The current generation of Pokémon games on Nintendo Switch has potentially changed the way we'll get our regular pocket monster fix moving forward. Based on Pokémon Sword and Shield, it looks like the new model could be to release paid DLC expansion content, rather than make fans buy standalone follow-ups.
What's the reason behind this decision, though? The Pokémon Company recently explained why during a chat with Game Informer. Rather than making players start from scratch, it felt it would be better if players could continue their journey throughout the Galar region with the same party. Here is The Pokémon Company's full response:
"There was an element of apprehension in moving to a downloadable model, but we were confident that players would enjoy exploring the new environments, uncovering new storylines, and meeting new human characters and Pokémon in both The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra. With past titles, players generally had to collect and raise their Pokémon completely from scratch, so with a DLC we thought players would enjoy being able to use their favorite Pokémon right out of the gate."
How do you feel about DLC in Sword and Shield instead of a seperate game? Share your thoughts below.
We all knew there where going to do dlc or els they would have been behind the times and I think alot of use would not want to spend another 60 dollers for the same game.
I ultimately think the DLC route is better rather than paying for a third version by simple means of cost. I think the SwSh DLC was a tad overpriced ($20 would've been the sweet spot), but the Crown Tundra was so good and more than made up for the somewhat lackluster Isle of Armor.
It’s better in theory, just a shame that the ones we got were *****.
The DLC route is perfectly fine as long as the DLC was attached to the account/system and not a "version" of the Pokemon game you started with. Making players buy the same DLC twice if you own both versions of Pokemon I'd a bit dirty if you asked me.
“We don’t want to charge you $80 for a game, but we do want to charge you $80 for a game.”
Translated that for you. You’re welcome.
Money, that's the reason. The DLC is already made so putting it on a game card and charging $90 is far more lucrative than making a third game.
The company: money money money!
"Just because a decision is better, does not mean that it's good." --Linhardt Von Hevring, Fire Emblem Three Houses, 2019.
I’m happy with the DLC route. You can open up a new profile and play through the game again (no more one save per game like previous Gen’s) and you have access to Home. It’s best of both worlds.
I'd rather have the third game. Having Platinum Version level enhancements to the base game would have been amazing. Give Game Freak a chance to fix the main storyline. Revamp the Gym Leaders. Have more interactions with Team Yell. Add a Battle Frontier.
@abbyhitter I would've preferred a third "complete" game as well. I did like the DLC, but Platinum is still the GOAT of the mainline games.
The DLC model is, if done properly, a win-win deal.
For the devs and publishers, it's quite a lot less work and investment.
And in a perfect world, it's Mario Kart 8 DLC, a.e. You get 50% more game for 25% of its price.
Or The WItcher 3, where 20 bucks of DLC, 1/3rd of its initial price, added content well worth a full price standalone release.
And it can work well for Pokemon as well, basically replacing the full price "bridge releases" (Crystal, Emerald etc.).
Now, WIth Pokemon S/S we already run into some bumps.
Like the fact that each version requires it's own season pass, bumping the price back up to ~50bucks if you play both versions.
Given that the DLC route potentially changes a little less than a bridge release would have done, you end up with less for the same price. scratching one "win" from the win-win equation.
DLC needs to be handled carefully to work out and imo, it's not quite there yet.
Or simpler put. Reduce production cost and earn more money. 🤨😇🙏
If Game Freak abandon the third game/sequel/deluxe route moving forward, then as long as a complete cartridge is available shortly after the release of the DLC, then I'm happy.
I was absolutely infuriated by the news of the DLC when it was announced early in the year, and I swore off the games (even after putting 120 hours into Shield) unless a complete edition was available. 20 years of goodwill was going down the toilet if this was the direction that Nintendo were going to take with the main series games. I already hate that so many of Nintendo's own games have DLC without a complete cartridge alternative.
I have bought both complete Sword/Shield editions last week, and while the cost of entry was high, I can always sell my base game cartridges to offset the cost.
As suspected, the DLC was nowhere near being worth the cost of entry. AU$45 was very close to what I paid for FULL GAMES on the DS/3DS back in the day (HG/SS cost me about AU$48 each, which came with manuals and a PokéWalker accessory; Black/White were AU$49 each; and X/Y AU$49 each, if memory serves), so AU$45 for download-ony, console-locked DLC was an awful, awful value proposition, especially when the content was completely disproportionate to the content provided.
