Deep Down Being Free-to-Play Is A Necessary Risk Says Capcom

By Ishaan . July 29, 2014 . 12:29pm

Capcom have been fairly quiet regarding the development of Deep Down, their upcoming free-to-play action RPG. The game was originally announced in February 2013 for the PlayStation 4, and since then, updates on the title have been fairly sparse, with little indication as to when the game will be released.


Deep Down is part of Capcom’s push into games with a heavy online component. It’s also their first major big-budget free-to-play game, and is being developed alongside an entirely new engine called “Panta Rhei,” which will facilitate development for the latest hardware.


During a recent shareholders meeting, Capcom were asked to comment on the fact that the free-to-play approach can be very risky, and were also asked if one could expect to see the game contribute to the company’s earnings this fiscal year (ie; by March 31st, 2015).


“We understand that there are some risks, partly because ‘deep down’ is our first free-to-play game for a next-generation console,” a Capcom representative replied. “But we believe that risk taking to some extent is required in part because this title is the starting point for our growth in content sales for next-generation consoles.”


“Furthermore, a business model in which we do not simply sell games has the advantage of giving us access to feedback from users. We are able to use that information to solve issues, so we plan to continue to refine and update “deep down” for some time.”


Regarding the earnings question, Capcom stated: We have not decided when to launch this title. But since we will use the free-to-play business model, earnings will probably be small in the first fiscal year regardless of when we start this service because of depreciation expenses. We anticipate earnings from this title for longer term starting in the following fiscal year.”


Deep Down was mysteriously absent from both E3 and San Diego Comic-Con this year, with both events placing Capcom’s Monster Hunter 4 in the spotlight instead. Earlier in the year, Capcom’s Yoshinori Ono stated that the game was taking time to create because Capcom were monitoring user feedback during the development process.


“I’m also listening to all the complaints,” Ono said. “And for this reason, we’re currently working hard on something that will make you guys think, ‘Oh, so that’s why it took so long!'”

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  • But isn’t this title staying in Japan only? If so does that seem like a bigger risk?

  • Namuro

    The game looks pretty good so far, but the game model seems to anger a lot of people.

    Time will tell, I guess…

    • nekolife

      Anybody who loves videogames should be angered by the exploitive and cancerous business model.

      • DanielGearSolid

        F2P isnt exploitive

        I for one will never complain about being able to try a game b4 I spend any money on it.

        And if I want to spend $60 I can.

        If i only wanna spend money on the weapons, customization, items etc. that I like, then I can.

        I seriously don’t understand what the problem is

        • nekolife

          You haven’t been paying very close attention then. There are whole cash cow genres of games whose mechanics are designed to be artificially limitting so that players will be enticed to spend money to bypass them.

          It’s exploitive, it’s cancerous, and it makes too much money for them to ever stop. :(

          (Remember when videogames charged you a quarter per life and were designed to kill you a lot? Is that what we want from gaming in 2020?)

          • DanielGearSolid

            Sorry but these conspiracy theories hold no weight…

            F2p and Full retail are two viable options for gamers.

            There are plenty of horrible full retail games out there… It’s not an automatic boost in quality.

            There also plenty F2Ps that ppl enjoy without spending a dime.

            You have your opinion on f2p but don’t try to pass it off as fact that all f2p is exploitive

  • Jadfish

    At least they know the risk of free to play.

    I hope they know the stigma of it too, and that they’ll actively try to better the model so that it will b-WHO AM I KIDDING it is Capcom

    • Robert Kupper

      The stigma really seems to be among a small group of people. I think younger players who have grown up more on fully digital releases care less as well. A whole lot of money goes through those F2P games. I am not sure its the market for a AAA title; but recent full price games with microtransactions saw absolutely no push-back from the public.

      Not that I disagree with you, I hate this, and I don’t like where the industry is going right now.

      • Jadfish

        I tink the large majority of those young players who have grown up on fully digital releases and F2P games don’t own or plan to own a PS4 (and a lot of them probably don’t even know what a PS4 is). They are content with a PC or IOS device where there are plenty of F2P thing already.

  • Cheesy12

    I still think a physical title would’ve been better, but at least with F2P you can give it a whirl to decide whether you hate it or not.

