2020-02-19
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DLC Disaster of Sword and Shield

Pokemon fans are angry. Very angry.

Last week, Game Freak announced new downloadable content (DLC) for their newest games, Pokemon Sword and Shield, called Isle of Armor and Crown Tundra. While some fans are excited about the new feature, others are taking their anger to another level.

“On the day the games came out, we had a whackload of pre-orders,” said Raheem Shah, manager of the Oakville Place EB Games. “But when the DLC was announced, we only got six calls throughout the day for download codes.”

Downloadable content is the act of adding content after a game’s release for an additional fee. While optional, it usually includes add-ons that are required to continue with online play or story development. This is Pokemon’s first time providing downloadable content after release.

Some people believe that this is just a ploy to get more money out of consumers. Most Pokemon games retail for $50, but those are for the handheld systems. Sword and Shield retails for $80, and are offering DLC for a fee of $30. So, naturally, buying one game plus the DLC will cost you more than an older game on its own.

“I feel like games nowadays are just getting more expensive just for the hell of it,” said Spencer Comeau, a diehard fan who has bought every Pokemon game since 2004. “I’m a student, going from spending $50 to $110 is a big jump for me and my budget.”

Because of this, some fans have taken to “review bombing” old Pokemon games. Review bombing is when a person or group goes on to a public review forum and start to give poor reviews to an old game. That means every game has a slightly lower rating. This is done to discredit the game as a series and deter people from buying games if they are new to the series. 

As a result, the games as a whole take a beating. Old players don’t want to buy new games, new players don’t like the reviews, and the only people still playing are diehard fans of the series – who play the games regardless of reviews.

Review bombing is a fan’s way of telling a company that seems to not listen to them that they’re angry, however immature or toxic it may look from an outsider’s point of view. The problem with review bombing is that it’s a permanent stain on the series. 

“I ended up taking my review page for Pokemon Sun and Moon down!” said James Keenan, who runs a small public review thread on Reddit. “People really went to the corners of the internet to trash these games, it’s kinda sad.”

In short, if you don’t like a game, don’t buy it.

Mark Roberge
Written by
Mark Roberge

Mark Roberge is journalism student that loves video games, cooking and psychology. Also, in 2016 Mark placed ninth place in the Pokémon VGC regionals in Toronto.

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