Defending the Breath of the Wild Expansion Pass

Is Nintendo’s recent announcement something to be concerned about?


Yesterday, on February 14th, 2017, Nintendo uploaded a YouTube video announcing the Expansion Pass for their upcoming game, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. This led to a lot of controversy. As of today, the North American video has over 11k dislikes (compared to 18k likes), so it was definitely obvious that a significant amount of fans weren’t happy.

Let me quote some complaints.

  • “You have to pay for hard mode.”
  • “..content is being cut from the original game to be sold later.”
  • “Day 1 DLC.”

These complaints seem valid at first, but I believe that these opinions are all uninformed. Let me explain why, and defend Nintendo’s decision.

There is not exactly “Day 1 DLC”. The expansions that Nintendo are adding to the game will be released months after release, during Summer and Holiday 2017. The $19.99 price point is basically a pre-order for the DLC that will come out later.

There is indeed a bonus that will be released on the day of the game’s release, but this is practically insignificant in comparison to what Nintendo is releasing later. This day-one bonus merely contains three extra treasure chests that offer useful items and exclusive clothing. This is basically the equivalent of Minecraft having optional bonus chests that you can recieve at your choosing when creating a new world. The items that are offered in these three bonus chests are most likely obtainable in-game through other means, and the exlusive clothing is merely a thank you for purchasing the Expansion Pass.

So no, Nintendo isn’t truly adding day-one DLC to this game. The real extra content comes later.

Furthermore, this is not cut content that is being added later. That statement assumes that the upcoming DLC was created during the development of this game. But this is being developed AFTERWARDS, and was merely announced before launch.

DLC Pack 1, releasing during the summer, offers a new Cave of Trials challenge, a “new Hard Mode”, and an additional map feature. If this DLC Pack is similar to the DLC in Nintendo’s previous major Zelda release, The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess HD, then this is really nothing to worry about. Assuming the “new Hard Mode” is like the one in Twilight Princess HD, it is different from a normal hard mode. Breath of the Wild has already been confirmed to have a normal hard mode, so this “new Hard mode” isn’t something that Nintendo is hiding behind a pay wall. This is new content.

DLC Pack 2 features a new original story, a new dungeon, and addition challenges. So, Nintendo is basically expanding upon the lore of the game. And something on this scale definitely isn’t content that’s been finished by the developers yet.

Considering all of these, I believe that Nintendo is not in the wrong for doing this. They are definitely expanding upon an already finished product. Even without paying the 20 bucks, I really do believe that fans will enjoy Breath of the Wild fully. This DLC is most definitely something optional.

So I say, please don’t be so up in arms about this. You’re really not being forced to buy this. Enjoy Breath of the Wild however you want to, Expansion Pass or not.