Nintendo is doing Mario Kart 8 DLC Right

With the budget of AAA games today, companies are looking to bolster the bottom line more and more with DownLoadable Content that releases after the original game releases.  These add-ons vary from Maps for multiplayer, to addition story driven sequences, to simple tweaks, like character skins and new difficulty levels.  This content has a big profit margin for publishers and developers because the start-up cost is so low.  The programmers already did all the R&D, the engine is built, most of the art assets are already done, all it takes is a little bit of creativity to rearrange what has already been built in a new way and ask $15 for the optional add-on.

The problem is that over time it seems like DLC has become less about us buying some cool Bonus stuff after-the-fact and more about paying again for things that should have already been in the game.  Part of this feeling comes from companies like Activision building the DLC for Call of Duty before the game even releases, but then holding back the already built content to release to consumer piecemeal for a premium price.  Nowadays, if you want to experience everything in a game, expect to pay $120, not $60 over the life of the product.

Then there is Nintendo.  We got our first taste of how the Big N does DLC when they released New Super Luigi U as an add-on for New Super Mario Bros U, the 2D platforming launch game for Wii U.  For those $15 dollars, you got 80 levels!  Nintendo remixed almost every level in the original game to be completed the Luigi, who handled completely differently and was required to finish every level in less than 100 seconds, effectively making the whole DLC a giant speed run.  Between the amount of content and new way to play, it was pretty hard to get mad at that.  Plus Nintendo didn’t work on it until the original game had already come out.

And now we have the announcement of the DLC packs coming to Mario Kart 8.  Nintendo has already released three new Cars and a new set of tires for the racing game for FREE (though Mercedes paid something: for more on that see the article below), but for the next two pieces, the total cost is only $12 for 16 new courses, 6 new characters and 8 new Vehicles.  Sure, the programming overhead is done and some assets might be reusable, but this DLC is half as big as the entire original game!  And once again, Nintendo didn’t start until the original game was done (and didn’t make the original game any smaller to compensate).  By offering fantastic value, proper fan service, and doing one thing at a time, Nintendo is showing everyone else how to do DLC right.  Now if only they would release some proper old-school Battle areas…

-The DPad Bulls

Are you looking forward the Mario Kart 8 DLC?  Tell us your opinion in the comments or e-mail us at  Check back here every week for new articles and be sure to go to our Youtube Channel: Daily D Pad.  Thanks for reading.



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