Nin­tendo re­sisted the no­tion of post-re­lease DLC for years, de­spite in­vestors urg­ing it to fol­low the crowd. Its so­lu­tion is, on the face of it, a player-friendly one that serves both the pay­ing cus­tomer and the bal­ance sheet. A sin­gle Ami­ibo can un­lock con­tent in mul­ti­ple games, some of which are yet to even be an­nounced. And they look good on the shelf, too. Yet all is not quite as it seems. Ami­ibo’s prob­lem is not what’s be­ing sold, but its dis­tri­bu­tion. Re­leased in ‘waves’ a hand­ful at a time and based on some of the most beloved games and char­ac­ters of all time, th­ese highly de­sir­able fig­ures are in short sup­ply. De­mand for one re­cent pre­order was such that it brought the web­site of Game Stop, the big­gest videogame re­tailer in the US, to its knees. They may look sweet, but there’s a dark side to Nin­tendo’s typ­i­cally left­field take on DLC.

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