Reggie On Nintendo And DLC: Games Deserve A 'Complete Experience'

I've always avoided extra DLC content in games, even if I completely adored the original. I enjoyed Episodes from Liberty City, but only because it felt like a new story, an entire new game that just happened to be set in a space I was familiar with. Now Reggie Fil-Aime from Nintendo has detailed the reasons why the big N has steered away from paid DLC in the past, and I sort of agree with him.

"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,'" he said.

"Now, in addition, if we want to make other things available, great, and we'll look at that. But we're unwilling to 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."

I've never enjoyed the fact that I had to pay for content already available on the disc, and I've always been irritated by being sold an unfinished game. Even additional content down the track -- I often find it hard to take it seriously. It just doesn't feel 'canon' to me. Weird, I know.

Regardless, a 3DS update scheduled for next month adds functionality that allows developers to sell additional DLC content for existing games. It'll be interesting to see how and if Nintendo use it.

Nintendo: Making mobile games 'flies in the face of what we believe in' [AOL]


Comments

    Very much agree. There's something I find very relaxing and satisfying sitting down and playing a great wii game (few and far between as they may be). It feels so self contained, it either holds up on pure enjoyment or it doesn't, none of this trophy crap or DLC crap or needing to connect to the internet crap or leaderboard crap or patch crap.

      Totally hit the nail on the head, Sam. Exactly how I feel too =)

    Interesting counter-point to the article just a bit farther back on Kotaku saying 'DLC is fighting used game sales.' Bit of an impasse really.

    Ahh ok. What does that make FFIV: The After Years then?

      An unsurprising Square-Enix cash grab.

    I agree to an extent, I think preorder and Day 1 DLC to be completely ridiculous,Catwoman should come with the game up front, and anything that can be made for release should be in the vanilla game. But I do enjoy episodic DLC for about $5 such as Alan Wake and Mass Effect 2. They fill in the minor stuff between sequals that would feel out of place in the main game, and can get you hyped up for the next one.

      Catwoman was with the game up front.

      All you needed to do was buy the game first hand.

        And have an internet connection. It doesn't affect me (I'm getting the PC version and I am online) but it's not really fair to those offline players since Bats is a single player game. I can understand online passes for the multi since that doesn't make a difference, but it doesn't seem right to cut out a whole playable character without being online.

    I agree. As awesome as the internet is, it has allowed developers and publishers to get lazy and push games out sooner. This means more bugs, fewer features on launch, and DLC you have to pay for that should have been in the game in the first place.

    Of course that's not always the case. But I think 60-70% of games these days get shipped prematurely because of the suits pushing numbers while saying "we can fix it later".

    And of course Reggie's reasons have nothing to do with the fact that Nintendo have no viable means of distributing DLC anyway. Or patches.

    DLC is a double edged sword - it can be great or it can be a cash grab - and unfortunately way too many blogs/gamers are happy to decry all DLC as pure greed rather than looking at each piece objectively. Resident Evil 5's multiplayer mode? Iffy. RDR's Undead Nightmare? Excellent. Oblivion's horse armour? Ridiculous, but cosmetic and therefore ultimately harmless (compare it to some of The Sim's household item expansion packs).

    TL;DR? Some DLC good, some DLC bad, no one forces you buy it anyway.

      Thing is, in the olden days we had a word for good, lengthy DLC like Undead Nightmare - we called them Expansion Packs. So I'd argue that there's very, very, very little worthwhile DLC - instead, the good content is coming out of fully fledged expansion packs just like it always used to.

      And before you say that it's just DLC, note that many of these are getting retail releases. All the great Rockstar game 'DLC' (GTAIV and RDR) has been put up for sale in physical packages in addition to being downloadable.
      Another example of this is Ratchet and Clank: Quest for Booty - both downloadable and physical. Now, technically it's a seperate game, but frankly it's built on the same engine with the same mechanics and weapons, and is only 3 hours in length, so I consider it an expansion pack.

      "And of course Reggie’s reasons have nothing to do with the fact that Nintendo have no viable means of distributing DLC anyway. Or patches. "

      You're right, the Wii and DS/3DS totally do not have internet access and don't have any support for SD cards.

      Patches and DLC are very possible on current Nintendo platforms. Some games have taken advantage of that (Guitar Hero and Rock Band being notable examples). Fact is most developers choose not to.

      On another note, is it just me or does Reggie look like a cow staring at an oncoming train in that photo? Like someone in the audience has just told him his fly is open.

        According to the article, the 3ds is only about to get this functionality. DLC isnt viable on the wii due to the 4gb sd card limit. They won't even allow full dl games to exceed 40mb.

        Therefore your wrong.

          You might want to research your facts. The Wii supports up to 32GB SDHC cards, and has done for a couple of years now: http://www.engadget.com/2009/03/25/nintendo-debuts-wii-system-menu-4-0-including-sd-card-wiiware-b/

          And learn to spell.

            My bad. Still doesn't change the 40mb limit. At all.

            I'm typing on my phone, hence my spelling. What your excuse for writing like an a-hole?

