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Capcom Re-Evaluating Company's On-Disc DLC Policy

Actual changes unclear, and it won't happen in the next few months.

On-disc DLC has become one of the most heated debate topics this generation.

Capcom is in the midst of reevaluating how it will handle on-disc downloadable content in the future, the company said today.

Any changes will not be reflected immediately, however.

“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,” said Capcom senior VP of planning and business development Christian Svensson in its forums.

Consumers have not shied away from vocalizing their thoughts on Capcom’s continued decision to place downloadable content players must pay for on the disc. Capcom is not the only company that’s engaged in the practice, but has been seen as the most egregious offender. Street Fighter X Tekken, for example, has 12 characters on the disc that won’t be unlocked until the Vita version’s released this fall, despite being unlocked and playable for those willing to hack it.

Svensson warned that any changes would not be reflected in games Capcom releases in the near future, such as Dragon’s Dogma. The upcoming open world action RPG will have some of its downloadable content on the disc.

“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,” he said, “as at the time this was determined to be the most efficient way of ensuring certain content was made available.”

That’s been Capcom’s standard explanation for on-disc downloadable content. For its fighting games, it’s definitely made a certain amount of sense. You need all users to have the same content locally to ensure there are not sync issues in multiplayer. Look at Mortal Kombat for an example of how it can all go wrong.

Is this fall's Resident Evil 6 too soon for a test of this new set of policies? I’ll try to find out at E3.

“Just wanted people to know in advance the whys, wherefores and where we're going in the future,” said Svensson. “You are being heard.”

Patrick Klepek on Google+
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Posted by patrickklepek
On-disc DLC has become one of the most heated debate topics this generation.

Capcom is in the midst of reevaluating how it will handle on-disc downloadable content in the future, the company said today.

Any changes will not be reflected immediately, however.

“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,” said Capcom senior VP of planning and business development Christian Svensson in its forums.

Consumers have not shied away from vocalizing their thoughts on Capcom’s continued decision to place downloadable content players must pay for on the disc. Capcom is not the only company that’s engaged in the practice, but has been seen as the most egregious offender. Street Fighter X Tekken, for example, has 12 characters on the disc that won’t be unlocked until the Vita version’s released this fall, despite being unlocked and playable for those willing to hack it.

Svensson warned that any changes would not be reflected in games Capcom releases in the near future, such as Dragon’s Dogma. The upcoming open world action RPG will have some of its downloadable content on the disc.

“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,” he said, “as at the time this was determined to be the most efficient way of ensuring certain content was made available.”

That’s been Capcom’s standard explanation for on-disc downloadable content. For its fighting games, it’s definitely made a certain amount of sense. You need all users to have the same content locally to ensure there are not sync issues in multiplayer. Look at Mortal Kombat for an example of how it can all go wrong.

Is this fall's Resident Evil 6 too soon for a test of this new set of policies? I’ll try to find out at E3.

“Just wanted people to know in advance the whys, wherefores and where we're going in the future,” said Svensson. “You are being heard.”

Staff
Posted by mech4399

????

Posted by MentalDisruption

Good to hear that they might be learning I guess.

Posted by nohthink

I know this has nothing to do with the article but how do you read "Svensson"?

Posted by fox01313

Glad to see this, I can understand the DLC items/characters you get early but it's in the game to unlock through progress later so hopefully they can figure out something to satisfy developers & people who buy it.

Posted by Recall

Damage control

Posted by patrickklepek

@nohthink said:

I know this has nothing to do with the article but how do you read "Svensson"?

See-ven-sun, I believe.

Staff
Posted by ReyGitano

I think Capcom has a lot of re-evaluating to do beyond just on-disc DLC, but it's nice to see that they're starting somewhere.

Posted by Zor

If you give a mouse a cookie, he'll always ask for a glass of milk...(i dislike on-disc dlc, and normal dlc when it encourages this kind of behavior)

Posted by WilltheMagicAsian

@nohthink said:

I know this has nothing to do with the article but how do you read "Svensson"?

