Ah this again. For once, just once, I want to say something good about Capcom after the Summer incident. But nope, we’ve got to talk about this, On-Disc DLC. It was one of the first articles I’ve ever posted for TWF when the blog was still on LiveJournal. It’s a hotly debated topic with one side calling foul over the practice, and the other coming up with a multitude of reasons for why it needs to be. On-Disc DLC popped up from time to time, with Bioshock 2‘s Sinclair Solutions DLC and the extra multiplayer modes that were present in Capcom’s own Resident Evil 5. Both moments put both companies in a negative light, and since then the practice was curb for most major DLC (from my understanding). But now it’s happened again, and boy it’s a doozy.
In Capcom’s latest crossover fighter Street Fighter X Tekken, it was discovered that the Playstation Vita version of the game was going to have 12 additional fighters join the roster. It made some wonder if those fighters were going to appear on the console version somewhere down the line. Well, the wondering period didn’t last long as not only were those characters confirmed to appear on the console version, there’s a good chance that you already have the characters when you buy the game. However you can’t play as them. They are locked away on the disc to be sold later as DLC. This is what gamers discovered when they peered into the data of the 360 version of the game. And these weren’t just pieces of character data or incomplete characters. These were characters with all their moves in place, voices intact, and intro and ending sequences playing out for each one. Upon this discovery, debates were started over whether or not what Capcom did was right and if those complaining was just a case of “gamer entitlement.” All the while, people were waiting on Capcom’s response since this controversy seems to be bigger than the Versus Mode case that plagued Resident Evil 5.
Capcom has confirmed that 12 new fan-favorite characters will be available as Downloadable Content (DLC) on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC versions of Street Fighter X Tekken later this year. The playable characters will make their debut on the PS Vita system when the game is released this fall, with the console and PC versions receiving them as DLC soon after. 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 do. More specifics regarding pricing, dates and other additional exciting DLC plans for Street Fighter X Tekken will be shared at a later date. As a reminder, the retail version of the game will be the only disc-based version consumers will need to own and all future upgrades will come from post-launch DLC. The new characters fighting their way onto Street Fighter X Tekken are… from the Street Fighter side… Blanka, Cody, Dudley, Elena, Guy and Sakura will be playable and from Tekken… Alisa Bosconovitch, Bryan Fury, Christie Monteiro, Jack, Lars Alexandersson and Lei Wulong will all be available.”
Huh. It… makes sense. But at the same time Capcom had to have known that there’s a certain expectation in knowing that by including things on the disc itself, it will become the property of the person that plays it. They payed $60 for the game. From the looks of things, Capcom wouldn’t have enough time to implement them into the full game free of charge. But things just look too deliberate. I mean, how does one plan for not one, not 2, but 12 fighters to become DLC down the line. There’s still too many questions to be answered and there’s a good chance that Capcom’s not going to answer any of them clearly (or at all). I don’t want to go full editorial on this since I really don’t like Capcom right now. But this latest brouhaha isn’t winning any fans over, and some in my circle aren’t liking this game. I’m no expert on the technical aspects DLC distribution, but if space and compatibility issues were concerning Capcom, should’ve A: Spent more time on the game and actually include them in the final retail version, or B: Find another, less polemic means of distributing DLC that didn’t involve putting the damned beefalo on the damned disc!