Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Capcom - Yeah, there's on disc DLC, so what?

Gee, I wonder why people are upset with this development?

DLC remains a divisive topic; there are arguments for it and against it for every kind of iteration, even including the day one variety. The arguments will go back and forth certainly, but when something like what I'm about to relate happens, I can't help but slam my head into my desk out of frustration, which by the way is good for neither my head or the desk.

The focal point of this particular storm is the Capcom title Street Fighter X Tekken or SFxT for short. The game is being released over multiple platforms at various times, and news eventually came down the pipe that the Wii version of the game would include 12 new playable characters in the roster; never fear though, those characters will become available for the other versions of the game as well. The 12 characters were later confirmed to be coming down the pipe as DLC that according to this article would be around twenty dollars for the Xbox version (a price I'd assume would probably hold for the Playstation version as well), and of course there's a slew of new costumes, which will also cost more money.

Of course what Capcom initially failed to mention is that both the costumes and the characters are already on the disc.

It wasn't until a glitch that allowed people to play as one of the promised upcoming characters, as well as the efforts of hackers breaking into the disc, that it was discovered that everything that would be released down the road as DLC was already there, just rendered unusable to the average consumer. A day or two later Capcom issued a statement that pretty much admitted as much, which you can read here. Some of the gems from the release include the following:

"The character information and files were intentionally included on retail versions of the PS3 and Xbox 360 game to save hard drive space and to ensure for a smooth transition when the DLC is available, allowing players who choose not to purchase the content the ability to play against players that did...

"Everything you need to enjoy this game for months (and years) to come will be accessed by the retail disc available this week.

"SFxT has a ton of content on day one, then later this year we reenergize the whole thing with a hefty DLC update, without the need for a second disc."

Gee, those statements just make everything better. Can't we all just understand that Capcom just wants us to get more longevity out of their titles, and that the best way to ensure that is to put more content on the disc then locking it and making us buy it later? Hunh, when I say it like that it really doesn't seem like a good thing, does it? In fact it makes it kind of seem like Capcom is gouging people for more money for things they should already have.

Oh wait, I know why it sounds like that: BECAUSE THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT IT FUCKING IS.

The arguments that Capcom has trotted out here are not good enough. There might be arguments for this reasoning that are, I'd personally love to actually hear them, but those arguments aren't. Certainly the on DLC here keeps people from having to buy a brand new game for sixty dollars, but when people are paying a solid twenty for stuff that's already fully there and fully realized -- Protip: hackers are playing online with the locked characters and new costumes, although to do so is of course to risk getting your system bricked or being caught and having your ass sued by Capcom -- it's not some favour that you're doing the community. What it actually is is an underhanded tactic to bleed more money out of people who've already paid full price for a game and so I believe should reasonably expect to have access to everything that's on the disc they fucking paid for.

The very thought that Capcom believes there is no difference between on disc DLC and DLC that is later developed is at best laughable and at worst absolutely rage inducing. Some of the issues they've brought up might be legitimate, such as the idea that at least compatibility won't be an issue with the way this works, but give me a break, there's no way that you can say that it's something that is done for the benefit of the players, at least not with a straight face.

1 comment:

  1. Funny that we would both discuss Capcom's DLC idiocy -- er, strategy -- so quickly in succession on our blogs. Serendipity, eh?

    I don't know much about the technology behind DLC (on-disc or otherwise), but I'm willing to accept it if there's no other way to get it out there...and if a company is up-front about it. Or at least can hide it better.

    Personally, I think it might have helped a little if Capcom didn't announce the 12 new characters so early. You could argue that hackers would have still found the data eventually, but for us normal gamers at least the wait wouldn't be so painful. And as much as I hate to admit it, I know Capcom's going to make some money off of this; my brother's already going nuts on buying the swap costumes, and it's only a matter of time until he gets those new fighters. It's either that, or get left in the dust competitively.

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