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Filed under: Editorial

Profiting from Inkling

One of the most talked about characters for Smash 4 DLC are the Inklings from Splatoon. Even before the game’s release, fans were begging and pleading for their inclusion. After Splatoon’s launch, the game’s Miiverse is filled with comments and images asking for the characters to be playable.

However, many fans claim that the character will not be DLC based on the fact that the character would be better suited for Smash 5. They claim that Nintendo will need some big character for the next games, and Inklings can be that character. However, from a business standpoint, this isn’t the best option, and Nintendo would be better served to include them as DLC now. First, what many fans and critics seem to forget is that Nintendo does not have any plans to make a fifth Super Smash Brothers game at this time. It will likely be another 6 to 7 years before the next games is released, given the series current track record. So, from Nintendo’s standpoint, it would be unwise to save a character for a game that doesn’t even exist yet, or, at the very least, in the near future. While Nintendo will likely continue the series, they are better served including the character now and making a profit, rather than sitting on the character to sell a game in the future. The demand for this character’s inclusion is happening now, and now may be the best time to take advantage of this. To quantify this, lets look at the Time Value of Money. Investopedia defines it as “The idea that money available at the present time is worth more than the same amount in the future due to its potential earning capacity.” Because you could invest the money today, it is worth more now than in the future. So, lets say Nintendo makes the Inkling a DLC fighter, charging $4 and ultimately selling 1 million. This would give Nintendo sales of $4 million. And let’s say they will make the next Smash Brothers game 5 years in the future. At the current 5 year treasury rate of 1.65 percent, the money will grow to about $4,341,000, an $341,000 profit. Now, keep in mind that this assumes they only sell 1 million characters, reinvest in Treasuries, and interest rates do not go up (which, based on how the Fed is talking, could happen within 5 years). Nintendo could invest in corporate bonds, which yield more, or reinvest into the company’s operations and make potentially more money. So, the potential for profits is there and Nintendo will make more, given the two alternatives, because they are receiving the profits in the short term. Lastly, this all assumes that Nintendo will not make other characters. In Smash 4, we saw a lot of characters who didn’t exist before Brawl, including Wii Fit Trainer, Rosalina and Luma (whom premiered during Brawl’s development), Greninja, Robin, Shulk, Lucina and Dark Pit. Furthermore, before Brawl, Palutena’s last game was in the 1980s. Nintendo is showing they are committed to making more characters and IPs. We already have Codename: STEAM and Project: Giant Robot incoming. There may be other series in the works and other characters to debut in Nintendo’s existing IPs. Time will tell, but it is unlikely that Nintendo will have to rely solely on Inklings to generate any excitement for the fifth game. In closing, I don’t think the argument of excluding Inkling holds much weight as Nintendo would be best served to act now. As they say, strike when the iron is hot, and if the Miiverse is anything to go by, it is definitely red hot now. I don’t think the next Smash Brothers game will suffer if Inklings are DLC. With DLC, we don’t have to wait 6 to 7 years to get in our favorite characters. This is one of the advantages DLC affords us, and we should willingly embrace it. I would argue that even the naysayers would like to see this character in Smash 4, and it is for that reason why Nintendo will greatly profit from including Inklings as DLC.