Nintendo is asking quite a bit for the Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadow of Valentia season pass. We all knew Nintendo was going to dance to its own beat when it learned how to work the modern digital world, but asking for $44.99 for a 3DS game is dancing just a little too hard.
Not only is it more than the price of the game itself, which is $39.99, it is also just shy of the standard season pass for AAA games, which has miraculously reached $49.99 over the years for games like Call of Duty, Star Wars Battlefront, and Fallout 4.
For $44.99, Nintendo is promising 5 DLC expansions, and it has detailed all of their contents out.
- DLC Pack No. 1 — Fledgling Warriors ($7.99 a la carte, May 19) Two new maps and a dungeon, the Astral Temple.
- DLC Pack No. 2 — Undaunted Heroes ($9.99, May 25) Two new maps and another dungeon, pitched as a challenge for “more seasoned heroes.”
- DLC Pack No. 3 — Lost Altars ($14.99, May 25) Per Nintendo’s news release: “The mysterious dungeons included in this pack hold the power to upgrade characters to exclusive classes that don’t appear in the main game.”
- DLC Pack No. 4 — Rise of the Deliverance ($12.99, June 1) A “prologue pack” that features new story content, along with new voice acting. “This collection of challenging maps includes new support conversations between selected heroes, as well as the ability to take command of a character players won’t be able to control in the main game.”
- DLC Pack No. 5 ($5.99, no launch date given yet) Name and details TBA.
- Season Pass (May 19, $44.99) All of the above.
Fire Emblem is being used to test the patience of wallets
Nintendo doesn’t want to risk overly monetizing its most popular franchises yet like Super Mario or The Legend of Zelda. But Fire Emblem seems ripe to experiment with given its rabidly loyal fanbase and still relatively low key popularity.
All four games to bear the title from the last five years have done something with money that Nintendo has rarely tried before. Fire Emblem Awakening was one of the first Nintendo games to have DLC. Fire Emblem Fates had its controversial payment plan where the game’s campaigns were split up into separate packages. Fire Emblem Heroes is the company’s first successful free-to-play game, and now we have Fire Emblem Echoes. It doesn’t have Nintendo’s first season pass, but it is the first one where the price is higher than the point of entry.
So, Fire Emblem, while you’re booming in popularity, I hope you realize the full price of becoming a star. Nintendo is going to whip you for all you’re worth, and if you’re lucky, your popularity might stick. For $44.99, Nintendo would do better to just sell me the original Famicom and Super Famicom games in English.
Fire Emblem Echoes will be released for the Nintendo 3DS on May 19.