Fire Emblem introducing paid DLC to 3DS - Report

Nintendo confirms strategy series debuting on latest handheld April 19 in Japan; Nikkei reports game will be first to charge players for add-on content.

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Nintendo first confirmed it would introduce paid downloadable content on the 3DS in August, but the company's plans are only now firming up. According to Andriasang, The Japanese Nikkei news outlet is reporting that the 3DS maker will roll out its first paid DLC next year with the portable's debut installment in the Fire Emblem series of strategy games.

Fire Emblem hits the Japanese 3DS in April.
Fire Emblem hits the Japanese 3DS in April.

In a video presentation following the Nikkei report, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata announced that Fire Emblem will arrive on Japanese shelves April 19. However, he did not unveil DLC plans for the game.

The Nikkei report did not include details on what the DLC would consist of or how much it would cost, but Iwata has previously addressed the company's general strategy for DLC. In August, he stressed that it would be unwise for Nintendo to pursue paid downloadable content of the small-scale variety, such as stat increases. Selling this type of content, he said, could increase short-term sales, but it would damage the long-term relationship Nintendo has with its customers. He added that the company also does not plan to pursue the free-to-play model, where developers release a game for free and monetize it through microtransactions. This type of business model, he said, would be a disservice to Nintendo's content.

Aside from dating Fire Emblem, Iwata's video presentation provided concrete details for numerous titles in Nintendo's Japanese first-quarter lineup. Of particular note, Iwata nailed down a March 8 release date for Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D, as well as a March window for Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance.

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