Nintendo on DLC: games should be "a complete experience"

Nobody likes paying for content that should've been included with the game. There's nothing more frustrating than buying a download that came out the same day as the game, or that only weighs in at around a megabyte. Well Nintendo hears you, and it sounds like it sympathises. Speaking to games.com, Reggie Fils-Aime said: "I think the consumer wants to get, for their money, a complete experience, and then we have opportunities to provide more on top of that."

The comment was made after a question on whether Nintendo will ever release game add-ons. Without ruling out the possibility, Fils-Aime clarified: "Will Nintendo participate in this additional digital content? And the answer is yes, but the way that we'll do it is that whatever we sell initially, we will feel that that is a complete experience."

Other interesting tidbits from the interview include Nintendo's dedication to its own hardware rather than developing for the mobile sector. "The concept of having our core franchises on other systems really flies in the face of what we believe in," Fils-Aime said, "and that's because by understanding the hardware, that's how we're able to bring these great experiences forward."

Fils-Aime is also confident about the success of the upcoming Zelda game, Skyward Sword. "I don't know if there's going to be a video game in history that's going to be able to compare to Skyward Sword," he said.

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Another issue with DLC is that it, in some cases, segregates the community within a game. Even worse, if the DLC isn't thought out well it could render itself useless. In the case of Crysis 2, which has a great MP, the DLC was poorly done. The maps were great, but because they had their own playlist it wasn't long before those maps became desolate and the then current and future buyers of said DLC were left with maps they couldn't use. It's no fun sitting in lobbies waiting for someone to join.

Even if the game happens to integrate the DLC into the main playlist, it could be disabled just because someone who joined that lobby doesn't have said DLC.

There are better ways to extend the life of a game. Wouldn't it be better to add those maps for free in an update later down the road, say 3 months after launch? Everyone would then be able to enjoy them, and friends can encourage others to purcahse the game and join in on the fun.

xiphi said,
There are better ways to extend the life of a game. Wouldn't it be better to add those maps for free in an update later down the road, say 3 months after launch? Everyone would then be able to enjoy them, and friends can encourage others to purcahse the game and join in on the fun.
That actually used to be how it was, atleast in the pc space. Games like unreal tournament and unreal tournament 200x got multiple free maps/map packs straight from the devs. Unfortunately though, i don't think we'll ever see things like that from any devs anymore, pc or otherwise.

xiphi said,
Another issue with DLC is that it, in some cases, segregates the community within a game. Even worse, if the DLC isn't thought out well it could render itself useless. In the case of Crysis 2, which has a great MP, the DLC was poorly done. The maps were great, but because they had their own playlist it wasn't long before those maps became desolate and the then current and future buyers of said DLC were left with maps they couldn't use. It's no fun sitting in lobbies waiting for someone to join.

Even if the game happens to integrate the DLC into the main playlist, it could be disabled just because someone who joined that lobby doesn't have said DLC.

There are better ways to extend the life of a game. Wouldn't it be better to add those maps for free in an update later down the road, say 3 months after launch? Everyone would then be able to enjoy them, and friends can encourage others to purcahse the game and join in on the fun.

GT5 did this right in terms of play area. They recently released some DLC including 3 new tracks. As long as the lobby owner had the DLC then ANYONE could enter his/her room and then race on them. I think it's a great idea and one that could sway buyers to actually get it after enjoying it.

Blackhearted said,
That actually used to be how it was, atleast in the pc space. Games like unreal tournament and unreal tournament 200x got multiple free maps/map packs straight from the devs. Unfortunately though, i don't think we'll ever see things like that from any devs anymore, pc or otherwise.

Yeah, UT2K4 the last game I'm aware of that did this on the PC side. Man, that game was a lot of fun! What was fantastic about the DLC for it was if they you didn't have it and connected to someone who did the game would download it for you. Granted, the speeds were horrible, but, still, it was awesome!

xiphi said,

Yeah, UT2K4 the last game I'm aware of that did this on the PC side. Man, that game was a lot of fun! What was fantastic about the DLC for it was if they you didn't have it and connected to someone who did the game would download it for you. Granted, the speeds were horrible, but, still, it was awesome!

I thought all the PC update for Left 4 Dead on the PC were free....? Hence the controversy when Microsoft forced valve to charge on the xbox.

Yep this happened with Halo too. Some of my friends had the new paid DL maps and others did not. The ones having the paid DL maps wanted to play those maps but those who did not have them could not.

AbandonedTrolley said,

GT5 did this right in terms of play area. They recently released some DLC including 3 new tracks. As long as the lobby owner had the DLC then ANYONE could enter his/her room and then race on them. I think it's a great idea and one that could sway buyers to actually get it after enjoying it.

It's a great idea yeah.

jeff_pony said,

I thought all the PC update for Left 4 Dead on the PC were free....? Hence the controversy when Microsoft forced valve to charge on the xbox.


Like I said, UT2K4 was the game *I* was aware of that did DLC in that fashion. Now that I think about UT3 did it as well.

Outside of L4D, are there any recent games that have any free DLC?

DLC should be expansion packs, not just a way to make more money. It should be something that the developers didn't add to the final game because they didn't have the time/money.

i have skyward sword. i can honestly say, twilight princess topped it. the motion detection is more of an annoyance than anything, your constantly re-centering the camera. it was cool trying to fight enemies that block your attacks and find an open spot, but other than that im completely disappointed. im a huge nintendo/zelda fan and id rather have a 360 and a kinect. if there was a boxing game for kinect, itd probly just be cheaper to fight the person ur standing next to than to watch it on the tv lol. that would be a "complete experience"

This is why I like Rockstar. As a mainly console developer they've done well with their DLC, but making their content true after complete game experiences. Off the top of my head they are the closest developer who makes DLC similar to what it was original on the PC....an expansion pack. Current DLC is just a way for publishers not developers to nickel and dime the consumer, so I have no sympathy when people pirate their stuff. However I have no problem paying for an expansion pack that is a truly different experience on it's on merits while adding to the overall experience of the original. Games at $60, expansion packs at $30 I have no problem paying. Game at $60 DLC at $60-$100 for 1MB unlock codes I do have a problem with.

As much as I like Microsoft, I mainly blame them for the current state of DLC and Activision really ran away with it as a company.

Great, I hate the fact that DLC has become something that is with every game, and is a way to monetise unlockable content.

Nintendo do it right, reward progress and game time with unlocks, not having to pay. The Mario Kart series is an example of this.

I have no problems with DLC myself, to me it's like smaller, chaeper expansions, but you get more of them usually. It all depends on what you're getting for your money, $15 for another 9-10 hours gameplay to me would be worth it.

DLC on day one is bad however, when I buy a game, i'm paying for the cost of making that game up to the point of release, so that includes everything they developers have worked on up to that point. Microtransactions I'm not a fan of either, as long as they're not required to play the game, as Nintendo have said, you should be able to buy a complete experience, and not need the extra stuff.

I always hate having to buy DLC, but if it is a true after the fact addon made well after the game was completed then sure sell it we've had those for ages, but the whole play a few levels buy some more or buy a weapon no one else has stuff is BS