Even as somebody who used to dump over a hundred dollars' worth of quarters into arcade machines every month, I can understand some of the controversy surrounding Street Fighter X Tekken's on-disc DLC. Possibly wanting to avoid a similar situation, Tekken series producer Katsuhiro Harada has taken a firm stance regarding paid DLC for the upcoming Tekken Tag Tournament 2.
"I’ve been saying that, at least for Tekken, regarding techniques, characters and stages, these three things won’t be charged for, even if they are DLC."
Harada went on to say that even though Namco Bandai keep insisting on paid downloadable content, he's going to keep it free, but some future "extra" content may be on the disc anyways for compatibility purposes--y'know, one of the same reasons Capcom gave after the release of SFxT.
"Actually this is something my bosses have been asking me for quite a while now - what are our plans for DLC? How much money can we make? They are a company, obviously, in it to make money. So it's something I'm continually asked even now. But I haven't changed my stance. If you're making a fighting game, all of the elements necessary to enjoy it should be on the disc, or should at least be available for free.
"Saying that, if someone has a particular character they've downloaded and they play someone who doesn't have that character, it might take five minutes for the person to then download the data to play against this person. This wouldn't be very realistic and wouldn't give a very favourable impression, so we do plan to address these issues. So some content may be on the disc, some might not. But since it's free it shouldn't be an issue."
Tomonobu Itagaki's not "hard at work on Devil's Third," he's in hiding.
Proving he's just as tough as his image suggests, Harada said that if Namco Bandai gave him a "paid DLC or quit" ultimatum, he'd probably leave. He even expressed concern over Street Fighter producer Yoshinori Ono and his recent collapse:
"It's funny you mention that, I was on that business trip with Ono-san just before he collapsed. It happened soon after we left each other at the airport. I heard about it later that evening after trying to get in touch with him...
"As far as vacation days go, I can only take one or two off all year. Having four weeks throughout the year where I can't do any overtime is quite difficult. So... I'm kind of worried I'll be next."
Yoshinori Ono and Katsuhiro Harada, bros 4 life
Finally, Harada brought welcome news for fight fans looking forward to Tekken X Street Fighter, Namco Bandai's half of the crossover battle:
"There's still a large number of players out there with a PlayStation 3 or Xbox 360 who are looking forward to the game, so we feel it's probably more relevant to get the title out to them on the current hardware. We're not completely sure, but that's the direction at this moment."
Take heart, FGC! If Harada has his way, you're not going to have to wait until the next generation of consoles to see the Tekken side of the Capcom/Namco battle.
So what do you think? With Harada taking these steps to make downloadable content free, is Tekken Tag Tournament 2 going in the right direction? What do you want to see from Tekken X Street Fighter when the game is finally revealed? Which characters will you vote to be in the final roster?