Capcom seems to be going out of its way to irritate its most loyal customers these days, and now the company's new Street Fighter X Tekken for the Sony PlayStation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360, and PC has landed in the center of the latest controversy. The game features thirty-eight different playable characters from across the Street Fighter and Tekken universes, but there are already announced plans to add more through post-release downloadable content. That's not so unusual. What's angering people is that twelve of those DLC characters are already on the SFxT disc. Some people have tinkered with the game and have even unlocked them already. So what's going on here? Is this another case where customers are being asked to pay for content they've already bought? Or is something less sinister going on here? On the one hand we have the angry fans who are displeased at the idea of paying for mere unlock codes to access characters that are already ready to go, but are behind a paywall. On the other hand is Capcom with an explanation of efficiency and convenience. Here's the company's Brett Elston with a quote:
By including these 12 characters on the disc, the idea was to ensure easy compatability 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 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.
As much as I want to fire up the rage machine at Capcom over this, I find that I'm satisfied by this explanation. Just because the art assets and other related files are finished and on the disc doesn't mean that the upcoming DLC release can't better tweak and balance those elements. The hacked playable characters may not be 100% ready after all. Nobody likes paying for what's perceived as the other half of a game, but as long as the DLC is priced fairly and the company keeps its word that the basic SFxT disc is all that's needed to enjoy upcoming expansions (which is what many of us have wanted all along; let's not repeat the Street Fighter IV or Marvel vs Capcom 3 debacles where supposedly final versions of games were eclipsed by new disc-only upgrades), I can go along with this. However, having been burned by Capcom just last year with the Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 upgrade, I'm not buying into SFxT just yet. While there's not a planned Super disc planned, there certainly must be a release coming that combines the basic game and the unlocked DLC as a complete edition for a better price. Fool me once, I learn a lesson and will not make the same mistake again.