Capcom says 'you are being heard' over on-disc DLC issues. But will a change really improve things?

Capcom has earned itself a bit of a reputation for charging for DLC that is quite clearly already on the disc. A lot of the time you're just paying for a digital key to unlock it. Obviously, this has angered gamers who understandably feel that if they've bought a lump of game code that contains that content already, locked or otherwise, they should be entitled to play it without paying again for the privilege.

Above: Aaaargh, I'm not the disc! Get off me! Etc

Well, Capcom has heard this. And, despite having made a perfectly rational explanation for its on-disc DLC policy (in terms fighting games at least) that clearly states the reason for it is to make sure people who don't have DLC can still compete against people who do (because they can still load the related character data to view), has now gone on-record to state its re-evaluation of the whole situation. In other words, it's bowing to public pressure.

Capcom US boss Christian Svensson has posted on the company's community forum Capcom Unity that things are about to change. Not in time to affect upcoming RPG Dragon's Dogma, which will have a mix of on-disc DLC and proper downloadable content post-launch, but almost certainly in games after that. He 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.

One such title is Dragon’s Dogma, where the decision to include some additional (but not all planned additional) game content for the game on disc was made at the beginning of the game’s development cycle as at the time this was determined to be the most efficient way of ensuring certain content was made available. Owners of Dragon’s Dogma will be able to further their gameplay experience with the release of additional quests, weapons and other items in the months following the game going on sale.

Dragon’s Dogma’s  post-launch content will extend the lifespan of a title that already offers around 30-40 hours of gameplay by following the main story thread, but if a player was to complete all the side quests Dragon’s Dogma ships with, that increases to around 100 hours. Players will also be able to add to the stock of 100s of weapons and 1,000s of customization options to create not only their ideally equipped, but also their most elaborately designed character.

Just wanted people to know in advance the whys, wherefores and where we're going in the future. You are being heard. Thanks.

So, future Capcom DLC is more likely to be actual downloaded content. But if that extends to fighting games, wouldn't it contradict Capcom's list of seemingly strong reasons for taking the on-disc approach, by taking up more room on your hard drive, possibly taking longer to load, and meaning the 'withouts' can't compete online against the 'withs'?

But if it makes people happier about exactly what percentage of the 0s and 1s on their shiny plastic discs they actually get for their money, then who are we to argue? But then of course there's the other issue about the kind of additional content often being offered in Capcom's games. In days gone by (when all this was 8-bit fields, no less), extra content like unlockable characters or alternate costumes was a standard part of the main game, accessed with cheats or by playing well.

These days? You can buy the Value Pack of alternate costumes for 47 characters in Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 on PS Vita for... £15.99. And that's on top of £3.99 apiece for Jill and Shuma-Gorath. Oh, and £39.99 for the game itself. Surely that's a bigger issue than whether or not the data for this stuff was always on the disc in the first place.

Above: And yet it gets a 4.5 star user rating? Those must be some AMAZING costumes

So - does this announcement make everything better? Or was off-disc DLC delivery not really the panacea we all hoped it would be? Let us know what you think in the comments.



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  • CrashmanX - May 16, 2012 10:31 a.m.

    At the capcom offices "Guys wait! What if we just include the character in a future update but lock them away? Then people can still download the character and play online with those who don't have said character and still be able to buy them if they want!" "No. That's stupid. Let's put it, ON THE DISC!" Capcom, you're just getting more and MORE retarded as the days go on. I don't care what you say about "Saving load times, download times, haves vs. have nots" there are NO acceptable reasons to sell people things and then lock them out of specific parts of it. It's like selling a movie and then saying you have to pay an additional $5 for the ending. Oh wait. They do that with games already don't they?
  • wheresmymonkey - May 16, 2012 5:28 a.m.

