Nintendo Wasted a Massive Amount of Potential with Breath of the Wild

Breath of the Wild is a fantastic game, but Nintendo does not understand the importance of DLC. They missed out on a big opportunity with this game by releasing such a small amount of it.

Nintendo has been very slow to embrace digital services when compared to the likes of Sony and Microsoft. Having personally spent time using the networking features on the 3DS, Wii, and Wii U, it is very clear that building an online gaming network was very low on Nintendo's list of priorities for these systems. DLC, when implemented correctly, has become one of the greatest things for hardcore fans of various games. We no longer need to wait years for more content, as developers can simply release more bite-size chunks of content for a game that has already been released. Why is it that Nintendo is not grasping the potential here?

With the introduction of the Switch, Nintendo has had a change of heart and definitely seems to have an interest, but they are still years behind the competition. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is likely going to be the biggest release on the Nintendo Switch for quite some time, possibly until the next Zelda game is released. Speaking as someone who has been a massive Zelda fan since first playing The Legend of Zelda on the NES, I would eat up every piece of DLC that would be released for this game. Breath of the Wild is a massive open-world game with endless potential for additional content. The potential alone for additional content that takes place after the game's ending is massive. Breath of The Wild has sold over 5 million copies on the Switch, which is an absolutely staggering amount considering it was a launch game for a new gaming system. This is over 5 million people that Nintendo had the potential to make more money from.

There is a $20 season pass on the eStore for Breath of the Wild. This adds some new content to the game, but it's really not THAT substantial when you compare it to the level of DLC released for similar games like The Witcher 3 and Fallout 4. Currently there are 2 DLC packs for Breath of the Wild. In a recent interview with Famitsu, Breath of the Wild producer Eiji Aonuma clarified that development on this game has finished, making "The Champions Ballad" the final DLC pack. This seems like a massive waste of the huge potential they had to create new content for this game without having to completely build a new game.

Don't get my wrong, I think Nintendo is doing a great job with the Switch so far, and I am incredibly grateful they are not stuffing microtransactions down our throats like Ubisoft is. I am sure I speak for most gamers when I say that I am sick of getting games that are completely stripped of content and that need you to pay for the rest at a later date. It just feels like Nintendo has missed out on a massive opportunity to give Zelda fans more content and, from their end, make a lot more money from selling this content. Some might argue that it is better for them to move onto a new game instead of staying stuck in the past, and this does make sense -- but not in this context. Nintendo is working on the next game, but it's likely four to five years from release. At this stage in the process, it will be a lot of work to nail down a story, quests, concept art, and other planning that takes place before the development begins. Why not keep the programmers and 3D designers busy making more content for the previous game while other members of the team plan the new game?

As much as I would love to, I do not have any insight into the Nintendo mindset, so I can't answer this. I am sure Nintendo has its reasons, but I think a lot of that might come down to an underestimation of the digital market and the demand for DLC. For now, we can at least be thankful that they gave us the masterpiece that is Breath of the Wild.

Published Feb. 13th 2018

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