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Capcom Reevaluates DLC (Disk Locked Content) Strategy
News reported by 
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    
Why not sign up for a (free) account and create your own content?
Good; on-disc DLC is horrible and Capcom should get rid of it ASAP.

Posted by 
 on: 05/15/12, 05:30:44
This news means nothing to me since I've already made up my mind to stop supporting them.

Posted by 
 on: 05/15/12, 05:33:03
shinriley said:
This news means nothing to me since I've already made up my mind to stop supporting them.

But they are giving a FREE Leon Kennedy Jacket with every Disc purchase.

Posted by 
 on: 05/15/12, 05:48:46
No they won't. Not until it stops being profitable. And I think they would have stopped a while ago if it wasn't.

Reevaluating = "Is it still profitable? Yes? Okay good, continue."

Posted by 
 on: 05/15/12, 05:53:40  - Edited by 
 on: 05/15/12, 05:54:42
I take this news to be that the content will now be on a server, instead of a disc, still removed from the game in order to be sold in pieces. Yes, I will wait for Resident Evil 6 Gold Edition, thank you very much.

Posted by 
 on: 05/15/12, 07:43:13

When it comes to fighting games on consoles I'd much rather have the content be locked on disc in the interest of not fracturing the online community. I still don't feel that the content being on the disc at launch or downloaded later is a meaningful distinction.

Posted by 
 on: 05/15/12, 16:45:18
To play devil's advocate...does it matter WHERE the DLC is? It was still designed solely for the purpose of being DLC wasn't it?

Posted by 
 on: 05/15/12, 18:05:13
@nate38 But it's clearly pissing off a lot of fans. Still, I think the end result will just be... not putting it on the disk, and having people download it. Capcom still makes the money, it just costs a bit more in data transfer.

@PogueSquadron Who knows? I'll bet a lot of this stuff wasn't specifically designed to be DLC and got turned into DLC by the marketing team or whatever.

Posted by 
 on: 05/15/12, 18:07:46  - Edited by 
 on: 05/15/12, 18:12:21
@Zero I guess having it on the disc does give the impression that it was simply part of the game that was locked away.

Lately I've just been under the impression that on disc DLC was developed after development on the primary game was finished, though perhaps this is different with fighting games that just have new characters and things of that nature (vs. missions in a single player RPG or something).

Posted by 
 on: 05/15/12, 18:13:33
Several factors contribute to people not looking too kindly on Capcom's DLC.

First, calling on-disc content "DLC" is a misnomer.

But more importantly, people are pissed that in many cases, this content is used as retailer- or platform-exclusive content. For instance, I believe 360 owners could play with certain characters in one of the fighting games before PS3 owners could, even though they had the content on their disc.

Also, hackers get to play that content before it's even made available for purchase, pissing people off even more. Legit customers can't access this content that thieves can.

Posted by 
 on: 05/15/12, 18:23:06
Guillaume said:
Legit customers can't access this content that thieves can.

Isn't this the case for regular DLC too though? Legit customers spend money to buy things thieves get for free. Games in general, for that matter.

Posted by 
 on: 05/15/12, 18:27:06

Yeah, but I mean the thieves get the content before legit customers can even pay for it. It stings a bit more, and I can see why that would make more people vocal about calling BS.

Posted by 
 on: 05/15/12, 18:38:57  - Edited by 
 on: 05/15/12, 18:39:29

It's obviously pissing off vocal people on the internet but I have no idea whether or not your garden variety fighting game fan even KNOWS where the content is, what's included in title updates, when the content was designed, etc., and this says nothing about whether or not those people who know also happen to care.

I still think the discussions about the time at which DLC was developed are odd.

Posted by 
 on: 05/15/12, 18:45:03
Great. So now they're going to withhold the exact same content, but now we get to use up bandwidth and harddrive space and wait for it to download. w00t? Go us? We win?

No, the point is that we want it to be on the disc and be unlockable through traditional means like playing the game, meeting certain criteria, secret codes, etc.

Posted by 
 on: 05/15/12, 20:12:06
Maybe they should just charge less. It feels like I'm being cheated when I pay $5-$10 or whatever for what is essentially a tiny patch that opens up the next door of content on the disc. At least with the download DLC you feel like it's new content. But when I see that 300kb download I just hang my head.

Posted by 
 on: 05/15/12, 20:16:45

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.

Posted by 
 on: 05/15/12, 21:32:29
It doesn't really matter if it's on the disc or not, DLC that's available day one or within the first month is clearly content that was withheld to sell as DLC. That's an undermined tactic no matter how you look at it, and games should be sold more completely.

Posted by 
 on: 05/15/12, 21:57:53
@Mop it up

I cannot think of any Capcom game I've bought recently that felt incomplete absent its subsequent DLC.

