Today, Capcom America’s corporate officer and senior vice-president Christian Svensson made a public statement concerning the company’s future plans for on-disc DLC.
Obviously, this statement comes in the wake of the criticism Capcom received from fans for its handling of on-disc DLC content surrounding Street Fighter X Tekken.
Here’s Svensson’s posting on the Capcom Unity blog:
We’ve been getting several questions, here and elsewhere about the future of on-disc DLC.
We would like to assure you that we have been listening to your comments and as such have begun the process of re-evaluating how such additional game content is delivered in the future. As this process has only just commenced in the past month or so, there will be some titles, where development began some time ago and that are scheduled for release in the coming months, for which we are unable to make changes to the way some of their post release content is delivered.
One such title is Dragon’s Dogma, where the decision to include some additional (but not all planned additional) game content for the game on disc was made at the beginning of the game’s development cycle as at the time this was determined to be the most efficient way of ensuring certain content was made available. Owners of Dragon’s Dogma will be able to further their gameplay experience with the release of additional quests, weapons and other items in the months following the game going on sale.
Dragon’s Dogma’s post-launch content will extend the lifespan of a title that already offers around 30-40 hours of gameplay by following the main story thread, but if a player was to complete all the side quests Dragon’s Dogma ships with, that increases to around 100 hours. Players will also be able to add to the stock of 100s of weapons and 1,000s of customization options to create not only their ideally equipped, but also their most elaborately designed character.
Just wanted people to know in advance the whys, wherefores and where we’re going in the future. You are being heard. Thanks.
Not only did I review Street Fighter X Tekken for EGM, but I’m also an active player (and fan) of the game. So, unlike some arguments where I can only speak from the sidelines, I actually have personal experience and opinion to draw upon here.
While I know some disagree, I had no problem with the DLC characters being on the Street Fighter X Tekken disc. For one, the roster we got stock with the game is already huge—you just can’t argue otherwise. At the same time, the unfortunate reality of the current videogame market is one where getting all players free updates isn’t always possible. When those twelve new characters hit the game, everybody has to have them in some capacity—otherwise, players who own those new fighters can’t ever play against those who don’t.
Given that fact, I’ve got to tell you—I’d much rather have those DLC characters already on my disc versus taking up hard drive space on my console.
Where I think the problem came in was how Capcom handled the situation. We didn’t know about those characters, but then we did with the announcement of the Vita version, but then we didn’t know for sure that they were coming to the console version, but then that announcement was made. If you’re going to include DLC content on a disc, you need to be clear about what’s on there, and why you’re doing so. Had Capcom explained to players right from the start the situation with those characters, people might not have felt so annoyed with the company’s methods.
Of course, you also have the other argument—that DLC should be content that is created after a game’s release, not before it. When you already know you’re going to make additional items for a game before that game is even on store shelves, it just feels like you’re trying to sell us a full game in bits and pieces. Where is the line between when we have “enough” content in a game, and a company is okay to play additional options right from the start, and when those options should only come at a later time?
And, let’s be honest here—Capcom isn’t going to just stop making DLC. If they suddenly got rid of all on-disc DLC, you’d just be downloading it later. So, the battle we should be waging here is one about giving consumers more information and warning about what a game’s content plans are.
What are your thoughts on all of this? Should Capcom totally ditch on-disc DLC, or are there positive benefits to using such a strategy wisely?