"sfensun" I assume.

Posted by Awcko

Saying you're planning ahead to stick DLC in there is not exactly the best thing to say. If you're planning additional content from the very beginning, you're literally planning to make some content for the game and keep it locked up to sell it for later. Additional content should be made additionally at a later date. I can understand day 1 dlc because of the cert process and everything, but if it's on the disc, you would have had to have that all ready for disc pressing and cert way back before launch.

Posted by Winternet

@patrickklepek said:

@nohthink said:

I know this has nothing to do with the article but how do you read "Svensson"?

See-ven-sun, I believe.

I don't know much about phonetics, but that doesn't sound right. See? Can't be.

Posted by patrickklepek

Haha, yeah, I think WilltheMagicAsian actually got it right.

Staff
Posted by soundlug

If they are so sorry with Dragon Dogma DLC... why they can't give it to a more congruent price? (or.. free?)

Posted by Xtrminatr

They are just saying this so people don't keep waiting a year to buy capcom complete editions.

Posted by Mr_Skeleton

They will just make it before the game comes out but won't include it on the disc.

Posted by OneManX

Honestly, I'm shocked that Capcom didnt just release the DLC characters just earlier, in SOME sort of goodwill toward fans. But, I guess good on them changing their model, at the end of the console cycle... before we have any understanding on how DLC will work on future consoles. >.>

Posted by UltimAXE

Too little, too late, IMO. I've already made it a point to only buy Capcom games heavily discounted and/or used, if at all. Still, I guess it's cool that Capcom Unity supposedly served a purpose for once.

Posted by heavymetalwaffle

No matter what you think of Capcom or on-disc DLC, it's great to see that some companies are taking interest in their consumers. I welcome it with open arms.

Posted by Karkarov

At least they are being honest about it *shrug*. Bioware for all I actually like them tried to tell people that Javik wasn't on disc. While the majority of his content wasn't the character itself definitely was.

Posted by Hailinel
@Awcko

Saying you're planning ahead to stick DLC in there is not exactly the best thing to say. If you're planning additional content from the very beginning, you're literally planning to make some content for the game and keep it locked up to sell it for later. Additional content should be made additionally at a later date. I can understand day 1 dlc because of the cert process and everything, but if it's on the disc, you would have had to have that all ready for disc pressing and cert way back before launch.

Day 1 DLC isn't just magically whipped up during certification. That DLC has to be certified, as well. Devs plan and start developing DLC while core development is ongoing. Capcom is far from the only company that does this, yet they're the most common target for scapegoating.
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Posted by Krakn3Dfx

So they're basically trying to get out in front of the shitstorm on-disc DLC for Dragon's Dogma will create.

This doesn't really sound like they plan to change their policies at all when it comes to charging for content created during game development, just looking for a more palatable way to sell it to people.

I'll pass.

Posted by Soapy86

Solve that mystery Patrick!

Edited by Silver-Streak

I don't think they actually understand people's problem with the on-disc DLC.

I think people feel DLC that is ready and completed by the time the game releases, other than perhaps cosmetics, is content that should be included with the game. Being on disc but still being sold separately is definitely part of the problem, but just promising to stop include it on the disc doesn't mean they're holding back stuff to sell people later.

Edit: I could be incorrect, obviously.

Posted by Atary77

We're not asking much Capcom, your fans only desire you to do one thing. Stop being stupid!

Edited by sirchode

Jeff gets animated when he talks about this subject (also citing Mortal Kombat like you did, Patrick) but I don't think on-disc DLC is the only solution. I mean, we're talking about this because of the potential for online sync issues, so 100% of the people who could theoretically encounter this problem can also have the game automatically download a content patch with post-release DLC. Team Fortress 2 solved this problem years ago, which makes me think the actual problem is that console patches are either inefficient (requiring players to manually visit the store a la Mortal Kombat), or expensive (we heard a dollar figure a few weeks ago, though I forget who spilled it). Hopefully the next generation of consoles will be an improvement, but honestly I'm not holding my breath. There's got to be an answer somewhere though.
 
