News Article

Nintendo: We Won't Charge Extra to Unlock In-Game Content

Posted by James Newton

"We'll do DLC right"

Downloadable content is a double-edged sword: when used right, it enhances and expands your game experience, but when done wrong you wind up paying more to unlock something that's on the disc or cartridge you bought in the first place. The recent announcement that Nintendo will provide DLC on 3DS next year led some to worry it'd follow the latter path, but Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime has spoken to assure consumers that's not the case.

In an interview with, Fils-Aime spoke of the company's approach to providing post-launch content for its games:

I've had this conversation with a number of our key developers, and their mentality is, "Reggie, when we sell a game, we want the consumer to feel that they've had a complete experience." Now, in addition, if we want to make other things available, great, and we'll look at that.

But what we're unwilling to do is sell a piece of a game upfront and, if you will, force a consumer to buy more later. That's what they don't want to do, and I completely agree. 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.

Fils-Aime could also have been talking about the increasing trend towards free-to-play games, though the company has said in the past it's not interested in free-to-play software.

Do you agree with Nintendo's standpoint that the original game should be as complete as possible or would you like to see some franchises — Animal Crossing, for example — taking a slightly different business model?


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User Comments (43)



SuperSpank said:

Well, that's good to hear i suppose, but that wont stop 3rd parties(Yes im looking at you Capcom).



SLiM said:

I have to admit that I would almost be willing to pay a fee for Animal Crossing if it had new content added to it constantly. I hope future installments of Animal Crossing will come with lots of DLC to keep it fresh.



Shiryu said:

Would love to get a new F-Zero that would have regular extra car parts an tracks as DLC. One can dream....



jer18 said:

There is a better Reggie smile! Nintendo is doing well and will come back.



Knux said:

Good to see that Nintendo is not following Capcom's mentality when it comes to DLC.



Late said:

New Super Smash Bros. game should use DLC for more characters and stages. That would be something I'd buy.



RVN said:

they were called expansions instead of downloadable content
oh the times...



dizzy_boy said:

i haven`t got a problem paying for DLC because dev`s have worked on making the content available.
i do disagree with paying to unlock content already programed into the game to beggin with, or finding out that the DLC was deliberately held back to sell on later.



ueI said:

They should sign something legally binding to prevent them from abusing DLC.



LoopyLuigi said:

I'm ok with paying for DLC, but in some cases, they charge too much (Call of Duty), or there is lots and lots of little DLC not worth the one or two bucks (Little Big Planet).



Raylax said:

It still doesn't guarantee that the latter path won't be taken - whilst Nintendo may be taking steps to ensure that we don't have to pay extra for content that already exists "locked" on the cart; developers can still simply leave things off the cart that were developed pre-release and then sell them back later. And Nintendo can't really do anything about that. Asides charge a premium royalty for developers to use the DLC service to make it less financially viable for them to do so, but then we'll simply see developers not use it very much at all; or see inflated prices.



SpaceKappa said:

I don't mind paying for DLC, it's the Day One DLC where all you're downloading is a 128kb unlock key for content that's already on the disc that really irks me. Same with retailer-exclusive preorder bonuses that, again, just unlock something that's already on the disc. Part of why I love Nintendo so much is that they don't play that game.

I love DLC that extends the life of a game (look at something like Mass Effect or Fallout 3), but it's the nickel-and-dime stuff (pay $20 for extra costumes in any new Capcom fighter) that I can't get behind.



Supremeist said:

DLC is basically just stuff that was meant to be put in the game, but never was before it came out. It's a way for developers to make alot of extra cash: which is kind of ignorant. I'm glad Nintendo is thinking this way. This is one of the reasons they are such a great company.



Tare said:

Will they do updates or patches?

Anyway, Reggie and Nintendo of America is now 20% cooler



McGruber said:

I don't even mind the idea of paying extra for more content down the line. I work at Gamestop and I noticed a new Wii horse racing game that is about as cheap looking as cheap can get, and it has the Pay to Play logo on the front. Looks like you can buy new horses...I don't think Nintendo should allow like that on their consoles.



DrCruse said:

Good job Reggie, even if you completely fail to bring good games to America, at least we don't have to pay too much for the games that we have.



Aerona said:

Sounds good, I doubt they'll have much of a say in what 3rd parties do with it though.



tanookisuit said:

Finally Reggie says something I can agree with. DLC is great, DLC you pay for to get the full game is crap. Good call, please stick to it.



NintyMan said:

It's nice to hear him say that. I hope his colleagues in Japan agree. DLC can certainly be good if used correctly, and I imagine Nintendo would be more careful with it than a third-party. Wouldn't it be neat if Kid Icarus: Uprising, Luigi's Mansion 2, Paper Mario 3DS, and Mario Tennis 3DS all provided some form of DLC? We'll have to wait and see.



WolfRamHeart said:

Thank you Nintendo. This is the right way to do DLC. I wish that other companies would follow Nintendo's example.



Sh00kst3r said:

...So Reggie realized what DLC is...? I don't get it. That's what DLC already is.



brandonbwii said:

I would like the next Mario Kart to focus on 32 ORIGINAL tracks while classic courses are constantly added and being worked on as DLC.



Matillion said:

His body is getting even more ready.
Oh, and I hope the Americans gets Xenoblade like us.



StarDust4Ever said:

Only problem with this logic is online play. Even though the game will be "complete" at launch, frequent updates will still be necessary to make online play compatible with other players' DLC content.

For example, if a player buys an extra cart for Mario Kart which was not available at release, then data for that new cart (graphics, handling/performance characteristics, etc) must be downloaded to the user's SD card. Now, in order to render properly when the player plays MK7 online, an update must be made available so that opponents carts, ect render properly onscreen. Essentially, if the DLC content is to be made available during online play, then all players must have access to the said data, whether they have purchased/unlocked it, or not. So this data must either be downloaded on the fly when needed, which would likely cause bandwidth/server issues, or stored locally on the system.

Even then, there is the issue of whether the DLC yields an unfair competitive advantage against other players without it. The other option is to disallow DLC content for the purposes of online play, but that takes away one of the major benefits of DLC, which is showing it off to other players.

Still, though, the thought of extra carts, characters, and tracks as optional DLC would be awesome for MK7. Nothing announced yet, so keep your fingers crossed.



sfogation said:

yes!! but now am worry that alot of companies(like capcom) are not going to make DLC because its free and they wont get any money for their work



Urbanhispanic said:

I never liked paying for parts of a game that's already on the game and people can choose to buy DLC if it isn't already there to begin with. It should always be a choice to do so but of course free DLC just because you went and bought the game to begin with is the RIGHT way.



SkywardLink98 said:

Play coins. They're useful in this sense because we don't have to pay money, and everyone will start using their 3DS as a pedometer, meaning more streetpass.

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