Nintendo Believes in DLC to Build Franchises and Stay Connected With Fans

Since the Nintendo Switch's release in 2017, the company that Mario, Donkey Kong and Zelda call home seems to have shifted its philosophies, bringing them closer in line with that of the industry more broadly. Nintendo has recognized that bringing third-party games to its console, creating a dedicated online service (albeit a slower one than they would have liked) and fostering a space for online games using its IP are all crucial to the success of the Switch. Another aspect is the implementation of DLC and game updates.

This isn't a new concept for Nintendo. Games for the Wii U, like Super Smash Bros., had post-launch content, but it's definitely more of a focus for the company's Switch titles.

"We believe in DLC as a company," Charlie Scibetta, Sr. Director, Corporate Communications, Nintendo of America told Newsweek. " That's the biggest changes from the way games were sold back then. It used to be ship it and move on to the next game, but now fans want to stay engaged in a franchise. They want new characters, levels, anything that can help bring freshness to the game."

Scibetta says that today's gamers want to play games as long as possible and have a sense of a good return for their investment. DLC and content updates are a perfect way to achieve it. Scibetta cites Splatoon 2 as an example of how continuous updates have transformed the franchise into one of Nintendo's hottest IPs. The third-person shooting game, which launched July 2017, will continue to add free updates even past its one-year mark. And a new story DLC was released in June, adding new stages and ways to play. Scibetta credits the Splatoon development team for growing the IP into a recognizable franchise represented in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

When asked if Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will include post-launch DLC, Scibetta wouldn't confirm, but reiterated that updates help keep games like Splatoon 2 and Breath of the Wild relevant and keep players engaged, so stay tuned for news on that front.

"It helps us stay connected to the consumer," Scibetta said. "And if we can do it with more content and DLC then we can keep that pipeline going where they are still engaging with us."

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is set to release Dec. 7.