“…let’s hold this back for DLC.’ That’s not our (Nintendo’s) plan. We’re definitely not doing that. It’s an extreme example but I think there are examples of games where you get that initial purchase — the very core part of the game — and everything else around it is all DLC. However, if you do that I believe customers will have no motivation to go out and buy the retail package to begin with.”
These were the words of Nintendo President Satoru Iwata, issued back in 2012 where, I think you’ll agree, he makes clear games built around DLC turn customers off.
Skip forward to April 2015 however and it looks as if, like mobile gaming, Nintendo have had something of a change of heart in regards to the whole of matter of DLC revealing shortly after last week’s Direct event that Fire Emblem If, the next installment of the long running and much loved SRPG series will for the first time be split into 3 separate parts, 2 of which being paid for, on disk (or cart in the case of the 3DS) day one DLC, here’s how the money grubbing works.
Featuring two standard campaigns and a third, downloadable bonus one, purchasers of Fire Emblem If will be allowed to play through 6 initial missions before being promoted to choose either the Black Kingdom campaign or White, (both campaigns feature unique characters and maps) said choice, regardless of side, will then lock the user out of the unchosen campaign, in a move which can only be described as classy on the part of Nintendo (note sarcasm) behind a paywall priced at half the cost of Fire Emblem If itself.
Fear not though Emblem fans, as even if the idea of paying for content which should, by all accounts be on the game cart to begin with, offend you as much as it does me, Nintendo have a solution. A Fire Emblem If Collectors Edition featuring everything mentioned above will be released right alongside the standard however with a price point of ¥9000 (£50.00/$70.00) compared to ¥4,700 (£25/$40) for the standard edition (plus ¥2,000 (£10/$15) for the second campaign), I can’t help but feel Nintendo get to have their cake and eat it regardless.
Fire Emblem If is scheduled for a Japanese release later this year and next year everywhere else. No details on how Fire Emblem If will be packaged or sold in the West have yet to be confirmed.