The ongoing saga of Season Passes continues.
Nintendo announced today (Feb 14) that they plan to offer what they call an Expansion Pass at launch for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The pass is detailed in a short video by Eiji Aonuma.
Basically there will be two DLC packs. In the summer, they will release a "Cave of Trials", Hard Mode, and an extra map thing. Later in the winter will be something bigger with a new story, dungeon, and other stuff.
Ok, I have a few concerns with the actual content of the DLC, but I want to address the response everybody seems to have towards this.
Already people online are denouncing this as a bad move, and Kotaku has a wonderfully biased piece about the whole thing.
People are saying this is a bit of a shock, that we've never seen or expected a Zelda game to get DLC, let alone the dreaded season's pass.
Really? Has everyone forgotten about Hyrule Warriors? Or does that not count for some reason?
This is the same DLC model. The 20$ pass in Hyrule Warriors got you a few packs stretched out over time (one being more substantial with actual story), plus a little extra immediately to tide you over. Very similar to Breath of the Wild's Expansion pass. The only difference is that Hyrule Warriors got four packs, but their content were basically new just characters to play.
I don't think it's surprising at all for Nintendo to follow this DLC model. From what I understand it was successful and well received. Even The Jimquisition commended Nintendo's take on what's become an industry standard.
It was a similar model for Mario Kart 8 too. There you had two DLC packs being released in the future, but you could pay a lump sum now to get both and some extra stuff to tide you over (the recolours of Yoshi and ShyGuy).
So I don't think this is a bad thing. I'd have a problem if they were releasing Day 1 DLC content, or basically showing signs that they were holding back content for DLC while working on the main game. The extra bits you get for getting the Expansion Pass now are some treasure chests to open and some clothing to wear. Just some tidbits to tide you over.
But bottom line: I didn't have a problem with Hyrule Warriors, I didn't have a problem with Mario Kart 8, so I don't have a problem now. If you're somebody who condemned Nintendo for their past DLC packs, then it's fair that you would do the same now. But while the industry standard for DLC can be sickening, I do think Nintendo is on the right track with their approach.