Well, the new character DLC packs for Street Fighter X Tekken have come out and as you may recall, they caused quite a bit of fuss when first announced. Why? On disc DLC. “On Disc DLC?” I hear you exclaim. “The gall! The treachery! Oh I could just spit acid, I’m so angry,” and so on and so forth. Indeed the usual wave of discontent felt towards what I will refer to as Downloadable Unlocks (as opposed to Downloadable Content), was enormous. And it was definitely not helped by Capcom’s reassurances.
“SFxT has an enormous amount of content, fully developed and available for play and enjoyment immediately on-disc. Given the 38 characters available for full play, as well as multiple play modes, SFxT provides great value for all players from day one.
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.
We hope that this addresses [censored]’ concerns.”
Needless to say, the platitudes rang false. That companies are attempting to sell DLU (downloadable unlocks – I’m trying to make it a thing) as something that is intrinsically the same and therefore just as acceptable as regular DLC is not something gamers want to hear.
And so it should be. No gamer wants to feel like they’re being screwed over (unless you’re into that sort of thing), and yet that is fundamentally what is happening here. If content is already on a disc that we paid for, then surely logic dictates that considering we have already purchased it, it is therefore ours. And yet what happens is that we buy a game, and instead we all receive a deliberately tampered product that requires another payment to fix.
Downloadable content, whilst irritating to many, is infinitely more acceptable because it is an add-on. It is a feature that is bought after the fact. Whilst it accomplishes the same thing as DLU, it is not something lurking in a product that has already been bought, and that we should therefore own already. Consider this. You have just bought a car, but for some extra money you can receive something additional. Leather seating perhaps. Fancy wheels. That’s DLC. On the other hand, you have just bought a car and for some extra money, they’ll let you use the windshield wipers or the radio which had previously been disabled. That’s DLU.
To Capcom (sorry guys, but you’re topical right now) and any other company trying it: your reasoning is completely flawed and your practices unacceptable. There’s no real justification for on-disc DLC that gamers are willing to tolerate. No real justification for us getting a neutered product. DLU are borderline extortion, regardless of how similar the end goals are to regular downloadable content. If you really must gouge us, then at least have the decency not to stick it on the disc (the idea that they not do it at all is a laughable concept). The end results are acceptable to gamers. The means aren’t.