Nintendo Is Destroying the Switch
When Nintendo was setting out to introduce their paid online service there were a number of judgements that had to be made with regards to how severe their internet paywall would be. For instance Sony allows for access to free-to-play multiplayer irrespective of whether one is subscribed to Playstation Plus, along with access to more mundane online features such as patches and DLC. Obviously Nintendo were always going to do the very worst possible thing, and in this instance that involved blocking any sort of internet access for all games if the owner has not purchased an online subscription.
This means that Switch owners are denied something as fundamental as in-game DLC of both the free and paid for varieties if they do not have a current subscription. People are claiming that DLC can still be accessed through the eshop, but obviously many of the smaller pieces of DLC are not important enough to warrant their own eshop page, and so they are completely lost to non-subscribers. It is currently uncertain what this means for game patches, which in many cases are essential to a game’s functionality.
This current issue was brought to light by a Twitter user going by the name of @pauljhaan. The issue involved Lego Worlds, which had been releasing free design DLC every week – well free DLC no more, because it now costs Switch owners $20 per year! When @pauljhaan attempted to download his weekly DLC he butted up against Nintendo’s new paywall informing him that the game could no longer connect to the internet in order to download the DLC unless he purchased an online subscription!
“I knew a #NintendoSwitchOnline account would be needed for #MarioKart & #SuperSmashBros. I didn’t think it would lock @LEGOWorldsGame DLC behind the pay wall! I just wanted to download the new #EgyptianBathHouse to write it up for @BricksToLife. #BrickBuildShowcase #LEGOWorlds
Hey @LegoWorldsGame, I shouldn’t need a payed membership to download #FreeContent on a game I have never played online. Any chance this is a temporary glitch? #StrictlyLocal
Yes. The only items in the eshop are the two paid DLC packs (Space and Monsters) and the free mega DLC Showcase Pack. The weekly free builds are not in the eshop. They are only available in-game.”
How did Nintendo think this was OK? It was already bad enough that they have removed free online functionality from games that launched with it, such as Mario Kart 8, Splatoon 2, and Arms. If Nintendo cared at all about their relationship with Switch owners then they would retain free online for these legacy games, but Nintendo hates the idea of giving their customers anything for free. So whatever. Nintendo are going to remove online play, but this is where they should have stopped. There is no rational basis for removing access to DLC, as the paid subscription is imposed in order to cover the cost of servers for multiplayer. It would seem that not enough people have signed up for a subscription as Nintendo would have liked, and so they have implemented their paywall in the most punitive way possible. As a result our games now have no ability whatsoever to connect online for any reason unless we bend the knee to Nintendo, and as such our access to a lot of minor DLC has been lost.
Nintendo Addresses the Awful State of Their Voice Chat
Nintendo Switch voice chat has been a fucking disaster since the moment it was announced. Console voice chat has been a settled science since the original Xbox console, yet Nintendo decided that it was preferable to require Switch owners to construct an overly complicated Rube Goldberg machine in order to do something as basic as accessing voice chat. Nobody has ever claimed that the Switch voice chat situation is even remotely acceptable. This is something that has never happened. Reggie happens to think that it is the most intuitive thing ever though:
“We believe the easiest way for you to connect and have a peer-to-peer experience with voice chat is with your mobile phone. It’s always there, it’s always with you.”
You know what other device is always with you? The Nintendo Switch when you are playing it! Complicating the setup by adding an additional device into the equation does not make voice chat any easier – in fact quite the opposite!
“Nintendo’s approach is to do things differently. We have a much different suite of experiences than our competitors offer, and we do that in a different way. This creates a sort of yin and yang for our consumers. They’re excited about cloud saves and legacy content but wish we might deliver voice chat a different way, for example.”
Who are these people who wish for voice chat in a different way? They do not exist! Reggie is telling porky pies – making things up in order to damage control for his horrible fucking service!
Maybe Nintendo simply cannot spare the processing bandwidth to offer native voice chat, and are just too proud to admit it. The Switch is already so much weaker than other competing consoles, and so Nintendo may legit not be able to offer it. This is not even a particularly bad reason to withhold native voice chat. Nintendo are not claiming that this is the case though, and so they must be taken at their word that they are literally retarded to the point where they actually think that this is a good idea. Nice going, knuckleheads!
Telltale Is Finally Dead
Two weeks ago TDT relayed the news that Telltale was on its last legs, with only a 25 Man skeleton crew left to fulfill certain corporate obligations. Now it would seem that either Telltale’s obligations have been fully met, or the studio’s money has fully ran out, and they can no longer afford to employ these people. A fortnight ago a Telltale employee by the name of Rachel Noel tweeted:
“I can’t confirm anything and please remember I don’t speak for Telltale, but through good fortune or sheer dumb luck I’m one of the remaining skeleton crew at the company. I’ve seen a lot of people unsure of what that means for the company and if we’re staying open. We’re not.”
Just two weeks later however, and her situation had changed:
“Heeeeyyyy remember how there was going to be a skeleton crew staying on for a while and I was part of it? Nah, jk, we all just got laid off, too.”
Over the interim Telltale’s sacked employees have banded together to launch a class action lawsuit against the studio over a failure to disclose to staff the financial situation of the company, which apparently they were entitled to under Californian law. Maybe because of this the company decided that there was no point in maintaining a skeleton crew to meet their obligations, and just decided to pull the pin and collapse what was left of the company. One positive that has come out of this cluster fuck is that Skybound Games has come to an agreement with Telltale to finish up work on the final season of The Walking Dead, so the people who pre-paid for the game will at least get to finish up their shitty walking simulator.