Another day, another Capcom rant.
Because I’ve gone on about it enough, I’m going to eschew discussing the wildly inconsistent quality of some of Capcom’s biggest franchises. Instead, I’d like to discuss how they’re supporting these franchises, and specifically in regards to Resident Evil and Dead Rising 3. Both have seen substantial post-release DLC, with an emphasis on multiplayer for the former and bite-sized single-player stories for the latter.
The problem is, while each saw an impressive amount of content after its release, neither was given the content it needed.
Dead Rising 3 inspired this rant, but Resident Evil series has been handled just as poorly lately. It’s been sudden, too. Resident Evil 5 had a decent mix, with its competitive multiplayer, dubbed the Versus mode, was optional, and the single-player expansions, Lost in Nightmares and Desperate Escape. The story DLC was pretty good, and while I’m wholly against the idea of charging for a multiplayer mode (more on that later), as a whole, the DLC offering for Resident Evil 5 wasn’t all that offensive.
Then we have Resident Evil 6.
With the latest installment in the (main) series, Capcom refrained from adding to its single-player campaign(s) — not necessarily a bad idea, seeing as the game shipped with four of them — to instead focus on multiplayer DLC. Maybe that was part of their plan to capture the illusive Call of Duty gamer. Capcom followed its release with three separate multiplayer modes: Predator, Onslaught, and Survivors.
There’s a fundamental problem with charging players for a multiplayer mode. The issue lies with the audience — if you make players pay money for a multiplayer mode, that fragments the available audience. Since the longevity of a game’s multiplayer relies on its available audience, by charging for the feature, you’ve immediately limited your potential active player base. Those who actually pay for the feature will soon realize that most players opted out, and eventually — or, more likely, pretty quickly — that multiplayer dies off.
That leaves you with a few angry players who spent money on a mode (or modes) that was dead on arrival, and a larger group of players who are annoyed you charged for it in the first place.
This isn’t to say everything Capcom did in regards to DLC for RE6 was bad — they released an update not long after its release that added a new “No Hope” difficulty, unlocked Ada’s campaign for everyone and even made it available for co-op. Granted, the co-op was shoehorned in (Ada’s partner can’t interact with the environment) but it was something. They also released Left 4 Dead 2 crossover DLC for the Mercenaries mode. So if you were still playing it in April, you had that too.
On to Dead Rising 3, the game that inspired me to write this long-winded piece.
It’s no secret that the season pass offering for the latest entry in their wacky zombie bash/smash/shoot ‘em up series was utter crap. There were four episodes in total and none of them managed to impress. I gave our review coverage of the game to Jason Nawara, who awarded Operation Broken Eagle a 5/10, Fallen Angel a 5/10, Chaos Rising a 1/10 (ouch), and The Last Agent a 5/10. I’ve played all but the fourth episode and I would’ve given similar scores.
Clearly, they’re underwhelming. Bad DLC hurts a game, but an entire season pass worth of content can really hurt a game. Why would I, or you, or anyone ever spend money on DLC for a future Dead Rising game after this abysmal attempt? I won’t and you shouldn’t. There are much better ways to spend your money.
Quality aside, what this DLC offered is another problem entirely, because it only supports my opinion that the people making the decisions at Capcom are horribly out of touch.
Dead Rising 3 has an amazing co-op mode, but none of the episodes are playable with a friend. It also has a nifty leveling up system, but none of the episodes raised its paltry level 50 cap. Each episode is a copy and paste of the skeleton of its predecessor. They’re uninspired, hour-long forays filled with fetch quests, escort missions, and various other objectives that players had either already experienced in the main game or in the previous DLC episode.
Capcom, this is embarrassing.
The way this once-great publisher of games I once loved has handled DLC for Dead Rising 3 and Resident Evil shows an utter lack of respect its fans — you know, their consumers, the people who are spending their hard-earned money making it possible for Capcom to remain a business. It also shows a startling lack of self awareness, and not to mention an awareness of their community.
The most frustrating part of all this is I know Capcom is able to make great games. Amazing games. Dead Rising 3 is a great game. It’s also a very successful game that I’m sure managed to grab the attention of more than a few new fans. Unfortunately, many of these fans undoubtedly spent $30 on the season pass only to realize that it wasn’t worth it in the least. I know Capcom can do better than this, but I’m losing faith in their willingness to be better.
Phew. I’m spent. Now it’s your turn. Let me know what you think. Do you agree? Disagree? Feel free to share your opinion in the comments.