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Capcom has come forward about the on-disc DLC fiasco for Street Fighter X Tekken. For those that don't know, all the planned DLC for the game is already on the disc and fully implemented, however gamers won't be able to access the DLC until they pay for it, this fall. Even fanboys on the official Capcom blog are pissed about this.
Capcom let loose a PR-straight blog post on their Capcom Unity site [via Event Hubs] and basically said...
Capcom has confirmed that 12 new fan-favorite characters will be available as Downloadable Content (DLC) on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC versions of Street Fighter X Tekken later this year. The playable characters will make their debut on the PS Vita system when the game is released this fall, with the console and PC versions receiving them as DLC soon after.
Well let's get one thing clear. This IS NOT downloadable content, it's disc-locked content and unlike the Mass Effect 3 DLC this was not completed after the game went gold it was already a part of the game except it's just locked away until you pay extra for it, after you already buy the game with the content on it.
Now, the excuse is that the reason these DLC characters were included on the disc was to prevent incompatibility issues, however, this is not true. Characters can be patched or downloaded to a player's system if they decide to go against someone who does have the character or costume that they do not. This is something that used to be done back during the Quake II era. Alternatively, Capcom could have used the Dungeon Defenders method and simply have all the DLC downloaded when it becomes available as part of an update for those who do play online. Whether gamers will want to pay for it or not will be up to them.
Regardless, it's absolutely abhorrent that Capcom would defend why content already completed and finished on the disc can't simply be accessed. Gamers, regardless, will have to wait until the fall to access fully playable characters, as evidenced by the leaked gameplay videos. It seems ridiculous that gamers would even follow along this logic, paying $60 for a full game and then having to pay $5-$10 extra to unlock content already included on the disc that is part of the full game. Let's not forget that many of the Street Fighter characters are direct ports from Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition so it's not as if this was some financially burdenous endeavor.
Added to this, games usually have DLC in the pipeline if gamers enjoy the product. DLC is to help extend the life of a game not to gouge gamers who already own the content and must pay extra to access it. The least Capcom could have done was what Rockstar, Valve and Bethesda do: release the game, reap some sales and then release DLC based on the principle of extending the gameplay as an optional service to fans.
Nevertheless, Capcom knows they can get away with this. There are more gamers out there willing to be ripped off than gamers who would prefer to take a stand against this kind of cash gouging. Fighting game enthusiasts like myself would have been excited to pay extra for characters like Guy, Dudley, Bryan, Lars and Lei (to name a few) as DLC, but certainly not when they're already on a disc we already own.
It's a sad day in gaming given that a company can publicly admit to on-disc locked content and gamers throw up their hands and say "No probs, here's my money". It's a real sad sign of things to come in the gaming industry.