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Capcom “evaluating impact”/polluting Final Fight: Double Impact with “always-on” DRM. Apparently, no lessons being learned from Ubisoft backlash…

by Mike
Posted April 23rd, 2010 at 8:51 am

Another day, another game ruined by DRM. Or is it? A new development on the PS3 front is disappointing to put it mildly. Gamers across the blue marble we live on are noticing that trying to launch Final Fight: Double Impact when logged out of the PSN or in a location with network access are being prompted each and every time to log in. This would signal that Sony is testing a similar approach that Ubisoft is rolling out — always-on network connections to play games. But is it Sony?

Now, it’s no secret that NO ONE likes this except Ubisoft and their share holders. The only thing that raises doubt to if it is in deed a malicious attempt to further ruin civilization with overly restrictive DRM is that the Xbox 360 version of the game is void of any digital cancer. With that said, could it be a bug?

Of course, Microsoft isn’t Sony. While Microsoft themselves aren’t quite church boy innocent, we all know how backstabbing and anti-consumer Sony is.

But as hinted earlier, it’s not entirely Sony’s fault, if at all. The real blame lays with Capcom. They are after all the publishers of the game. Doing a little more digging led me to this forum post over at IGN which eludes to Capcom confirming in a support email response that they are in fact “testing the waters” in regards to authentication prior to launching Final Fight: Double Impact.

The person seeking information from Capcom, “nacthenud” from the IGN forums sent this to Capcom support:

Hello Capcom Admin,

I do not know if this is the right place to send this, but it’s the best option I’ve been able to find. Let me know if I should be directing these comments elsewhere.

With regards to Final Fight Double Impact there seems to be a stipulation that requires authentication prior to launching the game.

If I want to launch the game from the XMB on PS3, I have to be signed into PSN on the original user account that purchased the game.

If my kids want to play the game on their user accounts on the same PS3 they can not, because my kids are not allowed to have online accounts.

If my wife wants to play the game on her account on the same PS3, she cannot because she has her own PSN ID.

Effectively, everyone in my household would have to buy their own copy of the game in order to play it on their accounts with their high scores and their save game files.

Further, if I want to play the game on my own account but am not currently connected to the internet for a variety of reasons, I cannot.

I know there have been a handful of other PSN games that have had this too, but those were games that were strictly online multiplayer-only games with no offline component.

This is not the norm for PSN games and the first instance I’ve ever heard of this kind of DRM for a game that has a offline, single and local multi-player component. There is no reason to expect this to be the case with this game, yet there is no disclosure of this when you go to purchase the game at the PS Store.

Was this an oversight on Capcom’s part or a deliberate choice? If deliberate, do you know if this is something Capcom intends on doing with future releases? If so, I will certainly not be spending my money on these games in future.

As it is, I will definitely be more hesitant to make a quick purchase on Capcom PSN titles and PSN titles in general.

and this is Capcom’s response


I’ll try to be short. Yes, there is DRM. This was employed to combat the rampant “PSN Sharing” that has been going on over the last year. We’re sorry that your family cannot play the game on their individual accounts (same console). This is a limitation of the Sony network. We are not committed to do this with all titles moving forward but the only way to evaluate impact was to try it with one title first.

To be honest, you could just log in as yourself and allow them to play. I understand there is a principle here, but we would appreciate your understanding of our position while doling out your criticism.

Either way, we appreciate you as a fan and I have mentioned your concern to the team.

Take care and sorry for the trouble,


…and finally, nacthenud’s final response…

Firstly, let me thank you for your quick response.

While I understand that PSN game-sharing is a problem in some respects I would like to offer the following thoughts on the matter:

1) Most of my issue with this situation surrounds the fact that there was no disclosure of the DRM restrictions on the PS Store. If I had been given fair warning, I could choose to make an informed decision on whether or not to purchase the game (as you can well guess, I would choose not to).

2) This is not a “limitation of the Sony network” as evidenced by the dozens of other PSN titles I’ve purchased (including many Capcom titles). This was a limitation chosen by Capcom, as you indicated, to attempt to curb game-sharing. I realize it is the way the Sony network is set up if you choose this DRM option, it’s an all or nothing choice, but it was a choice.

3) Choosing to use DRM such as this hurts the consumers that purchase your games. This makes us less likely to purchase Capcom products again in the future. I doubt I will ever log in to the PS Store on a Thursday (soon to be Tuesday) and download the latest Capcom game that shows up without first doing some research on the DRM employed. This experience has burned me and now I can’t make purchases from a position of trust. That will basically kill all of the impulse purchases I’ve made in the past.

4) I would put forward the notion that employing DRM such as this doesn’t increase potential sales of the title. Quite the opposite, I would imagine. There are the regular consumers like myself that will be in the situation described in point 3). But more specifically, what are the game-sharers going to do? Without these restrictions, they’re going to pool their resources and buy one copy of your game. With this DRM in place they are not going to each buy a copy of your game. Rather, they will pool their resources and buy a different game instead. So Capcom loses sales to the game-sharing community as well as the regular paying customers.

5) I can certainly allow my family to play this game on my account, but I like to earn my own trophies and high scores and so do the other members of my family. We compare trophies with each other. We are prevented from doing so here, which means the amount of time we spend playing this game will be dramatically reduced.

You say Capcom wanted to try this model to “evaluate impact”. I trust I have communicated the exceedingly negative impact Capcom has made on this consumer.



So there you have it. Capcom is “evaluating impact” with this bullshit DRM solution while also falsely pushing any negative feelings towards the PSN network and it’s “restriction”. Killing two birds with one stone, eh Capcom?

Any Final Fight: Double Impact/Sony/PS3 users care to chime in?

Slashdot > Joystiq


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