Sunday, October 2, 2011

Do We Own All Content on the Disc?

When talking to my students about Piracy and the ethics behind it, a student asked me "if I purchase a game, do I own all of the content on that disc". Come to find out he was referencing Resident Evil 5 and the DLC that came on the disc. After a huge uproar from my class, "Yeah I payed for that disc..." and "I bought it I own it", I thought I should research the validity of their claim.

Downloadable Content is extra content, usually that a user can purchase, to extend the replay value of a game. For example, Assassin Creed's DLC usually adds on 4-5 hours of content and game to an already great game. Most of the time, however, DLC is usually made available after a few months the original game had launched. Then Resident Evil 5 came along.

Resident Evil 5, being the first HD experience in the franchise, was released on to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in 2009. DLC at this point had become a regular part of the game industry but when it was leaked that the DLC was released onto the disc, players were in an outrage as they are paying a lot of money for the game. The complaints got so bad that Capcom had to respond to it.

Here is the thing though, for commercial software this is not that out there of an idea. When a person buys software, take for example Unity 3D, you are buying rights to access certain features. A user can buy a basic licence of Unity, but they will not have all of the features. This system has been used for many years within commercial software.

Where Capcom went wrong is that they did not tell the users that their 60 dollars used to buy the game would only pay for the game and not all of the content on the disc. Basically they did not educate the consumer that the their money was paying for the licence for the game and not the extra content. Other suggestions, per Epic Battle Axe, was to wait a month before releasing. "This is a basic disregard to your consumers". Now another fault of Capcom was their response to the consumer but that is another story.

No comments:

Post a Comment