Downloadable content is a concept that has helped extend the replay value of many games in the current generation. It also saves developers the time and effort of making an entirely new game to use any new ideas they may have. However, some companies – such as Capcom with Street Fighter X Tekken - have been abusing this concept by locking content on the game discs and asking for more money to unlock them. Is this really fair? Gamers who say “no” can take comfort in the fact that industry analyst Michael Pachter agrees with them.
Though it isn’t the first time Capcom has had content locked on their game discs (see: Resident Evil 5), ever since it was first discovered that Street Fighter X Tekken had it, Capcom has come under a lot of fire from gamers for continuing to do this to their games. Game analyst Michael Pachter commented on this situation in a recent episode of his webshow Pach Attack where he said that the recent trend of on-disc DLC is due to the success of DLC as a whole, and developers wanting to get their content ready to go as fast as possible – therefore, locking the content on the disc and unlocking it whenever they like seems to be the optimal solution for them.
He also brought up the company Take Two and their pioneering of DLC, in particular with Red Dead Redemption. Before then, most DLC didn’t come out until about six months after the game had been released, due to developers creating the content after the game was out. However, Take Two had released the DLC for Red Dead Redemption only a month after the game first came out, and it proved to be a huge success. As such, other companies started to rush out their DLC as fast as possible to capitalize on the players’ desire for more gameplay.
He then went on to suggest that, if a gamer was to crack the codes on the disc and unlock any DLC on there – as some had done so with Street Fighter X Tekken - then it should be considered their property. Is it new content if it was built for launch and locked out?
“The stuff on the disc, some gamers feel entitled to because they bought the disc, so they should have a right to anything that’s on the disc. And that’s a dicey one. You actually do own the disc and I think, theoretically, if you could crack the code on the DLC, you probably would be allowed to access it without paying. And I’m not even sure that’s stealing because you did, in fact, buy the disc. That’s about as close as you can get to legal piracy.”
Despite so many gamers coming out against on-disc DLC, unless Capcom suddenly changes their minds on the idea, it doesn’t seem like this problem will go away any time soon.