Smash Bros Creator On ‘Intolerable’ DLC

Smash Bros Creator On ‘Intolerable’ DLC

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.

Picture: Nintendo


  • does this seem like…hypocritical at all? saying that developers shouldn’t take things out of a game and then sell them as dlc while also advertising the new paid smash bros dlc for Mewtwo who has been in other iterations of smash bros? he’s essentially saying “look guys, when you make dlc you shouldn’t take things that people expect from the game and make them pay extra for them” while at the same time saying “BUT if you want to play as your favourite character from the other smash bros games you’re gonna have to pay us $5”

    • Mewtwo was essentially made from the ground up for this game. Had he been included from the start, Bowser Jr. would have most likely been cut, or the game’s release would have been pushed back to 2015.

      See, here we have a perfect example of the benefits of DLC. I love the game as it is. I love it to bits, and for that reason I want more. It wouldn’t be inaccurate to say that I will always want more, and I’d much rather receive DLC than wait on a whole new game 5 years from now.

      Imagine Super Mario 64, and how much people wanted more of it. If the 64 was capable of DLC (DD notwithstanding), then DLC worlds probably would have fulfilled people’s wishes. Also, compare Super Mario Galaxy 2. A game that, in all likelihood, probably would have been turned into DLC, had the Wii been capable of it.

      Also, think about how some developers release full price sequels every single year, when the sequels are effectively the same game each time. In many cases, the bulk of these games should be released as DLC, this is especially true for ‘Roster Update’ Sports titles.

      Bad DLC does exist, but additional characters created after release are a neutral area, where it all comes down to the execution.

    • I don’t see it as hypocritical. The game has the largest roster of any smash game. Mewtwo wasn’t included in brawl, it’s not like he was super popular, I can see why he didn’t make it into the game initially. And it does genuinely sound like they worked on it after the game was released. Just like DLC should be. I was happy with how Mario kart DLC turned out. As long as the smash characters aren’t OP I won’t have any issues with them either.

  • @roberotful – I don’t think it’s that simple. It sounds to me like Mewtwo may have been done from the ground up (or at least there’s a strong possibility), rather than being ported from Melee (remember Mewtwo wasn’t in Brawl either). So that’s a different case.

    Honestly, it sounds to me as though he’s just sincerely saying developers should just make the best game possible up to launch, and THEN worry about DLC post-release rather than dividing up ready made content and releasing it as expensive (especially for Australia!) DLC, and honestly I agree with that. Developers should be rewarded for genuine hard work AFTER a games release (including incomplete content that GENUINELY isn’t ready in time for launch, which was stated to be the case with Mewtwo during a Nintendo Direct if we’re to believe that – hell there were bugs anyway), not for essentially with-holding game content – it was much nicer when games packed as much content as possible without worrying about such things and developers actively took even greater pride in their work.

    Season Pass’s wouldn’t be so bad if it was commitment to COMPLETING upcoming content that’s still in development, as opposed to content that’s withheld and simply released in small doses for business purposes (e.g. a cheap way to milk cash or prolong a games life without putting much in the way of extra effort in the first place).

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