Capcom is proud to charge you extra for game content that's on the disc you already paid for

By Kate Cox on April 4, 2012, 8:30 AM

Earlier this month, Capcom drew controversy when Street Fighter X Tekken, released in the US on March 6 and in other regions later that week, proved to have locked, future "DLC" content on the retail launch disc.

Capcom claimed there were benefits to the disc-based DLC, saying the content on the disc would ensure "compatibility," would prevent consumers from enduring lengthy downloads, and would guarantee the longevity of retail editions of the game for years to come. On the Capcom-Unity blog, they wrote:

By including these 12 characters on the disc, the idea was to ensure easy compatibility between players who do and do not choose to download the characters when they arrive as DLC.

The update also saves on file size - instead of a massive download, there will be a much smaller unlock that brings the new content to the surface.

This move also furthers our desire to avoid a "Super" version of the game down the road. Everything you need to enjoy this game for months (and years) to come will be accessed by the retail disc available this week.

Consumers, faced with the prospect of having to pay twice to access content on the discs they'd already purchased, disagreed with Capcom's positive framing of the issue. Several of those customers took their grievances to the Better Business Bureau, filing complaints against Capcom.

According to CinemaBlend, Capcom's response to one of these BBB claims outlines the company's position on DLC in starkly clear terms. In response to BCC Complaint #57217509, Capcom said:

While Capcom is sorry that some of its fans are not happy about the chosen method of delivery for the DLC, we believe that this method will provide more flexible and efficient gameplay throughout the game's lifecycle. There is effectively no distinction between the DLC being ''locked'' behind the disc and available for unlocking at a later date, or being available through a full download at a later date, other than delivery mechanism.

Many players would argue that, in fact, there is a significant difference between DLC being "locked behind the disc" and being "available through a full download at a later date." The latter is truly DLC, downloadable content. It's an extra that wasn't finished before launch and then taken out for later sale; rather, it's an add-on option that can be purchased at a later date. Metaphorically, it's akin buying a house and then later deciding to expand and finish the basement.

The former is game content that, necessary or not, was planned before launch and been deliberately disabled with the intent of charging more later to enable it. To players, it's as if they had bought a house with a basement that they couldn't unlock the door to unless they went back to the seller six months after moving in and forked over extra cash. To Capcom, that's just the way it is.

According to CinemaBlend, the customers who filed the initial, now-resolved complaints, are attempting to amend their complaints to have them reconsidered. We asked Capcom for a comment but have had no response.

Republished with permission. Kate Cox is a contributing editor at Kotaku.




User Comments: 45

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fimbles fimbles said:

Well if you did not buy the DLC and played a versus match online against a player who did buy it, you would have to wait until the character model was downloaded before every match.

I see little diffrence between giving you locked content on the disc and having to download the content later. As most companys release with day one downloadable dlc anyway.

Guest said:

Games are already really expensive, so this is pure madness.

Guest said:

The difference is the DLC here wasn't something created after the game was finished. The game was built with this content 100% finished.

TorturedChaos, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Capcon is trying to make the most money possible. Seems like a rip off to me, even if there is very little difference between a true DLC and unlocking something on a disc you already own.

fimbles said:

Well if you did not buy the DLC and played a versus match online against a player who did buy it, you would have to wait until the character model was downloaded before every match.

It would only have to download it the first time you came across that character, after that the console can store the data for it.

On the whole tho I really don't like new character's as DLC anyways. The whole point for me of playing through "story" mode for most fighting games was to unlock the new charactors/outfits/special moves or whatever else was unlockable. Most fighting games have a fairly sad excuse for a story, so I am most like not playing for the story.

davislane1 davislane1 said:

Though I don't disagree with the practice as this isn't anything new (major software developers have been doing this for decades), to call it "DLC" is laughable. Add-on content, perhaps. But DLC? Don't think so.

As for the gamers who cry about not having access to data on "the disc they paid for"... You aren't purchasing the disc when you buy a game, you're purchasing a licence to use a portion of the dada that's on it. The disc itself is nothing more than a delivery medium (which costs about 20 cents, btw).

