Nintendo is going Down the DLC on the Disc Road
Nintendo’s move towards DLC has been surprisingly great. Their content is aggressively priced, generally making it hard not to purchase it when available. I assumed the Mario Kart 8 packs would come in at 12-14$ each, but fortunately that isn’t the case. What Nintendo hasn’t done is do the number one thing gamers hate about DLC. They are moving down that road; they might not be there yet, but they are well on their way.
Things can’t stay perfect it seems, although this latest misstep may not receive the backlash that other developers/producers received when they did this: On the disc, paid DLC. In reality, we are talking about on the cartridge DLC, but we’ll avoid a new phrase and stick with what people know.
Technically, its not all on Nintendo in this situation since the game in question, Fantasy Life, is actually developed by Level-5 and only published by Nintendo in North America and Europe. I recently purchased this title and quickly beat the story and maxed out my character level. The DLC promised a higher level cap, more story, and more quests.
When I logged on to download the DLC, I was surprised to see the file size: 2 blocks on Nintendo 3DS. Nothing on 3DS is ever only 2 blocks. 2 blocks is equal to roughly 16mb of content. This can only mean one thing: the 2 block download must just be the catalyst that opens up the DLC already on the cartridge. Upon further investigation on google, the content was actually cut from the Japanese version of the game.
Am I upset? A little bit, but not because extra quests and more story is already on the cartridge. For 44.99, the game is packed with content, so shelling out another 8.99 for DLC isn’t an issue. My problem doesn’t even stem from the DLC already being on the cartridge: I hate that a higher level cap and stats cap is locked behind DLC, which would be a separate conversation entirely.
It should be said again that this situation lies predominantly with Level-5. However, as the publishers for the North American and European versions of the game, it is safe to assume they are definitely OK with the practice; if they weren’t, something would have been done. At the end of the day, this not only reflects on Level-5, but Nintendo as well.
Obviously, I personally don’t care about content being held back for DLC, but that applies to this situation specifically. If Mario Kart 8 had launched with only 6 cups and there was Day One DLC already on the disc, then I would be upset. If this is something that Level-5, Nintendo and other developers continue to do on Nintendo products, it’s only a matter of time before something caves and the DLC issue does matter to me. Hopefully, enough backlash will result from this scenario to deter Nintendo from doing this in the future.