Resident Evil 5 is out today and competitive types can look forward to an optional Versus Pack in the near future. The downloadable content includes a point based Manjini shooting gallery and a deathmatch style survivor mode for four players. Both modes sound better than a safari hat for Blanka, but you still have to pay $5 for the Versus Pack. Christian Svensson, Vice President of Business Development, attempts to justify the fee with a statement over at the Capcom forums.
“This is the part where I get to say ‘BS’. RE5 is well worth every penny of $60. A huge game, with tons of replay value, loads of unlockables, new weapons, co-op, mercenaries mode, etc. If any game warrants its price point, it’s RE5.
Prior to the announcement of the Versus mode, no one complained they weren’t getting their money’s worth with the initial release because it packs TONS of value because it is an amazing game. So if people were already satisfied with what the package had, when we offer MORE, why is it people feel they’ve been somehow cheated? If you don’t find value in our secondary offerings, the choice is simple, don’t purchase it. If you do find it valuable (and we hope you do) please do but it and enjoy it.
Secondly, whenever we do PDLC, that content exists with its own budgets, it’s own profit and loss analaysis with its own forecasts. If it didn’t, that extra content wouldn’t have been put into production, because it did not fit within the production budget of the base product.
The content that is shipping in the full game exists within its own budget. The content shipping afterward (regardless of how close to release it is… because the goal IS to have it release relatively closely to the base product’s release) exists within its own budget. To try and have it release in a timeframe that is relatively close to the initial release, development starts well before the base product is on the shelves. There’s no other way to keep it within 3 to 6 weeks of the initial release (which is the goal).”
Barring the business of production budgets for a moment, the other problem with releasing a paid versus mode is only some Resident Evil 5 owners will purchase the extra content. If a horde of fans on both consoles buy the Versus Pack there won’t be an issue. But what if only a fraction, a small fraction, of people who buy Resident Evil 5 get the Versus Pack?
The point of the Versus Pack is to play with others. If there are only a few people to play with you won’t get much use out of the Versus Pack. Granted, Resident Evil 5 is going to be a huge game with a large install base. Even if a small fraction of Resident Evil 5 players purchase the pack you should be able to find someone to play with. However, if everyone who purchased Resident Evil 5 had access to the versus modes there would be a greater supply of players and everyone would get more out of the Versus Pack.