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Author Topic: Capcom Crossover Character Content Controversy  (Read 6258 times)

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« on: March 05, 2012, 03:21:24 AM »
Capcom's crossover fighting games, while generally being fun to play, have seen some bad press in the past year, with Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and now Street Fighter x Tekken all sparking fan outrage for several reasons. In this thread, we're focusing on one thing: paid content locked on the game disc. (This problem certainly isn't exclusive to that particular subset of Capcom releases or to Capcom games, but it's been the most egregious there.)

In Marvel vs. Capcom 3, people were pretty upset when the models, artwork, and moveset data—everything, really—for the two DLC characters, Jill and Shuma-Gorath, were found on-disc before they actually became available for use. However, it was only two characters, and they ended up not being the best gameplay-wise, so no one cared in the end anyway. They were too busy circlejerking about Wesker and Dante, after all. (Some people cared about the other information that was found on-disc, including unfinished data for characters like Frank West.)

Capcom decided to work with this concept a little further with Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, with the aforementioned characters remaining paid on-disc content (something about licensing, which is understandable). But this wasn't the only thing on-disc, as deeper data-mining found the cards for the Heroes & Heralds mode already on-disc as well. No one cared much about this either, since that mode was a free download a month and a half after launch. However, they did care about the data for the paid alternate costumes for every character being found on-disc, which was only made worse when Capcom pulled Magneto's costume from their release line-up due to some likeness concern BS with the president of Spain. And Capcom didn't even try to make things any better for the recent Vita release of UMvC3, with all of this content already present and needing to be purchased to be unlocked (unless you already paid for it on that Sony account, as the unlock is shared between the PS3 and Vita versions).

Now, with Street Fighter x Tekken, Capcom is taking things to the next level, with fourteen characters (and paid alternate costumes, but really, who cares about those at this point) locked on-disc, presumably to be released as paid content later. Why? Pac-Man and Mega Man (who have no business being in the game, but that's a different can of worms) are supposed to be PS3-exclusive, and are set to be released as free "downloads" for that console's version of the game on March 13th, but their presence on-disc in the 360 version seems to indicate that "exclusivity" is only a matter of time. As for the other twelve characters, Capcom has announced them as being set to launch with the Vita version, where they'll be available to players from the start. This might be fine if the Vita version was set to launch a week or so after the PS3/360 version and those characters were just still being balanced, but the Vita version is set to come out this fall, and prior to this discovery, Capcom said those twelve characters were still "in development."

Now Capcom seems to be digging themselves into an increasingly-deeper hole with their damage control on this most recent situation. Takedowns on the recorded footage of the DLC characters in-game (and shutdowns on users' accounts for posting these videos) were expected (and are why I haven't linked to any of the videos here, but I've thus far watched footage of Elena, Blanka, Alisa, and Mega Man), but that doesn't seem to be the only thing going on. Supposedly a Capcom-Unity moderator posted a thread on that site about how the site's administration had instructed the moderation staff to post pro-Capcom comments on other sites. I don't know how believable this is, particularly with the thread conveniently "deleted" and the moderator's account "locked," but honestly, with some of the people I've seen defending Capcom in all of this, it wouldn't be surprising.

How do you feel about the concept of paid on-disc content, Capcom or otherwise? How do you feel about Capcom effectively locking content already present in a game away from players until several months after that game's release (and then probably charging for it, as they already have been with UMvC3 costumes)? And if you feel like spinning off into a tangent, how do you feel about the service-versus-good disconnect with modern gaming that leads to things like this being considered reasonable and legal business practice?

BP

  • Beside Pacific
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2012, 03:33:10 AM »
Hate this [dukar]. But I also hate DLC in general. Whatever happened to developers wanting to give you all they had to show?

I get it, they give you the core and dangle extras over your head to make an extra buck, but when games are as expensive as they are it's pretty dickish to have all this day one DLC and stuff that very well could have been in the package.

But if they were at least withholding the extra data from the buyer of the core, that'd be something different... Actually giving you the extras but not letting you touch is unacceptable.
All your dreeeeeeams begiiin to shatterrrrrr~
It's YOUR problem!

« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2012, 06:16:22 AM »
Some DLC can be good. I like the old-fashioned idea of Expansion Packs for games like Quake or Half-Life, where it expands on the story, adds weapons, gives interesting new weapons or some sort of interesting gameplay experience. But these should be things to keep customers interested in the game after the release date, not just a way to make money. Sure, dressing Professor X up in a frilly french maid outfit might seem like a fun idea, but does it really warrant a paid release, much less one that's available from the very start? I think it's the fact that it's on disc that ensures it really is a total cash-grab, rather than legitimately wanting to enhance the gamer's experience. (And making money too, but that's another story).