Where the real outcry should be directed is towards the lack of polish games have been launching with in recent memory, not all the bonus content you don't get out of the box. Many could disagree with this, but I'd rather pay $60 for 95% of a game that works right than pay $60 for a "complete" game that either has a bug infestation (ex. Skyrim, SOCOM: Confrontation, /Gothic III/, etc.) or was simply reskinned and repackaged as "new" (Call of Duty: MW series).

treetops treetops said:

I think its just as bad having you download them, games have a years worth of dlc available when they sell the game for the first time in the stores so they can make more money off the same game down the road. Dlc should be free. Dlc killed map editors.

p.s. iv only bought dlc once and often pass up a game with any dlc i have to buy

Guest said:

Doesnt matter how you put it its a rip off...and they push this kind of things and little by little forcing an standard then all the games will have the same way of sale...so if you dont care bcuz they are already pushing you or if you think its unstoppable...they congratulations...you loose against the system...you let them do what they wanted.

so for me its a really good thing to confront this corporation....that means something, and of course maybe most of the ppl wont be on the lawsuit but they way you can help is not buying their product..that sucks anyway

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

And then they ask themselves why piracy is still going on... dumb efs!

Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

You have game companies that make billions and complain about piracy, companies that want always on internet access for the game to run, and companies who think they should be able to profit off a product that has already been sold and changed hands...

Why is this surprising?

Guest said:

Whinge, whine, moan, complain, etc...

But still gamers will bend over, grease up and take it...

Gamers bent over for securom/safedisc/etc, they bent over again for games requiring online activation (steam, etc) and again for DLC - which amounts to selling a game piecmeal...

Advertising is now getting into games as well - there is quite simply no limit to their greed...

Guest said:

If you guys owned a game company, you too would see the value in "Unlockable" content. Who cares if its already on the disc? When you buy a game it CLEARLY shows you what you are buying. It also CLEARLY shows what's available. Just because its on the disc doesn't mean you bought everything. Example: You bought an Xbox and the XBOX dashboard is in there with netflix. Just because netflix is there does that mean you get it for free? No, its an extra charge.

People can view this in 2 ways. Its the glass half full or half empty? Think about unlocakble content as EXTRA content as a BONUS! Its not a minus, its an ADDITION. Are you against bonuses?

Guest said:

It's not an addition, it's content which is included in the game - has already been produced but which has been locked to prevent the end user from accessing it. To access it they need to pay an unlocking fee.

It's effectively selling a game with hidden charges - as the target audience for most games - kids - will pester their parents to buy the unlockable content.

I don't really give a fsck about "good business sense", it's simply unethical.

Guest said:

People still buy games from this dirty company?

Capcom needs to go bankrupt pronto, along with sony and team.

howzz1854 said:

it's not just capcom... EA does this with their BF3. if you ever notice that when you purchase the Back to Kurkland expansion pack, it doesn't download the additional content, it simply unlocks it. it's already in the game you purchased. bunch of BS, knowing that you already bought it, and have to pay for it again to access.

MilwaukeeMike said:

Yeah right... making billions... according to most game companies financial statements, they are losing money, but whatever...

Akin to buying a house with the basement locked and having to go back later to pay? Not even close. Terrible analogy. it's akin to having a secret wing of your house that you never knew you had that you could pay for later. People buying this game got exactly what they expected, there was no surprise (like a locked basement) that they had to go back and fork over more money for.

Next time Capcom should release the content separately, charge and extra $10 to pay for the distribution, and make us wait while it downloads.

This is a simple convenience for the player, nothing more. Stop thinking you own it. You bought the game, not the expansion. And you call the companies greedy....

davislane1 davislane1 said:

Guest said:

I don't really give a fsck about "good business sense", it's simply unethical.

