Friday, 9 March 2012

In Defense of Street Fighter X Tekken

I noticed a lot of drama around the web about Street Fighter X Tekken's on disk DLC, there's a ton of misinformation being spread and I thought it best to shed some light on this controversial topic.  People who are spreading this seem to have no idea how the business side of gaming works or the realities of video game design. Granted I'm no industry insider, but my time speaking with friends working within it has given me a fresh perspective and a better understanding of how the system works.

Creating content is the major cost of video game design it’s why they pay their staff and developers.
They set a budget for the game’s design which is how they determine the game's price, if they pay their team more to work on DLC; then they need to sell the dlc at a profit or they take a loss. A company bleeding cash is a quick way to put a company in the red which costs people jobs.

There’s a period, during video game design, after completing and testing the core game, where it has to be submitted to Microsoft and Sony for approval. The process for approval takes at least 3 months, during this time, the development team, which is no longer able to work on the core game because its being reviewed can be given the opportunity to design DLC. This content can then be added to the disk, so long as it doesn't impact the original game's content in any way.

Companies have a huge advantage when they add DLC to the disk, first; companies like Microsoft charge companies, reportedly, mid-five-figures to release patches for just basic content updates, along with charges for using bandwidth. So it’s pretty clear reasoning why they would put any completed DLC they have on disk during this approval time both to save themselves money and their fan's download time.

 Another reason to add content is the disk, is to remove the likely hood of DLC not working properly online, which was the case with recent game such as Mortal Kombat, where DLC characters wouldn't be available online against people who didn't download the content updates.

When you buy a game you buy it as advertised, buying the disk doesn’t give you any legal right to any extra content stored within. Basically this whole anti-SFxT argument is fundamentally flawed, and frankly a little childish.  The original price of the game only goes towards the game itself, they're not charging you for the DLC in the original game price.

Some ask why didn’t they just wait an extra 3-months or so and release the game with all the DLC characters? There’s two main reason’s for this 1.) This would mean we’d have to wait an extra 3 months for SF X T, which means no one would be playing at home, or at tournaments now. 2.) This would delay the game and raise the basic budget. This would end up costing more to make up for the game being over-budget meaning no one could choose whether or not they wanted to spend extra money on the bonus characters.

Finally, the best reason to buy SF X T, is that it’s already and awesome game, with 38-41 characters from the get-go; which is a ton of unique characters and we’ve got more of these awesome characters on the way-if you choose to buy them. It’s deep and fun to play, although there are some flawed aspects Capcom needs to address especially on the 360 version, the on disk DLC is in all actuality completely reasonable.

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