Giant Bomb News


Namco Bandai Does the Predictable Thing

Get ready to pay for more content that you already bought.

Pay for me again, you will!
In a move that surprises no one, Namco Bandai announced this morning that Darth Vader and Yoda would be available as downloadable characters in the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions, respectively, of Soulcalibur IV for $5 a pop. I'm a pretty big proponent for the positive powers of downloadable content, but it's hard to defend against accusations that publishers are using DLC as a way to charge extra for content that should've been a part of the core package when they pull some very plainly orchestrated shit like this. It has long since been figured out that the actual data for both Vader and Yoda is already on the disc, yet Namco Bandai insists on maintaining the charade that this is a reaction to "overwhelming fan response" and not a cynically calculated plan to squeeze an extra $5 out of you.

I probably shouldn't be quite so devisive, but I find such practices fairly unethical, and the only way you're going to stop publishers like Namco Bandai from playing dirty pool like this is to not help make it profitable, no matter how much you love Star Wars.
112 Comments Refresh
Posted by Gregomasta

Soul Caliber, how far you've fallen.

Posted by ArbitraryWater

$5 for one character?!?! If that doesn't scream horse armor level ripoff then what does? Also, Namco sucks.

Posted by TheHT

Be divisive Ryan!! This is bullshit!

Posted by Zirilius

This has to be the biggest rip off of DLC that I've seen in a long time. I mean Vader is cool and all but not worth 5 bucks. Yoda definitely isn't worth that much unless you wanna be a complete cheap ass that no one can throw.

Such a good game, such a complete waste of DLC, including the previous versions.

Posted by Sharpshooter

Thats just low, I mean I though the horse armour thing was as low as it got but this is so low its bordering on 2D.

Posted by StaticFalconar


that's it I'm selling my soul cal and not even thinking of picking up the next tekken.

Posted by Dryker

It seems unanimous... total bullshit. I'll admit that I bought the Horse Armor for Oblivion, but learned a valuable lesson. Does my horse really need armor? Does it make it a better game? A thin line seems to be developing between DLC and content that should be in the finished product. At what point do you distinguish the two? Part of me supports this structure and part of me doesn't. I'm all for throwing money at developers I like in order to help fund further development. The game industry is becoming more and more elitest where if you are not a huge corporate conglomerate you can't compete.So, in that regard, I would pay a hundred dollars for a game I love that no one is buying just so I can boost the possibility of more games of that type. I'm curious to see how strongly fans of Too Human are going to support its DLC. The verdict for that game is extremely polarized and it will be interesting to see how fervent its fans really are. My point, if you want to fill Namco Bandai's coffers to encourage more of whatever it is they do, go for it. If not, don't. I think DLC is a great way for "True" fans of a game to show more support for a company's product. I bought all the DLC for Halo 3 and have yet to play any of it, but that's okay. I like the Halo games and I want more, bigger, better Halo. Just because I'm addicted to other games doesn't mean I'm not going to support a great developer that is adding quality to this medium we love.

Edit: I need to say more, damnit, so I'm back. There are far too many games coming out of late that would be so much better if they were just given a little more polish. This happens, I can only imagine, because the budgets and time-frames run out. Okay. Not much we can do about that. That's business, as they say. I, personally, would have no gripe if a company needs to release a game because it's reached its maximum budget ( no control, it either has or hasn't) and AFTER its release decides to continue to work on it to make it better, ABOVE and BEYOND its projected budget. Okay. The company is spending ABOVE and BEYOND its price, I would be willing to pay ABOVE and BEYOND my price for a better version of a game I already like. Call it blasphemy, I think this structure would help support niche titles. Just because a piece of DLC happens to be fundamental to a game doesn't necessarily mean it is not worth paying extra for. Hell, the more fundamental to the game, the more it IS worth paying extra for, IMO. I understand that the precedent it sets could be wildly abused, but like Ryan says, it all comes down to whether or not we buy it. So, ultimately, it's only giving us MORE power to choose what products we support. And more choice is always a good thing. There's no such thing as a Free Lunch. Consumers always want more for nothing, but at what point can creators begin to provide product for nothing. At no point.

Posted by Irishjohn

Ryan, I fully support your indignant tone!!!

I'm glad I traded that game in but I regret giving them any money in the first place.  Bloody thieves.
Posted by Red

Namco Bandai did this with Tales of Vesperia too.

You can like, buy Experience and money on XBLM.

It's really sickening. EA's a culprit of it too.

Posted by HatKing

It is a shame but I must admit if I had bought Soul Calibur 4 I would most likely download this.  Sure it sucks that they are playing like this but in reality Darth Vader is probably worth it. 

Posted by Red

Namco Bandai did this with Tales of Vesperia too.

You can like, buy Experience and money on XBLM.

It's really sickening. EA's a culprit of it too

Posted by mrplaid

How big of a tool am I for wanting this? I still enjoy playing Soul Calibur 4, so having to pay for an extra character wouldn't bother me that much.

Posted by keyhunter

I only use custom Knightmare characters anyways. Everyone else in the game is pretty lame.

Posted by TomA

Wow i knew they were going to do this but no way am i paying 5 dollars for what is essentialy an astarotth with a lightsaber

Posted by Artemis_D

...and this is why I didn't buy Soul Calibur 4.  Thank you, and goodnight.

Posted by MetalGearSunny


Posted by DrLove


Posted by HTTenrai

That is why I'm glad I merely rented Soul Calibur IV.