Hardly. Unethical would be locking critical or otherwise important content out of the game and requiring that you pay for it in order to complete the game, thus /forcing/ consumers to purchase the content. The cost is neither hidden nor unscrupulous because the content is (1) complementary and is (2) explicitly disclosed to the end consumer. That someone's kid might beg their parents to buy more content is completely irrelevant -- unless, of course, you are suggesting that parents should be servants/slaves to their children.

stewi0001 stewi0001 said:

davislane1, stop giving them ideas

Guest said:

The only one that get all this bad stuff its the consumer and alot of ppl buy the crapcom arguments(they should be in bankroupt to)....so no wonder why alot of ppl support this company and that kind of things...if it means pure business the consumer should say...why you gave me this locked thing on the disc?...crapcom go an pay all the fees to put this on the PSN or XBOXLIVE...its a service...what benefit? for Crapcom or the user?....its a rip off with make up

yRaz yRaz said:

I see two types of people posting here, those who hate being ripped off and those who don't care if other people get ripped off. Bad business practices should be a concern of all of us and we shouldn't be paying paying $100+(after DLC) for games that are subpar. In the long run, it effects all of us as consumers.

@davislane1, it seems like you want companies to beat consumers dry like this. The idea of expansions was cool, but that was replaced with the half-assed DLC excuse. With this game, that's not even DLC...What do you have to gain from developers and publishers ripping everyone off with unfair/ethical business practices? I boycott all developers that pull this bull on me and they only two that I still buy from are Bethesda and Valve.

Guest said:

if you HONESTLY don't like it, could you just simply NOT buy it? seems easy enough if you don't agree with the game. I don't like cross dressing clothing, so i just don't buy it. makes sense right?

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

it's not just capcom... EA does this with their BF3. if you ever notice that when you purchase the Back to Kurkland expansion pack, it doesn't download the additional content, it simply unlocks it. it's already in the game you purchased. bunch of BS, knowing that you already bought it, and have to pay for it again to access.

Microsoft does it with Vista and 7, it is called Windows Anytime Upgrade. You already have the features of Ultimate, you just have to pay to unlock them. They even advertise it as "No disks, no delays---and no leaving the house. "

I bet 90% or more of the people complaining in here are using Windows 7. Where is the outrage for that?

Guest said:

would it make you babies feel better if they took it off the disc and put it as downloadable content for a fee?

davislane1 davislane1 said:

yRaz said:

@davislane1, it seems like you want companies to beat consumers dry like this. The idea of expansions was cool, but that was replaced with the half-assed DLC excuse. With this game, that's not even DLC...What do you have to gain from developers and publishers ripping everyone off with unfair/ethical business practices? I boycott all developers that pull this bull on me and they only two that I still buy from are Bethesda and Valve.

You misunderstand me. I have several issues with the direction the gaming industry has been going over the last 7-8 years. With half-baked DLC, poor quality (bugs, glitches, etc.) on launch that in some cases never get resolved, false/questionable advertisement (for example, the "visual damage" that Polyphony Digital teased before the release of GT5), and all together poor product support, I very much have issue with the way developers and publishers have been treating their customers. This is why I buy used games almost exclusively, don't purchase new titles on launch (I wait until they show up on Glyde for < $20) and don't typically purchase DLC.

What I've been arguing is that including additional content on a disc or charging for DLC isn't an "unethical" or unjustified business practice because, typically, the content of those software packages isn't critical to the game. Moreover, the end consumer does not /have/ to purchase the content; it's left entirely to their own discretion. If a game company feels that creating additional content and charging extra for its use will increase their profit margin, they have every right and responsibility to do so. If their current customers disapprove of the practice or feel they are being over charged for this content, they have the choice to boycott the company (like yourself) or wait until price falls/not purchase DLC (like me).

The reason I've been arguing this point is because it is made out to be that developers and publishers are /forcing/ consumers to purchase DLC and, by virtue of that, that they are being unethical/immoral. Gamers hear that X company is going to charge Y price for DLC, require some fee for authorizing a used copy for online play, or issue day-1 DLC and cry foul about being taken to the cleaners when NONE of their rights as a consumer have been taken advantage of or alienated.

