The gaming industry recalls when Nintendo approached game development differently than other publishers. Its track record shows that it traditionally releases new titles that are carefully curated to be one complete package. However, it appears that more game studios are adopting the post-launch content strategy of selling additional content and expansions instead of developing something new. Recently, it has become somewhat of a pattern for the company to offer DLC content, which might be worrisome for some fans.
Ever since the first "Super Smash Bros." game came out, players started out with eight fighters and unlocked four more for a total of 12. Succeeding installments on various consoles followed the same format with all the content already included with some eventually becoming accessible once certain parameters were met. An article published by Destructoid discusses the direction where Nintendo is probably headed in the future.
"Super Smash Bros. Ultimate" recently concluded its first Fighter Pass DLC with Byleth from "Fire Emblem: Three Houses" as the final character to join the roster. However, fans were reportedly surprised that game director Masahiro Sakurai almost immediately announced a second Fighter Pass with six more mystery characters in development. Moreover, he confirmed that all of the upcoming content has already been decided upon.
Sakurai's reveal was followed by another DLC announcement and this time it was for "Fire Emblem: Three Houses" and called "Cindered Shadows." Prior to all these was another big reveal confirming "Pokemon Sword" and "Pokemon Shield" are getting an expansion pass.
Fans were allegedly disappointed as to why Nintendo was adding some of the controversial missing pokemon behind a paywall. Game Freak quickly confirmed that even those who do not purchase the new content will still be able to access the returning creatures. Unfortunately, it will be via trading or through the upcoming "Pokemon HOME" app.
Paid content and expansion passes might seem strange or new for first-party titles published by Nintendo, but it is a common practice among other developers. Games such as "Overwatch," "Destiny," and "Street Fighter V," continue to thrive thanks to post-launch DLC. It might take time for consumers to completely accept this approach because it does not look like it will change anytime soon.