Most gamers seem to be OK with the concept of paying for downloadable content that isn’t included on the discs they bought. But they get angry when publishers hide the extra stuff on the disc and make customers pay to unlock it. By choosing the latter route, Capcom finds itself defending its inclusion of several currently unplayable characters on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC versions of the fighting game Street Fighter X Tekken.
The company had announced the characters as exclusive to the Vita version of the game due out later in the year and says on the Capcom Unity blog that it put the characters on the disc in order to do gamers some sort of favor.
“Capcom has confirmed that 12 new fan-favorite characters will be available as Downloadable Content (DLC) on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC versions of Street Fighter X Tekken later this year. The playable characters will make their debut on the PS Vita system when the game is released this fall, with the console and PC versions receiving them as DLC soon after. The character information and files were intentionally included on retail versions of the PS3 and Xbox 360 game to save hard drive space and to ensure for a smooth transition when the DLC is available, allowing players who choose not to purchase the content the ability to play against players that did. More specifics regarding pricing, dates and other additional exciting DLC plans for Street Fighter X Tekken will be shared at a later date. As a reminder, the retail version of the game will be the only disc-based version consumers will need to own and all future upgrades will come from post-launch DLC. The new characters fighting their way onto Street Fighter X Tekken are… from the Street Fighter side… Blanka, Cody, Dudley, Elena, Guy and Sakura will be playable and from Tekken… Alisa Bosconovitch, Bryan Fury, Christie Monteiro, Jack, Lars Alexandersson and Lei Wulong will all be available.”
Although the compatibility issues seem like a weak excuse for locking away the characters, the company left itself some wiggle room by declining to say that it will charge for the “DLC,” because the unannounced pricing could still be “free.” That was a savvy PR move, allowing the company to weigh consumer reaction before deciding whether or not to go through with plans to charge to unchain Blanka and his frenemies. Capcom could have avoided the uproar by leaving the characters off the disc and pretending they were developed after the game was complete.