    • Jadfish

      true, but in a lot of F2P cases, they are finely tuned and tested so that you will have enough fun the first 3 to maybe 8 hours that you want to continue playing. Then you’ll hit a very certain spot where you have to pay money to continue progressing as fast as before, or you’ll have to grind something for a long time.

      If deep down subverts this, I’ll be the first one to praise Ono and Capcom for making a fair F2P game, but until then I am not holding my breath in anticipation.

  • Domii

    “The game was originally announced in February 2013 for the PlayStation 3”

    Huh? I thought it was announce for PS4 exclusively?

    • Cheesy12

      Typos aren’t exactly uncommon on this site lol.

      • Domii

        Well I’m glad this was a typo because I would’ve been in total awe to see a ps3 running next gen graphics……..

  • DemonicX

    F2P and Capcom? Those two should never be together.

    • Tyler Beale

      Maybe so, but there’s a certain company who apparently hates F2P MMOs, and therefore refuses to bring that one sci-fi MMO to the west….yet continues to give us blue hedgehogs and the digital diva…

      Also, Capcom has done F2P before, but most of those titles were in Japan-only. And shitty.

      • Mika Moreno

        Those digital diva games in the west are a blessing. But i do want the MMO…

        • I agree… We should all be thankful that Sega finally took the plunge to bring Miku titles to the West. Let’s hope that the niche market here proves to be sustainable for those types of games, because then we miiiiiiiiiiiiight even see a Shining game hit the West again… A Tony Taka fan can dream.

          • Mika Moreno

            As a Vocaloid fan, those games being in the west is great. And now, the 3DS is even getting localized! Plus the Project Diva are really the only things Sega has to interest me… I hope so. Niche games are the best games. There aren’t enough of them.

      • Guest

        Take the Sega hate elsewhere.

  • Kroz

    …I still feel this is gonna be a flop

  • Genjo

    THAT’S awesome its coming to PS3 now NOT ps4 yup next gen is ps3!?!?!

  • Just make it so I can pretend it’s Dragon’s Dogma 2 and I’ll play it for all time.

    • CISphil

      Man I hope a DD 2 is in the works…

  • Brandonmkii

    hopefully the real money part of this game will be for aesthetic and storage space type things a la pso2.

  • tvrsteve

    Basically seems they went this route since it’ll mean they can get money out of it beyond the launch window, as well as avoiding the stigma of good ol’ Capcom DLC. Still this only sets off alarm bells as to how the F2P aspects will be balanced in terms of how much it tiptoes the lines of Pay-2-Win and bleeding players’ cash every few hours.

  • Michael Martin

    I lost all interest I had in this game when it was announced as F2P.

  • IkariShinji

    I don’t get what’s people’s issue with F2P games. I mean what’s the difference between F2P and paying monthly for a game. Doesn’t it depend on the game in question?

    • Hexodious

      P2P is where everyone is equal, where F2P is not, even when there is like 1% of a cash shop involved.

      • IkariShinji

        Tbh I have no idea but from what my friend says one FF online game people were pretty much doing bad things with bosses and they had to do some tricky stuff to report them because nobody else did. So I just thought that any game could be corrupted or have shady people.

        • Hexodious

          That’s the community’s fault, not the games themselves. Even I come across a lot of these issues on Fiesta Online private servers with raid bosses with it’s screwjobs, so I understand where your friend is coming from.

      • depends how it’s implemented, i’d like to say dev’s are getting better than realising people hate pay2win, with most f2p store stuff nowadays being cosmetic or shortcuts – you either pay with time, or money.

    • AndyLC

      F2P adds in a layer of grindiness to encourage people to spend money to save time.

      A monthy subscription game is quite similar to that in that you want to block players from advancing through content too quickly so they feel like they’re getting their money’s worth, but it’s still different enough in that a monthy sub game is more about having “LOTS OF CONTENT” than “content behind grindiness”

  • AndyLC

    Satan must be on the Capcom board of directors because “An action dungeon exploration game with a strong sense of realism” is something I wanted to see from Capcom after From Software’s D Souls, then Satan added “FREE TO PLAY BRAH”

    • HarakiriKami

      This is more Dragons Dogma meets Assassins Creeds story.