Concerning this article specifically, the issue is about what it is you are paying for when you purchase the game. The case is, and it always has been, that the transaction is for a usage license for specific content on the disc, not for all data that may be stored there. If it were for all of the content on the disc the gaming industry would be the very tip of the iceberg in consumer ripoffs, as every other digital product or service implements the exact same or similar system. Capcom's choice to include DLC on the disc, then, becomes a matter of business, not responsibility to consumers. And from this perspective, I think the decision was simply dumb for obvious reasons.

What is "fair" or "ethical" is that as a result of the decision both by Capcom and the industry as a whole to do on-disc "DLC" or charge high rates for DLC customers will either support them or take their business elsewhere. If the majority of consumers feel that they are being ripped off, gaming companies will lose money until they do right by their patrons. Failure to do so leads to going out of business. In my opinion, this is where the article's title and discussion should be, not "there's stuff on the disc I/you can't use, Capcom should die!"

LNCPapa LNCPapa said:

Very well thought out and expressed post davislane1 - I'm impressed. While I'm not at all happy with this practice that one of my favorite gaming companies has decided to go with, you are absolutely correct that there is nothing "immoral" about it. This is akin to getting a Windows 7 DVD and finding out that the version which gets installed is based upon what license key you enter.

Tygerstrike said:

As a gamer myself im kinda on the fence over this. On one hand Im used to characters being on the disc and you cant unlock them w/o finishing some criteria in the game. Normally its beating the game in arcade mode or a round of fights that end in perfect ect.ect.ect. That being said, im also a bit upset that Capcom would make you pay for more content as their games dont have much in the way of content. Maybe a extra battle area. Maybe a few new characters. Otherwise Capcom has been releasing the same generic fighting games for almost 10yrs now.

If this was a tactic that in and of itself was either illegal or immoral I might be upset by it. But its neither. Its just another way they can get a few extra bucks out of you.

Consumers will need to adapt to the new way these companys get their money or just stop buying their products. The dollar you dont spend on a game you disagree with speaks louder then any internet rant. Boycott them if you feel so strongly. Its your money, you dont have to spend it on their product if you dont want too.

I guarentee that Capcom sees a loss on their bottomline by doing this, means they wont do it anymore. If you give in and pay for the extra content all you do is empower them to do it on their next project. Keep your money!!!! Capcom like many other companies listen to their wallet.

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

It was only a matter of time before something like this happened.

ramonsterns said:

There's nothing to be on the fence about. DLC is killing the industry, period.

You might think, "but this is giving developers extra revenue, surely they'll make better games!", but you would be wrong. DLC is nothing more than a test to see how far they can drive the knife into your back before your reflex kicks in. It doesn't matter how it is done, whether cosmetic or otherwise, it's something that needs to die off quickly or we'll see our games devolve into lazily done "works of art" where the developer/publisher can chop the game to bits then "claim" it was done after the game was finished.

(See: EA @ [link] )

yRaz yRaz said:

@davislane1

I had misunderstood your position

killeriii said:

To MilwaukeeMike:

"it's akin to having a secret wing of your house that you never knew you had that you could pay for later. "

really?

Guest said:

And they wonder why Piracy is going way up.

Good example here.

hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

Speak with your wallets. Nuff said.

Guest said:

Its not nearly the same thing as buying a house without access to the basement.

What Capcom is doing is basically putting an addition on your house but boarding it up.

Why do this? Well if and when you do decide you want to expand your house, all that needs to be done is for the wall to be taken down. Much faster and simpler then building it fresh.

Thats whats going on. It's up to Capcom to decide how much content should be provided for the $59.99

So they went ahead, pre created the additional content and locked it on the disk so that if and when you decided you wanted the extra stuff all you had to do was unlock it via a purchase.

No download time, no storage space on your PS3/360... it's win win. Yet there are people who complain.

Other wise Capcom would have just put the extra stuff off to the side for six months and then sold you the "new" content. Then people would piss and moan that it takes so long to download, takes up their harddrive space and blah blah blah.

Guest said:

So how is this in any way different than a DLC that was also finished by the time a game was released and is released 2 months later to fool all those gullible teenagers out there? All these soon-fed kids nowadays can be such whiners...sigh

parasit3 said:

DLC = Disc-Locked Content, these days. DownLoadable Content is no more.

sapo joe said:

Piracy ALLLL the way!!!

