Capcom finds "no distinction" between on-disc and downloadable content

The publisher asserts there is no difference between unlocking on-disc content and downloadable content

Capcom has responded to complaints about Street Fighter x Tekken, with fans calling out the company for having purchasable content locked on the retail disc. Hackers have been able to access and make playable all fourteen DLC characters, even though Capcom doesn't plan to release twelve of those characters until later in 2012. The publisher believes that there's "no distinction" between unlocked on-disc content and downloadable content. Its reply to consumers instead points to the value of the content accessible without any further purchases.

"At Capcom, we value our customers and make every effort to resolve customer complaints. We are sorry to hear that [censored] was so disappointed with the Street Fighter x Tekken game (''SFxT''), and would like to respond to his complaints," Capcom writes in response to Better Business Bureau complaints.

"SFxT has an enormous amount of content, fully developed and available for play and enjoyment immediately on-disc. Given the 38 characters available for full play, as well as multiple play modes, SFxT provides great value for all players from day one. While Capcom is sorry that some of its fans are not happy about the chosen method of delivery for the DLC, we believe that this method will provide more flexible and efficient gameplay throughout the game's lifecycle."

"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 continues.

It's a response that will probably not calm many fans, and it does not cover promised features that are completely absent, like the pair play mode on the Xbox 360 version.

[Via CinemaBlend]

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Latest comments (17)

Private Industry 9 years ago
I think the distinction is in the name DLC (Downloadable CONTENT) it`s not called DUK (Downloadable Unlock Key).

I`m not saying you can never have something on disc, but if you try to charge more than half of the retail price for something that`s already on the disc that doesn`t translate into them carrying that much about their customers.
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 9 years ago
Perception and Price. Those are the things that they (and everyone else, *cough* EA *cough*) should be thinking about.

I pay 40 for a game, and then find out there's something on the disc that I should have to pay to unlock, then I am aggrieved. I have the disc. I paid for the disc. New. Its contents are mine by right. Why should I have to pay more to unlock some random characters?

That said, I pay 20, and find out there's something on the disc that I have to pay to unlock, then I'm in two minds. On the one hand, what the hell - the data is there on the disc, and I bought the disc and everything on it. Legally. But! On the other hand, if it puts the cost up to no more than every other game out there (40) then I don't feel so hard done by.

Capcom framing it in their own terms - "flexible and efficient gameplay throughout the game's lifecycle"? They mean squeezing out more money per customer, I'm sure - don't help either themselves, or the consumers they're trying to convince.
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Curt Sampson Sofware Developer 9 years ago
I'm with Capcom on this one, but that doesn't change the fact that they have a clear consumer perception problem that they need to address.

I wonder if they might do better by releasing two versions right off: the "full edition" at a higher price and the "slim edition" (or whatever) at the current price; the "full edition" would come with unlock keys for all of the on-disc content. It would be a bit of a pain to have two SKUs, but at least it's not too bad from the packaging viewpoint since they'd need only an insert with the unlock code and different stickers on the front of the box.
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Show all comments (17)
Samuel Verner Game Designer 9 years ago
no wonder that more and more people decide to download the full-version of games from filesharing networks - they include all available dlc content of the game and not the "chopped-into-pieces" retail version.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.9 years ago
Capcom, you are wrong. Plain and simple.

If you developed post release content simultaneously as the main content and didn't factor the costs into the MSRP, that YOUR FAULT.

If you want to develop post launch content to increase the long term value of your product, develop the content after the disc has gone Gold or at the very least, don't put it on the damn disc and expect people to be happy paying more for something they already paid for.

You don't buy a movie and then pay more to watch the special features.
You don't buy a CD and then pay more to listen to the bonus tracks.
You don't buy a book and then pay more to read the afterword.

And you don't buy a game and then pay more for content already on the disc.
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Craig Burkey Software Engineer 9 years ago
I agree with Capcom, In fact they are saving the consumers money on internet traffic costs. I hate the phrase "Download Content" it's "Premium Content" pure and simple.

As consumers we have a right to judge both the standalone game and the addon on its merits, if you think its worth it buy it.

A game has budget, Games need to stick to them or else they'll become unsustainable. If "Premium Content" allows cut and additional material to make it to market, I see it as only a good thing regardless of distribution methods or development chronologies

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Craig Burkey on 3rd April 2012 10:02am

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Robin Clarke Producer, AppyNation Ltd9 years ago
Capcom are right, and I'm surprised that this is still seen as an issue. You're not buying the physical representation of the data (and the retail price doesn't correspond to how much of the disc the product takes up), you're buying a user license. The model of delivering encrypted software with an unlock code has been established practice in everything from shareware games, downloadable casual games, productivity software and purchases within smartphone games for many years now.

Suggesting that price should be dictated by when particular bits of content were developed is absurd. It's not like post-launch DLC is always developed after the game is launched.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Robin Clarke on 3rd April 2012 10:32am

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Curt Sampson Sofware Developer 9 years ago
Here's another area of inconsistency that, if this argument had any merit, we should be hearing complaints about. As part of my fee for PlayStation Plus, I get access to full game downloads (of games originally sold on disc) that I can play for an hour. These downloads are the full game, all 6-10 GB of it. If I'm willing to pay an extra change, I can get an unlock code (a few hundred kilobytes in size) that lets me play after that hour. Is this wrong on their part, for making me download all that amount of game that I can't access without paying something extra?

Jim, I'm sure that Capcom *did* take into account the costs and potential revenue from that content as extra paid content versus putting it in the main game and increasing the main game's price appropriately. There's nothing wrong with offering the consumer a stripped down version at a discount, which is precisely what they're doing.

