Hi folks! I’m here to talk to you about the value of post-release content. I’m also going to talk a lot about Splatoon 2.
Splatoon 2 (or Splat2n) is the second iteration of Nintendo’s third person shooter series released for the Switch on July 21, 2017. Kids who, at the same time, are squids shoot ink to either cover area, aid in traversal or splat an opponent to achieve various ends depending on the game mode. The game is also updated a lot. What is a lot you ask? Most recently sister updates 2.0 and 2.1 hit bringing with them:
- 140 new pieces of gear
- Eight new character customization options
- Five new music tracks
- Enhanced photo mode (amiibo locked)
- Increased level cap with a prestige system
- New ranked game mode
- More food options at Crusty Sean’s food truck
- Adjustments to existing maps
- Four new maps
These are the only updates of this size for Splatoon 2, but, at the bare minimum, there is one new weapon added weekly. Twenty-two new weapons in total not counting the Salmon Run additions. New maps have been added before. “Blackbelly Skatepark” released on October 28, 2017. The Salmon Run map “Lost Outpost” released on August 23, 2017. These are the changelogs of version updates and post-release content for Splatoon 2.
“Wow!” you exclaim. “Surely this amount of content would be part of a paid season pass or expansion of sorts.”
Comparing the Splatoon update schedule to two other popular games likely would lead you to that conclusion. The Game Awards’ 2017 Game of the Year The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild launched with an expansion pass. The first of which was available from the outset of your adventure by unlocking chests on The Great Plateau, the game’s starting area. These items are: (SPOILERS!)
- A ruby
- Some bomb arrows
- A shirt
A little light, but I’m sure Nintendo wanted some benefits provided to early adopters who for some reason bought the expansion at launch before knowing what the pass contained. The next two updates are a little meatier. Breath of the Wild DLC Pack 1 includes: (SPOILERS!)
- Nine new pieces of armor
- New map function
- Teleportation Medallion
- Hard mode
- The Trial of the Sword, a gauntlet of 45 combat rooms.
All purchasers of Breath of the Wild received three pieces of armor to celebrate the release of Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Those are counted in DLC Pack Two. Released the same night Breath of the Wild took home its trophy, DLC Pack Two includes: (SPOILERS!)
- A new Divine Beast
- New shrines
- New memories to find
- Fourteen new pieces of armor (counting two horse pieces)
- A wicked sweet motorcycle
Just by the hard mode alone the content you get is technically doubled. Trial of the Sword is quite fun, in my opinion. Especially if you like the Eventide Island quest. I just started Pack 2, so I can’t comment on its size, but, by God, I want that motorcycle. Heather Alexandra reviewed the second pack for Kotaku. Her opinion might help answer questions on how deep it is.
Twenty-four new pieces of Zelda gear versus over 140 new pieces of Splatoon gear is quite a vast difference not even including new weapons. A new ranked mode is probably equivalent to a new Divine Beast. Running through the whole list one to one is possible, but I think it is fair to say that both games have been decently updated.
However, Breath of the Wild is a single-player, story-driven adventure which isn’t a great comparison point. A more fitting one is another multiplayer, loot-focused shooter, like Destiny 2. Both sequels came out to claims of being a little lacking in the depth department and received substantial updates around the same time after a series of smaller updates. The exact amount of content Destiny 2 received post-launch is difficult to suss out for sure since there isn’t a handy changelog like for Splatoon above.
On the fifth day of December, “Curse of Osiris” brought to Destiny: (SPOILERS!)(list of contents paraphrased from Eurogamer)
- New story missions and quests
- New patrol area and social space
- New public event
- Heroic strike playlist
- New weapon quest
- Raid Lair
- New PVP map
- Increased max level
- Seventeen new weapons and armor pieces
- Armor ornaments
- Quality of Life updates (that maybe should have been in the base game)
- New clan rewards
Pretty beefy! Oh, also some of the previously available content in vanilla Destiny 2 might be locked behind Curse of Osiris ownership depending on how Bungie feels at the time. Ignoring that one small hiccup, Destiny 2 has been decently updated since release.
Splatoon 2’s updates are, at a minimum, equal to Breath of the Wild’s and Destiny 2’s updates. So how much should the Splatoon team charge for their updates? Well, both Breath of the Wild and Destiny 2 charged $19.99, so that would seem a fair price. The Splatoon team disagree since they made it free. They are charging no money. Provided you have the internet to download the update, it is absolutely free.
The point of all this isn’t (it is) to get you to play Splatoon 2. If Splatoon isn’t the game of your dreams, maybe ARMS is. ARMS has free content updates almost as frequently. Even Assassin’s Creed Origins just patched in a free horde mode. Hitman’s Holiday Update is free for a limited time. Indie games like Has-Been Heroes and Night in the Woods have complimentary updates. Night in the Woods’ “Weird Autumn” update even includes the supplemental games, Longest Night and Lost Constellation. There is a literal Treasure Trove of games that are perfectly happy with just an initial investment.
The point isn’t to dog developers for charging for DLC either. It costs time and money to create content. It should have a price attached to it. The point is about weighing the options. From the outside “Curse of Osiris” doesn’t seem worth the price tag. I’m also leaning towards Breath of the Wild’s Expansion Pass being too light to pay $20 depending on how fun/large the Divine Beast is. Look at what developers are offering you for your hard-earned money, and, then, do whatever you want with it. It’s your money. Hopefully.
You can catch most of my articles here on Talk Amongst Yourselves. If there is a desire for my day-to-day ramblings, those can be found on my Twitter page, @J_Plays_Game5.