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Retail

Better Business Bureau downgrades Capcom over on-disc DLC

Better Business Bureau downgrades Capcom over on-disc DLC

Thu 12 Apr 2012 9:45am GMT / 5:45am EDT / 2:45am PDT
Retail

Rating drops from A+ to B following consumer backlash over Street Fighter X Tekken

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) of North America has downgraded Capcom from an "A+" to a "B" rating following a consumer backlash around Street Fighter X Tekken's on-disc DLC.

Capcom has 42 logged complaints with the BBB in the last three years, though only 9 were made prior to March 27 this year - Street Fighter X Tekken launched in the beginning of March, and the controversy surrounding its DLC gathered pace by the end of the month.

Of the complaints logged since the launch of Street Fighter X Tekken, 28 are classified as "advertising/sales issues" and 5 are classified as "problems with product/service."

The controversy stems from 14 playable characters included on the Street Fighter X Tekken disc that Capcom had locked, intending to sell them later in the year as DLC.

In a statement issued to the Better Business Bureau earlier this month, Capcom stressed that the game already included 39 playable characters and multiple play modes - an "enormous amount of content."

"There is effectively no distinction between the DLC being ''locked'' behind the disc and available for unlocking at a later date, or being available through a full download at a later date, other than delivery mechanism," the statement read.

14 Comments

Phil McArdle
Release Engineer

2 1 0.5
So, I'm in the UK, and I'm aware that we're unlikely to ever see media attention on the BBB except where it's negative, but, I'm wondering if they do actually provide a valuable service?

I'm also aware that customers of many companies (ours included - so, some bias here) now go running to the BBB every time they're banned for cheating, slighted by a patch, have high latency... and I'm beginning to think we'd all be better off just being downgraded and getting on with games development.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Phil McArdle on 12th April 2012 12:08pm

Posted:2 years ago

#1

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,266 2,400 1.1
The consumers are simply feeling like they are being forced to pay extra for something they already own.

That's all there is to it. No end user license agreement arguments and no on disc DLC content wasn't budgeted for the $60 MSRP arguments.

It is up to the producer to inform the public of changes to what is part of the natural public perception. If your company simply hopes the consumer market stays uninformed of your changes against that perception, that is a deceitful tactic. More so when it comes to changes as they pertain to money.

As for the effectiveness of the BBB, their rating system is quite flawed and I've heard they are possibly restructuring how they award ratings. But their mediation and other services are actually fantastic.

Posted:2 years ago

#2

Peter Dwyer
Games Designer/Developer

481 290 0.6
I can't work out why CapCom and others in our industry are so suprised by the backlash. The content is on disc and so is not DLC. It's finished content and so was not developed at a later date after the main game but, deliberately removed to milk the customer for more money.

This is perceived by the customers as greed. They simply do not appreciate being blatantly treated like fools. It was not so long ago that these characters would have been unlocked during the course of normal play. Something that would have guaranteed customers kept rather than traded the game because of the wealth of extras that they got. This leads to another suprise I always get. It's the suprise that EA and others can't seem to grasp why people trade their games so quickly. Surely if the only extras you can get for the game will cost you extra money, then the games value is already lowered. There are no unlocks for completion, no hidden levels, no grand rewards for finishing or playing the game well. Instead you just get pointed at a DLC and told to pay for more. It's no shock to me what so ever that so many choose to simply trade the game for a new thrill instead.

Posted:2 years ago

#3

Joshua Rose
Executive Producer / Lead Designer

191 81 0.4
correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't the people find out about the extra DLC locked on the disc because HACKERS found it?

Posted:2 years ago

#4

Liam Farrell

66 13 0.2
I don't see why publishers do what dvds have done for years. Sell two versions at launch. One "vanilla" and more, more expensive, "special edition"
It's a not perfect, but at least gamers would have a choice

Posted:2 years ago

#5

Nicholas Pantazis
Senior Editor

1,019 1,467 1.4
@ Joshua You're sort of right. They aren't really hackers. They just data-farmed the disc, but how does that matter? It's not like the "hackers" created the content. It was there, and should have been available to new buyers.

Posted:2 years ago

#6

Tony Johns

520 12 0.0
CAPCOM needs to get their act together and stop trying to screw us over.

Their games still rock, it is the on disk DLC and even Square Enix is also guilty for witholding the true ending of FF XIII-2 from us and expecting to make it avaliable as well as the other alternative Paradox chapters as DLC at a later date.

Even Namco is guilty with Soul Calibur V having most of the classic cast not avaliable and only adding them in later as DLC.

It is not about the ammount of content that we care about, it is about paying full 50 punds, 60 American dollars or even up to 120 Australian Dollars for a game that does not have everything in it and ending up having to pay extra to download the rest of the game of what the developers put their hard work into.

It is not the developers fault, it is the publishers putting so much funds behind their realistic HD 3D games that they need to recoup the costs, therefore wanting consumers to download content in games they have already paid for.

Posted:2 years ago

#7

Joshua Rose
Executive Producer / Lead Designer

191 81 0.4
Hacker, data-farmer, either way they gained access to content that was purposefully locked by the company. So they had these people not attemped such an act, nobody would have ever known. It was locked either way, so people wouldnt have had access to it. People... would not... know about it. And they would have been perfectly content in paying for the game itself.

