Saturday, April 24, 2010

Final Fight Double Impact is online only

If you want to play the PS3 version of Final Fight Double Impact, you need to be online even if playing in single player. Furious at this turn of events, I wrote a letter to Capcom’s PR departments demanding a response. This is my letter and their reply.

My main problem with this situation is that it forces me to be online at all times. Even if you only need to be online when FF:DI first loads and can then disconnect, this is a huge pain in the ass. It totally removes the option of random casual play, because I’d have to plan long in advance. I live in the countryside, and despite being extremely fortunate to have ADSL broadband where I live, the only telephone line for 6 hectares goes to a utility shed and is then divided up, sometimes for up to three people using the internet. If I want to connect to PSN I need to ask everyone else to get off, otherwise the speed is so low I end up disconnected from the servers, and I need to set up a 10m ADSL cable from the router to my house with the PS3. It’s a pain in the ass and WiFi isn’t an option (PC connection is a little easier, thankfully). This means each Friday/Saturday I kick everyone else off, connect, and spend a few hours downloading games, demos, updates and enjoying a couple of hours of mahjong multiplayer. If a demo is several gigs in size, I need to leave it downloading overnight. Constant PS3 connection to the net is not possible without some pretty drastic life-changes (like moving house).

I tried to explain this to Capcom, who force you to remain connected to the internet as a form of DRM, and while they replied, the hilarious thing is their response didn’t match my original email. I don’t think they even understood my original email. (EDIT: I've just discovered that the reply was actually a standard one sent to everyone who complained)

With this development, I no longer trust any game on PSN, because it’s likely others will follow. I had to ask around on forums regarding Afterburner Climax, just in case it tried to pull the same stupidity. And I’m going to have to ask for all future games. If this is to become the norm, then the world of PSN has suffered a serious blow.

I miss the days of buying a cartridge, and knowing that forever more I could enjoy that cartridge without constant, additional fuckery just to get it to function. Jeez, when did games get to be such high maintenance?



I freelance for various publications including GamesTM, Retro Gamer, The Escapist, and Hardcore Gaming 101.

Right now I'm considering writing a scathing article against Capcom due to the fact that despite me wanting to pay for Final Fight: Double Impact, you don't want me or others actually playing it.

The PS3 version does not function offline - it forces you to be logged in to PSN. While I am able to thread an ADSL cable across the distance of my large country house, purely to log on once a week (normally Saturday) to download updates, demos, buy games and have a few quick multiplayer games, it is not convenient to keep my PS3 net-ready the rest of the time. To do so would require re-arranging my entire house and therefore my life - which is an absurd demand to make, regardless of how good the game is.

This is grossly unfair and has so far stopped me from buying FF:DI, despite really wanting to own it. But before pouring scorn on your incompetent decision, for all the public to read, I thought I would email you and ask:
Is this mistake going to be rectified so the PS3 version can be played offline? There are others besides myself who for 99% of the time do NOT have access to PSN.

Rumour has it you did this to stop game sharing - isn't it possible to have a "one-time-download-only" version for people who don't have constant access to the internet? I refuse to buy anything which forces me to be online for it to function.

What happens when PSN closes down in a similar way to how the original Xbox One online system is closing? What happens if I move to a place which does not have ADSL - do you expect all my purchases to become void if this happens?

I've played games from over 20 years, and I've written about them for half of that time, and the stupidity of this decision, to shackle people to a transient, intangible and impermanent technology, is both short-sighted and disturbing. Compare for example other Capcom games, such as Super Street Fighter 2: HD Remix, also on PSN. In 50 years my children will still be able to play it from my PS3 HDD, even if PSN and the people at Capcom who make such decisions no longer exist.

What is Capcom's official stance on all this?

Best regards

Capcom’s official response, courtesy of Jason Allen. Apparently this has been circulating to other places, meaning I was simply sent a copy and pasted version which they hoped would end the matter:
Capcom would like to formally apologize for the issues consumers are having with the PS3 version of Final Fight: Double Impact. Typically, the notification for a required PlayStation Network connection appears in the full game description when a game is downloaded from the PlayStation Store. Unfortunately when populating this content this detail was overlooked and wasn't included in the versions of the game that released in North America and Asia. It was included in the release for Europe. Capcom should have checked to make sure the notification was included when the final game was made available and we sincerely apologize for this oversight.