Edit: reading through that again feels like I'm beating a dead horse, I'm sure this has been discussed endlessly already by tons of people. So, sorry I guess

Edited by Awcko

@Hailinel: I understand that, but as far as I'm aware the cert process for DLC is also much shorter than it is for a full fledged game. I think Capcom is targeted most often because of how outright and flagrant they can be about their DLC schemes, kinda like EA.

Posted by kaiyouske

It's already too late for Capcom for me. I've already boycotted their releases since SFvT. I refuse to purchase any more of their new releases until they go back to their original business model of regular content + non DLC unlockables. Until then I will continue to wait for 'gold' or 19.99 after 1 year editions. It's not like I'll run out of games to play anyways. Thanks Capcom, for saving me money by being a greedy developer.

Posted by Little_Socrates

This is nice to hear.

I look forward to you changing your policies so I can make a decision, Capcom. Till then, fuck you guys.

Edited by Draxyle

It's nice that they've finally caved in and were forced to address the matter, but we'll fully be in the digital/non-disc era before they actually do something about it.

It's not even an issue of how DLC is delivered, it's an issue of them thinking that the total value of their games is 80$ or more. You reach a point where too many people are morally opposed to buying from you that the DLC markups cease to be worth it. What they've been doing is just bad business.

Posted by Dagbiker

Wait, you mean a company is listening.

Posted by FLStyle

Not surprising considering the amount of people playing online with the hacked SFxT characters. In fact it may turn out to be the least bought DLC of any game ever.

Posted by buhssuht

i doubt that they actually learned their lesson. They say they won't do it again but who knows? Their next plan could be actually worse.

Edited by PATJASA

I really don't know who the hell come up the idea with on disc DLC...did they just think the consumer won't find out? it has "rip-off" written all over this practice!

"Svensson warned that any changes would not be reflected in games Capcom releases in the near future"... Define near future... 2025 or 2013...

Posted by PerfidiousSinn

cool story Capcom I'll continue to wait to buy your games until a year after they're out, when they're complete.

$60 + tons of DLC model isn't for me anymore. It's too much.

Posted by sins_of_mosin

What is the difference if the first DLC is on the disc or is ready to be downloaded on day 1?  Either way you still have to buy it.  I tell you if the Assassin's Creed 2 DLC was on the disc and ready to go from day one, I would of bought it.  But since it came out too late in my opinion, I never got around to playing that game again.

Posted by xbob42

@sins_of_mosin said:

What is the difference if the first DLC is on the disc or is ready to be downloaded on day 1? Either way you still have to buy it. I tell you if the Assassin's Creed 2 DLC was on the disc and ready to go from day one, I would of bought it. But since it came out too late in my opinion, I never got around to playing that game again.

There's no practical difference, but a lot of people just don't like the idea of having to unlock something they feel they already own. It'd be like there being an air conditioner in your car, but you haven't to pay full price for it to get the dial/button to turn it on.

Legally you don't "own" everything on the disc, but how people feel about what they consider their property and the (always changing, to be fair) law aren't the same thing. Sometimes the principle of something just overwrites the legality of something for the vast majority of people.

I personally don't own a 360/PS3 any longer and when I did I never bought any DLC because I think the whole thing's a scam, but I could totally see where people are coming from.

Posted by edgefusion

@sins_of_mosin: It being ready to download on day 1 or being on the disc are two different things. Developers have been known to wrap up the game and immediately start work on the DLC, by the time the game is through certification and all the other stuff it needs to go through before it can hit shelves the DLC is done and ready to go as well. This is the same situation as with day one patches. If the DLC is already on the disc it means it was completed at the same time as the rest of the game and should therefore be part of the initial purchase price.

Posted by Shaanyboi

Wait... they're... taking criticism to heart???? WHAAAAAT?!?!?!