Anyway, the solution is even simpler than I originally thought. Abandon the idea of putting extra unlockable content on the disc, just make people download it, and increase the price to compensate for the download costs. It's pretty clear that the people complaining about this would rather pay more for the same content if they can somehow feel better about how they got it.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Curt Sampson on 3rd April 2012 12:38pm

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Dave Herod Senior Programmer, Codemasters9 years ago
@Morville - "I pay 40 for a game, and then find out there's something on the disc that I should have to pay to unlock, then I am aggrieved. I have the disc. I paid for the disc. New. Its contents are mine by right."

No, you don't own the content. The content is intellectual property owned by Capcom, licensed to you to *use*. You want to own the content? Then it'll cost you millions of pounds to cover the dev costs.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.9 years ago
Dave, the consumer isn't buying the IP. When I buy a book, movie, music, etc...I'm not buying the IP. When I buy a car, I'm not buying the design blueprints. When I buy a TV, I'm not buying the LCD panel patents.
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Joshua Rose Executive Producer / Lead Designer, Storm Eagle Studios9 years ago
I think that Capcom had the right idea. If they wanted to include locked DLC in their disc, it's their right to do. This makes distribution of DLC easier on them and the users because it keeps the users from having to download extra stuff later on, simply purchase the key and off you go.

If you buy a game and then find out that there is locked content on it after the fact, will you be upset? Sure... Do you have that right? Debatable...

Now take that same situation, you buy the game, and never find out there's locked content on it, will you be upset? No, of course not, because you don't know anything about it. You were just as happy purchasing the game as is and without DLC/locked content. You won't enjoy the game any more (or less), and you won't be upset about content that you cant access.

Personally I think it's a good idea to do that, because when it's time to release the DLC, this gives the publisher the ability to release an update via xbox live or whatever platform you've chosen for the game, and it enables them to market directly from the game. Hell, they may even have an update that allows users to play with a limited version of the download content just to see what it's like and let them decide whether or not to purchase the DLC.

Since day one, users have always bought a license to play the game. It's only been in the last few years that people have started reading EULA's and realizing they are doing just that. Publishers are not going to just yank the carpet out from underneath players and say "oh we dont want you to play this anymore" that would be of the utmost stupidity I've ever wittnessed in the gaming industry (terminated MMOs are different due to a different method of content delivery). But a publisher WILL say, "we hope you enjoy the hell out of our game!!!"

Nothing has changed in that aspect, players have always purchased a license to play the product and have always been happy with that. Until they take the time to read EULAs and see what the deal has been, they're still happy none the less. And there is no reason they should stop being happy about the situation, because nothing has really changed!
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 9 years ago
@ Dave

Pedant. :p

Seriously though, Jim has the right of it - I buy, let's say... A Dance With Dragons, I'm not buying the rights to it or any of the characters, I'm buying the content. That is, all the content. Games are no different, surely?

Whilst I think it's massively wasteful, a situation which might bear examination would be the DVD industry - there's budget editions of films, then there's 2 disc editions, and then there's full-on collector's editions. Multiple SKUs, priced accordingly, and the customer chooses whichever one they want. And they don't feel annoyed that they're having to pay full-price for something, and then even more to unlock stuff already on the disc.

@ Robin

"You're not buying the physical representation of the data (and the retail price doesn't correspond to how much of the disc the product takes up), you're buying a user license"

Which would be fine if they... Adapted, shall we say, how they approach their customers. Their statement comes across as arrogant, and without consideration for how its perceived by consumers. How many casual gamers think of the things they play in terms of licensed software?

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Morville O'Driscoll on 3rd April 2012 5:30pm

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Dave Knudson Sr. Technology Manager, Electronic Arts9 years ago
This has nothing to do with the consumer perception side of it, but there are reasons for developing DLC at the same time as the main content. If you have the base game and DLC finished at the same time, you will know that the architecture of the base game works properly with the DLC and won't have problems with 1st party approval (assuming it's a console title).

Conversely, if you just develop/ship the game first and start work on the DLC later, you can run into major issues later on with the base game. You may have to undertake significant work to get the base game fixed/patched and approved by 1st party before you can ship the DLC.

So once you've gone down that road, putting the content on disc seems logical since it's done and gives relatively instant access.

Again that does not really address consumer perception or the value of a given piece of DLC, but it may be a reason why on-disc DLC happens.
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Curt Sampson Sofware Developer 9 years ago
You're right Jim; the consumer isn't buying the IP. He's buying the ability to enjoy a specific gaming experience. It's not as if Capcom said, "the game will include such-and-such," and when people opened it up, it didn't include that. They got exactly what Capcom said they would get, and what's on the rest of the disc and how it's interpreted doesn't change that.

It's just a mystery to me why saying, "this is some content you can't use without paying for that privilege" is wrong or right depending on where it happens to be stored. As I said, doesn't that make Sony's full-game time-limited demos wrong, because I downloaded the full game but can't use it after an hour?
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Alex Byrom Studying Multiplayer Online games design, Staffordshire University9 years ago
On the disc DLC is a very bad thing and leaves a nasty taste in most gamers mouths, come on, when the game is in lock down and then it's sent to get it's pegi rating ect, use that time to develope DLC then release it on the store, the only times when on the disc DLC is acceptable is when it's Game of the year, or special edition ect, because you have paid the extra few pounds for it so it's yours to keep. AND STOP PUSHING ONLINE PASSES AND MULTIPLAYER DLC THAT GIVES ONE SIDE A CLEAR ADVANTAGE OVER THE OTHER.
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Liam Farrell9 years ago
Just wait for the "ultimate" or "super" version of the game, like Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. It all the locked DLC characters and more for less price
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Morville O'Driscoll Blogger & Critic 9 years ago
Mmm... Just like the GoTY edition usually has all the DLC. Got stung on that with New Vegas recently. :(
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