When Nintendo announced that Mewtwo would be making his return to Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U in the form of a downloadable character, the internet exploded with excitement. Not only would a longtime favorite character and marquee Pokemon be back after skipping Brawl, Mewtwo’s addition hinted at Nintendo experimenting with additional characters.
Sadly, this does not appear to be the case.
“I understand that DLC could add a lot to the appeal of Smash Bros., and I appreciate that a major part of the excitement for these games come from which characters will appear in the roster, so I think fans could really enjoy DLC that could keep this excitement going. However, I think there might be criticism that we are cutting up content to sell characters one by one, or that we are adding things later that should have been there from the start.
…what I can say now about paid DLC is that we aren’t working on anything at the moment. We’ve put all our efforts into making the actual game. Creating DLC would involve large additional costs and require the involvement of a lot of people.”
Super Smash Bros. director Masahiro Sakurai explained to several outlets that Mewtwo represented an experiment for Nintendo to gain a foothold in content distribution. He elaborated saying that while understands the excitement and fervor around an iconic characters inclusion via DLC, he does not want to cheapen the Smash Bros. experience by making players feel like he and his team are holding content back. He concluded by stating that there are currently no paid DLC projects in the works as they would require more manpower and more expenses that would detract from their ability to work on Smash Bros. as it exists currently.
It would be absolutely unfortunate if Nintendo misses out on the opportunity to add some additional characters via DLC. I understand their classic notion of releasing games whole and as complete experiences, but DLC, when handled properly can be a fantastic way to augment and extend game’s life.
Now to think that Nintendo has simply nixed the idea of DLC for Super Smash Bros. is absolutely crazy. The company only last week released the first Mario Kart 8 DLC package, which sold very well. They’d be just sitting on untapped revenue if they refused to develop additional DLC content. Knowing Nintendo, they’ve already planned out their strategy for any DLC and have Sakurai on a megaphone stating that there are no planned additions after Mewtwo. I think Nintendo already has the plan, they just need the budget to go through with the DLC development. So long as Smash Bros. sells well, there’s no reason for Nintendo to not take an aggressive strategy with future DLC releases.
Nintendo might be new to this DLC game, but they’ve already shown the aptitude for the practice. I think that they will come around and ultimately be willing to develop some more characters for any DLC.