News for fighting game pro-gamers, and gamers with wonky internet connections:
Posting on the Capcom Unity blog in an entry titled “We Had It Wrong“, Corporate Officer/Senior Vice-President Christian Svensson for Capcom stated that they will remove Digital Rights Management for thier latest game, Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition. After a backlash of comments from fans of the series, Capcom decided that thier fans were more important than thwarting pirates efforts to pirate the yet unreleased PC game. Svensson says:
“The argument that legitimate users would have a worse experience than pirates was the loudest and most convincing. We certainly don’t want that to be the case and that was never our intention. So we’ve heard you loud and clear and here’s what we’re going to do about it.
Shortly after launch (it might even be at launch, but we’ll see how submission timing and approval goes) we will roll out a small title update that will completely remove the character limitations for offline mode. That is to say, once you’ve updated, you will be able to use all 39 characters when not connected to the Internet to practice your combo timings, have some fun with a friend on a laptop, or whatever while offline.”
The backlash was caused by this entry:
“If you aren’t signed in to an online GFWL profile, the offline mode has limited functionality. Obviously there’s no online play, access to replay channels or other online-centric features (and this is the part that keeps the online play secure from hackers or pirates). Additionally, you won’t be able to save any progress in challenges or settings, won’t have access to any DLC you’ve purchased and all local play will be restricted to 15 of the 39 characters.“
The DRM actually restricted 24 of the original 39 characters in offline mode, limiting the player to a paltry 15 playable characters. This recent announcement sent waves of hatred towards Capcom, who have made some bad DRM decisions in the past (like the fact that some of thier games couldn’t be played offline, which came to light after the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Network was hacked, and many users couldn’t play the games they they had bought legitimately while the system was offline).
A disaster averted, hopefully other companies can take a look at this incident and stop using stupid DRM to screw over customers. It’s a sad fact that, yes, piracy can take a chunk of sales out of a company, but punishing the fans for actions of others is not the way to go. Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition will be available for consoles in June, while PC gamers have to expect it around July.
More info can be found [Here]