After writing about Rock Howard being DLC in King of Fighters 14, it really did make me think about the DLC in SFV. Now first off let me say that I don’t hate SFV. I may not play the game anymore but I’m not going to pretend like I didn’t think some aspects of the game were fun. Having said that, there are some issues that are grossly apparent now with how Capcom is pushing DLC characters vs how SNK is doing it.
Capcom Season 2 DLC Characters
While watching the PlayStation experience, all in attendance were in awe of the Akuma trailer and the introduction of a new set of DLC characters. At the time, I figured this was fun because we would be able to see the characters one at a time. What I hadn’t considered was the realization of what Capcom was doing.
They were selling everyone a season 2 DLC pass filled with mystery characters. We didn’t know who the characters were and how they would play. Had I have taken off my rose colored glasses, I would have realized what Capcom was doing was actually unfair. I say it’s unfair because they expected players to buy characters without knowing who the characters were. In a way, it removed choice from the players to actually inspect a product before they bought it. And like an idiot, I fell hook, line, and sinker.
Being all swept up in the Capcom Cup experience and the hype of all my Street Fighter homeboys, I bought the season 2 pass because I wanted to support their game. It was good marketing though. MVCI was announced, Akuma trailer was sick, and NuckleDu was in winners during Capcom cup. The time just screamed, “We’re on the up and up!” and it what better time to impulse buy than when you are feeling good and less skeptical?
SNK DLC Characters
Since the release of King of Fighters 14, SNK has had a bit of a rocky road. Unlike Capcom however, SNK addressed the concerns by the community. People complained about the servers, SNK released a patch to fix the servers. People complained about the graphics, SNK released a graphical update to the game. In addition to all of this, SNK released the game with a full arcade mode and a large character roster. However it didn’t stop there.
SNK has released costumes for their characters and they have released some dlc characters of their own. From Whip to Rock Howard, each dlc character trailer was released on time and before they were purchasable. Looking at SNK implement this plan to encourage DLC sales is kinda remarkable. In a decade where half made games are sold for full price while most of the game is locked behind DLC, this is quite refreshing.
SNK obviously wants to encourage DLC sells, but they aren’t willing to sell an unknown product to their consumers and hope for the best. This is one huge aspect of SNK that I hope Capcom models themselves after from season 3 onward. No misguided communication. No announcement to announce an announcement. Just direct communication to the consumers about what product they are about to buy.
Can Capcom Change?
I can’t hate Capcom for their lackluster business practices in regards to selling their DLC. From what I understand there are some communication issues going on within the company which make trying to figure this stuff out difficult. However, I do think if Capcom wants to capture casuals and maintain happiness within their core audience they have to improve how they treat their customers.
It’s officially been a year since SFV’s release and servers are being fixed and loading times are being decreased. There is still the issue of balancing the characters, making stages that are tournament viable (Kanzuki beach and Rashid’s plane stage), timely DLC announcements, and server maintenance updates that don’t completely kill the servers.
There is a possibility that Capcom can work on their issues and gain more favor with casuals. I mean look at them on the esports front. They are killing it thanks to ESPN 2 and E League. Capcom just has to make the inside of the house look just as good as esports makes the outside look. Instead of announcing that they are going to work on the above issues, they should just work on them and let their actions show the consumers that they have been listening to them and strive to improve SFV.