    DLC can be great, if its an expansion of the game. inFamous 2 festival of blood, red dead undead nightmare are some good pieces DLC that I enjoy. But dlc for costumes, for unlocking on disc stuff, that's just annoying and should stop (but won't.)

    Nintendo always say something like this when their platform isn't capable of doing something that others are doing.

    "It's better for the gamers"

    At least in this case it's true, unlike online play, HD Graphics and any other myriad of excuses.

    I fully expect the next Nintendo console and games to have paid DLC.

    However, I'll bet Nintendo first party content will actually be developed to a great standard, ontop of already content-full games, rather than alot of other DLC projects.

      Bingo. Remember how the gamecube was awesome because it didn't have DVD playback when the other two were selling that feature. That worked well.

      Its not just down to Ninty though. After all Sony were telling us how we didn't need dual shocks anymore at the beginning of the PS3's life until that lawsuit was settled.

      On the HD front, I think there is value in making your console affordable for the gamers. And I think that is especially true of the market of gamers that they have been targeting.

      Of course, they are going to dress up their decisions, and try and hide all the disadvantages. And ultimately, they will choose something that is profitable for the company. But I think a lot of what is profitable will be decisions that cast them in a good light to their target audience.

      Also, it is interesting that, in the interview that the article refers to, he is actually talking about how they will be introducing the functionality for paid add-ons in a 3DS update. The quotes refer to how Nintendo will approach this feature. So we are talking about something that the device will be capable of. And he definitely isn't saying that Nintendo won't use this feature.

    I don't have a problem with most DLC - it is all optional after all. I don't get why people complain about stuff like costume packs and so fourth - if you don't want it don't buy it but other people may want it and you don't have the right to deny them that. It isn't taking away from your experience in any way.

    I think i am one of the few that supports Day One DLC. I don't support "DLC" that is already on the disc and you are downloading a key to unlock the content - that is ridiculous but i do support day one DLC that was made by the developers outside of their normal development window for their standard game for launch.

    What i hate is people using the "it should be on the disc" cry that shows almost a complete lack of understanding of the development cycle. DLC that is released Day One generally isn't ready to be put onto the disc when they finished the main product. It has generally been worked on after the main development cycle with the different teams (such as concept artists, programmers etc...) starting work on DLC almost immediately after their contribution to the main game is completed - because they aren't going to twiddle their thumbs until launch and go - oh ok now it is fine to make DLC after i have had a 3 month paid vacation doing nothing. So DLC gets made but most likely not quite finished in time to meet certification from MS, Sony etc... and it gets continued to be worked on while the main game gets certified etc... Since the DLC doesn't have to go through the main games process of being manufactured (disc production) and shipped out to people this time would be used for QA testing and certification from MS and Sony and would be ready for launch a few days before launch. So unless companies can wave their magic wand and include the DLC product on discs that have already been distributed then the whole "should have been included on the disc" is not really relevant to most launch day DLC (unless the developer intentionally cut out the content that was already to finished Day One then that is bad).

    Other then that i think DLC is great. While i know some people prefer expansion packs, i think DLC is now almost required now to keep peoples interest in the game and keep them playing the product and not selling it on second hand. Expansion packs are generally just too far apart to hold onto a reasonable market share these days with all the quality titles coming out now.

      I generally agree with what your saying, but developers don't help their case when the day one dlc has exclusive content that would have been on the disc in past releases I.e. Dragon ages storage chest.

    Would rather my DLC be solid Expansion packs... anyone else remember those word? Rockstar, Bethesda and sometimes Bioware get that right I think.

    I like dlc that adds a lot to the game like the borderlands dlc or the gta 4 expansion packs. Horse armor aside some of the oblivion extras like vile lair were really nice too.

    But some things like capcom charging $10 for costumes or ubisoft wanting $15 for hawx planes already on the game disc really annoy me. Same with $15 map packs for games like cod and battlefield. I can't believe people buy these.

      I think the COD packs are more like $23 arent they?

    I like dlc that adds a lot to the game like the borderlands dlc or the gta 4 expansion packs. Horse armor aside some of the oblivion extras like vile lair were really nice too. .

    I have a problem with the term 'DLC'
    The latest Gears of War dlc included new maps, characters, skins. . . a whole bunch of stuff, all labelled as DLC.
    File size? 2MB!
    Thats not DLC. DLC stands for Download Content.

    I dont have a problem with 'actual' DLC to extend a game beyond whats on the disc, but that Gears DLC thats not actual DLC? Thats just dirty!

    Surely thats something the ACCC would be interested in.

      The ACCC? I think I have heard of them. Is that the Australian Caring for Crooks Corporation?

    Lol, I couldn't help but hear, just how, Reggie talks, when he delivers information; that he, and everyone else feels, is important.

    This is kind of amusing coming from a company that frequently encourages you to buy extra peripherals and upgrades to your existing ones to play a game, sometimes as a compulsory purchase. (eg. Extra memory for an N64) Nintendo's DLC is their hardware.

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