Super Smash Bros. director Masahiro Sakurai recently had an interview with Famitsu about the downloadable content coming to Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS. He appears quite aware of all the negativity surrounding people’s perception of DLC, and has some reassuring opinions on the subject. Sakurai says in the interview “the DLC we are releasing for Sm4sh is authentic, developed only after we finished working on the main game.” He calls the frustrating model of on-disk DLC the “DLC scam,” and seems to be making quite an effort to make all the post-release content for Smash as satisfying as he can.
A translation of some of the interview by Source Gaming:
“These days, the “DLC scam” has become quite the epidemic, charging customers extra money to complete what was essentially an unfinished product. I completely understand how aggravated players must feel. After all, a game should be 100% at the time of release, and I would be livid if it were split up and sold in pieces.
“Why, then, do you think so many titles provide premium DLC on or shortly following a game’s release? It’s because that’s the easiest way to make money.
“After all, if you wait too long after a game’s release to distribute additional content, players will already move on to the next title. Even long tail titles–that is, ones that perform consistently well over an extended period of time–make more money the earlier they come out.
“The same goes for Sm4sh. We could have easily reserved a few characters on the current roster and later sold them as premium DLC. A considerable amount of work went into development, and the game would have already featured a ton of content. Plus, if you were looking to make a profit, DLC would be the way to go. Development is more costly than ever, yet the price of games has remained the same, so more income would help offset that imbalance.
“However, the DLC we are releasing for Sm4sh is authentic, developed only after we finished working on the main game. Of course, said content will come to you at a premium as compensation for the work put into developing additional content post-production. Nintendo has the final say on the price, but given the number of man-hours spent on the creation of this DLC, I’d say it’s a great deal.”
— Masahiro Sakurai
It’s certainly refreshing to hear a developer say these things about DLC. At its core, the idea is good, but it is an easy system to abuse. For Sakurai, DLC means something more for him, too—an excuse to keep working on
Smash, which he seems to have become quite attached to.
“Our team may have shrunk in size, but I’m still just as excited as ever to be pouring my heart and soul into my work every day. Given the different types of content we’re producing, it wouldn’t be surprising for the planning of one item to coincide with the development, balancing, and finalization of several others. We also have version updates, online features, and additional modes to worry about. It can be quite overwhelming, but it’s all about making players happy.” — Masahiro Sakurai
Source: Source Gaming