Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Real Reason Fans Are Furious Over This Nintendo Toy

"Pay-to-win" mechanics — or, as EA has called them, "surprise mechanics" — have come under intense scrutiny in recent years. While certain video game developers and publishers are guiltier of such practices than others, the way that these companies employ them may vary from title to title. And it seems as though Nintendo might have just taken the cake when it comes to finding creative ways to take your money.


"The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD" is sure to be a nostalgic knockout for fans who grew up playing the 2011 original. However, if players want to take full advantage of the upgrade's mechanics, they're going to have to dish out around $25.00 for Nintendo's new Zelda & Loftwing amiibo figure — which, for the record, is $10 more than "Smash Bros." series amiibos tend to cost (via Nintendo Life).

As detailed in Nintendo's official listing for the product, "Normally, you can only return from the surface to the sky by way of designated save points, but using the Zelda & Loftwing amiibo while on the surface in the game will allow you to return to the skies from anywhere on the surface, even inside dungeons."


While it's not exactly an example of a "pay-to-win" mechanic, it most definitely is "pay-to-fast travel." And fans — as one can imagine — are not very happy.

What gamers are saying about Nintendo's amiibo paywall

"Legend of Zelda" fans seem to agree that Nintendo's shady new way of getting an extra $25 on top of an already expensive $60 game is outrageous. One Twitter user joked about the idea of Nintendo pulling this stunt with earlier "Zelda" games like "Wind Waker HD," adding that it's "disconcerting that we're now at the point where you now have to pay money to be able to skip travel."


Some Twitter users were more straightforward, with one tweeting, "Stop locking content/functionality behind an amiibo paywall. Travel between the surface & Skyloft should have been a standard [quality of life] change. Not something locked behind amiibo." They added that such a practice was "unacceptable."

Still, in a tweet that's got a lot of traction, user @stealth40k outlined the "Nintendo Amiibo Cycle," poking fun at the way that fans complain about gameplay mechanics locked behind paywalls, yet still purchase said amiibos. First, according to @stealth40k, "Nintendo announces a cool Amiibo," after which, "It is announced that a cool feature is locked behind the Amiibo." Next, the user writes, "Gamers complain ... Nintendo doesn't care," and finally, "Amiibo releases and sells out."


Whether or not @stealth40k's predictions turn out to be accurate, it's unfortunate that a company as beloved as Nintendo continues to introduce new ways to take players' money.