchise to many, one that has always released as a complete and massive experience that players right at launch. For many, hearing that additional content would be added later for a fee likely scared many into believing that Nintendo would cut and hold back content in order to make a quick buck. Frankly, I’d be surprised if they actually did go down this rocky road.
While much of the content is still a mystery, it appears that the planned content is nothing more than additional stories players can choose to experience outside of the main story line. The full experience is still there inside the box on launch day, but for players who want more to do and more to explore, Nintendo is offering this content.
This appears to be especially evident with the second DLC pack which adds a bunch of content like challenges, a new dungeon, and a new original story. Details will likely be scarce on this one till E3 in a few months, but in my mind, I’m guessing it’ll feature a new lead character, perhaps Zelda’s alter-ego Shiek. We know it’s new and original, and considering that Link’s tale should be wrapped up by this point, why not try something new in the universe? The franchise has a ton of interesting characters to pull from, so use this DLC pack as a way to gauge player interest in something different. We do know something like this was discussed prior, so I think it’s still on the table.
Could I be wrong about this? Sure, I’m willing to admit that. I’d be shocked to see Nintendo do that to their fans though, especially with regards to one of, if not the most popular franchise they own. Some of the content seems a little lack luster or disappointing, like the Switch shirt for Link and the fact that Hard Mode is being tucked behind a paywall, but overall, I’m intrigued by this.
With the content not expected to arrive for quite some time, I guess we’ll revisit this conversation towards to end of 2017 once it does arrive. All in all, $20 dollars for a season pass these days is generally a steal. I’m curious though, what was your initial reaction to the Zelda DLC news? Are you okay with it, or are you worried that you won’t be getting the full experience on day one?