Even in its complete form, Sword/Shield isn't really worth the hefty asking price. I think AU$100 would have been more reasonable. Either way, I'm happy, but I'm just worried that future games may not receive the "complete" treatment.
As someone who bought a version of Guilty Gear that became “obsolete” after a few months because a new version came out I completely agree with the DLC model. Now I agree that it sucks that they are using it to repackage old Pokémon, but it’s the right direction. Better than paying full game price for a patch.
I personally think they made the right decision, regardless of the quality of the DLC. I haven't played either Sword or Shield though, so I can't give an opinion on its quality. I just have watched my brother play, and the game actually looks really good. I will have to think about getting one of the versions myself one of these days.
I'd imagine this actually hurts their bottom line in terms of opportunity cost. I mean, the 'third game' in past gens have historically been akin to DLC updates, where 80% of the game is the same as the first pair. Gen 5 kind of bucked this trend, but then we didn't get anything to follow up gen 6 and gen 7 was the most egregious rehash yet.
All that said, I wonder if they've made as much on this expansion pass as they could've reasonably expected to make on a standard third release. I wouldn't think it's anywhere close to as profitable as a full release, but maybe I'm wrong there.
Companies have to follow the trends of the industry.
Else they get left behind and eventually bought by Microsoft.
I hope they keep the DLC model, definitely prefer the ability to jump into the new content straight away. Will say though that even Pokemon moving onto the DLC model makes it even more baffling that Super Mario Party and MK8 Deluxe barely got any post launch support (former only got a patch fixing a bug and latter only got bug fixes + Labo update + BotW skins).
I don't mind the DLC model. I'm so happy they released it all physically too. Win - win for everyone
The "third game" model went away several generations ago — anyone seen Pokemons Grey, Z or Star?
Gens 5 and 7 had a 4-game model, which really did seem like taking the mickey.
In the Sw/Sh generation, it really does seem like they wanted to charge extra for the post-game content that used to be bundled in with the original release. Let's face it: the games were pretty threadbare without the DLC, and each DLC release added only a very short sequence of quests.
@abbyhitter “ I'd rather have the third game. Having Platinum Version level enhancements to the base game would have been amazing. Give Game Freak a chance to fix the main storyline. Revamp the Gym Leaders. Have more interactions with Team Yell. Add a Battle Frontier.”
I mean, I’d love to have all those things, but I can’t really get behind the idea of releasing ‘third games’ in order to be ‘fixed’ versions of the originals. There’s already some cynicism surrounding the idea DLC as a way to squeeze $90 out of a $60 game, but if we had to pay $60 and then a further $60 to simple play what the games we should have been in the first place, I think there would be a lot more gnashing of teeth, and very justifiably too.
As with practically every single aspect with these games the answer is: laziness.
You could create another version, market and sell it. Or slap together some extra wild areas, add in some pokemon previously taken away and there you go
Definitely feel they made the right choice. Regardless of people complaining that the game is $60 rather than $40, there was no way a new first party Switch game wasn’t going to cost $60. It’s the price full releases go for. Gen 1 they were, what, $30? And then by the time DS came along and the price jumped to $40, Pokemon followed suit. No matter what, these would’ve been $60... and so the “Ultra” versions would’ve also cost $60, meaning $120 if you buy one version from each pair, as opposed to $80 in this scenario.
And even if we DID go with the $40 + $40 numbers (so $80 either way), we’re not factoring time. Generally these later versions have minimal changes until postgame (with the exception of B2W2), and not everyone wants to play through the same story twice. I greatly appreciate not having to put another dozen or so hours into a slightly different story, my time is more valuable than that. Heck, my free time in this case is more valuable than my money, so saving me over a dozen hours to get to the new content is great. I don’t understand why someone would prefer to just buy and play the same game again - if you want to play the story mode again with the included DLC, start a new game! Forcing everyone else to replay it was archaic. And I’m aware of the “wait for the definitive version” argument but many of us have friends we want to keep up with and don’t wanna wait a year to get the games. This really was the preferable option. I have numerous complaints about SwSh but the handling of the DLC wasn’t one of them.
