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Capcom Reevaluates DLC (Disk Locked Content) Strategy
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Editor
May 15, 2012, 05:28:15
 

It seems Capcom has been listening to its customers regarding the much maligned DLC (Disc Locked Content) issue. Capcom USA Senior Vice President Christian Svensson recently said that Capcom is reevaluating its On-Disk DLC strategy. The strategy will not go into effect immediately apparently. I guess we'll have to wait for the coming months to see what Capcom has in store for us.

Capcom USA Senior Vice President Christian Svensson said:
Hey guys,
We’ve been getting several questions, here and elsewhere about the future of on-disc DLC.
We would like to assure you that we have been listening to your comments and as such have begun the process of re-evaluating how such additional game content is delivered in the future. As this process has only just commenced in the past month or so, there will be some titles, where development began some time ago and that are scheduled for release in the coming months, for which we are unable to make changes to the way some of their post release content is delivered.

Sources: Capcom Unity Board & Shoryuken.com

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Posted: 05/15/12, 05:28:15  - Edited by 
 on: 05/15/12, 05:28:26    
 
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@nate38

Wasn't the RE5 DLC the multiplayer mode? I don't think that was gracefully handled, but vanilla RE5 isn't lacking content.


Posted by 
 on: 05/16/12, 00:39:02
@nate38 I believe what's really going to happen, like someone already mentioned, is the they will not put anything extra on the disc and will save stuff for DLC on purpose.


Posted by 
 on: 05/16/12, 00:39:30
This just means they will hold onto content and release as real Down Load Content. They will still be making extra money from it.

The real question with DLC is what should really be included in the game to start with, and what is classed as an 'extra'? Some companies will continue to charge extra for content that should be in the original release as long as stupid people pay for it.


Posted by 
 on: 05/16/12, 00:47:40
@Kal-El814

There was also the Jill and Chris scenario, but that didn't add much except Capcom's typically fucking with the old-school RE fans.


Posted by 
 on: 05/16/12, 00:48:44
Kal-El814 said:
@nacthenud

I could be wrong, but IIRC the Street Fighter IV games DID have a bunch of on-disc, non DLC unlockables. So did Marvel vs. Capcom 3. So did RE5.

Capcom definitely engages in nickle and dime shenanigans more than I might like but I can't recall a recent game of theirs that I thought was content-lacking.
Secondary costumes in fighting games are the biggest offender from Capcom in my mind - and one I refuse to pay for. It's pretty industry standard to have more than one costume per fighter in fighting games. Some (Dead or Alive/Virtua Fighter 5) have tons of costume options. Street Fighter IV and the like give you one costume and then ask you to pay another $30-ish for a second costume for all the characters. That's just highway robbery for something that is standard fare in the genre. I would be cool with them offering a handful of costumes and then having some DLC costumes on top of that (for a more reasonable price), but the $#!% they've been pulling is ludicrous.

Removing the content from the disc and making me download it (instead of just paying for the unlock code) makes no difference to my opinion on it being reasonable "DLC" or not.


EDIT: The full price for SF x Tekken:

Retail $60
2nd Costumes (if you buy the cheaper packs instead of per character) $26
On-disc DLC characters $20
----------------------
Total price $106
==============


Posted by 
 on: 05/16/12, 01:24:07  - Edited by 
 on: 05/16/12, 01:44:40
@Kal-El814 Yeah the vanilla RE5 was definitely a "full" value at $60. Especially since the multiplayer mode was apparently awful lol.

Gimping the Mega Man games was lame, though. Especially since the extra features were
a) planned from the start, considering they were mentioned when the game was first revealed,
b) common extras in past games,
and c) mostly pointless things that only the most hardcore Mega Man idiots (like myself) willingly bought.
It angered fans (admittedly very few) and probably didn't bring in much revenue at all. Total whiff on Capcom's part, I think.

@sirmastersephiroth Yeah, that's the most likely scenario. And it's dumb as shit because it actually makes things worse for consumers AND Capcom, merely for the sake of deceiving the consumer.


Posted by 
 on: 05/16/12, 02:15:42  - Edited by 
 on: 05/16/12, 02:17:22
@Kal-El814 In that case, there's no good reason to make it DLC in the first place. It should be a part of the main game already.


Posted by 
 on: 05/16/12, 03:42:41
X-pert74 said:
@Kal-El814 In that case, there's no good reason to make it DLC in the first place. It should be a part of the main game already.

I don't think we'll see that happen ever again.


Posted by 
 on: 05/16/12, 10:45:39
@sirmastersephiroth Which really, really sucks. It's one reason why I dislike the company today.


Posted by 
 on: 05/16/12, 12:30:15
I'm going to have to back up Kal-El here. Whether the content is on the disc or not should make absolutely no difference to the consumer, unless what they DID receive for their rubles was misrepresented at the time of purchase.

If there were 300 characters in the game, and 2 were on-disc "DLC", would anyone give half a shit? Should anyone? That's an extreme, but it should illustrate the point.

You are paying a certain amount of money for a certain amount of content. If you think the content is worth the money, buy. If you don't, pass it up or wait until it sells for a price that you DO think that it's worth. That should be the only consideration for the consumer. It's a business transaction. You don't owe Capcom, and they don't owe you.

That said, I pretty much hate most forms of DLC. DLC is almost always a fucking HORRIBLE value proposition, compared to a boxed game (esp. one that you bought on sale). And we DO get less bang for our buck these days, in general. AND much of modern game budgets goes towards shit that I don't care about. And retailer- and console-exclusive content is highly irritating. Those are all genuine problems that bother me. On-disc "DLC" is not. It's just a tiny boil on the gigantic tumor that is growing on the gaming industry.

