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What do you think of Nintendo's Free-to-Start/DLC/etc. experiments? [roundtable]
 
Nintendo has been getting pretty wacky, business model-wise, these days. Up is down, left is right, cats and dogs, living together...

So how do you feel about their attempts to modernize and monetize their groove?

Have you enjoyed Pokemon Shuffle and Pokemon Rumble World? Have you tired of tiny Pikachu icons on your start screen?

How about DLC? How much have you bought for Nintendo games? Will you pick up all of the Smash Bros. characters? How about the costumes?


Confession: I have played an embarrassing amount of Pokemon Shuffle (without consciously meaning to). Rumble is also somewhat addictive. Honestly, it feels kind of manipulative. And I'm not sure I enjoy that feeling. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is a much, much, much better game, but the barrier to entry/minimum session length is so much higher. It's the same phenomenon that causes people to watch TV instead of play games at the end of a long work day. Anyway, I'm still collecting my thoughts on the topic. My kneejerk reaction is: I hate DLC and Microtransactions. However, I have absolutely no qualms with the way Mario Kart has rolled out new "content". Shuffle is also pretty well done, and basically free. So the devil is probably in the details. But I do miss the simpler days of yore.

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Posted: 04/16/15, 16:59:43  - Edited by 
 on: 04/16/15, 17:00:27
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I think the DLC for Mario Kart has been amazing, and a great value. I also bought the Season Pass for Hyrule Warriors because it seemed like too good of deal to pass up. Nintendo seems to handle DLC right by actually giving you tangible things that are awesome, i.e. new tracks and karts or new playable characters.

I can't speak to the Smash stuff since I don't plan buying any of it and haven't really been paying attention.

I'm not down with Free 2 Play though, ever, on any platform, in fact I have a rule that anytime a game asks me if I want to buy more time/energy/lives whatnot in order to keep playing I immediately quit playing and then delete the game. It happened to Resident Evil Revelations 2 on the PS4, I played through the entire campaign and put about 20 hours into Raid Mode not even paying attention to my "life crystals", and the day the message came up: "hey, to keep playing buy more life Crystals from the PSN store", I just quit, backed out to the home screen, pressed options, then chose "delete" and that's that. Dead to me forever.
Posted: 04/16/15, 17:48:46
Free 2 Play is really hard to do right and very few companies have got it right, so i'm not hard on Ninty for messing it up. I like that they are trying new things though, they need to do it more often.
Posted: 04/16/15, 18:01:34
I think MK8, Mario Golf and Hyrule Warriors have been good examples of the right way to do DLC. I think $5 a character in Smash and the cost of the Mii costumes are pushing it a bit though.
Posted: 04/16/15, 18:04:35
DeputyVanHalen said:
I think MK8, Mario Golf and Hyrule Warriors have been good examples of the right way to do DLC. I think $5 a character in Smash and the cost of the Mii costumes are pushing it a bit though.

Pikmin 3's DLC options feel fair too, I think.
Posted: 04/16/15, 18:08:32  - Edited by 
 on: 04/16/15, 18:09:07
@r_hjort
Yeah, I forgot about that one.
Posted: 04/16/15, 18:10:19
Nintendo's DLC has been very good...$15 for the season pass to Mario Golf (six new courses, or 54 holes, and four characters), $20 for Hyrule Warriors (an absurdly good deal for all of the content we get) and $12 for Mario Kart 8 (16 courses, 8 karts, 6 characters) is really not bad at all. Smash's has been a bit...underwhelming so far. If they add some stages to the fray, I think that will help.
Posted: 04/16/15, 18:23:05
Too much DLC does really turn me off. I don't like buying little things individually, but I'm happy to pay $10 - $20 for everything, it's just simpler that way. (although sometimes the "Season Pass" thing backfires, I bought the season pass for Shadow of Mordor and wow did the DLC suck. Great game, awful DLC, not worth $5 much less $20)
Posted: 04/16/15, 18:26:16
Rusty's Real Deal Baseball is brilliant almost to the point of being satirical. Huge fan of what they did with that.

I think they're handling Smash and Mario Kart really really well too. I think a big part of it comes from the dynamic they seem to have with the audience--it doesn't feel like they're making stuff and then nickle-and-diming us, it feels like it's a back-and-forth conversation where they're excited to finish it just as much as we're excited to play it.
Posted: 04/16/15, 19:39:21
Rusty's was awesome. But, apparently, not awesomely successful, since they started utilizing more traditional models after that.

