Nintendo made an announcement that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will have a season pass. Yes, even the mighty Nintendo has joined the club that many other publishers and developers have joined and this will be released in two waves of additional content.
Picking up the season pass will unlock three treasure chests in the Great Plateau region of the game, one of them has a shirt that Link can wear in his adventures and the first “Expansion” will release in the summer that will feature a dungeon challenge, access to a legendary mode, and a new feature in the in-game map. The second expansion will release in the Fall and include another dungeon, a new original story, and more challenges. Question is, why did Nintendo join the “Season Pass” club when they have given out free DLC’s for years now on the Wii U, why suddenly you have to pay to get two pieces of DLC?
From Bethesda to EA to Capcom and any other game developer under the sun has made DLC for ages now, starting way back in the 360 era and going all the way back to the early 2000’s, but we still don’t have some sort of expectation when it comes to Expansions and Expansion passes.
I don’t think that Nintendo didn’t really come up with DLC overnight for The Legend of Zelda, they have made big strides for years in regards to DLC on the Wii U, Nintendo made some compelling reasons for DLC in their games for example, Mario Kart 8 and it’s DLC where it was new courses, new cars, and more characters. Smash Bros took a more unique approach to it’s DLC by selling new / returning characters and levels, you didn’t need a Expansion Pass for both of those games, I don’t think but why now?
For the Nintendo 3DS, you can see the same push for several of the handheld’s games like Fire Emblem: Awakening and Fire Emblem: Fates, and more of the games on that handheld all had post-launch DLC. I don’t think you needed an Expansion Pass for those games again, I think Nintendo does justice to DLC even though I never touched one of their games and own any of their hardware but I want them to go The Witcher 3 route for any game in the future because that’s the proper way to handle DLC and I think everybody should learn from that game and how CDPR handles DLC.
Nintendo wants to do more DLC which is fine, but what does that mean for the future? The expansion pass for Zelda is a promise that this will be the biggest Zelda game to date with two pieces of DLC but there’s too many questions right now that need answering and I suspect that those answers will be answered on March 3rd and you can pre-order the Season Pass now, but it does not come with the special editions of the game that has been a trend with other games like Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Fallout 4.
I believe that the reason why there is a Season Pass in The Legend of Zelda is that it might mean a bigger push for DLC from Nintendo and a hint to what’s to come from other games like Splatoon 2 or Mario: Odyssey, those two games might have a Season Pass attached to them and we’ll see Nintendo make a bigger push for additional content within their games later on in the “Switch” generation.
My advice to Nintendo is take a look at the way The Witcher 3 went about with it’s DLC and the way that CDPR handled that, CDPR handled The Witcher 3’s DLC with perfection and those two batch of content is one of the best DLC’s ever created and I’m looking to see how Nintendo will approach DLC, now that it is in their future.