Is “Inaccessible In-Game Content” Unacceptable?

The most recent issue with games nowadays is DLC. Whether it’s parts of a story that should already be there, or it’s concealed on the disc and is locked by a code that needs to be purchased, downloadable content has been an issue with the gaming community.


A few months ago Capcom, a company known for “On-Disc DLC”, had claimed that their newer games including recently released Resident Evil 6 will not contain the extra content on the disc. Recently however an extra game mode and part of an expansion were discovered on the disc for Resident Evil 6 by a person who accessed the game’s on disc files.


This brings up an important question. When content is concealed in a game, such as the original Pokémon games, why was it more accepted than today’s mainstream video games? Super Street Fighter IV, Marvel vs Capcom 3, and Street Fighter X Tekken are prime examples of the “On-Disc DLC”. Ironically they are all Capcom fighting games.


Now comparing in-game content in a fifteen year old RPG and the in-game content of a few fighting games that were released this generation is somewhat difficult, but there is some truth in comparing them. I find it okay for fighting games to have On-Disc DLC to some extent.  If you think about the first generation Pokémon games (Red, Blue, and Yellow), you aren’t able to access all 151 Pokémon on one cartridge. The reasoning behind this was to influence trading and battling with others (an early form of LAN parties). In addition if the Pokémon found in one version wasn’t found in another version, there could be a ton of glitches and other technical issues when connecting to that other version.  Now that idea is somewhat prominent in the three Capcom fighting games. These games have extra content that cannot be accessed through normal gameplay. However when encountering another player online, they may have a character or character costume that hasn’t been bought on the online account. Remember, these are set so the game doesn’t crash or have other issues because the content doesn’t exist in the game’s files.

The reason I bring this up is that Capcom has always used this form of DLC.  Take a game like Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 as an example. It has separate online modes for those who bought DLC, and modes for those who are subscribed to Call of Duty Elite; the premium service.  The way you can’t compare content between Pokémon and the three fighting games is simple; the Pokémon aren’t all available so there’s legitimate replayability for the games.  So what’s Capcom’s reason?  Is it to reduce download times? Then again that would be a silly excuse.  Internet speeds that are needed to play those games online are fast enough to download the content. I mention this because when Pokémon was released the unobtainable Pokémon were intentionally left inaccessible so one has to play with another, with a different version. This was and somehow is still acceptable for gamers, but the On-Disc DLC isn’t? In action games this is easily unacceptable, but why not fighting games? Is it really unfair to fight someone you have to pay to unlock? Nine times out of ten they’re mostly gimmicky characters that no one use, so why not beat the living daylights out of them?


Maybe Capcom, and other companies, can find a new way to separate DLC-only modes for those who have DLC, so it’s a bit more acceptable by fans.  This concept has been used by Game Freak, too, but they just had a better way of executing it though.

My question is, why were “Version exclusive” Pokémon more acceptable than “On-Disc DLC” characters?

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About GaminTank

Frank A.K.A. GaminTank, who comes from Southern California, was introduced into gaming at the end of the 90's. His first played console was the NES, with Super Mario Bros. as his introduction into gaming. Though it was his introduction, the series that made him a dedicated gamer was the phenomenon known as Pokémon. Upon discovering many great reviewers, Frank started his own YouTube channel in 2011, to bring his opinions to the world. He has reviewed games, such as the Skannerz and Empire Online for iPhone. He has no plans on stopping, by finding interesting ways to bring quality content to his channel. Favorite Systems: SNES, Gameboy, Sega Dreamcast, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS, Xbox 360 Favorite Games: Super Mario Bros., Zombies Ate My Neighbors, Pokémon Red & Blue, Halo 3, Final Fantasy, Donkey Kong Country 3, Marvel vs Capcom, Daytona USA, Capcom vs SNK