The DRM requirements for Final Fight: Double Impact are not unique to this release. This protection mechanism has been implemented in numerous games offered on the PlayStation Store before. When it was brought to our attention that the notification was missing, we acted quickly with Sony Computer Entertainment America and a fix is on the Way.

We would like to thank our vigilant fans for bringing this to our attention and we will exercise better scrutiny on future Capcom releases.

Thank You


  1. Yeah, this DRM is a joke. Definitely not purchasing this one. I'm considering ending my gaming future with this generation and sticking with what I have.

  2. Fuck them. It's only two old, overhyped, and really bad games, that were block-busters during their time and overshadowed much better games. 9$ is too much for games that can be emulated in better ways even on cell phone now, and have some stupid kind of DRM. Capcom know how to make people their bitches, and I don't wanna be one. Great e-mail, but I won't change anything...

  3. These are sad times we live in. But really lets be honest - some gamers have broken the trust of developers and publishers for far too long.

    I'm not saying this DRM is the right thing to do (infact I hate it - punishing legitimate customers for people who won't pay REGARDLESS - is just offensive) but someones to blame.

  4. That does seem more then a little absurd. Is piracy so bad on the PS3 that they really need to implement a DRM solution?

    It reminds me how there is DRM for the Steam release of Dark Void Zero, even through Steam is essentially DRM. It's even more absurd when you consider that DVZ is only $5 and has DRM, but Dark Void itself is $40 and has no DRM.

  5. I guess it's ironic that they've done this to prevent piracy on a console that pirates have barly cracked... Unless you can now pirate PS3 games in which case they are still being crazy.

    What's next? No more instruction manuals?

  6. This was actually a unique occurrence even though Capcom claims that "numerous" games on PSN have this DRM. The only games on the PSN that have this feature are the disc based PS3 games available for download such as Warkhawk, Gran Turismo 5: Prologue and Burnout: Paradise.

    The whole purpose of this was to allow game sharing (technically for other PS3 units in the house and replacement PS3s) on smaller titles and lock it to only certain profiles for the more expensive disc based games. It is truly bizarre that Capcom requested this for a $10 game, but I am guessing they have seen the amount of people online for their other games versus how many people have actually purchased it perhaps. It is a shame they haven't figured a way to prevent game sharing if a developer chooses so without restricting you to have to be online. If anything there should be a system set up similar to the Xbox 360 which ties a game to the system, not the account. That way you can play online or offline on the system it is registered too but only online with the account that purchased the game for any other units. It would make the game sharing much less desirable, but it would be up to Sony to basically revamp their whole game sharing policy.

  7. This is terrible. "This protection mechanism has been implemented in numerous games offered on the PlayStation Store before"? Now I'll even have to check if I decide to buy an older game. I do have a constant, reliable internet connection, but what about all of the other points that were made? What about when PSN no longer exists?

    I don't like the idea of a one time only game download. Sony offered flOw as a free one-time download on the North American PSN for a promotion about a month ago. I downloaded it, finished it in a couple of hours and enjoyed it enough that the next day I decided to pay $3 for the expansion. flOw, however, contained a glitch in its newest update that made it so that the entire game had to be uninstalled, then redownloaded with the expansion, and then patched for the expansion to install correctly.

    Sony customer service told me that they were researching my problem and thanked me in advance for my patience, but it's been weeks at this point and I've given up. It's not a huge loss, but it's still annoying that I'll never be able to complete my trophy set.

    It's a shame Capcom's trying this online-only DRM. Did they not see the backlash at Ubisoft when they tried it on the PC? I read that their new PC DRM system has already been hacked.

  8. Terrible, it's simply terrible. Sketcz, actually ye able not to buy it and vote with yer money, but I think such actions of yours (or someone else's) will not stop them from doing such sh*t in the future. Mayhap it's better to stop buying new consoles after 2-3 new generations, 'cause something went really wrong.

  9. Yea and the joke is that ppl will say fuck it and go back to playing illegal roms on a emulator rather then put up with DRM like this.

    Game devolpers and publishers still dont understand that DRM is just a pain in the arse to those who have a legit copy as any pirated copies will have the DRM removed

  10. DRM is bullshit, but to give up on gaming because of Capcom's stupid mistake is an even dumber mistake (sorry if you have other reasons, you certainly didn't say any of them). Do you honestly think that all future generations will have DRM? As far as I know, Nintendo and Microsoft don't have this, can anyone tell me if that's true?

