This week’s Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Direct gave us not only a good amount of new gameplay footage, but also the reveal of a post-launch expansion pass. Monolith Soft’s next JRPG will probably take hundreds of hours to complete without the promise of additional content, but the developer has confirmed that new costumes, quests, characters, and even an entirely new narrative setting will come as part of the $30 pass.
Some fans weren’t too happy about this premature reveal, fearing that attention was already being diverted from the main game to steal our wallets for extra pennies while we picked up the expansion pass. This reaction feels a bit dramatic, and not because I’m eager to defend the industry’s toxic practices when it comes to downloadable content, it’s because the past has already shown us that Xenoblade Chronicles is far more generous than most when it comes to spending. it’s. games often fail to justify. This is not a battle pass.
Let’s take a look at Xenoblade Chronicles 2 to get an idea of the terrain. The 2017 title had an expansion pass that released a similar amount of content, and oddly enough, it was met with equal levels of skepticism at its reveal. But it far exceeded expectations, kicking off its launch with a selection of new characters and modes before blowing us away with its standalone expansion. Torna: The Golden Country probably started out as a more humble experience, but it grew in ambition so dramatically that Nintendo decided to make it a standalone product while also ensuring it remained part of the expansion pass.
It’s longer than most games, introducing new characters, locations, and battle mechanics, while also building on the story of the main campaign. I remember reviewing it before release and being impressed by what Monolith Soft had achieved, while also being terrified that I would have to finish it before the embargo. I can neither confirm nor deny if I actually hit the credits before writing my review, after all, I am a gaming journalist. We were not deceived, in any case, Monolith Soft fulfilled and exceeded its initial promises.
The expansion was also released long after the main game, reigniting the conversation around it and attracting several new players as a consequence. It gave us a reason to come back instead of walking away from the core experience with too much content to handle. Nintendo knew exactly what it was doing, and judging by the timeline released alongside this new expansion pass, that mindset hasn’t changed.
Whatever big story idea Monolith Soft has planned this time around, it won’t be released until December 2023. The first content drop won’t come until this December either, with a few more additions scattered throughout the next year to give us an idea. reason to jump again. To me, a gap of six months from launch is more than enough time, and way more than most games give players before they expect their attention. For starters, it’s affordable, as $30 is a pretty low asking price when you consider everything you’ll eventually get. If you’re still in doubt, wait until a few pieces of content are revealed before pulling the trigger, not that the expansion pass is going anywhere or you need to buy it now.
I promise I don’t work for Nintendo, I just think it’s good to praise positive examples of this business model when so many other publishers (*cough* Ubisoft *cough*) continue to sell outdated Gold Editions and content-packed Season Passes. that will be heavily discounted before we know it. Nintendo may still be years behind in certain areas of the industry, but I’m glad it’s at least figured out how to get post-launch content right.
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