Capcom Says Mod Support For PC Games Takes Too Much Time, Resources

By William Usher 3 years ago discussion comments
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You know how way back in the day -- the Golden Age of gaming, as we oftentimes call it -- you could buy a PC game and then download a software development kit for it and mod the heck out of it? Well, those days are long gone.

In place of modding tools in today's industry we have SDKs from game engine developers, such as Unity Technologies, Epic Games and soon id Software. Capcom's senior vice president, Christian Svensson explains why, on Capcom's front, there isn't official mod support and it all boils down to resources.

EventHubs picked up the quote from the Capcom Unity forum boards, where Svensson reponds to a series of gamer questions about the company embracing the modding community for Capcom games, saying...
I love the modding scenes that have popped up around our games and at some point in time I'd love to see us do more actively to enable those efforts.

That said, there's a lot of hand wringing within the legal and IP depts when it comes to modding though. The concept of a derivative work starts to muddy the water of who owns the product or the mods. Secondly, modding opens up the community to infringe upon others' IP (say, a skin for Ryu made to look like Goku from DragonballZ). If we're enabling that ability, we also need to be able to police it and remove those infringing pieces from the community as we could have the liability in those cases, which takes time and resources. I think there are ways to work around that via a EULA and stuff, however there's a large hurdle to get folks past.

Firstly, what is Sven talking about EULA, legality and protecting IP? It's a freaking modding community. Where the heck has Capcom been for the past 20 years of modding where pop-cultural entities are creatively modded into a game? Heck, all the top mods for Max Payne are recreations of The Matrix or Equilibrium (they're quite awesome, too). Modders tossed 3D Realms' Duke Nukem into Doom and modders also tossed the Doom Guy into Duke Nukem 3D. Has Capcom just been out of touch to not have seen Spider-Man and Superman in Grand Theft Auto IV or Link from The Legend of Zelda in Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim?

Mod tools or not, modders have been "infringing" on intellectual property for years. Like all of a sudden it starts if Capcom decides to officially support it the way DICE used to, the way id Software used to, and the way Epic Games used to? It's just tools, they don't need to get into the modding community any further than just "opening" up the game more for the community.

How about I just say what his PR spiel prevented him from saying: "Our legal department can't seem to find a loophole for us to make money on mod creations without infringing on the copyrights of other material, so we're not going to waste resources on something that won't make us more money from those endeavors."

Anyways, Svensson had more to share about the modding scene. Something that will probably bring question marks to the heads of modders...
Lastly, there's the emotional connection some of the producers have to their games. Rationally or not, they don't want people changing the experience or the characters they've labored for 2+ years over. I don't agree but I know I've had exactly this conversation with a few producers in Japan on that front.

Haha, really? There's so much wrong with that sentiment that it's not worth discussing.

Anyways, it's funny because the modding community made Resident Evil 4 actually playable for the PC given that the textures, shader support, controls and graphics were completely screwed up and it was no where near as polished as the GameCube or PS2 version. If it wasn't for the modding community I don't think anyone could ever bother to play Resident Evil 4 on PC, which is sad.

But for those of you hoping for official mod support for Street Fighter X Tekken or Resident Evil 6 on PC, it doesn't sound like it's going to happen. Oh well, I guess you modders will just have to stick with doing what you do best all on your own.

Oh, and closing out the interview, one user noted that Capcom should no longer call it DLC since it's clearly not downloadable (although it is disc-locked content) and that maybe they should call it time-release content. Svensson briefly responded with "Noted. Thank you for the suggestion."
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