One of the things that the internet and connected gaming consoles has brought us is the prospect of expanding the core game with additional content. This is a really cool thing that for the longest time was only available on the PC or through expensive expansion packs. But now that we can download content to consoles, we are able to extend the life of the games we love.
Unfortunately, not everything is roses and sunshine in this world. Some game companies are abusing this ability by stripping content from the main game and selling it off as DLC. Some companies are even so lazy that they don’t even bother removing the content from the retail game before shipping it off. Capcom is one of the offenders. Recently, Capcom released Street Fighter x Tekken with a download pack of characters for gamers to buy at an additional cost. However, some resourceful gamers were able to find out that those characters are contained on the retail disk. No download is required other than to unlock them for play. Some even more resourceful gamers have found a way to hack into the game and access those characters without having to pay for them. This has not made Capcom happy and they are looking at means of punishing those players.
“In any event, we already have opened channels of communication with Microsoft on these issues Friday night. If you can capture screens or video of this in action (as some have already) we’re working on bans for boxes and accounts with Microsoft for haxxors.”
Here is my problem with this move. Capcom has set these characters aside in order to make some extra money selling them as DLC. Yet, it was not concerned enough to completely remove the characters from the main game. Now they are mad that people are playing characters that are already on the disk the people have paid for.
An analogy I used over at GamePolitics was that of buying a house that had two rooms and the garage sealed off with the prospect that you should pay extra money on top of what you had already paid to get access to those rooms. No one would think bad of you or pursue legal action against you for tearing down the barriers and accessing those rooms. Yet, for some reason a similar move in the software world can get you fined or thrown in jail for accessing content that is on the disk you bought. You can thank the DMCA’s anti-circumvention clause for that lovely scenario.
What I have to say to Capcom is this, “Boo freaking hoo.” Really, I can’t think of anything more to say. Capcom made its bed and must now lie in it. If it doesn’t want people accessing additional content they are supposed to pay for, they should sell it completely separate from the retail game. If not, they should stop throwing a fit when they see people gaining access to it.