Capcom was once the darling of the video game world, with several landmark franchises like Mega Man, Resident Evil and Street Fighter II providing some of the gaming highlights over the past 25 years. However, they have fallen from the graces of many a gamer in recent months due to their, shall we say, capitalistic approach to downloadable content. While online passes and one-time use DLC codes are becoming the standard for many new releases, Capcom has upped the ante by providing on-disc content that requires the purchase of addition codes in order to unlock. This has many gamers crying foul and there is some good news that the top brass at Capcom are listening.
The two most recent examples of this practice are Street Fighter X Tekken, which had 12 characters in the finished game that required DLC codes, and Asura’s Wrath, a new IP from Capcom that required you to purchase additional content to unlock part of the ending. While charging extra for content that is optional is an accepted practice, many feel wronged by having to pay extra for content that is integral to game and should be included in the retail price. This exponentially increases the overall cost of the games, thus eroding the sense of value and the confidence people have in purchasing them at launch.
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.
While these comments show that Capcom is paying some mind to the backlash, there is no commitment to make actual changes and it was also stated that this re-evaluation is only in its early stages. This means that games already on the release roster may contain the same reviled on-disc DLC. Svensson further added:
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.
One of the upcoming games that Svensson specifically mentioned in his post is Dragon’s Dogman, an upcoming action role-playing game with elements of survival horror and hack n’ slash gameplay. The game will contain on-disc DLC that could include things like extra quests, weapons and other items that extend the playtime significantly.
This move has also earned Capcom some detractors within the game industry. Hideki Kamiya, director of the original Devil May Cry and Bayonetta, echoed the sentiments of another gamer in a Twitter post, saying that he “Totally Agreed” with a comment that it’s a scam to withhold content in an effort to get more money from consumers.
So what is happening with Capcom? This newest wave of controversy sits comfortably with other recent debacles, such as the “one save file” issue with Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D and the much maligned cancellation of the Mega Man Legends 3 project. These were clearly business decisions made with money in mind, but to be fair, acknowledging fan feedback is a step in the right direction. How they will act on it and what changes they implement is anyone’s guess.