But because they found out there was content on the disc that was to be used at a later date, they are up in arms over it and are demanding blood from Capcom.

As far as paying full price for not having everything in it. This is one hundred percent a matter of perception. Again we go back to the user knowing of the content's existence in the first place. Had a consumer not known about additional content, what they purchased was already a fully developed and filled with a lot of content (guessing on this because I've not played the game). So the consumer would have felt they got their money's worth...

There are some situations where DLC is so integreated with the main parts of the game that it HAS to be included in the disc.

Really I think this is a mountain that's come out of a molehill and people are becoming greedy over things they didnt even know about in the first place... "I love this game!" *finds out about extra dlc* "I WANT ACCESS TO THIS EXTRA CONTENT FOR FREE RIGHT NOW!!!" Sorry, but that sounds more like a borderlined child screaming for extra sweeties when they've already eaten the whole bag.

Posted:2 years ago

#8

Nicholas Pantazis
Senior Editor

1,019 1,467 1.4
It's not 100% a matter of perception. The character roster was "perceived" as small in the first place. Holding back stupidly high amounts of important characters for DLC is why people reacted so poorly to Marvel vs Capcom 3 (and why Ultimate Marvel had to eventually happen).

Also, people are well within their rights to "hack" this content on the disc and make it playable. Fair Use means you own any data on a disc you've paid for, which means if these "hackers" want to make a crack that unlocks the characters that are on the disc, which they can do, Capcom has no leg to stand on to retaliate for them playing their "paid" DLC for free.

Posted:2 years ago

#9

Jeremy Glazman
Programmer

29 4 0.1
It's funny that this whole controversy would have been avoided if they just left the content off the disc and sold it via download later. Pretty dumb move by Capcom.

Posted:2 years ago

#10

Greg Wilcox
Creator, Destroy All Fanboys!

2,174 1,121 0.5
A bit of humor and a few ignorant questions here:

Wait a minute, folks. The games industry has been moving to DLC and digital-only gaming for what, almost a decade and NO ONE SAW THIS COMING? "D to the Uh!", as the kids say.

Also, what's the current EULA on a new game say, anyway? Aren't reverse engineering and digging up stuff that's not supposed to be seen (yet) some sort of violation of that agreement? Maybe I could go read one (it's been about a dozen years since I actually did). Granted, you can't stop someone from doing all that, but saying they "own the data" means that one could just make their own and put it out there if they had the talent, time and distribution method. I'd imagine that unless it were a PC game that could be modded, some publishers would take a bit of offense at that...

What kind of irks me is on one hand, you have industry people pooping on the used games market endlessly not realizing that not EVERY gamer can afford the price of a new game and not all of them use GameStop to get their used games at awfully jacked-up prices.

On the other hand, supporting digital-only console releases which would actually (using the current business model) actually cost gamers MORE because the content would indeed be broken up in even smaller chunks and sold piecemeal so publishers (and of course, developers) could rake in a few dollars more.

So, is there a happy medium here that makes sure us poor folks get games we want to play while making developers and publishers the money they need to keep going? Figure that out and get back to me.

Also (stupid question): is it or is it not harder to add content to a disc-based game post-release as DLC than it is to simply stick it on the disc as locked? Can someone who knows this explain the process, as I'm thinking that adding content to a game with an online play mode (that's supposed to be stable) would be trickier than doing so in a single-player only title with zero multiplayer content. If I'm wrong, then correct me, as I have not a clue what I'm talking about (and hey, at least I know it!)

g.

Posted:2 years ago

#11

William Usher
Assistant Editor

41 29 0.7
Funny no one brings up that the rating really took a hit because of the lack of pair-play on the Xbox 360, which was advertised and promoted without the company mentioning that it would not be in the game.

The disc-locked content was just part of a much larger and broader scheme of things. Take into account that Capcom is also charging for the real ending to Asura's Wrath. People joked that DLC would get to that point and many people blew them off as paranoid, but here it is Capcom is actually charging for the ending.

I'd love to see how someone spins a positive story out of charging for ending DLC.

Posted:2 years ago

#12

Joshua Rose
Executive Producer / Lead Designer

191 81 0.4
@Greg: What I'm about to say is for our PC games. With our own games, we do both actually. When we have new DLC, we release it via an update for the full game, so that users download the content. They then have the content under a 'trial' state where they can view it for a limited amount of time which allows them to make a decision to purchase it or not. The main installer for the game also includes all past DLC as well, but this is more so that users can see the content as a 'try before you buy' sort of thing, instead of ease of distribution.

This is done by design, but it sometimes confuses people and there's no way around that. Although we have had the occasional (rare in fact), person that has demanded full access to extra content simply because he was 'forced' to download it. It was actually only ever a single person that's done this.

I could be wrong, but I think this situation is more geared towards people that play console games, but the concept really isn't much different from PC game distribution if you think about it.

Posted:2 years ago

#13

Antony Carter
Programmer

85 47 0.6
@Joshua

Its always obvious when DLC is on the disk, when the DLC download size is only a 100k file(Unlock Key).

Posted:2 years ago

#14

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