Nintendo reveals plans to offer a season pass for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which will grant access to two expansions that are set to be released in 2017.
In recent months, we’ve seen Nintendo go out of its way to try new things, from the unique qualities of the Switch, to mobile games based on its most popular franchises like Fire Emblem Heroes. Now, the company has announced that The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will be the first game in the long-running series to offer a season pass.
The season pass for Breath of the Wild will cost $19.99, and is set to be made available from March 3, when the game launches. The pass gives players access to two expansions set to release later in the year, as well as a few bonuses that will be accessible immediately.
Season pass owners will find three bonus chests in the game’s Grand Plateau area. One will contain a shirt that bears the Switch logo, while the other two bear useful items that will help Link on his quest.
However, the real meat of the season pass will arrive on the scene post-launch. In the summer, the first content pack will launch, bringing a new Cave of Trials challenge, a new hard mode, and a new feature for the in-game map.
The second pack will arrive closer to Christmas 2017, and it’s set to introduce a new dungeon with an accompanying storyline. Nintendo has confirmed that both the Wii U and the Switch versions of the game will receive the season pass content, and that content packs cannot be purchased separately.
“The world of Hyrule, which we created for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, is so large and vibrant that we wanted to offer more for players to experience within it,” said Eiji Aonuma, the game’s producer. “With this new expansion pass, we hope that fans will play, explore and enjoy the game even more.”
It will be interesting to see how fans respond to the season pass, given that Nintendo doesn’t typically pursue this kind of post-launch content for its biggest franchises. The season pass model has plenty of detractors, but this kind of practice can be beneficial for all parties if executed correctly.
Hopefully players will get their money’s worth from the content being offered up. The big question is whether a new dungeon, a new Cave of Trials, and a bonus hard mode are enough to justify a $20 purchase.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild will launch for the Wii U and the Switch on March 3.