Why DLC characters are already on the disc (and I'm okay with that)


It’s hard to not go noticing a trend among discussion when it comes to purchasing a fighting game and learning there is a character or two on the disc you cannot use without shelling out a few more dollars. The feeling can be most compared to buying a house but having to put quarters into the toilet to flush. I am still a neutral party when it comes to characters themselves being paid DLC, however I prefer the DLC to be on the disc.

The alternative to this is to put the DLC content in free to purchase compatibly packs, much like the recent Mortal Kombat game did. This not only prevents people from feeling robbed but also leaves a little mystery to who the characters are. And while this nice in almost every aspect, there is a major con to this distribution method.

Say that new character that you’ve been waiting for came out (or you just recently got the spare money to spend). After analyzing and theory fighting for a month or so from trailers, you take that characters into training mode and practice for hours upon hours crafting a beast. Finally you feel as though you can take on the world and search for an online match. But once you reach the character select screen, you cannot select that DLC character of yours. Your opponent for some odd reason didn’t download the free compatibility pack, and now you cannot play your new character. And now you can’t play with that character that you paid for.

Keep in mind I don’t think that DLC characters are necessary in fighting games, but when it comes down to them, I’d rather them be on the initial disc I purchase rather than compatibility packs or extended versions of the original title. What do you think? Should compatibility packs be mandatory for online play? Or is there another alternative?

Capcom Responds To BBB Complaints: No Distinction Between DLC And Disc-Locked Content
North Carolina Thread LXV "Farewell NC"

I think anyone who has a problem with DLC stuff being on the disc is a moron.


Back in the day, all that “locked” stuff wouldn’t be on the disc in the first place. You’d have to wait for a full priced update down the line for it. Heck, back then, you had to pay for what we basically get for free in patches.


I miss the days when we found new characters by actually playing through the game for a bit instead of paying additional money for them


Considering that I can expect to end up paying at least $100 on any fighting game that I decide to buy at launch, I don’t see how there’s too much of a difference. Marvel 3 is a total of $110 if you bought MvC3, Jill and Shuma, and Ultimate. BlazBlue was $60 at launch, then CS was $40-$60 (forget exactly how much), then the DLC characters were $21, and Extend is going to be $40. And the biggest part of those updates are usually characters and balance changes.

If a character is on the disc and is complete, there is no good reason that I should have to pay more money for it. In my opinion, the point of DLC should be to extend the life of a game, not to squeeze out a few more dollars from your customers before you go make them pay for the same game again a few months later. I will admit that UMvC3 was actually a good deal for the content it gave, but there’s no reason that you should have to pay to get Jill and Shuma when they’re on the disc and you’re likely already going to spend $100 on Marvel 3 without them.

As for compatibility packs, I would say that forcing people to download them before going online is probably the most elegant, and probably the most fair, solution. If you’re going to play the game online, then you’re most likely capable of downloading it and you should probably be prepared to download patches anyway. I remember the ones for BB being pretty large, but they weren’t anything that caused a great inconvenience for me. It also allows people who don’t wish to purchase the characters to play online without any restrictions, unlike some FPS games that require you to buy map packs before you can play certain online modes (Halo 3 is the last one I played that did that, but I’m pretty sure that CoD and BF3 do the same thing). If you’re going to add a character in after the game comes out, without a new disc update, then you’re probably not going to find a better solution.


Oh great we’re all going to go through this road again. Where by with newer competition with newer business practices and the general consumer getting more and more educated on what they are buying and what they are getting through increased communication that was much much more better (whee internet) than “the good ol’ days.” General public would be more inclined to make greater insight into their purchases than we were awhile back.

(Basically it always ends up with a tl;dr with a Adam Curtis documentary posted somewhere. That one with the guy at the start going “Don’t settle for anything less” or something.)