      Play Dragons Dogma.
      Its like monster hunter went full on zelda style rpg

      • Ruins72

        And I love it :P

        • HarakiriKami

          Dark Arisen is fucking fantastic

  • tubers

    If it bombs.. wonder if they’ll port it to mobile and the emerging Android cheap consoles.. (much later on).. then be praised much more to be the because of some/certain mobile gaming standards.

    Could be a turn off w/o controllers but maybe Capcom can do something.. they did bring a full fledge MH to touch screen.

  • Guest

    Gundam Battle Operation is F2P and generates a lot profit for Bandai Namco. THAT’S THE FACT.

  • Michael Richardson

    Free to Play = I Won’t Play. Simple as that. I’ve seen what it does to game design. It’s spreading like a cancer, and the only way to stop it is to refuse to support it.

    • HarakiriKami

      Or you know,you take a look at the game based on its merits rather than assuming issues because other games dont handle their model correctly. If anything you should be worried about capcom’s implementation specifically as this is their first F2P venture. The reality is that every game can have game design issues.

      Even FF14 has a major design issue by the wall you hit at level 45 that you wont get past till level 70.

      Hell old NES games have game design issues where one enemy gives you something for hitting it and touching another will insta kill you so it just results in a lot of senseless trial and error,

      • Robert Kupper

        All games can have issues, yes. However, free-to-play games incentivise developers to do things that are not in the best interests of the players. I can take issue with the payment model as much as I can with any other aspect of a game. (It also helps that I have never enjoyed a cash shop game I played)

        Boycotting still does alright because these games do lose out on something when you don’t play them: Population. Multiplayer games need a community to be successful. The market for F2P RPGs is already oversaturated and many of these games are basically dead on arrival (Not the bigger budget ones though, no.). You aren’t as important as a cash cow player, but it is something. Doesn’t matter too much though, I won’t play them because I do not like the idea of cash-shops, so I leave them alone as much for myself as any other reason.

        • HarakiriKami


    • I dont think the whole opt out thing works for boycotting free to play, since it’s not like they lose anything if you dont play it…

      Like if you intentionally dont buy the latest CoD, thats money they’ve lost, if you intentionally dont play their f2p game, nothing happens.

  • Alter

    Oh the irony, hating F2P and keep supporting $60 CoD rehash. LOL

    • subsamuel01

      There are plenty of good games that cost $60 that aren’t Call of Duty. I have nothing against F2P games, but a lot of them end up making people spend more than $60 anyways.

      • Brion Valkerion

        They don’t make people do anything though.

        The people who buy crap in free to play are always the “I don’t wanna wait” and “it’s just x amount of money” crowd.

    • Blackburn7

      I highly doubt that many people visiting Siliconera play CoD games at all.

    • Robert Kupper

      Do you know what irony means?

  • Black Heaven

    An F2P big budget title. I could see how this could easily turn out a pretty evil cashing game.

    I really hope I will be proven wrong on this one.

  • Kornelious

    No Capcom, Making a F2P game is only such a big risk because YOU are developing it X(

    And while I do really look forward to this game i wish they would work on more anticipated titles like Dragons Dogma 2 and and a new Resident Evil for fans of RE….Y’know something that you can ENSURE the success of :(

  • Rinslowe

    Definitely an interesting direction to take. Not sure I like that idea tbh. But being F2P I’ll check it out anyway and reserve judgement until then…

  • KingKellogg The Waffle Haggler

    I just hope it isn’t only dungeons, and I hope we can make our own guy.

  • Supsharoo.

    I dont get the freeto play hate

    Its free,kind of

    • neogeno

      I imagine its that ‘kind of’ that creates such controversy.

    • WhyWai

      problem with free to play. it will start great with many players since it’s free. Then the player drop drastically once it reach the hurdle where the game ask for purchases. In the end, the only left are those who paid, and continue to pay more than others to be on top, until he is the only one left playing the game.