Take Binding of Isaac for example. A brilliantly executed dungeon crawler (weird as hell, might I just add) indie game available on Steam, it has a buttload of items and randomly generated levels, along with fantastic updates, that will keep the user entertained for many hours. They've recently announced some paid DLC which promises to add 50% more content, including a new class of item, a new playable character, new enemies, a new final boss, and, most of all, some sense of finality to the story outlined in the original game. This is the sort of DLC that should be encouraged; something that really adds to the gamer's experience, and something that actually drives the game forward rather than acts as a vessel for making money.
If my son could decimate Lego cities with his genitals, I'd be [darn] proud.

« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2012, 08:52:12 AM »
Without the data mining, we'd never know this stuff was on disc.  Would people react differently if this data wasn't on the disc, or are consumers just put out by the concept of DLC in general?

While it seems like kind of a sleazy move, the best thing for people to do is vote with their dollars.  I've had to game on a budget for a while now, and while I'd love to pick up new games at launch (Skyrim! :() I'm saving a bundle by not.  And really, I'm sure it's just a matter of months before there's a GOTY version of Skyrim with a ton of DLC already available, or a $20 release of the original game.  Same thing seems to be happening with Capcom fighters. 

I'm not really a fan of the genre (my fighting game love/expertise pretty much begins and ends with Smash Bros.) so my POV might be meaningless, but I love that Capcom thinks outside the box and throws in characters like Mega Man and Pac-Man.  They're two of the most famous game characters of all time, and are the unofficial mascots of their home companies... they deserve a spot as secret characters.
Haters gonna hate

« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2012, 09:48:52 AM »
Be upset that they're selling playable characters, which in a fighting game are the whole thing. The fact that it's already on the disk doesn't matter  And everyone's argument loses validity by saying it does matter, except if it turns out what's locked is not something your interested in, then it becomes okay.
"We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special." Stephen Hawking

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2012, 11:12:47 AM »
Same thing [rapid price drops] seems to be happening with Capcom fighters.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was still $40 or more new at most retailers and on most Web sites up until the release of Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 nine months later, and it took a long time to get that low in the first place. And it doesn't matter that it's only $20 new now, because UMvC3 renders it worthless. Meanwhile, UMvC3 is still $40 new (original MSRP) almost five months after release, and unless Capcom does another disc release, it'll most likely stay at that price. I don't see price drops on Street Fighter x Tekken coming too quickly either.

Most of the fans who are complaining about SFxT's locked content are complaining that it's locked on-disc, yes, which means they'd still buy into this crap and spend the price of the game again on DLC some months later if it was actually necessary to download it. CoconutMikeNIke is spot on here, except that the real thing making people's argument lose validity is the fact that they're still buying into it (and still showing interest SFxT in the first place), not them saying it does or doesn't matter based on the type of content.

He's a bit wrong as far as the idea of selling playable characters being bad, though. Consider BlazBlue: Continuum Shift, where the last of three DLC characters came out quite some time after the game's initial release, and was a 700MB download that also updated the game to have the balance changes of BlazBlue: Continuum Shift II, the then-newly-released arcade version that had introduced this new character. The alternative to releasing that eight-dollar character (yes, they also charge a lot more for single characters than Capcom, mainly because, again, people pay for it) would have been releasing a new disc version of the game with one new character, which is what they ended up doing with BlazBlue: Continuum Shift Extend, except that that game also included all the DLC characters ($24 worth of content right there if you hadn't bought them previously, which was a big draw for me), had massive balance changes, and added a lot of other new stuff, including single-player content worth playing thanks to Arc System Works developing competent AI and putting it in a mode capable of wrecking tournament players. (Don't click that video if you've got any sort of bandwidth limit, because it's an hour and forty-five minutes long and it'll devour your connection whole. Most of it is people being destroyed on the first stage anyway.)

As far as Pac-Man and Mega Man being in, I wouldn't have a problem if this were designed as Namco x Capcom in fighting game form. But it's not. The game is specifically marketed as being a crossover involving two specific franchises, and neither one contains Mega Man or Pac-Man. Having those characters in isn't "thinking outside the box"; it's stupid blatant fanservice, and it doesn't have any place in something Capcom wants people to take seriously, as a competitive game or otherwise. This is the same reason Cole and Sony's Japanese cat mascots have absolutely no business being in (though, funnily enough, all five of the characters in question are almost certainly going to be auto-banned from competitive play due to being platform-exclusive, so Sony's marketing attempt isn't going to work).

BP

  • Beside Pacific
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2012, 01:56:00 PM »
the best thing for people to do is vote with their dollars.

There is a glitch in Ultimate MvC3 that lets you use anyone's alternate costume as long as you have one of them. Jill and Shuma-Gorath have their costumes included if you pay for the characters themselves, so buying them (or having bought them for Vanilla MvC3, or having gotten them with the Collector's Edition of Vanilla) gets you everyone.