Posted by LiK

$5, almost the same price as one of their Hasbro action figures, wow.

Posted by John1912

I dont understand why DLC costs so damn much.  Seems if they charged half of what they do, or 1/5 in this case it would sell 10x more.  5$ fucking dollars is REDICULAS for a poor or broken char.  I really hope they dont make much money on this.

Posted by pedantics

Wow. That's exactly half the price that the original Soul Calibur (sorry, I mean SOULCALIBUR) costs on XBLA. They're fucking kidding, right?

Give Vader a costume option with a low neck line that accentuates his ample man-bust and maybe I'll consider it.

Posted by Ossi

Complete garbage, I pity anyone who buys this shit.

Posted by Superchris129

bitch bitch bitch, there game companies not game charity, if they can make money off something, they will.

Posted by bagleyjw

has namco bandai ever put out any "real" DLC? This whole unlock code thing is getting rediculous. I dont know of a single game that they have released where they really had DLC, not dlkeys.

Posted by jangofett88

Whoever didn't see this comming either doesn't care about this game, or was too disturbed at Ivy's hampster smuggling to notice, but Ryan's divisiveness is completely valid and just. It's been a sickening precedent that Namco Bandai has set charging extra to unlock content that the developer ALREADY made, and is ALREADY on the final retail product that one ALREADY paid full price for, and can't unlock otherwise be it natural gameplay progression etc. so they don't have to pay their developers (internal or not) for the extra time and extra work it would take to make more content. But where this reaches a critical mass is the 5 dollars. 5 fucking bucks for a key to unlock one character!?!?!? For 5 more bucks one could buy the full-featured Soul Calibur 1 on XBLA. It won't be long before they start locking out gameplay modes. I think Jeff said it best on one of the bombcasts, "Scamco Bandai!!"

Posted by lulu52

Everybody boycott this BS.

Posted by ThePhenomenal1

i've been done with scIV for a while now. no need for me to go back. i'm waiting on MKvsDC.

Posted by Wintermute

That's like buying a hamburger only to find that your pickles have been locked up inside little tiny briefcases and you're not allowed to eat them unless you go back up to the counter and pay an extra 25 cents for the combination to the locks... or something like that.

Posted by Metamorphic

I'm going to burn my copy of Soul Calibur IV and advice others to not buy it. What kind of shit is this?

Don't even buy the game. Wait for SF 4 or something.

Posted by Dudacles

God, I hate it when they make you pay for stuff that's already on the disc. Gah!

Posted by Sestren

Yeah, I'm with you, Ryan. I'd dl Vader for free, but I'm not paying extra. It's more about principle for me than just getting an extra character. Horseshit. By the way, people, check my blog. I've got insider information from EA about a hugely important announcement that will be made next week!

Posted by MackGyver

I agree with all of you. I mean how stupid can you get? The marketing dept. (which I'm sure had a hand in this disgrace) need to realize that they can't just shove shit down our throats and expect us to swallow it. Unethical to the point of blackmail and extortion. Of course, this is business and businesses are here to make a profit, even in the gaming industry, but this is going too far. I hope a lot of people are as smart as we are here and say NO to this.

Posted by mrdre

Don't like this. Won't buy it. Please don't support this people.

Posted by dormantreign

I'll go a step further, ill pawn my copy of Soul and pick up fable 2 in a couple days....there problem solve.

Posted by MrMiyagi

5 bucks for Vader? No thanks.

Posted by JakJ

Dear NamcoBandai

Go fuck yourself. Seriously - take your $5 unlock key and shove it straight up your ass. Not only will I not buy this, but I urge others to not buy ANY Namco DLC for any game EVER until they learn that when we pay $60 for a disc, we expect access every last bit burned on that disc.

Thank you.

Posted by Erdie

Haha, I'll pass.

Posted by Aaron_G

That sad thing is, people will buy into this.

Posted by bcfish

Agreed.  Namco can take their $5 and shove it up their ass!  Screw them!

Posted by kennybaese

You'd think that if the characters were already on the disks, someone would have figured out a way to get to them without paying for them.

Posted by Godzilla_Sushi


Posted by mariussmit

$5 for one character in a game that has been out for a few months? They should've scheduled this for April 1.

Posted by TOYBOXX is reporting that the "download" size is only 148kb? Whatever happened to the days of unlockable characters and items? Yeah fuck this Namco Bandai!

Posted by pikadeth

I still say that it beats buying all three versions of Soul Calibur II and never getting to have the exclusive characters fight each other. Maybe I'm just a big, stupid, fat, bloated idiot..

Posted by cocomacoco

i simply oppose to this trend, totally agree with your comments, that's just greed at its best

Posted by Pyrotechnic

It doesn't matter if you don't download it. Since it's a key, all they need is for one idiot to download it and it'll pay off.

Posted by ferrarimanf355

I'm with ThePhenomenal1. I haven't picked this game up in a while. I actually plan on going back to SCII, this game is so bad.

Posted by Ginger_Avenger

Predictable, but I guess if you PS3 owners want a broken character and 360 owners want an average character they will shell out the five bucks.

Posted by dagas

Nothing new. I was stupid enough to pay for new clothes in Virtua Figher 5 on 360 that was already in the game. The internet enabled generation of consoles does do a lot of good but also a lot of bad. In the old days that content would be unlocked already since it's ON THE DISC and the "release it now, patch it later" mentality doesn't help. There are also some people who can't access the internet and they have to play broken games since they can't download the patch.

Posted by krazedkaoz

Nope sorry not biting.