And tbh, I wouldn’t be surprised if next year they release it all on one card for people who want it all physical anyways. Definitive versions are just as popular as DLC these days, they just come after the DLC has run its course in sales.
@TG16_IS_BAE except that releasing a third game would make it $120.
And I salute the notion. Starting from scratch is exactly why I never felt compelled by Yellows, Platinums, Emeralds and whatnot. DLC may have allegedly originated as a countermeasure to customer stinginess, but there were few franchises it made more sense to implement in than Pokemon - glad it's finally happened. I, for one, welcome our new "additional content that's actually ADDITIONAL to what you've already earned" overlords.
I'm just annoyed they didn't announce the physical when the announced the dlc.
I think the DLCs were fine, especially Crown Tundra, and I prefer it over having to buy the game a 2nd time. That said, I really hate the fact that you have to buy the expansion pass for both versions. There is no reason to make it like that especially since the only difference between the two are Avery and Klara ...
@Einherjar i agree completely, the dlc route could be a win win for both Nintendo and the pokemon fans, if done correctly. But this first attempt was rather meh.
I'm fine with DLC. But I also admit I never minded them releasing a third game. There was always a good chunk of time between releases. So it felt a good time to play through the game again anyways. Granted, this was before I had kids and had the time to play through a game again.
I just hope in the future, things are handled differently than they were in Sword and Shield. DLC should feel like extra content. Not content that feels like it's making a game that feels like it unfinished, finished.
Much prefer the DLC approach to the “Ultra” approach. I don’t need to replay what is largely the same game just to get to the few new bits. I’ve dumped a ton of hours into Pokemon Sword since it’s release & I’m currently playing The Crown Tundra.
@abbyhitter I've thougthough about it and i'm not sure that would have done much, or that they would have done much in that sense because I think the story on suze and scope is exactly what they eventually decided they wanted Sword and Shield to be.
To explain my thought quick: Story isn't the point of Sword and Shield but multiplayer may very well be.
Look at the new XP candies and the multiple level up one can get from a single L-size candy let alone a XL one. The many battle items and multitudes of ways to quickly increase EV stats(vitamins, poke jobs, easily access to muscle bands/etc) and the ability to check their progress from the start of the game.
Easily accessed Dynamax raids immediately guaranteeing pokemons with powerful IVs stats very early in the wild areas. And now even stuff like ability patches to easily access hidden abilities without lengthy hunting/breeding process.
It's not just the story that's on speed rails. It's even the entire process of custom crafting competitive-ready pokemons to hop into multiplayer with faster than ever before without having to necessarily luck into a (likely hacked) ditto with 6 -perfect IV for breeding and the like.
So i'm tempted to think of Sword & Shield as the "multiplayer battling-focused" pokémon not just because it's story is short but also because it specifically tweaked the whole pokemon-taming process to borderline extreme speed laboratory levels compared to past games.
This said one of the hole I noticed in Crown Tundra is among the things the DLC brought back: every last fossil pokemons... EXCEPT for the two introduced in gen4.
Which feel like one heck of a suspiciously specific omission to make when 50/151 of the original sinnohdex is still missing amongst past gens' pokemon and people are still wondering when/if Diamond/Pearl remakes will happen.
And if Sword and Shield might become known for it's competitive multiplayer support... iirc Di/Pe/Pl were always known for their meaty singleplayer.
In other words: the next year or two will be very interesting to look out for announcements because it'd make sense for a title to be multiplayer-focused(and kept purposefully smaller, to spare dev ressources for that other, larger, world) if the real meatier singleplayer-focus deal is still being worked on.
@graysoncharles judging by how more adventurous they were in the design/layout of the caverns in Isle of Armor/Crown Tundra (with being built on multiple levels and spirals/etc) vs base game's Wild Area very flat layout, i'd say they're slowly getting there.
Maybe not in terms of texture but "patch adding new textures/etc") isn't really a thing in Japan outside of full remake releases?
But there were clear efforts there to play with the wild area concept and try to create more variety/layouts in environments, notably by playing MUCH more with the concept of vertically for one.
