It’s a wonderful time to be a gamer. Developers rush out unfinished product for which they charge full price while leaving players waiting for weeks on end until the inevitable patch to fix the bugs comes out. Day one DLC is demonstrating the developers aren’t even trying to hide the fact that they have already created content that really should be in the game, but instead want to use it to milk more money out of players. Best of all, everything that used to be unlockable through skill and perseverance can now be bought for just a few dollars.
For all of the great things that the online revolution has given console gamers, it often feels like big-name developers are using the platforms they are offered to get more cash out of consumers that are already paying through the nose to own a console and buy the game brand new.
It can be a real burden on the pocket, especially for those gamers who simply have to see everything that their favourite game has to offer. Long gone are the days when extra characters could be unlocked just by completing various tasks in a game. Many of you may remember the stir that Reptile caused by becoming the first unlockable character in a fighting game way back when Mortal Kombat was the hip new kid on the block, but it seems like those halcyon days are over.
It’s a problem that a lot of fighting games have in the modern era. Granted, most of them will still feature a cast of unlockable characters, but if you really want to get your hands on the most desirable fighters you’re going to have to pony up the dough to get them.
At least that has been the case for quite a while. With Street Fighter V Capcom seem to be taking a slightly different tack. The ailing developer has announced that all of the major DLC content can be earned as well as purchased, meaning that players can once again get everything a game has to offer by simply playing the game.
It won’t be easy, as the unlockables will have to be purchased with something called “Fight Money”, which is an in-game currency that is essentially earned by grinding away until you have enough to get what you want. Patience will most definitely be a virtue, but for those willing to put the time in it can also be a big money saver.
It’s a change in philosophy that can only be good for gamers, as it combines the newer craze for DLC with the gaming tropes of old, meaning that there are now options for everybody. While it’s unlikely that many other developers will follow suit, at least in the short term, it would be awfully nice to go back to an era where your rewards are earned, rather than bought. Hopefully Capcom’s move sparks a shift in general game design, but even if it doesn’t the announcement still bodes well for fans of the Street Fighter series.
Lee Price is a freelance writer and general miscreant who enjoys video games, movies and making dreary situations better by adding copious amounts of alcohol. Follow him on Twitter @Mr_Lee2112 to read his random musings.