    I think Capcom have missed a trick with this on disc dlc malarky. Once people found it, they could of turned around and gone, yes it's on disc. But it's going to be unlocked for free later on. It could of been a great way to get people to hang onto the disc and not trade it in. Or alternatively they could of sold the game disc for less and then said its a budget price because certain bits are optional extras. More people would then give the game a go Because £20-30 for a brand new games a much more attractive proposition than £40, cpacom are upfront with the customer about the contents of the disc, and people don't mind paying the exta £20 for the costumes and the characters because the inital investment was low to begin with. No one feels cheated, Capcom gets more impulse buys and therefore more sales and hopefully more dlc sales to boot. Simple when you think about it.
  • bboyd - May 16, 2012 7:44 a.m.

    Nothing of the sort will ever happen as long as we have this absurd universal pricing trend on games. Not every game is worth $60, nor was every game worth $5o last gen. Your proposal is a good compromise that would do wonders in killing off this awful pricing system.
  • Meleedragon27 - May 15, 2012 6:06 p.m.

    Given Capcom's business practices over the years, I can't help but wonder how they'll screw up this time. To me, it's not just a matter of Capcom locking out a part of the disc and then charging extra for it, it's also about what they're charging us extra to access. A multiplayer mode in Resident Evil 5? Extra costumes for their fighters? Cheat modes in Dead Rising? Disc-locked or no, if your DLC is still largely minute features that should've been a part of the game in the first place, then you're still doing DLC wrong.
  • mattdark - May 15, 2012 12:31 p.m.

    Just so some of you capcom-lovin nay-sayers know. Fighting games have been able to work with new characters added via DLC, and Capcom could do with taking note. BlazBlue was a perfect example of this. After its release, they added in 3 additional characters, all of which were true (off-disc) dlc. The way they worked it was that when the character was released on the store, they would release a patch for the game. The patch had all of the character data on it, so that there was nothing to stop players not paying for access to the new character from playing against other people on-line just because 1 of them may not have bought the character yet. Its amazing how a smaller company can figure these things out better then one of the 'powerhouses' of the gaming industry.
  • bboyd - May 15, 2012 11:11 a.m.

    All this did was confirm that my fears that Dragon's Dogma will be nickled and dimed. Go to hell, Capcom.
  • heyitsmarcus - May 15, 2012 10:27 a.m.

    You know what, I hope they start giving everything on disc for sale right away, then charge the appropriate amount of money to cover costs. Games will start costing around 200 a copy. People keep comparing games nowadays to games "from the good old days." Watch the credits screen for Marvel vs Capcom 2 and UMvC3. They have to pay a lot more people, at much higher wages than before, for demanding consumers who are probably going to buy the game used anyway. I bought MvC3, got pissed Ultimate came out that soon after, also got pissed about super iv arcade edition.
  • heyitsmarcus - May 15, 2012 10:27 a.m.

    So I didn't buy the new ones. Didn't get to finish, got entranced by recaptcha.
  • RoxasorSora - May 15, 2012 9:39 a.m.

    Watch as capcom starts doing the Off disc dlc. Then the people will complain that they can't find a match online fast enough due to the fact that their search criteria is cut in half because they can't play people with dlc.
  • Yosuke - May 15, 2012 9:26 a.m.

    Costumes?Colors?Pieces of Customization?Fine.The problem is when then Lock characters that are a fundamental part of the game,especially if they were complete before the game launch
  • boondocks50 - May 15, 2012 8:57 a.m.

    if the content is actual dlc cool, but if its already on the disc do a better job of hiding it. i just dont want to know. but then again ive grown to see Capcom as the lazy money hungry company it is so this doesnt apply to them.
  • ashley-fream - May 15, 2012 8:55 a.m.

    They're completely side stepping the actual issue people have though! the fact that if the content is complete and on the disc, the £40/$60 you've spent on it should entitle you to everything ON the disc, at LEAST.
  • shawksta - May 15, 2012 8:55 a.m.

    Hopefully capcom knows, I mean for fighting games its understandable but theres no way to escape it. DLC after a game that was satisfactory is the best way to go, like making new characters from scratch, new levels and story like Batman, or hell a brand new case for Ace attorney like how Rise from the Ashes was a bonus to the first.
  • JAZ9030 - May 15, 2012 8:43 a.m.

    The next street fighter will only ryu and ken. The rest of the characters will be off disc dlc.

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