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?
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.