Capcom, you’ve crossed the line.
In the 80's, when I was mowing lawns for NES game money, Capcom was one of the few elite game developers on the scene. Titles like Ghosts n' Goblins, Trojan and Mega Man were not only games that became worthy enough to get my hard earned dollars, but also helped define Nintendo and redefine video games in general, as the industry was picking itself back up off the ground after the crash of '83. With the addition of the Street Fighter and Resident Evil dynasties, they firmly established themselves as an industry powerhouse.
Fast forward to the 2000's and we see a sad company that is stuck in a cycle of sequel after sequel with very little in the way of new ideas. Many of the big name developers who helped build Capcom, have left the company (it seems on not very good terms) due to lack of creative freedom and respect afforded to designers by the aging and increasingly out of touch old guard, who are still very much in control. Last year there were some pretty vocal complaints from the gaming community about the release of Marvel vs. Capcom 3. The game was released, and then 8 months later Capcom released the exact same game except with the full compliment of characters that should have been included with the original release. Critics complained that they simply released an unfinished product, and then released the finished version 8 months later for consumers to buy all over again.
Today it appears that Capcom has one upped itself. News has leaked out that Capcom is releasing the new Street Fighter vs. Tekken game with all the DLC locked on the disc. Meaning that all the code and programming (read: future DLC Characters and levels) are already on the disc you will hold in your hand when you buy the game on release day. But they will call it DLC and make you pay for access to it.
Foul, Capcom, FOUL!
As far as I know this has never been done before. As I understand the philosophy behind DLC; the finished game is released and once you get the game, you've got it. They get that money from you for that product. Later on down the line the developers will design more content, and then you can choose to buy that with the money going towards the extra work on the tail end after you've made you're purchase. So if all this stuff is already done and part of the game, how is it DLC and what are we paying them extra for? What happened to a good company getting the best product to the consumer? These are bad business ethics at best.
I don't like people telling me what to do and definitely telling me how I should or shouldn’t spend my money, so I'm not going to do that to you. But as a gamer, the loudest voice we have is our money. Companies listen when your money talks; with what you buy. When companies create a payment strategy that is effective and accepted, they will use it again in the future. If you agree to buy Street Fighter vs. Tekken you are sending a message to Capcom (and to other companies who will be keeping a close eye on this) that, yes, it is okay to pay twice for one product. It's not about this one game or about this one company, but it's about the integrity of the gaming culture and how much abuse the gamers/consumers as a community are willing to put up with. If you let them rip you off, they will continue to rip us all off. Do what you want, spend you're money how you want. But please be aware of the powerful message you are sending by buying this game and giving a thumbs up to this kind of business model and the consequences it holds to all of us in the future.
But in the end, this is probably just one of the final nails in the coffin of a company that was once great, and has since lost its way.