With Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order releasing in less than a week's time, some players may be frustrated to learn that the DLC content will only be obtainable in a complete bundle through the $19.99 USD Expansion Pass.
At this June's E3, Nintendo seemed eager to discuss its DLC plans for the game. While they did reveal that an Expansion Pass would be available, they seemed to omit the detail that the content would be gated behind the purchase of the entire pass, as opposed to allowing consumers to purchase only the additional content they desire.
The official Nintendo website now states players can enhance their "adventure and roster of playable characters in the Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order game with the paid Expansion Pass." Furthermore, the Expansion Pass grants access to three exclusive DLC packs that will become available as they release one at a time after the game’s launch and will not be available for individual purchase."
The planned release schedule for the content is for DLC 1 to launch in the Fall of 2019, DLC 2 later in 2019, presumably in the holiday season, and DLC 3 to launch in 2020, likely around Spring. They are described as follows:
- DLC packs will contain new content such as playable characters, modes, and additional story.
- Includes content from popular franchises, like the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, and the Marvel Knights.
- Purchase the Expansion Pass to receive an in-game alternative-color chef outfit for Deadpool at game launch.
As certain characters are bundled into one of these DLC releases, players have no choice but to purchase the entire Expansion Pass. Players who were planning to purchase all the DLC anyways to maximize their roster are unaffected, but players who may have been only interested in one group, such as the X-Men, now need to decide if they want to also spend money purchasing characters they have no interest in using.
The wording also precludes the possibility of further character releases, and any change in this plan would surely rub players the wrong way again if individual heroes are later added for purchase as single units.
Overall, the change is not likely to hurt sales, but rather will simply annoy some players. Details like these are important to consumers, and keeping them in the background always seems a bit shady. It makes it appear as though the intention was to mask true intentions all along.
Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order releases on the Nintendo Switch on July 19, 2019.