Success is fragile, and Capcom’s learned that important lesson the hard way: Don’t make the community angry, or they will revolt. The company’s most recent fighting game, Street Fighter X Tekken, has sold so poorly that the company is now re-evaluating its policies on downloadable content.
It was Street Fighter X Tekken that raised fighting fans’ ire this spring. Though well reviewed, the cross over with Namco’s Tekken series proved controversial for two reasons. Devoted fighting enthusiasts were irked by the introduction of “gems” in Street Fighter X Tekken, collectible items that change fighters’ abilities making for some wildly unbalanced competition.
The issue that irked even casual players though was that a lot of content in the game, namely 12 playable characters, was locked behind a pay wall. Capcom billed this as downloadable content that players could pay for months after the game’s release, but the truth it that this content was all there on the retail disc of the game. Players were so outraged that a complaint was filed with the Better Business Bureau. Capcom’s response was that it sees no distinction between on-disc content locked behind a pay wall and additional content downloaded from the Internet.
Now Capcom has changed its tune though. Senior Vice President of Capcom USA Chris Svensson said in a Monday post on the publisher’s community forum that the company has heard fans loud and clear. “We’ve been getting several questions, here and elsewhere about the future of on-disc DLC,” said Svensson, “We would like to assure you that we have been listening to your comments and as such have begun the process of re-evaluating how such additional game content is delivered in the future.”
The implication of course is that Capcom plans to not charge for content shipped on the game disc going forward. That said, games that have been in the planning stages for months like Dragon’s Dogma, will still ship with DLC on the disc. Last time we swear.
Meanwhile, Edge reports that Street Fighter X Tekken producer Tomoaki Ayano is also trying to quell community uproar, promising that “big changes” are coming to the game. “[Before] we develop new games, we’ll balance the current ones.”
Capcom did an amazing thing resurrecting the 2D fighting genre in the past four years. Studios like Arc System Works, with their BlazBlue and Guilty Gear series, kept the flame alive into the 20th century, but it was Street Fighter IV and Marvel vs. Capcom 3 that really made 2D one-on-one video game fisticuffs a widely popular pastime again. Yoshinori Ono and his band of rough riders weren’t solely responsible though. The fighting game community—from the EVO Championship hardcore to the DeviantART youths born years after Street Fighter II drawing pictures of Chun-Li—rallied behind these games and spread the good news about the genre’s return.