It appears as though that Nintendo will at least concede the fact that the way that have been generating money through its game services may be in need of updating to keep with the times. Nintendo Life has given light to the fact that the upcoming Mario Golf: World Tour will feature what may be Nintendo’s first Season Pass, hiding courses and characters behind additional paid content.
For North American players, that means that $14.99 will get you access to three DLC packs (each at $5.99, saving you $3.00 total), with each pack providing two new 18-hole courses and an additional new character (Toadette with Mushroom Pack on launch day, Nabbit with Flower Pack later in May, Rosalina with Star Pack in June). Additionally, if you buy the Season Pass or each pack individually, players will get access to a golden Mario character that awards coins per yardage of each shot.
One the surface, it makes me quite disappointed with Nintendo. With the Mushroom Pack being available as Day 1 DLC, it means that the content is arguably being withheld from the main games so that Nintendo can explicably charge extra money for a season pass on top of an already-full-price game. To me, it’s the kind of move synonymous with your annualized sports games hiding classic stadiums behind paid DLC packs. DLC really only fair when development is made mostly after launch, like how Naughty Dog treated The Last of Us’ Season Pass.
However, nothing should be taken just at face value. While it doesn’t take away that all paid content will be available within the first month of the game’s release, Trial Tournaments will be offered for players to test out the paid content before they buy. “We’re letting fans expand their experience with Mario Golf: World Tour,” Nintendo of America’s Scott Moffit said. “Some players might be content hitting the links on the numerous courses already included with the game, while others will appreciate the option of being able to add to their fairway fun with new courses and characters.”
Try before you buy. When it comes to individual DLC that adds up to more than half the price of the full game, it’s a novel idea that is quite welcomed. Even though Nintendo seems to have followed the suit of Microsoft, Sony and non-console game publishers by offering a season pass, they have done so on their terms, in a way that does the most they can for their customer. Quite honestly, it makes the bitter pill that much easier to swallow if one can at least get a bit of enjoyment out of something that is morally opposed by personal standards. Who knows, it may end up convincing some to buy what they like.
Mario Golf: World Tour is its own beast. An arcade sports game that focuses on the pure golfing gameplay elements over various modes, instead of providing a story within a game. When it comes to bringing out a season pass for a game, this is the ideal entry to test the waters. However, should it become successful, will we start to see season pass DLC for other Nintendo IP? How long until we see an upcoming Zelda or Mario game with sections of the completed product hidden behind DLC?
If Nintendo truly wants to stay true to itself as a company, let the sacred cows remain sacred. Offshoots, non-canon titles and arcade sports games? Put them out to the DLC pasture.
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