  11. I hate this idiotic sort of DRM as much as the next guy, but to be fair, video game piracy IS getting out of hand to the point where it's honestly hurting a lot of developers. Every time I see someone get outraged over DRM, I completely understand their anger, but at the same time part of me is thinking, "You really want to be mad at somebody, be mad at all the greedy cheapasses who downloaded two-thirds of the games in their collection."

    I see a lot of complaining about issues like these, but I very seldom see any constructive advice on how devs can better protect their products from illegal piracy without screwing over any of their honest customers. As others have said, the "one-time-download-only" route doesn't always work for everyone either.

  12. "This protection mechanism has been implemented in numerous games offered on the PlayStation Store before."

    I haven't met any of them with my purchases so far - been lucky I guess. Let's have a list and avoid buying stuff with such a "feature".

  13. Anup Chagam, I don't said to give up on gaming, I said to give up on buying new consoles, 'cause look at the games for the current generation for ps3/x360, a lot of casual fps/tps (I like fps and tps genres, but not this sh*t with regenerating health and good for nothin' AI).

  14. It feels like every game company is starting to feature this bullshit DRM, regardless of how much criticism they receive from journalists/bloggers/online posters in general. When will one of these companies realize how stupid this is?

  15. If there was ever a reason to treasure a hard copy rather a digital one, this is it. I must say, this re-release is in no way better than the Capcom collection disc with both games already on it.

  16. btGrave- I think you're...oversimplyfying things. I know a lot of great non FPSs for modern consoles. Anyways, the genre will fall out of public favor, like the fighting genre, after it oversaturates the market.

    About DRM and emulation, maybe if companies weren't so eager to nickel and dime us and give us more and more compilations of games already on cheaper compilations, maybe they wouldn't be so suprised at their dwindling returns. After all, both of the games on this compilation are available with about 12 others on a PS2 compilation.

  17. @Lee
    The display options and the arranged music are pretty cool in this release. But the other compilations are a way better value.

  18. After the Sega Ages collection (for example the excellent vol. 32) I'm just against any form of collection without 240p. :-)

  19.'s not just the way game developing companies copyright, it's a way they MAKE MORE MONEY!! Gaming is, more than any other medium, a FOR-PROFIT business, and s*** like this proves it. Look at the most recent Splinter Cell...first they ask you to pay $60 for a FIVE HOUR GAME...then expect you to pay $20 for a expansion pack that will be coming out two months after the game is released. You want the instruction manual? Cough up an extra $5. I can't believe the ludicrious scores this game is receiving too. 9.3 for a FIVE HOUR GAME? The game was in production for THREE YEARS. It's not like Avatar says, hey, we will let you watch half our movie for $15...but then you have to download the other half off of iTunes for $7.50.

    But I digress. Let's compile the same crap we made 20 years ago and release it for $10 and hey, let's not even GIVE our customers the option of playing it without internet. Sure, Joe Bob in bumf*** Kentucky or anyone in a lightning storm won't be able to play our game, but who cares! We'll be able to play it because our internet is ALWAYS connected in San Francisco or Toyko...while we lay our heads on pillows stuffed with money.

  20. Speaking of for-profit business, I think that nothing will ever beat Hustle Kings in my view, a pool game with micro-transactions that allows you to pay (with real cash) for cue-chalk. Awesome.

  21. Anup Chagam, actually I am oversimplifying intentionally, the whole situation is a lot deeper than it looks. Yep, there are really good non fps games for modern consoles. Well, it's my disappointment with a current consoles generation, ten years ago I was thinking that games nowadays will be a lot deeper in terms of gameplay, but I was wrong. And one more thing, sorry 'bout that horrible grammar mistake in tbe previous commentary of mine, English isn't my native language.

  22. What annoys me, is that this DRM is not needed. They could have made it a one-time download only, as opposed to 5 downloads with DRM.

    Other games to do this include Gran Tourismo, and some timed Gran Tourismo demo, of all things. Why the hell do you need DRM in a single-player, FREE demo!?

  23. I'm with Sketcz. I will never pay for a non-multiplayer game that requires me to be connected to the internet.

    As someone who misses the days when owning a game really meant something -- like having a cool box (that maybe didn't fit on your shelf) and a full-color manual with all sorts of background information -- I feel that the experience of playing games is increasingly being cheapened. It's not helped by all the ad-plastered, runs-in-your-browser, Flash crap. Play it once, forget about it, on to the next fix.

  24. Well I'll pay for it even if it requires me to be online. Final Fight has always been one of my favorites.