Home > Rants, Video Games, WTF? > Why DLC is Ruining Fighting Games

Why DLC is Ruining Fighting Games

The other day I laid down a solid sixty-something dollars on an upcoming fighting game that I’ve been looking forward to. For as long as I can remember, it was all I ever wanted to play. In case you haven’t got the slightest clue, it’s Marvel vs Capcom 3. I gave a certain evil retailer my hard-earned money and counted the days until it’s arrival.

And then Capcom dropped a two-character DLC bomb on my happiness. The SPECIAL edition of MvC3 has a DLC Voucher (amongst other things) that will let players download Shuma Gorath and Jill Valentine for free. Meanwhile, standard edition owners (like me :(), will have to wait a few weeks down the road to download these additional characters.

Even then, Capcom will be charging extra for these two characters.

Hearing the news I rushed back to the store I placed my reserve and tried to switch my standard edition reserve to the “Special” edition. To no avail, I was told by the person behind the counter that the “Special” edition is only sold at certain retailers and that the one I was at isn’t one of them.

There weren’t enough sighs in the world. I didn’t feel like driving all over the place to find the stores that carried the edition I wanted with the extra characters. I just let my reserve sit on the standard edition and walked away defeated.

MvC3 isn’t the only fighting game that has post-release character DLC. This is unfortunate in my book since the bread and butter of a fighting game is the character roster that is included with them. Namco borderline rapped consumers when they released Soul Calibur 4 and released console-specific DLC characters with an asking price of $5 for ONE extra character. Super Street Fighter 4 was a great all-around package with a robust roster and extra stages, but Capcom has remained elusive as to whether or not they’ll be adding more characters.

Upcoming games like MvC3 and Mortal Kombat are already boasting retailer-specific DLC and additional characters. MK kreator (see what I did there?) Ed Boon has gone on record teasing extra characters as DLC. This simply confuses the consumer and makes the full retail price of a $59.99 fighting game seem disconcerting. I understand that developers have to make money and by the time a game goes gold there may not be room or time for all that content to be shipped with the disc. However, from a gaming consumer’s standpoint, it makes the full asking price of a $59.99 fighting game seem insubstantial. While I paid full-price, it never feels like I got all the game has to offer.

You pay for the rest of the characters. Kidding... kidding...

Even with all this bitching about paying for DLC characters; guess what? I’m still gonna buy them as soon as they hit XBL Marketplace or PSN. I know, I’m a sucker and I’ll be the first person to admit that. I’m only contributing to the problem of the nickel-and-diming DLC epidemic, but I believe it is not entirely my fault as a consumer. It’s also the developer/publisher’s fault for dividing this content so strongly.

People can argue that, “Hey if you don’t like it, don’t buy it. Voice your objection through your wallet.” I understand and respect the idea behind that statement, however, I’m not going to sit idly by and miss out on meaningful DLC. Essentially, I just don’t want to miss out. Even if I resist purchasing these extra characters at first, I’ll inevitably find myself at the virtual check-out. The fault isn’t solely placed on the consumers; but also on the developers, publishers, and retailers that continue to perpetuate this ugly (but understandably profitable) trend. It’s a vicious vicious circle.

Still… I can’t wait to play as Shuma and Jill…

Categories: Rants, Video Games, WTF? Tags: ,
  1. Quinton
    February 8, 2011 at 11:28 am

    I feel your pain and as your attorney I advise you not to fret because Jill is just not that good. You will learn one day about what it takes to be fighting games connosieur young grasshopper.

  2. February 9, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    I think this applies not only to fighting games, but to just games as a whole. I HATE the DLC bullshit they use to try and get you to buy the special editions

  3. Dave
    March 18, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    I totally hate DLC and it ruins gaming for me.
    You buy a game hoping for an even playing field online but then they release dlc with better characters,weapons or cars and you are no longer on an even playing field.
    The only option is to fork out the money or give up online play as a lost cause.

    • C.L. Anderson
      March 19, 2011 at 5:02 pm

      It’s a premium that you pay that further enhances the game. At least that’s what most developers say when they put out new DLC. I’m in the same boat as you, I don’t like paying for DLC, but if it means rounding out the $60 I’ve already payed then I feel obligated to do so. Let’s face it we all get bored with games at some point or another and DLC gives us a reason to come back, even if it means shelling out more dough and lubing up our backsides. Many people will say, “Well you don’t have to buy it!”; but am I really going to sit here and play with old maps/characters when everyone else is having a blast with new content? Hell no, I want in.

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