I'd like to see what would happen if everybody knew this, and Capcom patched it out. They'd basically be stealing from us and then asking us to pay to have it back. That should get them in some trouble... and they'd deserve it, the greedy *******s. On the other hand, Magneto's costume isn't going to be the one they end up selling, because the King of Spain doesn't like it... so they could make up an excuse that removing the glitch is the only way to appease him...

Code: [Select]
For those who want to know, here's how you do it
1. Select a character whose alternate costume you have. For this let's call her Jill. Pick Jill's default color, Color 1.
2. Move the cursor over the character whose alternate costume you want to use but don't have, let's say Magneto.
3. Cancel once. You'll be back at the menu to choose Jill's assist.
4. Cancel again, and there's one frame where you can press LB/L1 to change Magneto's color to his alt costume.
It's not the frame immediately after you cancel, there is a tiny delay. It's when Jill's silhouette changes to Magneto's.
If you press LB/L1 and nothing happens, you were too early. If you press LB and it says "Color 6" for Magneto, you
were too late. If it says "Color Alt," you did it right.
5. Confirm, and Magneto will have his alternate costume.

You can do this for your second character too, but not your third, because once you confirm your third character's assist, you can't cancel anymore.
All your dreeeeeeams begiiin to shatterrrrrr~
It's YOUR problem!

BP

  • Beside Pacific
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2012, 09:17:34 PM »
All your dreeeeeeams begiiin to shatterrrrrr~
It's YOUR problem!

CrossEyed7

  • i can make this whatever i want; you're not my dad
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2012, 10:28:34 PM »
I don't give a crap about fighting games that don't have Mr. Game & Watch in them, but I'mma comment anyway.

Quote
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. For example, not buying costumes in the Street Fighter IV series means you will not see the costumes when playing another person who did buy them; on-disc characters avoid this issue and allow everyone to participate in the update without additional patches or hiccups. 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 I guess makes sense.

Quote
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. When the DLC update does come, it will inject new life and excitement into the game by unleashing 12 new fighters into the wild.
But this is horrible. They're essentially saying that the "Super" versions of their games aren't revised based on player feedback, or further developed with the extra time they have -- it's just content that they already had but decided to sell it later.

I don't know anything about fighter games specifically, but it seems to me like a big part of the point of making a "Super" version would be to basically use the actual players as gamma testers, and then give them an improved version of the game based on what they did and didn't like. But even putting that aside, you just said that you were fully capable of releasing the "Super" version of this game on the day it released -- it would have just been a matter of switching a few dozen 0s to 1s. So why didn't you?
"Oh man, I wish being a part of a Mario fan community was the most embarrassing thing about my life." - Super-Jesse

BP

  • Beside Pacific
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2012, 11:11:40 PM »
Greed. Making extra money off the buyers, and wanting to make money off of people who buy used or pirate. Which kinda just validates pre-owned buying and piracy.
All your dreeeeeeams begiiin to shatterrrrrr~
It's YOUR problem!

« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2012, 11:45:38 PM »
Wanting some amount of money for the good you provide does not justify piracy, at all. And it appears that what's being offered is being sold to both used and new copies, so it's not like the used ones are getting shafted anyway.
"We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special." Stephen Hawking

BP

  • Beside Pacific
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2012, 12:32:10 AM »
No, but it feels like preemptive punishment for it that everyone receives, which really sucks when you do buy new and only get half the game.
All your dreeeeeeams begiiin to shatterrrrrr~
It's YOUR problem!

WarpRattler

  • Paid by the word
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2012, 10:19:54 AM »
good
No one's receiving a good here. Games (and software in general) aren't legally considered as "goods," which is the only reason this on-disc paid content crap is legal.

There's still no justification here for piracy, though.

« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2012, 04:17:07 PM »
I don't understand why the act itself of putting the DLC on the retail disc is what people usually go ballistic about. Doing this is a good thing, for the exact reasons Capcom stated. Being enraged because you "own" the megabytes but can't access them is short-sighted because these are the two options:

1) Capcom puts the DLC on the disc, everyone can see anything online, you don't have to fill your harddrive with the megabytes, thousands of threads like this are made across the Internet
2) Capcom keeps the DLC secret until later, you have to download it all for online compatibility whether you buy it or not, people excitedly post about the "new stuff" coming out

The thing you're actually upset about is a business model and game development philosophy. Within the context of this (successful) business model, putting the data on the disc is the right choice. Don't rage about the wrong thing because you're blinded by faulty concepts of ownership.

« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2012, 06:22:21 PM »
I think Animal Crossing City Folk has had a good stance on DLC. The only thing I've payed for is the game. I honestly haven't played it every day, but when the game tells me I've recieved a gift from Nintendo WFC, I like it.

I haven't had to pay for anything else except for the game itself.
Kinopio is the ultimate video game character! Who else can drive a kart, host parties, play tennis, give good advice and items, and is almost always happy??

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