Cycloid Torus Cycloid Torus said:

WHY BUY any new games which feature future DLC or promise vast horizons of added goodies? In the end it is vaporware until it actually lands in your machine and works. So what is a guy supposed to do? Wait for the reviews - let somebody else explore - clench your wallet firmly and do not let any $$ out..

treetops treetops said:

Yep it comes down to if you don't like it don't buy it.

I don't think its immoral in any way I just refuse to pay over 60$ for a game+dlc. Then you could argue well what about a expansion? Yeah I would pay for a expansion. Whats the difference? Dlc doesn't seem to give the same bang for the buck.

Pertaining to the article topic

The only thing you could argue is hey does my disc cost more because it has dlc already on it? Maybe a few pennies? No not the cost to develop the dlc, the cost of the extra data stored on the disc.

likedamaster said:

Respect. At least they're up front about it.

Guest said:

If people did not hacked the disc and found the disc-lock content, Capcom would have still deny it exists today.

Capcom also had asked players of Street Fighter x Tekkan to help them find hackers of the game. After a day Capcom told people to that they will do it themselves.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

Another thing that really !@#&#! me off is when Delta charges me for a flight to Florida!...I mean, they are going there anyway!

DAOWAce DAOWAce said:

As TotalBiscuit would say: If it's on the disc, it should be available to consumers.

Capcom's defense is ridiculous. Any developer putting DLC on the retail disc and wanting to charge later for it are money grubbing bastards.

I think the game 'DLC Quest' fits nicely here.

I'm so sick of DLC. I guess I should be happy I don't buy games until months after release when they're on sale, usually bundled with all DLC released since then. That, or it gets pirated. (I have 285 games on Steam, shush.) Otherwise, I play Indie games, which most of the time are far more enjoyable and provide way better 'bang for the buck' than big publisher titles, namely $60 games. Thanks, Activision, for increasing the price of PC games, it's really what us consumers need with this terrible economy.

So, yeah. The new price of $60 per game with extra costs of DLC available from day 1 = game is completely ignored until it's over half price. You don't increase game sales by charging more and screwing your consumers out of content, you do the opposite.

I really need to continue with my game development..

Guest said:

I thought that I was only missing cole...I feel like a sucker right now,darn it!.Instead of "enjoying this game for years" im going to get a lighter and a trash can pretty soon.

Guest said:

Wow how low companies go to milk there customers. Not enough innovation going on at capcom to make money anymore. Charge 60 bucks for a game and decide to lock content already on a disk to ask money for it later on. You already paid for it once now they wanna dig deeper. Retards.

Guest said:

The morale of the story here is as said above, Speak with your wallets if you don't agree with poor choices publishers or devs make don't buy it then send them an email saying why and that no you won't torrent it.

This way they cannot blame piracy for the lame choices they make and instead have to reflect on giving a better deal or service to the consumer (the ppl who keep them employed.)

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

There's nothing to be on the fence about. DLC is killing the industry, period.

You might think, "but this is giving developers extra revenue, surely they'll make better games!", but you would be wrong. DLC is nothing more than a test to see how far they can drive the knife into your back before your reflex kicks in. It doesn't matter how it is done, whether cosmetic or otherwise, it's something that needs to die off quickly or we'll see our games devolve into lazily done "works of art" where the developer/publisher can chop the game to bits then "claim" it was done after the game was finished.

(See: EA @ [link] )

This reminds me of Saints Row: The Third.

The game wasn't up to standards anyway with its big lack of content on the previous game, so when people discovered the huge sum of "Disc Locked Content" that came with it, you can imagine the anger. I for one wasn't jumping around in joy over it. If anything, It'll really make me question any future games from Volition.

I like to imagine what a game like Grand Theft Auto - San Andreas would have been like had it been made a few years later. Although Rockstar are not seen as a generally "bad" company in that department, you can sort of imagine how stripped down all that content would have been.

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