News Article

WiiWare microtransactions - good or bad thing?

Posted by Darren Calvert

Well it was inevitable really, along with the first pieces of pricing information for the Japanese WiiWare lineup we are now already hearing about WiiWare microtransactions.

According to this week's issue of Japanese gaming magazine Famitsu, Genki will be releasing an add-on pack for its Japanese WiiWare launch puzzler, LONPOS for 500 Wii Points. We don't know the nature of the add-on yet but the full game only costs 1000 Wii Points so it should probably be substantial.

Bandai Namco announced similar plans to charge for additional content a few months ago with it's WiiWare launch title, Mojipittan.

Love it or hate it, microtransactions go with the territory for downloadable content now. If XBLA games such as Lumines can offer extra game modes for a cost, then why not WiiWare too?

Have your say about WiiWare microtransactions, do you think they are a good idea or not?

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User Comments (45)



Jupiter_Adept said:

They're good. What about modes that need months to work on? I'd pay for more LostWinds stuff.



DJ_Triforce said:

I think it'd be great to be able to buy Super Mario Bros. for the NES and be charged per level. Micro-Transactions rock.



Viral said:

I think it's a bad idea for certain things. For example, Super Mario Bros 3 on the GBA had the scannable cards for the card reader-thingy, those would be worth downloading as a bonus pack for that game. Bad examples would be single downloadable levels.



D00M said:

Rather just have the whole package rather than drip fed to us.
I don't mind games being delayed if there're adding more stuff to it, but paying for content that really should of came with/or could be unlocked it is kind of a F U to gamers.

I hope the trend stops.



Kenryoku_Maxis said:

All I can say is, if Nintendo DOESN'T come out with a Smash Bros channel and start coming up with new music, levels and kits and such for download, even for measly 500 points a download or less for each, they are the dumbest company ever. Well not really, but they’ll be ruining the chance of a century.

Ethics be damned, Smash Bros will be one of the biggest games of the next 5 years, and not only to get the cash, but to get people online, you just make a Smash Bros Channel and draw them online with it. Then they will filter onto WiiWare and VC without any effort. Not only will people pay a few points to download additional content for Smash Bros, but they will go to other Wii online services at the same time.



ICEknight said:

It's a bad idea, except for those who don't earn their own money.

I don't think people should pay for additional stuff, unless they make something significantly different like additional episodes for a graphic adventure, etc. In other words, something they've really had to work hard to make it.



DJ_Triforce said:

Kenryoku_Maxis, haha, you aren't happy with the, literally, 20 CDs worth of music (I'm listening to the soundtrack right now - about 1.5GB of music)

I heard that Super Smash Bros. Brawl IS going to have a channel... I wonder when.



Starwolf_UK said:

If I like the original game (though for this particular one I think 1000 points is pushing it) and say the DLC comes with roughly half the original games content (say Lonpos comes with 200 puzzles and the DLC has 100 puzzles) then yeah the price is fair.

But if it were to be less or the full game is stripped of conent or the DLC to be well, bad then I would be upset.

Though that said the idea of selling the concept for a few hundred points then DLCing the content is neat but demos are meant to sell the concept (quite a few puzzle titles on the DS have flash demos, maybe some of the simpler Wii Ware games could do the same).

Super Smash Bros. Brawl IS going to have a channel.
Where did you hear this? Nintendo never said it and Sakurai said no DLC for brawl. Though Nintendo could bulid a channel for Brawl but it would be rather more primitive when compared to the Mario Kart and Wii Fit channels.

Personally, I don't want DLC for the First Party Nintendo games. Will the next Smash Bros have half the impact if you've already DLCed most of the newcomers and stages? Will other people want to buy it? Though all that said I wouldn't mind "challenges" kind of DLC. As in a new event Pack for Super Smash Bros brawl or maybe some coin challenges for a Mario game.



DJ_Triforce said:

I really want Tetris... that's about it, I think. And, of course, Super Smash Bros. Brawl.



ETLN said:

I think they are a good idea. Especially if the developer thinks of something new then they can add it to the game.



Clayfrd said:

I agree. That is all.
I think downloadable content wouldn't be all that bad, but I would only 50% of the game's value for something really great.



konkerdoodle said:

@Angelic Lapras King
Hey, that's not a bad idea! I wouldn't mind additional Mii Channel content...there's not a whole lot to work with as it stands.



MyAnonBox said:

I like the option if they're honest with what's included. I love Brawl but I'm not going to be ready for more for a long time to come - but I'd pay through the nose for more character for Ultimate Alliance... like the ones that X-Box has!

I think a lot of games I'd skip the added content on, but the option is nice.

/First post.



WoRMaSTeR said:

Isn't anyone else worried about the very limited memory of the Wii in contrast to all the things they seem to be planning to be available for download? Downloadable content is bad if planned ahead like in Need For Speed: ProStreet, where you have to pay for the best cars, which frankly pisses me off. If however it is developed after the release and is clearly an add-on then it is a great thing.