Quite frankly I cannot think of ANY game that I've bought this gen that felt incomplete without DLC independent of it being on disc at launch or released after the fact.

I can't say that I'm a huge fan of the way DLC can be handled but the amount of ire it generates seems, to me, remarkably out of whack with its offensiveness.

The two biggest offenders I can think of are:

Prince of Persia 2009 - I liked the cliffhanger ending; calling the DLC "The Epilogue" (or whatever it was called) was ridiculous because it WASN'T the epilogue, which pissed off people who didn't buy it (they thought they needed to buy the real ending) AND people who bought it (who thought they were going to buy the ending) which is a remarkable accomplishment.

Mega Man 9. NES-style Mega Man games are so content-light compared to other releases at the same price that charging for shit like other difficulty levels was ridiculous. Mega Man is probably the most whored out character in gaming history, so him being Capcom's bitch is no surprise, but still.

And even those were just minor annoyances to me.

Posted by 
 on: 05/15/12, 22:11:13
@Kal-El814 Well, I just miss the days when companies would delay games to fit in all the content that they could possibly fit. And if it didn't fit, they held it off for a fully-realised sequel. But it certainly raises the question, what's a good amount of content for a game? The answer will surely differ from person to person.

Plus, I think it's partly a perception thing. Even if a game has plenty of content, if there's day-one DLC of any kind, it feels like a rip-off because it's content that was clearly ready and could have been in the main game, but was held to sell as DLC. Content that comes many months later and includes significant content (I.E. more than just one character for $3 or something) seems like real, worthwhile content to extend the game, so it's fine. Of course, one problem here is that most games later release a "Game of the Year" edition (even if they don't win a GOTY award) that includes all of the DLC, which makes it seem like a quick cash grab for those who can't wait. I don't think DLC is evil but I do think it needs a restructuring so that it is less disposable.

That said, I personally don't like DLC but most of that is my aversion to digital games. I want to own games, not buy a licence to play them for an indefinite amount of time.

Posted by 
 on: 05/15/12, 22:24:42
Zero said:
@nate38 But it's clearly pissing off a lot of fans. Still, I think the end result will just be... not putting it on the disk, and having people download it. Capcom still makes the money, it just costs a bit more in data transfer.
And thus nobody's situation is improved. We're still paying for content that was withheld from the disc, only now we're filling up our hard drives pointlessly. And Capcom has to pay for the data transfers/hosting/whatever.

Capcom wants to make more money off their fighting games. As far as I'm concerned, they're entitled to that. Nobody does the genre better, whether it's in rebirth or comatose. Sure, gimping Mega Man 9 and 10 and RE5 were petty cash grabs, but I don't begrudge them for charging for extra colors and costumes and crap in Street Fighter IV. (The locked characters in SFxT are another thing, but I'm still tempted to just say it's tough but fair. Hell, the game already has like 40 characters without them.)

And what are the alternatives? They sure as hell aren't going to increase their revenue by selling the full game with all content included for $60. If you weren't going to buy the gimped game for $60, you probably aren't going to change your mind just because some Playstation cat mascots are playable or because you can dress Sakura up in a karate gi.

If they buck the ass-backwards $60 ceiling and charge more for the game at launch (with no DLC or even free DLC) they would be crucified by everyone, not just us passionate few. Even their staunchest supporters would bitch about it while admitting the game is worth more than $60, so deeply entrenched is the ludicrous $60 "law." And $70 price tag would chase away non-hardcore sales like crazy. Unlike the on-disc DLC issue, casuals will see the $70 price tag when window shopping at GameStop and be turned off.

One strategy I'd be interested in seeing is selling each fighting franchise as a base-to-premium service. For example, the base disc for Street Fighter 5 might cost just $30, but with that you would only have ten characters playable. All 30 characters are on the disc, and available to fight against, but you would have to pay, say $2 to unlock each one. Exact price points would need to be experimented with, obviously, but this way the game would have a low price barrier for those who just want to throw a hadouken or two, but high upside from the hardcore who want every character playable. It also makes the secondhand market a lot less damaging. I don't have a lot of faith that this model would make them more money than what they're doing now, though. It would be less dickish, maybe even celebrated, but Capcom clearly isn't worried about their reputation.

Bottom line, I don't expect on-disc DLC to be done away with. If anything, I think they'll just be more careful about leaking the fact that it's on disc until after launch when hackers get a hold of it. Yes, it's underhanded, but it's not like the vanilla SF4 or MVC3 or SFxT games are gimped so I'm not going to boycott them or anything.

Posted by 
 on: 05/16/12, 00:30:44  - Edited by 
 on: 05/16/12, 00:32:56
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