This is quite concerning news. Nintendo are apparently going to lock a game mode for the new upcoming Metroid: Samus Returns game behind another purchase. While this is making a lot of fans mad, surely Nintendo won’t leave it at this. They can’t. It is so unlike Nintendo to require fans to purchase a physical, limited quantity, item to unlock downloadable content in their games. I mean, on one hand, fans get a cool keepsake (the Amiibo) but on the other, those that are not able to acquire the Amiibo in question (say due to Internet scalpers) they are out of luck as far as playing the DLC. This is for fans that want to play the hardest mode, Fusion mode, with the Fusion suit and does not affect normal play.
Nintendo have been playing with DLC for a little while now. Their most successful attempt in recently memory is probably Super Mario Run on iPhone and Android. When you downloaded the game, you got a demo featuring a few levels. To unlock the rest of the game, you had to pay up $10. I know, that is a crappy suggestion for DLC but it counts. It also is probably what gave Nintendo the idea to go this route – fans supported Super Mario Run quite well so why not tie the DLC to a physical object fans can keep?
This is a bad idea on a few levels. Most present of all is Internet scalpers that will probably grab all the available Amiibo’s at launch. This means, fans that want to play the DLC will be stuck paying exorbitant prices to access that DLC. There is another method Nintendo could implement as well.
Nintendo could tie the DLC to the Amiibo for a timed period (they are not going to produce them forever) and after that period, release the DLC in their store for everyone to get. This way, only the most die-hard fans will be stuck paying stupid prices to access the DLC modes and those that are a little more cautious with their finances can enjoy it a little bit later. Think of this option as the “early adopter” tax that everyone pays when they buy something at launch.
It is interesting that all this hoopla is happening because according to Nintendo has stated that fans can access the Fusion mode DLC after they beat the game at least one time. I understand that for some gamers, that is an unsurmountable task (I know I suck at beating Metroid but enjoy playing).
The costs continue to rack up though as the older 2DS and 3DS devices do not support the Amiibo option. This means, those fans are out of luck unless they can accomplish beating the game at least once. Surely, Nintendo will not leave those fans out in the dark if there is a buck to be made by releasing the DLC in the store.
Do you think it is unfair to require fans to pay for a physical item to get the DLC, or beat the game at least once to get it?