Sometimes, downloadable content is OK. Other times, DLC is anything but. Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai explains the difference.
In his latest Weekly Famitsu column, Sakurai discusses DLC and how he views it — not only in the recent Super Smash Bros., but in general.
"Indeed, the phrase, 'DLC business" is everywhere," Sakurai wrote. "Having to pay afterwards is extremely unsatisfying. I completely understand how customers feel. Being sold in pieces what would normally be considered 100% altogether is intolerable."
Continuing, Sakurai added, "Even with Smash Bros., we could have kept out a few characters that are in the full game and sold them as DLC. Considering the development costs and the fact that content-wise it is already more than enough, if we were to pursue pure profit, that would be the way to go."
Sakurai explained that these days, game development is expensive. For game companies, DLC is a way to make more money. DLC is, so to speak, is a "boon." It's beneficial to their business. For Sakurai, it sounds like it's become a way for game companies to squeeze money out of players.
That isn't to say Sakurai simply loathes DLC. His argument is more nuanced than that. Rather, he appears to disagree with the business model that chops out part of the original game and then sells it to players separately.
For Sakurai, downloadable content that's created after the game is finished is something else entirely, as evident in the Mewtwo DLC (see above), which is why he was clear to point out the following: "The truth is that the DLC for Smash Bros. was developed after the full game was completed."
Toshi Nakamura contributed to this report.