    • Demeanor

      For me the problem is twofold: bad f2p policies (like paying to give you an advantage over others, or to make the game playable/enjoyable at all) and poor quality of the game in general.
      A f2p game should provide you with a good game experience and give you the chance to become the world’s best at that game; purchases should be confined to aesthetics and smart shortcuts if there’s smtg you absolutely want NOW, without waiting to grind it. Prices should be reasonable and grinding time adequate; the point of a successful f2p is to make the player fall in love with the game so much that he/she doesn’t mind giving money to the devs because it’s a good game.
      Imo LoL and Tekken revo are examples of good f2p. SC lost swords is an example of VERY bad f2p, outrageous prices and loading times for what the game offers.

    • Gigan22

      As others have said, it depends on how the companies do the f2p. Path of Exile is perfect example of good f2p. Great game that only has you paying for visual enhancements. There are zero items to buy that give you any sort of advantage. They bank on you enjoying the game enough to give them some money for stuff to make your character look cool. And it works BECAUSE it’s such a good game. Make a good product and people will support it. Tribes: Ascend and Hawken are other examples of good f2p. They have the more traditional buy new gear model, but from my experience they’re balanced enough that people who don’t pay for the “best” gear aren’t getting rocked by the people who are paying for it.

      Let us hope Capcom follows suit with Deep Down.

      • Robert Kupper

        I understand many people feel this way, especially more competitive gamers, but I hate both models. One of the big draws of RPGs to me is character customization. I really hate when all the cool looking stuff in the game is $5.

        Additionally, F2P gives developers a different set of priorities. F2P games consistently seem to have weak post-launch development, usually centered on ways to convince people to spend more money. Developer time is spent on a new set of armor to be exclusively sold for cash, or a game is designed with intentional roadblocks that you can pay to skip. These days even single player games have weapon packs and downloadable skins and other ways to nickle-and-dime players.

        I am not sure why we collectively decided it was fine to pay for fake digital clothes as long as they aren’t better than other people’s digital clothes. I remember when you bought a game, and then you had a game and you could play all of it, but I guess I am old now.

        • Gigan22

          Oh I completely agree with you. I also enjoy customizing my characters, so it sucks developers put anything behind a pay wall, aesthetic or not. I was simply saying, of the Free 2 Play models, I dislike examples such as the ones I gave the least.

          But yes, I would much rather just give my $30 or $40 or whatever they want to charge, for the entirety of Path of Exile rather than saying, “look at ALL of this extra stuff I wish I had to customize my character but have to purchase it, and I can’t buy all of it as it’s going to cost me a ton of money.” It’s really ridiculous.

          Sadly, as you say, the same crap happens in games we’re already paying full price for. That’s why I don’t buy any of that stuff. I absolutely love Mass Effect and bought all of the expansions for all the games. Did I buy those weapon packs? Hell no. Same for Borderlands 2 and the character skins.

          Unfortunately, I think that model is here to stay and we as gamers just have to not buy those kinds of things. Though there are plenty of people who still do.

          • Robert Kupper

            I really hope some actual ill will develops from gamers and people start to push back. Publishers keep going further and people keep rolling over. People posting online are obviously the minority here.

            I have enough of a backlog of games these days that I don’t really buy any game that has a season pass or preorder content. I wait 9 months and get the all included version.

            I did buy borderlands 2 and all its initial run of expansions, that was the last time I felt like DLC was worth my while. I am fine with expansion packs and all. I certainly got $10 of enjoyment out of that content, which is more than I can say for spending the same on an armor skin in Planetside 2 or an XP boost in Forza. Sadly, full expansions have kind of died in favor of much smaller offers.

  • BGBandit88

    As much as it hurts to say capcom is dying man there only life line is street fighter and there’s only so far you can take that. Come on go back to what you know MARVEL VS CAPCOM, MEGA MAN this may be impossible but what if they could pull off remastering there classic titles ill be all in

    • Brion Valkerion

      The marvel thing isn’t really in their hands… though it really should be a nobrainer to Marvel to let them use the property more. MM isn’t a big cash cow as fans like to believe either. In general though Capcom has the most unused “good” IP in the biz which is insane. Proper budgeting and spreading titles out would do wonders for these guys. Plop down a bunch of mid/low budget titles for digital/3DS for old brands like MM and more, focus down on big franchises like Resident Evil to regain trust and Street Fighter to maintain the status quo, while working on recent successes such as Dragon’s Dogma.

      Sadly they seem on track to not figure this out til its too late.

