Buying Day One: Splatoon vs. Arkham Knight
Splatoon was released to some critical acclaim, and widely positive fan feedback. Given that Arkham Knight is going to be developed by critical darlings, Rocksteady, I assume it is going to be of similar success to Arkham City and Asylum. On the surface, both these games have very little in common. Splatoon is a Nintendo family-friendly multiplayer focused shooter, while AK is a single player Action game with Batman being THE Batman. They couldn’t be any different.
However, both are incomplete games at launch.
You would never pay to get missing peices in a jigsaw puzzle
To their credit, both Nintendo and Warner Brother’s were upfront about the state of their games. With Splatoon, Nintendo said it would add free updates regularly till the end of Augest. Possibly, there could be (probably would be) paid DLC for the game as well. As for AK, besides the vast array of pre-order DLC, day one DLC, and whichever kinds of DLC there is, WB also revealed a Season Pass that includes a huge number of elements to the game.
Now, we don’t know how full the core Arkham Knight game is, but we clearly see that Splatoon is fairly lacking (especially in comparison to the usually “full” Nintendo experience). Even though, we have the case for two games were modes, assets, and gameplay elements are being designed before a game’s release and then added later.
With that in mind is it worth buying these games Day One?
The Case for Splatoon:
I am going to be upfront and suggest that its perfectly OK to buy Splatoon Day One.
By now, Day One already passed, but we are still in the early days. We have seen Nintendo’s first roll-up of content with the new Zapper weapon and the start of the ranked “Splat Zones” mode, and Nintendo promises new free weapons, maps, and modes in the future.
It can be argued that these features should have been available in the game from the start. Indeed, the slow roll-out doesn’t benefit anyone more than Nintendo, who are able to keep the game on the mind of the press with their constant updates, as well as keep the game fresh for the players themselves.
Yet, is there really any disadvantage for the early Splatoon adopters?
It really depends on when you want to be a Squid Now
Splatoon is a multi-player focused game, which then makes it inherently dependent on the community itself. Hence, the early adopters usually find the game at its most crowded, and hence with more opportunity for matches. True, the game also lacks basic modes and would probably be patched in the future. However, because this is not a single-player game. A future patch can be enjoyed in a new multi-player match, instead of having to repeat all of Skyrim to get the Theive’s Guild storyline after a glitch locked you out of it (seriously, FUCK Bethesda).
Also, all the early Nintendo updates are going to be free. Hence, regardless when you buy the game, you will always end up with the same content after Nintendo finishes releasing all of it.
Finally, due to Nintendo’s pricing policy, Splatoon’s price would stay nearly stable for a long time. Even if paid DLC is releases, new Splatoon copies wouldn’t include it, and they would still be sold at the same price today.
Hence, the early Splatoon adopter doesn’t “lose” anything by buying into the game early, and in some ways “gains” the experience of seeing the community develop first-hand. Late adopter ins contrast do not “gain” anything extra by buying the game late, and only arguably “lose” the starting experience. All in all, regardless when you buy Splatoon, as long as there is a thriving online community, you are going to get similar experience throughout, and you probably paid the same price of admission.
The Case for Arkham Knight:
Since I suggested buying Splatoon Day One is OK, its obvious I suggest waiting to but AK. In fact, I would suggest waiting a long time before buying AK.
Currently, there are 6 known different Pre-Order bonuses for Arkham Knight. Try you may, you won’t be able to get the full package unless you buy the game 6 times. Warner Brothers also announced a 40$ Season Pass that includes the following: Batgirl storyline, Different Villains Storylines, Gotham City Storylines (with playable Batman Allies), Batmobile tracks, Challenge maps, and of course some costumes. Its noteworthy that this season pass does not include any of the pre-order DLC. It should also be noted that the limited editions do not include the Season Pass, but do include exclusive costumes.
Hence, for the Day One buyer, assuming they get one pre-order bonus, must spend more than a 100$ to get all the content for the game.
There is absolutely no justifiable reason to spend this much on this game. Especially since with WBs track record, a “game of the Year” edition including all DLC would be released only 8 months later. Even better, the “game of the Year Edition” would probably degrade in price in less than 3 months. Hence, if you buy AK a year after its release, you will get the game cheaper than Day One, with all the content you couldn’t get in the beginning. Hence, your single player game can be experience fully from beginning to end as Rocksteady wanted it to be, not as WB wants you to have it.
The only question regarding the GOY edition is how ugly the cover would be
So, for the Day One consumer, not only does he get an incomplete product, but he pays more at the beginning and then has to pay more for the DLC afterwards. They “lose” a lot of money to get all the content, and they also “lose” time waiting for the content to get released. Of course, we are assuming this is not a messed up release like Origins was. Arguably, they “gain” playing the game ahead of others. For the wise who are going to buy the game a year after release, they don’t “lose” the money, but actually pay less, and they “gain” all the content for the game. Why would this extra year hurt them though? AK is a single player game, and can be experienced similarly today or 20 years later.
Because WB have history of abusing their most loyal customers, it is frankly unjustifiable to buy any of their games Day One. We can always get the better deal once they release the inevitable “game of the year” editions, and their games laughably degrade in price.
Due to their pricing policy, and the fact that they historically treat their customers with more respect than many other companies, we know what we are getting into with Nintendo. Splatoon is always going to be the same experience for everyone who buys it, whether it’s the game’s content or initial price. With a VERY IMPORTANT CAVEAT.
However, WB and their ilk have historically fucked their customers. Not only with obscene Pre-order segregation of content, but also with laughable pricing, and frankly insulting practices. We can always get better deals on WB games by simply waiting.
If you want to play Splatoon, it doesn’t really matter when you buy at as long as the community is alive. However, if you want to buy Arkham Knight, the closer you buy it to launch, the worse the deal is for you.
THE VERY IMPORTANT CAVEAT:
Obviously, this has to do with fucking Amiibos.
There is no single excuse for Nintendo to segregate a significant portion of their single player campaign behind ANY Day one DLC wall. Especially if that wall is a plastic figure that is harder to find than a shiny Ratata.
Of all of Nintendo’s Amiibo DLC, Splatoon’s is the most offensive, and this is simply inexcusable. I did not factor this into the discussion above simply because we can’t even realistically hope to buy it if we want to. In Saudi Arabia, there are simply no Splatoon Amiibo’s available.
OK, there may be a few Girl Inklings, but I can’t see them behind the burqas.
Anyway, I still have some belief in Nintendo. And I hope we can change their minds regarding this DLC. I encourage all of you to send polite but angry emails to any and all Nintendo offices asking them to stop tethering such substantial DLC to unobtainable plastic figures. Maybe they are going to listen.
Meanwhile, I am going to enjoy Splatoon until I but Arkham Knight a year from its release date. We all have huge backlogs exactly so that we can say FUCK you to Warner Brothers and its ilk.