Smash does seem on the more expensive side of the spectrum. Fire Emblem and NSMB 2, too, perhaps. Also, Nintendo doesn't seem to discount their DLC very often.
Posted: 04/16/15, 22:16:12
Rusty was interesting but I only bought one or two of the games.

I think the Mario Kart DLC is pretty awesome. TONS of new content.

Not a fan of what I have seen from the Smash DLC yet.
Posted: 04/16/15, 22:50:32
I really like their offerings so far. Fun and addictive in short bursts. Like mobile games, but with more depth and less begging for money.I don't feel the need to spend, and if I did it was because I really like the game. Just like I bought the full version of Steel Diver Sub Wars.

@deathly_hallows
The good thing is the Pokemon games on 3DS is they never ask you to buy anything. There is a shop where you can make purchases, but the games seem like they are entirely playable without spending money. Check 'em out if you haven't.
Posted: 04/16/15, 23:27:38
DLC so far I am fine with. Decent content at a decent value. Amiibo stuff is kind of shitty but hasn't gotten too bad yet. What I dislike though is the predatory practices in their free to play stuff. That kind of insidious design is something I feel is unethical.

@anon_mastermind

They don't have to ask you to buy things. The games are designed in such a way that buying stuff is desirable and not an obligation. It's pretty manipulative.
Posted: 04/17/15, 05:13:41  - Edited by 
 on: 04/17/15, 05:15:42
My thoughts on Nintendo's DLC? Tune in to episode 74 of the Negative World Podcast to find out!

And don't forget to drink your Ovaline!
Posted: 04/17/15, 08:20:38
@NinSage
You hate all DLC though...
Posted: 04/17/15, 08:47:16
They haven't done anything to really offend me yet. Some of the content clearly isn't a good value, but that is the same content which doesn't interest me anyway.

As long as I feel like I am getting a complete game when I drop $60, we're good.

As far as mobile Freemium crap? I'll hate that as much as ever no matter who is behind it, but I have to accept that it might be the only thing mobile users accept. Those morons are too cheap to pay for a full game upfront, so publishers have to trick them I guess. I still won't be taking any part in that business model unless Nintendo finds a way to make it seem fair... and the mobile games are worthwhile.
Posted: 04/17/15, 12:40:04
@Pokefreak911

Episode 74 shows a deeper view of what Ninsage thinks and it gets the mind going of why DLC, even when done right, might be hard for some folks to swallow. More here in Negative World Podcast 074 - Charity Smash!
Posted: 04/17/15, 13:26:28
@DrFinkelstein
I've actually talked with length about DLC with Ninsage before and I get the point he is making, but don't agree. It's something i'd love to discuss on the podcast one day actually.
Posted: 04/17/15, 15:56:53
Pokemon Shuffle is a nice little distraction. I like the idea of lining up certain Pokemon for super effective moves. But it feels too random like many other match 3 games, which turns me off more. In somethig like Panel De Pon for instance, I feel like I have more control manipulating the field of blocks, setting up chains, etc. With these games I usually try o make chains and hope for the best. Since I don't have as much control, it would be nice if they didn't sacrifice a heart every game. If I capture a Pokemon, I think I should be able to keep going. This is how Candy Crush does it right?
Posted: 04/17/15, 22:17:34
I don't like it. Digital distribution isn't a kind I prefer, and DLC just increases the cost of games and lowers the value of content. I already felt games were too expensive to begin with, and now they're even more so.

Free-to-play games don't seem bad in theory, but it sounds like they are trying to prey on the bad habits of people, such as addiction. I've checked out the Pokemon ones but it isn't something I'd ever spend money on. I'll just play as much as I can for free just to spite Nintendo. :D

Amiibo are one of the worst things in all of gaming that I have ever seen.

Now of course, I don't single out Nintendo for all of this, the whole industry is doing it. It was great when Nintendo was resisting this stuff, but since they've had several years of losses in a row, I'm not surprised they're resorting to the same junk as everyone else. It unfortunately seems to be the way the market works these days.
Posted: 04/18/15, 00:05:06
I have no problem at all with these experiments. And by the reaction to Shuffle on this board, it all seems to be working. There is major enthusiasm there. To not pay is to be in the vast (95+%) majority, and actually helps spread the appeal to those who may end up as whales. The only way to resist the trend is to not play at all. Also, Amiibo are great. Sure, Nintendo's handling of them is beyond miserable, but the product themselves are great. I still think they should simply monetize all the content currently locked behind the amiibo. They're leaving even more money on the table by not doing so.
Posted: 04/18/15, 08:06:49
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