Nintendo Will Charge For New Pokemon Sword And Shield Content. Some Fans Aren't Happy

Jan 10 , 2020

Nintendo Will Charge For New Pokemon Sword And Shield Content. Some Fans Aren't Happy

Fans will have to pony up $29.99 for an expansion pass. That's in addition to $60 for each original game and an online subscription service that costs $19.99 per year.

Pokémon enthusiasts who want both "Sword" and "Shield" expansions will have to pay about $60 in total. New content is coming in June, and more will be added in the fall.

"It's a pretty steep price for a full Pokémon experience," Kori Selnes, 29, a Twitch streamer in Norway who has played Pokémon games for more than 20 years, including "Sword" and "Shield." She told CNN Business that she "used to love the franchise to bits, but the direction it's going now makes me not want to support the companies involved anymore."

Game Freak, which co-owns Pokémon with Nintendo, said in a Thursday announcement that it was the first time Pokémon games were getting a digital expansion instead of being released as standalone games. It's a new strategy for the franchise, although it has already been adopted throughout the video game industry. For example, Nintendo itself has sold expansions for the games "The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild" for $20 and "Super Smash Bros. Ultimate" for $5.99.

"The console games market is continually moving away from being a hits driven business that used to focus on the 'fire and forget' model of shipping a new game every year or two, to one that offers a long term service for a single game," said Daniel Ahmad, a senior analyst at Niko Partners who covers the Asian video games market.

While the Pokémon expansion will feature new regions, characters and more than 200 additional Pokémon, including legendary creatures, some fans complained that Thursday's announcement video on YouTube was thin on story details. More than 80,000 people tuned in to watch.