Why we're thrilled and terrified of Zelda DLC

The Bad

DLC is a slippery slope. Just because Nintendo doesn't have a propensity for screwing its customers over doesn't mean it won't start pulling off some of that micro-transaction crap we've seen on the Xbox and PS3. Nintendo loves to encourage casual gamers – how about by enabling them to pay for items that make the game easier? 200 rupees for 200 points? Hey, maybe instead of doing that mini-quest that will get you the bombs, you can just buy them ahead of time for a dollar?

Not that big a deal? You’re right. We have no problem with Nintendo enabling lesser players to pay for virtual training wheels – IF that’s as far as it goes. But it’s a fine line between charging extra for bonus items that more dilligent players can earn for free in-game and holding back things that should be free. Publishers have already tried to seduce gamers into paying extra for co-op modes, alternate costumes and cheat codes on 360 – all things that were already on the disc and just needed to be activated. We are absolutely not cool with that.

Yes, we all love and trust Nintendo, but it’s still a company, and companies are in the business of making money. So if that means throwing an unobtainable weapon on the disc and then charging five bucks for it two months later, we most certainly wouldn't be surprised.

Above: Flying will cost you three bucks

Granted, we could be discussing nothing. Aonuma’s actual quote was just ambiguous enough to go either way:

"Obviously, we have thought about DLC, and we are thinking about it."

So yeah... they've thought about it, and they’re still thinking. Not quite the glowing endorsement you may have expected, but far from a straight turndown. Ultimately, if we do see some DLC from Nintendo on this one, we just hope and pray the company takes the high road and acts to enhance the gameplay experience instead of just padding the bottom line. You reading this, marketing guys?

Jul 5, 2010

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  • slimjim441 - July 7, 2010 3:57 p.m.

    I don't mind if they put in an 'unobtainable item' in the DLC, as long as it isn't required to beat the game. That would be ridiculous. I think Nintendo will make the right choice.
  • Samuel71 - July 6, 2010 9:42 p.m.

    Oh fuck no. :(
  • Defguru7777 - July 6, 2010 5:46 p.m.

    My policy on DLC is this: if it expands the story, I buy it. I have both Mass Effect expansions, all Fallout 3 expansions, and The Lost and Damned (I'd also have The Ballad of Gay Tony, but I'm out of memory). I generally don't buy map packs for games, unless I play them frequently. I've bought Halo 3 and Gears of War 2 map packs. I don't buy Call of Duty map packs. My point is, DLC can be really good or really crappy. Like a game. It depends on the developers who handle it.
  • philipshaw - July 6, 2010 5:17 p.m.

    I don't want DLC, just make a game with no bugs like FFXIII
  • AuthorityFigure - July 6, 2010 8:35 a.m.

    I don't understand the gripe about WHERE the purchasable content is stored. If it's on a server that I have to download from, or if it's sitting on a disc in my drive, what's the difference. You don't own it until you pay anyway, and if it's on a server you have to wait longer. Just because it's on the disc already doesn't mean you 'own' it. You never 'own' the disc content, just the physical medium - that's why you cannot copy it legally.
  • CH3BURASHKA - July 6, 2010 7:31 a.m.

    Cyberninja is spot-on: if they are "thinking about it", they better be thinking of a storage solution alongside it. Even though we have 3 main consoles, the Wii has always been a black sheep, albeit the most successful one. DLC has become incredibly intuitive and even expected on the HD systems, a development thanks to the capabilities of the current-gen systems. The Wii, in this sense, is a past-gen system, and it will be very interesting to see how in the hell they will pull off DLC when the main consumer hasn't as of yet been introduced to it. Will we get a repeat of history, with their own horse armors and whatnot, or will they do what Nintendoes and somehow innovate in a space they haven't existed in? We can only wait and see. Like I said, DLC means they're thinking of a storage solution. Personally, I consider this a confirmation that the Wii HD 250GB is around the 2-year-ish corner.
  • Limbo - July 6, 2010 7:08 a.m.

    I really don't know about this one. Zelda is one of Nintendo's best series, and DLC could really screw it up. Plus, the Wii doesn't have that much memory on it. I say that Nintendo should keep DLC and real online gaming (Mario Kart is the only online game I've played that works) for their next console, which will hopefully be soon.
  • Imgema - July 6, 2010 6:01 a.m.

    For me, DLC is a major step backwards. First of all, it encourages the developers to not test the games properly. Hey, who cares, if there is a huge bug, we can always fix it with a patch one year later! Secondly, DLC encourages developers put less stuff in their finished games than they would if it wasn't for the service. There are countless examples out there. Lets take SF4 for instance. If it wasn't for DLC, do you believe that they wouldn't just fit the costumes on the disc? Or, if DLC existed in previous generations, do you believe that the extra costumes in thousands of games would be free? Sure, DLC can offer extra material for your favorite games. I wouldn't mind an extra level in Goldeneye for instance. But you would never know if this extra level was intended for the cartridge anyway...
  • V13Dragongal - July 6, 2010 2:59 a.m.

    I guess we will see how it turns out. I hope it goes well.
  • Grumblemire - July 5, 2010 10:10 p.m.

    Keep that DLC crap out of my Nintendo games.
  • crumbdunky - July 5, 2010 9:40 p.m.

    @neonsalmon-I trust Ninty as mucbh as the next guy but to assume they won't mess this up is folly in the extreme as they very easily could mess it up. People are already pointing out the lack of storage for the DLC meaning a key to unlock stuff already on the disc is easily the most likely thing and if you've forgotten, they DIDN'T HALF mess up the online side of SSBB didn't they? It was unplayable unless you played someone down your road and both had suer fast connections! So, they aren't immune to releasing half arsed rubbish for prime franchises and their online record stinks in terms of quality with the best Wii game online being MH3 which Cappers really put a lot of server side effort into just to make it tick properly. I can't see them m3essing Zelda up but, also, fail to see how or what they can offer as DLC in Wii's current state. As I say, unless it's already on the disc and look how that worked for other people on systems used to DLC.
  • NeonSalmon - July 5, 2010 8:41 p.m.

    they won't mess this up- its nintendo
  • Xplosive59 - July 5, 2010 7:39 p.m.

    the Wii has a tiny storage capacity (about 500mb i think) and i doubt you will be able to put dlc on a sd card so it would be pointless for nintendo to do this, also im not sure if you can get a hardrive addon for it
  • TheWebSwinger - July 5, 2010 6:54 p.m.

    @MetroidHunter32: I don't really ever see it "failing epically". I mean, DLC is a high yield, low-risk move for Nintendo, especially because PS3/360 have done the dirty work and ingrained it into the gaming milieu.
  • GodofPS314 - July 5, 2010 6:52 p.m.

    Well no doubt this game will rock, I truly am tired of DLC you have to go out and buy the cards redeem it download the god damn thing. Just put it in the game we buy for 60$
  • r3ap3r - July 5, 2010 6:51 p.m.

    i agree with metrodhunter32 this will either succeed greatly or this will bomb terribly
  • Nin10DOH - July 5, 2010 6:26 p.m.

    weapons and temples dlc would be cool...but i hope if they do it they don't mess it up
  • Metroidhunter32 - July 5, 2010 5:41 p.m.

    This will either succeed or fail epically.
  • Cyberninja - July 5, 2010 5:23 p.m.

    more temples would be nice but wouldnt they take up a lot of space on the wii limted memory?
  • Sukururu - July 5, 2010 5:16 p.m.

    I will burn Nintendo down if they do the bad side of this. Hope they don't...

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