    • I dont think they’ll die for a while yet. Majority of their games are crap nowadays but im sure all it would take to get them out of the red is to do a good REmake2

      • monkey king

        Lol “out of the red”, they aren’t in the red….their net profit has been stable at ~20+ million dollars every year for the past 5 years.

        • yeah i know, im talking in a hypothetical situation in the future if/when it happens.

  • Neil Q

    If they were “monitoring user feedback”, judging by the feedback I’ve seen thus far, this game would have been poopcanned the instant it went F2P. Such a bummer. I loved Capcom once. God I’m old.

  • Learii

    I don’t get it why they always say free to play like others games for example dark souls or demon souls after I buy it is mine so I can play whenever I want wherever I want not like I need to keep to pay to play the game as for FF 14 is pay to play because is MMORPG so I don’t get it

    • Demeanor

      F2P means you can START playing without paying anything, but you’ll see features asking for money somewhere down the road, and whether it’s good f2p or bad f2p is decided by how they do this. League is good f2p imho, Dungeon Keeper is extremely bad f2p.
      Souls game are normal retail games, you pay a one-time price for the license to use it at will, not to be confused with a subscription-based mmo like ff xiv that keeps adding new content over time and requires a lot more maintenance costs, it’s meant to “accompany” you for a long time. For further insight, the internet is your friend.

      • Learii

        so you saying Deep Down is not a retail game?

        • Demeanor

          Exactly, I’ve never heard of a go-to-the-store-and-buy-a-packaged-copy f2p game. That would require costs for Capcom to go physical, and the shop staff should just give you the game for free?
          If it’s f2p, it’s bound to be digital only, not with subscriptions but with microtransactions; as to what they will be, we can only guess for now.

          • GotNews4Ya

            Uhm.. This is not the truth.. There are plenty of free to play, packaged retail copies of games.

            League of Legends had a launch and the game cost 30$, and came with a lineup of certain characters. 40-50 or something.

            PS3 has copies of DC Universe: Online at Gamestops… and I can remember other FTP games getting packaged as well..

          • Learii

            we never heard that is going to be in PSN only too

  • Seven of The Scions

    The longest time I play “FREE-TO-PLAY” game is…


    Mostly a hour-err i mean less than a day, then I forgot about the game.
    No precious time wasted no money wasted.

    • Jason Mounce

      Good generalization with no examples.

      Warframe? I got 400 hours on it. Lol

      Your loss if you have to stigmatize an entire business model based on your ignorance :P

      • Seven of The Scions

        Warframe? Let’s see, just played 5 times, 2 hours at longest each playtime. Then never played again, lol

        • Jason Mounce

          Planetside 2? TF2? Dota 2? Path of Exile?

          Any F2P MMO like Rift/SWOR/LOTR:O/Neverwinter?

          Realm of the Mad God? APB Reloaded? Spiral Knights? Vindictus? Blacklight Retribution? NeoTokyo? No More Room in Hell?

          • GotNews4Ya

            Uhm… you forgot the biggest one..
            *Drum Roll*
            League Of Legends (LoL) – It’s only the biggest and fastest growing eSports game, and its FTP.

          • Seven of The Scions

            Hahaha sorry, I’m not interested any of those, I got all consoles and handhelds and hundred games unfinished, maybe I’ll try those in 10 years later.

    • Jadfish

      I have played a few and I always (Valve games excepted) run into a very clear paywall, where the fun gets interrupted by tedious shit unless I pay real money.

      • Seven of The Scions

        That just not the way to enjoy my games~

        Maybe I’ll try Deep Down a bit.
        But my aim is Bloodborne, or hopefully Dragon’s Dogma 2 with real multiplayer co-op, lol

  • Ash_Riot

    Does this game look as good as at reveal? Feels like forever since we last saw it.

    • Jadfish

      it looks good now, thats for sure, but I don’t think they can live up to that first trailer. It was clearly CG all the way, or at least heavily touched up in-game assets

  • Kumomeme

    could take risk with still unreleased game with free to play games
    but didnt take ‘risk’ porting dragon dogma to pc which is surely bring money to capcom

  • Dashaun Rutledge

    You would think Capcom hates money, how they absolutely ignore hit franchises begging for sequels and do a free to play game. Although I’m looking forward to DD.

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