Posted by RazielCuts

Correct me if I'm wrong but I don't think the on disc DLC was the problem Capcom. It was more the numerous churning outs of different iterations and editions of your games in such a speedy fashion that was damn right disgraceful and money grubbing.

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Posted by smitty86

The funniest part about it all is that with the backlash the game against this game (for both gameplay, DLC, netcode, etc.) we are now at a point where by the time the DLC characters are "unlocked" most people will have moved on from the game and not care at all anymore. So cheers for Capcom for listening to their audience but only slightly as they had a substantial hand in the overall mishandling of this game.

Posted by Sackmanjones

*Back at Capcom*

There. That should keep em busy for awhile…

Posted by HibikiRush

I will not be buying the DLC for SFxT for sure. It does not have as long-lasting of an appeal for me as SF IV and I have stopped playing it a couple months into its release. If they had made them available now, sure very possible I would have bought it. But with a half a year wait and on-disc locking, forget it.

Edited by IndieMax

@Winternet said:

@patrickklepek said:

@nohthink said:

I know this has nothing to do with the article but how do you read "Svensson"?

See-ven-sun, I believe.

I don't know much about phonetics, but that doesn't sound right. See? Can't be.

Since Svensson is a swedish name. (or scandinavian) here is how you should read it.

Sven - son.

The "en" in sven is quite like the "en" in the word "end" and the "son" should be pronounced like the word "on" with an S in front of it.

trying to find a youtubevideo where they say it.

for lack of better example. Here is Anders Svensson scoring a goal in soccer. you can listen to the name if you want to.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNoC01XRZXo

Posted by crimsonlordofwar

It seems as though Capcom has learned nothing. Its not the fact that the content is on the disk, its the fact that content is purposely finished and withheld from the final product to be sold as 'DLC'....thats complete crap.

Posted by Rawson

I wonder if this means that the on-disc DLC thing has actually been affecting their sales.

I don't know about other people, but I didn't buy Street Fighter X Tekken largely because of the whole DLC/gem system "pay to win" fiasco.

Posted by aaverager

I can understand that bandwidth isn't free and certification processes are cumbersome, but I'm glad that Capcom is at least willing to think about making changes. On disc DLC feels so shady most of the time.

Posted by adambyrney

I cant believe there is an argument about them holding back content thats on the disc. DLC is supposed to come out later to add to the game, if it is already made then it is already part of the shipped game.

No excuses, if the game type cant support it then don't do DLC just to be greedy. People need to stop being sympathetic to corporate strategies/technical issues.... we are the consumers and DLC is starting to infringe on the actual game.

Saying 'don't buy it if you don't like it' is a stupid point because people clearly want the fucking game the way they are accustomed to purchasing it, they don't want content cut for a money grabbing sale later on. It's the same as charging double for Skyrim because they let you access all the content straight away.

Posted by thefncrow

@Top8cat: Except that the alternative to selling that content as DLC isn't "the content is on the disc as part of the regular game", but "the content never gets produced because there's no revenue stream to support it."

I mean, is it your opinion that SFxT would be a better game if those DLC characters they're going to sell just flat didn't exist, barring some sort of serious commercial success for SFxT that would clear the way for Super SFxT next year?

Posted by Hailinel

@Awcko said:

@Hailinel: I understand that, but as far as I'm aware the cert process for DLC is also much shorter than it is for a full fledged game. I think Capcom is targeted most often because of how outright and flagrant they can be about their DLC schemes, kinda like EA.

I'm not sure you understand how long the certification process of a full-fledged game actually takes. I've done game certification testing before. For a single game, the actual process of certification testing generally doesn't run more than a day at most. If the game passes all of the tests on the checklist, then great, it's certified. If it fails, it gets sent back to the developer to be resubmitted at a later date. I don't have industry-wide statistics, but I'm willing to be that most games do not pass certification on their first try. That being said, an actual test pass of a full-fledged game, while certainly more complex, is not so great that a developer could poop out and submit DLC for certification while they're waiting. That Day 1 DLC was developed alongside the game, and I'd wager that it was also submitted for certification at the same time.

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