games / Columns

411 Games Fact or Fiction: Should Titanfall 2 Have a Season Pass?

November 3, 2016 | Posted by Daniel Anderson
Titanfall 2

Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s edition of Fact or Fiction. As always, I am Daniel Anderson, and I hope everyone has had a good week. This is a really big week for game releases. Titanfall 2 released last week, and Infinite Warfare will be released this week. A lot of shooters to play, but they are all different takes. Anyway, this week we have 411’s Stephen Randle going against Todd Vote. Let’s see what they have to say, shall we?

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1.) If the Switch is not profitable Nintendo will stop making consoles.

Stephen Randle Fiction: I’d say it’s more likely they’ll retreat back to the handheld market exclusively, which has always been good to them and will likely continue to be so as long a Pokemon exist to be caught. The other thing to remember is that Nintendo’s consoles have generally been cheap enough to make that they are sold at a profit, or require each buyer to purchase only one or two first-party games to make them so, and Nintendo’s first party titles are still second-to-none. It would take a Virtual Boy-sized disaster to make the Switch so unprofitable that Nintendo would give up completely, and I wouldn’t bet against them making money even if they don’t come close to competing with other consoles (which they probably won’t).

Todd VoteFact: I really hope that isn’t the case, but I don’t see Nintendo wanting to continue on fighting a losing battle. I’ve always admired Nintendo’s willingness to try new things. I haven’t always agreed with the direction they went in, but they have always done their own thing, and tried to keep playing games unique.

Score: 0 for 1 – I think that Nintendo will probably stop trying to make home consoles if the Switch does not make money for Nintendo. The only thing that makes me hesitate in saying that is the fact that Nintendo has seen what has happened to Sega after stopping console productions. It could be that they have learned from them, but I think it more likely that they see Sega as a possible warning story.

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2.) Origin being banned or banning countries from the service shows the potential dangers in digital only releases.

Stephen Randle Fiction: Well, the country being banned was an accident that is being fixed the second it was brought to attention, but if a country’s going to ban Origin, it’s likely that you can’t get physical copies of the game without jumping through more than a few hoops as well. The “dangers” of digital media are the fact that you no longer can prove you “own” your games, and that you’re at the mercy of services keeping those games available for download in perpetuity. The fact that some countries won’t let you have games at all is out of the control of those services, and that’s been true since before digital games were even a thing.

Todd VoteFact: It illustrates one of the dangers that are currently out there, yes. But as we move towards a more digital release platform, I can’t help but think that more and more services/options to buy games and things of that nature digitally will pop up. Right? The more options to get digital copies, the better, in my opinion.

Score: 0 for 2 – Digital release platforms worry me. I always am nervous about what will happen if the platform I use shuts down.

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3.) You believe the Switch will have a touchscreen.

Stephen RandleFact: I don’t think it should, because the Wii U showed it to be completely extraneous and it’s just another thing to discourage third parties from developing ports for the system, but if it wants to have any backwards compatibility with the Wii U or make games like a sequel to Super Mario Maker possible (sure, you could use a controller, but you shouldn’t), it’s going to have to have at least some touchscreen capabilities. The only question is, how are you going to use the touchscreen when it’s in the dock or you’re using the joycons as multiple controllers for the same Switch? Clearly if it does exist, it’s going to have to be extremely optional.

Todd VoteFact: Doesn’t everything need a touch screen these days? I think the hand held portion of the console will probably incorporate some sort of touch screen mechanics.

Score: 1 for 3 – I think it will have a touch screen, but not sure if it is needed or not. I see it probably being used for porting 3DS or Wii U games more than anything else.

SWITCH!

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4.) You agree with Titanfall 2 not having a season pass.

Todd VoteFact: Sure, why not? Not every game needs a season pass. If they didn’t add enough extra content to need one, why force it?

Stephen RandleFact: I don’t have an axe to grind with most season passes (although the price increases are getting out of hand), and if you think you can make your game profitable and offer free DLC in the bargain, more power to you. Titanfall is in an interesting situation where delaying the game to October put it square in the middle of 3 other massive shooter franchises (which sound like is definitely hurting its sales), and it needed to do something to stand out, and this definitely qualifies.

Score: 2 for 4 – I think this is an attempt to stand out from Battlefield 1 and Infinite Warfare. By not having a season pass more people might pick up the game as more DLC is added.

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5.) The Switch will end up hurting the 3DS (or 2DS).

Todd VoteFiction: I don’t think there is much that will hurt Nintendo’s portable fan base. Mobile gaming didn’t stop them, a hybrid console isn’t going to stop them.

Stephen RandleFact: And quite deliberately. Nintendo’s not going to say anything, but they’ve probably shifted most of their development away from the DS, and by a year after the Switch’s release, 3DS releases should have pretty much dried up. There’s no point in creating a hybrid home console/portable if you’re going to continue splitting your attention (and finances) towards a second portable, especially when you’ve also declared your intent to move into mobile games on phones, so if we see any huge releases (or any first party release at all) for the DS in 2017, I’ll be incredibly shocked.

Score: 2 for 5 – I feel like it depends on what Nintendo does. If they keep the consoles separate and keep making games for both then it will not hurt it. If they release games (like a Sun/Moon port) on both consoles then it could hurt the DS sells. I also think that the DS is reaching the end of its life, and Nintendo could see the Switch as a possible replacement.

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6.) We will see a Sun/Moon port for the Switch by the end of 2017.

Todd VoteFact: Why wouldn’t we? Makes perfect sense for Nintendo to port that game up and get some extra sales out of it.

Stephen RandleFiction: I’d think it more likely that the Switch will get its own Pokemon game, and we might not see it until 2018. Nintendo’s ports tend to be more from home console to home console (in the case of the Zelda games), and I wouldn’t see them porting a handheld game to a console, even if it has handheld capabilities. Plus, they can make more money by just making a new game instead of porting over the old one.

Score: 2 for 6 – In my mind it depends on how much internal pressure Nintendo is under. If they are dead set for the Switch to succeed then we will see a port. If there is not any internal pressure (this succeeds or you are out) then they will treat the Switch like any other home console and not port portable titles to it..

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Bonus Question: Do you think the Switch will be successful overall for Nintendo?

Todd Vote I really don’t know. My initial reaction was “oh cool” But then I got to thinking about it, the portable side is the coolest function in my opinion, but that is also the function I would be least likely to use. That said, my thoughts on Nintendo have never stopped them from finding some type of success in the past. I hope they are able to make it successful, and prosper from the console.

Stephen Randle I do, for a couple of the reasons I mentioned earlier and because history has shown that you won’t go broke betting on Nintendo. In fact, they’ve amassed quite a war chest. I forget what the statistic actually is, but they could afford to have multiple console generations fail completely and still fall back on their cash reserves to survive for decades. Moreover, the Switch very much looks like a console that learned from the Wii U’s mistakes (based, obviously, on limited information), and while it may not be a runaway success, it should definitely be a win for Nintendo, as long as they know their limits, and stay within them.

That wraps up this week’s edition of Fact or Fiction. Todd and Stephen went 2 for 6 disagreeing more than they agreed. I hope everyone has a good week, and until then, happy gaming.

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