The assumption being made is that content left on the disc would be made available for free if there was no way to sell it via DLC. Anyone trying to object to DLC on the disk has to address these two points:

  1. Why they assume that to be the case.
  2. Why they feel that they’re entitled to any and all content on the disk they paid for, even though the exchange taking place when you buy a game clearly isn’t “$60 for the material object”, given the entire package costs probably less than $5 to produce.

Of course, you are perfectly within your rights to make a statement by not buying DLC and not buying games that come with DLC on the disc, but most people prefer to just whine which voids any credibility their complaints may otherwise have had.


They don’t need a reason to charge you for it anymore than they need a reason to charge you for the game in the first place. When you download trial software, do you feel that since you’ve downloaded it, you shouldn’t have to pay to unlock all the features since you have all the data already?

It’s an arbitrary decision by the manufacturer what to charge for what. It has nothing to do with your preconceived notions that possessing a hard copy of data = legal ownership of said data. You pay for the content, not the distribution method.


I’m really not a fan of this day 1 DLC thing, on a personal level it just feels off to unwrap your shiny new game and then if you want the ‘complete’ game - pay 10 more dollars. It feels awkward enough to get day 1 patches without having to pull out my wallet…

I guess why I would complain about it more in terms of FGs compared to other genres is that it really does feel like they’re withholding core aspects of the game from me. Maybe I’d really like to play Jill. Maybe that’s who I really click with in MvC3. But I can’t, I have to pay on top of what I already paid for to get it. Its as if you were paying for cutscenes or something. The other thing about day 1 DLC is that its just sorta there. At least for games like ME:2 maybe they had some time to think about it or hear some fan feedback about what people might want to play, or what they enjoyed + having move time on top of the regular dev cycle to make it all work and be polished - whereas here its just… they did it already. All the animations are finished. The moves are finished. But you can’t have it. You bought the pussy version of MvC, insert 10 dollars to unlock sunglasses wearing baller mode.

I think I probably wouldn’t complain as much if FGs in general were more robust and part of that is that previously unlockables are now purchaseables. SC5 is so curiously lacking in modes you have to wonder if the whole thing was made in excel or something. Would it really have been so bad for instance if doing 75% of the trials in SF4 got you their alt costume or something? I mean ok, money - but seriously; I like money too. Stop gouging me!


Disclaimer: I’m just throwing something out here, not claiming it to be fact or the case. Just something to think about.

Let’s start with some facts. For starters, game development these days is a lot more expensive than it used to be. Larger teams are needed to work on highly complex projects so deadlines can be met. Couple that with the fact that fighting games are considered a niche market, with most games being a niche within a niche, and sales expectations are not quite as high as mainstream games. At the same time, they need to release the game at a reasonable retail price that is on par with all or at least most new games. It’s quite possible, therefore, that along with its on-disc DLC a given game is expected to be retailed at a higher price point in order to turn a profit. So instead of selling to us, the consumers, at that higher price point, they lock away some content (on-disc DLC) and provide us with the option of buying it if we really want it.

This is just a theory really and if it truly is the case then the debate should probably not be for or against on-disc DLC*, but rather what that DLC should be.*


Without DLC, how else would you have to pay for it? Before DLC was commonplace, everything I know of that wasn’t Pokemon (which, as much as I love it, was a cashgrab in and of itself with the seperate version and all), either gave you the content or didn’t. They didn’t set aside a few characters and make you pay for them later because there wasn’t really a way to do that. I can’t say whether or not Shuma and Jill would have even made it on the roster if MvC3 didn’t support DLC, but if it didn’t and they were completed and meant to be part of the roster, then I seriously doubt that they would have been locked away on the disc somewhere.

I realize that. I think it’s more the way they go about it than anything. They sell you a game for $60, then act like you’re getting all this extra content and that they’re going to keep supporting the game. Then you pay $10 for an unlock code a month before they tell you that you’re going to have to buy the game all over again, or you realize that they were never actually going to support the game at all because all of the DLC content was finished before the game went gold. It just feels really sleazy and manipulative.