Kelvin said:

I don't mind paying extra for add-ons, but I draw the line at paying for stuff that should have been in the game from the start.



Splutter said:

I don't mind paying extra for episodic content like for instance if we got the Sam and Max episodes, but paying for an update when it's a couple of characters or a car or a costume change doesn't interest me, If the game is good enough then fair enough I'll pay for more levels whilst you go develop a sequel or something else, but expanding what I already have bought? Why didn't you just put these things in to begin with. Giving developers the option is a good thing but it's really down to us the buying public what direction this takes.



djshep1973 said:

It's down to the same old nut again really - and this applies to games you aren't sure about on the VC as well - if you don't want it, don't buy it. I think being given the choice to pay for additional content for a game is a great thing, and I'll probably partake if I'm interested in the game and I think it's good value.



chiefeagle02 said:

I don't mind add-ons, because they enhance the replay value of a title. Although, I will admit, some additional content is substantially better than others and truly are worth the extra money. One wouldn't want to waste Wii Points on something that's absolute crap.



Viral said:

Thomas, you can edit posts. Just for future reference.

Nintendo will be making a mistake if they make downloadable content cost an arm and a leg.



Manicfatty said:

@ Kenryoku_Maxis - Not to snipe at you on another post, but what you are talking about is exactly why we need a hard drive. There is absolutely no way a new level for brawl would fit on the Wii. Take a look how much you have to have clear just to play the game, let alone store a portion of it. You might be able to get a level on a HUGE SD card or thumb drive. But that would be all. The Brawl disc is dual layer for a reason. And then where do your new weapons and costumes and power ups and such go? I agree...Nintendo would be foolish to miss out on not only revenue, but fan service and hard-core gamer loyalty. Right now, the other two consoles are getting my money for downloads.



StarDust4Ever said:

This reminds me of all of the "Sims II" PC expansion packs I used to see in stores (personally, I hate what EA did to the series). Just because a concept works on a computer does not mean it will work on VC.

Then again, in 1986, Nintendo made a great expansion pack for Super Mario Brothers 1. Here, it's known as "The Lost Levels"



ChocoDK said:

I think that having to buy the game for 1,000 Wii Points and then paying for DLC for 500 Wii points is expensive since its already $15 for a Wii Ware game. For $5 more you could get a Greatest Hits, or a Players Choice game. And also the Wii only has like 512MB of space which is a peanut. For those who own Brawl and many VC games they don't have space on their Wii (at least I don't).

If the DLC was $2 or $3 then I would think about getting it but to me personally I think the price is to high. So I won't be purchasing it.



Bass_X0 said:

I would like downloadable content for existing games (more likely its going to be for games designed to incorporate downloadable content than any previous existing game). No game is perfect - there's always more characters, music, items and levels people want from their games. Just play any VC game and think about what little extras you would have liked to have seen from those games. I like to think about "what if" more than "what is" and I'm always imagining stuff I'd like to seee from games. Downloadable content is the way forward, I believe.



OurChemicalRomance said:

To rehash what many already said, it can be a good thing or a bad thing...I would love for us to see some Guitar Hero 3 DLC.



Karyyk said:

It depends on what you're getting. If you're getting actually extra content (as in the case with Mass Effect), then I'm all for it. However, if companies start holding content back that they would have included with the retail product, then it's bad, very bad. You're already seeing cases of the latter practice happening too, with some games microtransactions merely opening up on-disk content.



Viral said:

I think it'd be cool if Nintendo would expand memory on the Wii's internal memory by allowing upgradable services...for even 10$ or 10 pounds, I'd so upgrade my Wii's memory to that of 2-4GB easily on an SD card. I have a 2GB sd card just sitting in there at the moment for saved data (complete Mario Galaxy and Super Paper Mario data, 100%)



lockelocke said:

It's a good idea, because it generates revenue. Unless, that is, Nintendo starts shorting us on content, because they want to maximize the money coming in. For example, if they start releasing partial versions of VC games, and asking for an additional payment to buy the remainder of the game, then they will have turned slimy corporate hacks .



Bass_X0 said:

You're already seeing cases of the latter practice happening too, with some games microtransactions merely opening up on-disk content.
Yes, when that happens its not good. When you buy a game you should have access to all its content if you are good enough to unlock everything. Having to pay extra to unlock stuff is just plain wrong. The practice of keeping stuff from the main game to be downloaded seperately where before it would have gone in the main game is not good either and only serves to distance people from the idea of downloadable content. True downloadable content is stuff created for the game after its release. Lets say that when Super Mario Kart gets released on VC, you have the option of downloading brand new courses, extra characters and a four player mode. Now that would be something worth paying for, right? Nothing major like a graphics overhaul or anything but still pretty good. If they did that, I'd certainly pay for it.