I can understand the OCD feeling of not having the 'whole' game, but that's just a psychological illusion.


Posted by 
 on: 05/16/12, 21:51:55  - Edited by 
 on: 05/16/12, 21:55:37
@Anand The thing is, you're trying to take a completely "logical" viewpoint of something (the free market) that runs like 90% on emotions. Companies know this, which is why they spend multi-millions on marketing campaigns based on manipulating people's emotions instead of spending far less to say "this is what we have" and let people decide for themselves if they want it or not. Companies should at least understand the emotional reaction to having to pay extra money for something that already exists on something you own.


Posted by 
 on: 05/16/12, 22:08:33
@Zero
To be honest, the whole on-disc DLC furor is one of the most puzzling phenomena that I've ever witnessed. I don't get it. At all. And every time one of these big on-disc DLC brouhahas happens, I fucking pore through the comments threads across the internet in utter fascination. And I still don't get it. I mean, so many of your inalienable gaming rights have been/are being taken away from you. The gaming industry is so incredibly frustrating. And THIS is what you choose to complain about?

And then NOBODY complains when an $8 piece of add-on DLC lasts, like, half an hour?


Posted by 
 on: 05/16/12, 22:25:32  - Edited by 
 on: 05/16/12, 22:28:56
The reason it's a shitty practice is because that content was clearly finished before the game went to the printing presses which is usually a month or so prior to launch. Now it would be just as bad to have that same content cut and held back but the only difference is we would not know about it. The much better way to do day one DLC would be to have the developers begin work on that content once they have already gone gold. The reason that is not done is because it costs money. First, you have to fund the extra development time. Second, in a scenario like a fighting game non-DLC users need to be able to load the content so that it's compatible and it does not fragment the community. So if you are not going to have that as disc content that's roped off you need to have a patch for the game which also costs money. I have heard that for a company to put out a patch over XBL it costs $40,000. I have no idea how accurate that is but it's still definitely cheaper to already have it on the disc.

It is a bad situation but at the same time it is a way for the developer and publisher to get more profit out of a game which we are quick to judge as a bad thing but at the same time consumers' hands are not clean on this either. With a single player game you need to make your money ASAP. If you have DLC ready to go day one you can get a little more money. Waiting 2-3 months or however long results in people finishing your game, trading it in, and other people playing it used. That's a lot of lost potential profit all for the sake of trying to do right by these same people who unknowingly or not are screwing you over.

In the end, I would say the issue is much more complicated than simply 'they are trying to screw us'. If that is the case we as the market are screwing them over to begin with. Which is really too bad because it just results in everyone getting burned. If we could eliminate used sales and have the understanding that DLC means content that does not pre-exist prior to the game going gold we would all be better off. It's something that hopefully gets resolved when digital distribution becomes the standard which won't be for quite a while I think.


Posted by 
 on: 05/16/12, 22:36:22
I wish all priced DLC was disc locked content so DLC would face the wrath it has always deserved.


Posted by 
 on: 05/16/12, 22:38:28
@Stephen
What if extra budget/manpower is allotted during the development specifically for the DLC? Would you still find that unethical? With regard to SFxTekken, does anyone think the base game is a ripoff, compared to other games in the genre?

I like having the full game, available, on the disc on Day One. But, as long as you allow for the possibility of expansion, I don't see how it makes much difference when that expansion was developed, regardless of what proof you have.

@Renjaku
This, I can get behind.


Posted by 
 on: 05/16/12, 22:42:03  - Edited by 
 on: 05/16/12, 22:42:46
@Anand

Because then the developer/publisher is deliberately not putting everything they can in to a game and instead want to nickel and dime you. Or that the game is being needlessly held back so this content can be generated. DLC should be a means of adding to a game beyond what you originally were capable of producing.


Posted by 
 on: 05/16/12, 22:50:58
@Stephen
Alright, let's abstract it even further: What if an entirely different team is budgeted specifically to make the DLC while development is ongoing?


Posted by 
 on: 05/16/12, 22:54:28
@Anand

It's the same thing. Content is being generated that could be put in to the game to make it better but instead it is being artificially withheld under a DLC banner. Game development should not be about making a passable standalone game and then adding extras to pad it out. It should be about making the best possible game you can make. That's what the developers want to do, and it's what we the consumers want them to do. It's the protecting of the product that results in all this stuff nobody wants.


Posted by 
 on: 05/16/12, 23:03:00
@Stephen

That's all fine and dandy in a socialist world, but the reality in our capitalist system is that the developer has a budget to produce a game. If the funding party agrees to pay additional funds and increases the budget specifically for the creation of DLC, then it often makes more sense to have an additional team working on the DLC at the same time as the base game is being worked on. This is additional man-power that would not be available to work on the base game if the DLC was not being funded. The extra expense is greenlit because of the expected extra revenue. Remove the possibility of the extra revenue and the extra expense will not be funded - ie - the DLC content will simply not be produced, rather than your suggestion that it would be produced and be in the base game instead.

The timing of the creation of the DLC in this scenario is irrelevant.


Posted by 
 on: 05/17/12, 01:42:47
Anand said:
With regard to SFxTekken, does anyone think the base game is a ripoff, compared to other games in the genre?

I completely agree with the sentiment that if the base product is worth the price of admission and a complete package, then there should be no complaint. Since you raise SFxTekken, specifically, I do think that $26 for a second costume for the characters is a ripoff. The base game should include a second costume. That is the normal minimum standard in this genre.


Posted by 
 on: 05/17/12, 01:48:27  - Edited by 
 on: 05/17/12, 01:48:56
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