The New Nintendo

For Nintendo fans, yesterday’s Mario Kart 8 DLC announcement was a milestone that many thought we’d never see.

Aside from the fact that the DLC itself is pretty epic – Link in Mario Kart, anyone? – the news signals a shift with much more significant implications. For as long as we can remember, Nintendo has been a company who does things the way it wants to do them. Despite facing pressure from the gaming community and public in general, Nintendo has stuck to its guns despite what the market was dictating. And, if Nintendo’s bank account is any indicator, it has mostly worked.

With the Mario Kart 8 DLC, Nintendo is taking much-needed step into uncharted territory.

Let’s take a step back and look at what this truly means for Nintendo going forward. Remember when Mario Kart Wii was released all the way back in 2008? Well, despite the fact that it sold over 34 million copies, that game was undoubtedly broken in many, many ways. When problems began to surface after its release, what did Nintendo do? Well, nothing. Despite public requests from users and game journalists alike, the game was released and all but left alone. No DLC, no patches, nothing. And that was just going to be the way it was because, Nintendo.

The Mario Kart 8 DLC turns all of that on its head.

Sure, Nintendo gave us “DLC” in New Super Luigi Bros., but that felt like a lukewarm attempt, at best. The add-ons  coming to Mario Kart feel like a much more focused, consumer-driven package. Opening up the series to the rest of the Nintendo world not only makes sense, it’s a safe way to test the waters for Nintendo. By opening up one of their biggest franchises to, uh, some of their other biggest franchises, Nintendo will breathe new life into the series and bring additional exposure to its IP’s and characters. This strategy is a real win-win for Nintendo and its Mario Kart series, but the impact it will have on its future releases will likely mean an entirely new future for the big N.

Let’s take Super Smash Bros., for example. Think about 7-8 months down the road after its release. After you’ve mastered all the move sets and worked through all of the characters, chances are you may be looking for more to do. Well, new DLC will cure that. With new characters, stages, and battle modes, Nintendo will be able to extend the marketability and shelf life of the game. Or what about the Legend of Zelda series? To be honest, this is the most exciting scenario. Want some new dungeons? What about an extension of the story after you’ve already beaten it 1, 2, 3 times? Well, DLC cures that! The possibilities are limitless. And while these are all great reasons to be excited about Nintendo’s move, they’re not the thing that has us most looking forward to the future.

The most exciting thing about this announcement is that it finally seems like Nintendo is listening, and that’s truly something to behold.

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About The Author

Feature Writer

Max is an Editorial Writer with Always Nintendo. His passion for video games started with The Legend of Zelda: A Link To The Past and hasn't slowed down since. While cliché, his favorite game in the Zelda series is still The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. When he isn't playing video games, Max likes to write, play and watch soccer, as well as spend time with his family and black boxer mix. You can catch him on Twitter @max_moll.