RipvanX said:

It would be awesome if Konami released Castlevania Symphony of the Night on Wiiware! Who agrees??



Bass_X0 said:

Yes obviously. Nobody will disagree with you there. But then who would download the other Castlevania games if the best one of them all is available?



Terthna said:

I think microtransactions are just about the worst thing to happen to video games ever. It leaves the door open for companies to release unfinished products, and later sell the rest of the game at a price point that is exorbitant at best. I'm not against WiiWare games in general. I think the idea of selling low budget titles in such a way, is a wonderful solution to the problems small companies can have with selling their games in a brick and mortar store. However, the concept that you don't have to put out the entire game for sale in one package on release day, is going to lead to what is happening in PC gaming right now. You almost cannot find a single PC game these days that will work right out of the box. Most need at least a half dozen patches to keep from crashing your computer, let alone work properly. Game companies will see microtransactions as a way to get their game out the door more quickly than normal, and eventually this will lead consoles to the same place PCs are right now, with downright unfinished games sold on store shelves.



Objection said:

Way too high. Its wonderful to think of new Zelda dungeons or new Brawl charcters but they should be very inexpensive (such as 200-300 for a new dungeon or 100-200 per new character, etc.) I also think Nintendo should mimic Microsoft by letting us earn Wii Points by beating games, etc. to spend on new games!



Bass_X0 said:

I'm sure Nintendo won't allow companies to do that Terthna. But then there have been a number of pretty crap games that have been released on Nintendo machines that feel unfinished (not that I play crap games of course).



DJ_Kelv said:

Great!.. Just Imagine, New tracks and characters for Mario Kart, New levels and fighters for Smash Brothers, Extra Challenges for these games,A new dungeon (+ weapon) for Zelda, A new level for Super Mario Galaxy. WIth the lack of Decent VC games lately, it'd be good to have something to spend star points on.....



hal said:

like others, i must say: on 1 hand it can work if not abused, but on the other who's going to stop them if they do?! nintendo is suspect still at this point. if a person buys a game, they should own it + b done. on the other hand if nintendo had as much creative integrity as say a SegaChannel[just my personal opin.] or Dreamcast developers, then even a lttle over pricing could b ummm.... justified? lol



scouserboots said:

Having had and XBOX 360 since launch date (well, minus the weeks without it when getting it replaced, which has been 4 times to date), I find that ultimately these downloadable content add ons are either a good thing, or just plain bad. Bad has to be the example of most, if not all EA products. Basically they find the reason to get customers to pay for "keys" to unlock cheats, extras and so on in their games via XBOX Live marketplace. Infact the last EA game I bought, the latest need for speed game, would let you pay MS points to unlock features in the game you could already unlock the further you progressed in single player campaign. That is pure BS for anyone to do, but EA like to squeeze that profit margin up all the way.

Other games do stand on a positive ground with DLC, and games like HALO 3 with its level making DLC recently add a whole new dimensionn to that game. And I do want more additional items to add to games like SSBB to make levels more interesting, and more actual levels made by the game developer.

Wiiware DLC will only be as good as the game it is made for. Unfortunately, like XBLA there will be much crap made on Wiiware as there is for MS's cash cow. But the difference here is that maybe Wiiware will be more accessible to all gamers. Some original content on XBLA is too advanced for a wider audience, or so I find. But again, the way Nintendo have their internet experience, they need to really overhaul it for any DLC to seem worthwhile. I think MS have more than shown that people are willing to pay for a smooth interaction for online gaming and communication with friends. No codes there, just point and click method. Nintendo need to seriously bring the Wii into that kind of market, because the Wii is such a great gaming machine, and I think many hardcore gamers will appreciate what they have done with SSBB and its online gaming experience. But we need simple friend gaming experience, voice communication, and even video communication. Sony don't know how to do it properly, but MS do. Nintendo need to get with the times.



Manicfatty said:

@DJ Kelv - See my above comment. That would be incredibly cool, but until there is a serious storage solution it just ain't gonna happen. Makes me sad, too. When I look at XBOX 360 owners getting new multi-player levels for HALO, and think about how the life of the most recent Metroid could be extended. Marketed correctly, new content could even revitalize sales of the game. Coupled with an awareness campaign, and a 'greatest hits' price point, I can't see any reason why they couldn't move another 50 - 100,000 units based on the additional content no problem. Take into account revenues from the microtransactions, and it's win-win all around. You'd think Nintendo would be all over that. How about new challenges/levels for the Zapper Link Shooter?

I know this is a rehash of my normal mantra, but it just makes no sense to me. Sorry to be stuck in this feedback loop, but it breaks my brain.



Herandar said:

So, which characters should Nintendo add to SSB? I've heard that Mega Man should've/could've been in Brawl, but Capcom was waiting for an invitation.

I would gladly pay for additions to Brawl.

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