Zelda Dungeon Marathon 2019:

Earlier today, Nintendo confirmed the next installment of The Legend of Zelda would be receiving paid DLC. Fans can purchase a season pass (which Nintendo is calling an “expansion pass”) for Breath of the Wild. I jumped for joy when I saw the news. However, when I checked my various social media feeds, I was met with a flaming debate on whether the game’s DLC is justified.

First, let’s examine what exactly this download-able content is.

DLC Pack 1 (Summer)

  • Adds new Cave of Trials challenge
  • New Hard Mode
  • Additional map feature

DLC Pack 2

  • New original story
  • New dungeon
  • Additional challenges

As an added bonus for purchasing the expansion pass, players will be rewarded with three treasure chests that will appear on the Great Plateau. You would think all of this is a good thing, right?

Regarding the Cave of Trials challenge, we really don’t know what it is, but the name is reminiscent of what the Cave of Shadows’ name was originally translated as. Regardless, it sounds interesting. We also have a new Hard Mode feature—I could take it or leave it. Nintendo also mentions an “additional map feature.” Who knows what that is?

DLC Pack 1 certainly sounds intriguing, as I definitely want to hear more details. DLC Pack 2 however seems very promising, listing a new story, new dungeon, and “additional challenges.” Doesn’t that sound great? Players can get this pack for the low price of $20 USD. Oh wait, that’s a mistake. Fans actually pay $20 and receive both packs, including the chest bonus. Fallout 4‘s season pass runs you $49.99, and Star Wars Battlefront‘s is another $49.99.

To be fair, we don’t know how extensive this “new original story” is for Breath of the Wild. Even if it is a glorified side quest taking a couple hours or so to complete, that combined with everything else is surely worth $20 in my mind—and we don’t even know the details of everything.

Have a little faith in Nintendo. Remember Mario Kart 8? If you own a Wii U, it’s one of the best games for the system, and seems to be one of the best Mario Kart titles in recent years. There were two DLC packs for the game, and each one included three new racers, new karts, and four new tracks. That’s a fair amount of content right there. How much did all of this cost? Individually, players could purchase the packs for $7.99 USD a pop. The season pass was priced at $11.99. Looking back, I would have gladly paid more, as the new tracks were amazing fun. The Hyrule Castle stage is definitely a favorite of mine, as well as the Animal Crossing map. Breath of the Wild‘s DLC looks to be a tad more expansive.

I doubt Nintendo developed a full game and has isolated a portion of it to lock behind DLC, as many are theorizing. That certainly was not the case for Mario Kart 8 according to the big N. Breath of the Wild releases in mere weeks, and I bet the development team is hard at work (or at least soon will be) on its upcoming DLC.

Is it really that bizarre for Nintendo to utilize standard revenue streams for their games? The Witcher III: Blood & Wine is winning awards for crying out loud. Why don’t fans want Nintendo to produce DLC for their open world RPG? The company is often criticized for being stuck in the past and adhering to archaic business models, but let’s forbid trying to rectify it by offering brand new content after release. That seems like a grand idea.

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