@rjejr perhaps only in the sense that a DLC being cheaper to purchase than a fullblown game release is more likely to be picked up than "full priced game with all the stuff of the one you'd ALREADY purchased, but now with some bells and whistles!".
Probably also less of an hassle to distribute since, except for say stuff like a special edition bundle(which they can thus print less numbers of), they don't have to worry as much about the costs of retail distribution of that content.
Granted it all depends on how much the DLCs actually sold but well, so far they don't -seem- to have sold badly either.
Another subtlety about DLC vs standalone follow-ups is the fact that with DLC, users have to buy into the original games in order to play the expansion content.
In contrast, you can opt out of the original games if you simply want to wait for the standalone follow-ups. This bolsters longterm sales of the original titles, as opposed to spreading sales numbers between many different game titles, which I am sure corporate shareholders appreciate.
@Ludovsky Also in the sense that the game came out and in only a few months they were selling the $30 season pass, maybe sooner, didn't follow that closely, whereas if they waited to put out a new "3rd" game, or 3rd game A and 3rd game B, then they would probably have to wait about a year before selling pre-orders.
The Aisle of Armor was fine for their first pass at DLC, but I absolutely got my money’s worth out of the Crown Tundra
@Screen definitely. Also I find really interesting all the small references to pokemon's 4th gens... both direct and indirect.
Like Spiritomb being recruited in a fashion VERY similar to Diamond and Pearl which ended reminding me of past musings that Sword and Shield's Wild Areas(and the ability to cross players avatars there) would not be too far off from how I could envision an "Underground 2.0" prototype.
Or how Crown Tundra brought back ALL the old fossils pokemons... except the ones introduced in gen4. Plus it's odd that we got the gene starters back sneaked into Dynamax Adventures... but not the gen2 ones(starters whose games had also happened to received a remake during gen4... and which, after Let's Go's success, has also had many people wondering if we'd get a "Let's Go Johto"?).
Perhaps it's just coincidence but I suspect that even if Crown Tundra proves the last Sw&Sh DLC we might still get surprise Gen8-related announcements in the upcoming two years.
So 60x3=80? Good math
@Tommy-and-Timmy You buy sword or shield, $54, you buy DLC, 30. I rounded 84 to 80.
I mean a stand-alone game would coast 60$, one version is 60$ and you can buy the other one for another 60$. That’s if we had a game and not dlc.
@Tommy-and-Timmy I'm talking about one game, plus DLC. Clear? Good.
we are greedy and dont care about the quality of the games we develop,(don't fall on Game Freak fallacy about the DLC/expansion or others Pokémon games they made),is quite obvious by looking at Pokémon Sword e Shield, they dint make a game that could be considered the Zelda BOTW of the franchise, istead they made a very lackluster game.
I think that the real question is whether the two "version" model makes sense anymore, given that the game is on a full console and costs full price out the door. I'm not buying into both Sword and Shield for minimal differences, it doesn't make sense. You can trade for anything from either game, so the only functional difference are the gym leaders. Just release one version and have players choose different paths or something once they start.
I am surprised at the number of people outraged by a company making decisions to increase revenue and profit. Pokemon isn't a charity or public service, it's a product. It makes sense for Game Freak, The Pokemon Company and Nintendo to want to get the most out of their development investment. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if they went for a second round of DLC based off of the same world and engine.
I don't care much.
The game is dog doo doo to me and no amount of DLC can change that.
Would rather them make a finished game then just go next gen first.
SWSH isn't worth 60 dollars for a quarter of the content of previous games. 30 dollar DLC still doesn't even bring the games on par with Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. We didn't even get more tutors in CT and the legendary raids are not forever content. They still failed to even fix the 20 minute battle timer to give players a reason to even team build, battle spot is just unplayably awful.
But i guess people will buy it anyway and GF will continue to make subpar games.
I’m all for the DLC route for the right price. However, Pokémon SS + the DLCs ended up costing us over $120 CAD. It also doesn’t help that the DLC (especially the Isle of Armour) were lacklustre. I liked the fact that the entire area was like a wild area with a controllable camera, and the legendaries in Crown Tundra were great, however there needed to be more of a story for it to be worth what we paid for. Let’s hope that GF figures it out for the next entry in the series and gives us a more complete game, rather than the half baked game we got.
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