Capcom doesn’t think it matters if DLC is included on the disc
Ever since Capcom revealed that there will be new costumes in Super Street Fighter IV, fans have been wondering if the content will be free or if it will be DLC that is unlocked after you buy it.
Capcom’s VP of strategic planning and business development, Christian Svensson, has given an answer that is not going to please many people.
The original Street Fighter IV had alternate costumes that were already on the disc and fans had to pay an additional fee to use them. This has frustrated many gamers and here is what Sven had to say regarding the new costumes in Super SFIV :
I’m sure more light will be shed in the months leading up to launch regarding how extra content will work, but we’ll be pursuing a strategy similar to the original SFIV release with regard to costumes. They are options for players.
As you can imagine, the responses after this comment were quite aggressive and many fans at the Capcom Unity forum were pissed. This has sparked a debate on whether or not DLC is legitimate if it is already included in the game. Many are claiming that if content was developed after the initial release of a game, then they would be fine paying for it. Capcom’s community manager, Seth Killian, responded to these comments and was very confused on why that even matters.
… I bought the Borderland’s DLC for “The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned.” It was released after the main game, and it was an actual download that took a half-hour to complete. Okay, so I spent a half-hour waiting for it after I decided to buy. Is that somehow better than an unlock? Why, exactly?
Is it because you think the Borderlands team started on the “Dr. Ned” DLC *after* the main game came out? Because they didn’t. They began development long before the game was finished. Are you saying that I, as a player, should somehow care about the creation start date of the content? Because I don’t. I enjoyed Borderlands and wanted to play some more. I’m not sure why I should be interested in when the Borderlands team started working on it–I’m just happy it was there, and was happy to pay for some additional fun in a universe I was enjoying.
At any rate, although it was not on the disc, the Borderlands team were done with the DLC well before launch of the actual game. This is also the case for virtually all other significant DLC that comes out within 6-8 months of a game’s launch, and will be the case for Super SFIV costumes.
DLC costs money because it costs additional money to create. Those costs are the same, regardless of whether the created content gets delivered on a disc, or as a download. I can understand wanting as much as you can have for the lowest price (and SSFIV will give you a lot at a low price), and not wanting to pay for DLC at all, but I have never been able to understand the whole “on the disc” vs “downloaded” distinction.
IMO the SFIV DLC is the easiest kind, because it doesn’t affect the core experience–it’s literally eye-candy. You’re of course free to come to whatever conclusion you want about buying DLC, but the whole “on the disc/not on the disc” question seems like a total red herring to me. Developers create DLC in parallel with core game development. It has its own budgets and schedules, and is often finished before the core game. It’s there as an option for big fans of a given franchise, and your support helps them to create more products in that universe (which you presumably think is a pretty good thing overall).
Seth definitely makes a compelling argument, and it’s one that many gamers should think of when they discuss downloadable content. It should be noted that the alternate costumes from Street Fighter IV will be compatible with Super Street Fighter IV and the game will also be available at a reduced price.
Super Street Fighter IV has so much new content and it would a shame if gamers conveniently forgot about all the great features being added to the game. Since the costumes are completely insignificant anyway, should it even matter to those that don’t care for it?
Is it wrong for Capcom or any other game developer to include DLC that is already on the disc? Let us know in the comments section below…