See I would agree IF FGs in general matched their values. Compare a game like Mass Effect. I have a easy time imagining Bioware put a little more heart[and green] into its development. I can see why SF4 had DLC costumes. No one knew if it was gonna sell, gotta give yourself a little breathing room just in case it botches…, but now we know people buy FGs. A trend that won’t last if the only thing that technically matters in the game is a ‘for sale option’.


To quote Mike_Z from the DLC argument on the old Skullgirls GD.


I don’t think that’s quite true. Technically SFII->CE was 4 new chars and then hyper fighting->super was 4 new chars on top of that. Which is more or less what we get charged for nowadays. This kinda oversaturation is part of what killed the whole scene to begin with in my reckoning, but now we’re defending the same model. Priced better sure, but still a bit curious IMO.


Except we paid for the upgrade to CE, we didn’t pay for the AE 2012 patch (and we paid less for AE, unless you already had Super and were actually stupid enough to get the disc release).

And no, the SFII release model didn’t over-saturate the market. By the time ST was out the market was far from oversaturated. What oversaturated the market was everyone and their mother making lackluster fighting games towards the end of the millennium.


Work is clearing out so I’m totally stalking the forums. Last one I promise!

Ok. But that doesn’t validate it. So now the price point is somewhat more accurate to its perceived value - $40 for 8 chars and new modes $15 for 4 chars - assuming balancing is free: there’s that too. I’m not FOND of this, but its somewhat more justifiable than char - $5. Nothing else. Just here’s an extra char. Maybe he fits. Maybe he doesn’t. Maybe he broke. Probably he sucks. Who knows. Wanna know? Put in some dough. If he doesn’t we can always just patch the game for you…

I guess FG DLC makes me salty just because of what I percieve as not adding to the experience, but withholding portions of it. When again, features are already sparse. Sorta like when DS2’s MP mode was pay to play. You’re making me pay extra money on top of a full price game to have that option that other games have as default. Its already in the game so you already developed it, if you didn’t think it was worth the cost you coulda just not done it. [That example totally wasn’t btw]

Yeah yeah everyone wants to make a bill. Yeah yeah you don’t have to buy it. shrug Doesn’t change the feeling, and I think that feeling is a poison. Make the games feature rich and fulfilling and people will want to support you. Nickel and Dime them and you might step on a few toes…

[Sidenote: I’m starting to think Party Game style SFxT is a really good idea for these reasons o_O]


Companies are free to charge whatever they want for whatever they want. And I’m free to buy, pirate, or refuse to buy, whatever I want.
Supply and demand, free market, and all of that stuff.

But yeah, selling DLC content that’s already on disc is like selling you a car, and then padlocking the boot closed. They’ll sell you the key for another $100. Its understandable that some people dislike the practice.

Some people will happily pay.
Some people can live without the boot.
Some people will buy a car from a company that doesnt do stuff like that.
Some people will cut the padlock with some bolt cutters.
Some people will duplicate the car with a nanoreplicator, and give free cars to all their friends, minus the padlock.


Extra characters aren’t necessarily options that other games have as “default.”

Also, just because something was made at the same time as the game doesn’t mean it was made on the same budget. As I believe Seth himself pointed out on the old Ask Capcom forums (before we nuked it), the budget for DLC, even if it comes out day 1, is separate from the games budget. In other words, it’s a separate investment with a separate expected ROI. Without the ability to provide DLC, then that wouldn’t be there in the first place.

And here another thing, I believe that it’s already been shown that DLC tends to sell best during a games first month, so off course, ant decent businessman will target that to maximize profits.

True story, Mike_Z once spent 3 hours flicking the coin switch on an MvC2 cab just to unlock everyone for tournament play. I hope then that you’ll forgive me for not wanting to go through a similar experience (Mike sure as heck didn’t, he paid to unlock Mu-12 in BBCS rather than play 6 hours of story mode).


Characters should be unlocked from the start. DLC should not be game altering content, just cosmetic stuff.


^I disagree. DLC is suppose to extend the game’s life and renew interest in it. Cosmetic stuff would add absolutely nothing.