Even Japanese Gamers Hate Disc-Locked Content

By William Usher 2013-05-17 08:51:08 discussion comments
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Language barriers, cultural gaps, gender role differences...those are a few things that separate us from our Japanese gaming brethren (and sisters). However, there's one thing that ties us all together in the gaming community: our mutual dislike of disc-locked content.

Now, before we get into this discussion, be sure to read up on how disc-locked content works. It will give you an idea of why some people have such a disdain for a distasteful practice, despite some pesky publishers finding it to be a delectable treat of financially advantageous proportions. Of course, there are always Pro-corporate White Knights to make excuses why such practices need to exist...but, that's another topic for another time.

Anyway, Kotaku's Toshi Nakamura (and yes, a site based around Japanese culture actually does have a Japanese writer on staff) managed to snip some comments about DLC trends in Japan from Weekly Famitsu. So what was the response?

Well, I'll sum up the developers' view on DLC in general, and then we'll get to the gamer responses...
"[DLC] allows for increased user satisfaction, revenue and slows the flow to the used game market"

"It allows us to release timely content in conjunction with real-world events and holidays."

"DLC can lead to players revisiting games they've already put down. DLC also gives us an opportunity to develop unique collaborative content that we hope will allow users to have fun outside of the main game."

"We can offer players the option of 'an alternative way to play.' The fact that it doesn't have to be mandatory, but rather an added bonus is also a plus."

Note that some of these responses were pooled from 20 different Japanese developers, 12 of which are still actively distributing DLC, six of which have distributed DLC and one who didn't actually bother answering because...well, he's cool like that.

On the flipside of the coin, 476 Japanese gamers were asked about DLC in general and 95.9% had admitted to purchasing DLC and here are a few of their responses to the trend...
"Please abolish DLC that 'unlocks already existing data in a game.' I'd welcome anything that adds data." Male in his 20's

"So long as it's additional content outside the main game, I welcome anything from items to scenarios!" Female in her 20's

"It's sad to see that user-friendly games that 'contain everything' are on the decline." Male in his 30's

"I appreciate the additive properties of DLC, but I don't want DLC that ends up costing more than the main game itself." Male in his 20's

It's funny but gamers were more concerned with dollar-value to DLC ratio and whether or not content was hidden on the disc, and developers were concerned with keeping their game from being traded in at the local game shop.

Even though disc-locked content was a consumer issue that became broadly known across core gaming communities in North America and Europe, it's also a growing issue over in Japan as well. It's at least nice to know that gamers the world around all feel the same about content distribution abuse and it was at least cool of Kotaku to translate those concerns for the community.
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