Street Fighter V's Convoluted March Update Gets Release Date
Prior to the launch of Street Fighter V, Capcom and Dimps laid out a roadmap of post-launch content for the fighting game. Even with those updates promised, it didn't stop the criticism that there was too little content available at launch. With March nearing its end, Capcom has finally detailed exactly when it plans to roll out the promised features and DLC.
The March update is coming in two separate parts. On Monday, March 28, the first adds combo-focused Challenge mode, the option to challenge online opponents to a rematch, eight-person lobbies, and some bug fixes and minor balancing. Two days later, the March 30 update adds Alex and his related story content, as well as the in-game shop that allows players to purchase characters and costumes using earned Fight Money.
Capcom has said that players can purchase in-game currency called Zenny using real money, which can also be used to purchase additional fighters and costumes, but that will not be implemented with this update. Instead, players that do not own the Season Pass and do not purchase Alex with the earned Fight Money can use the character for free until Zenny is implemented. This applies to all DLC characters until Zenny is added into Street Fighter V. Once the real-money currency is introduced, the free trial for the DLC characters will end, and only those who have purchased the characters with Fight Money, Zenny, or the Season Pass will keep them on their roster.
Season Pass holders will be the only ones able to access the premium costumes for the DLC characters until Zenny is enabled. In addition, Capcom is promising a new stage to Season Pass holders at no additional cost.
To thank players for their patience, Capcom is giving Ryu and Chun-Li's costumes from story mode to all players for free. Normally, these would cost 40,000 Fight Money each. Capcom is promising that it will continue to iron out additional bugs and work on issues like rage quitters.
You can see an overview of the March update posted by Capcom below.
Capcom was already heading in the wrong direction with its Street Fighter V launch plan, but this does little to help matters. In addition to narrowly sneaking its March update in before March ends, its attempts at making the post-launch plan more rewarding for players ends up being a convoluted mess. Holding off on launching the Zenny shop until it's completely ready is a good move, and giving the DLC characters as free trials to all players benefits the majority, but what about the Season Pass holders who have paid for these characters in advance? Is it worth alienating them for a character that can be earned in-game by completing the short (and easy) story mode?
I know that Capcom is making it so they get exclusive access to the premium costumes for those DLC characters in addition to keeping the characters after the "trial" period ends, but would anyone who already plunked down $30 in addition to the cost of the game for the Season Pass tell you that early access to those DLC costumes makes it worth it for them? Promising a new stage for Season Pass holders is a step in the right direction to rectifying this situation, but it's still probably not enough to make it up to those who bought it prior to all of this. It plays off of other recent Season Pass concerns that have been raised through other publishers' games to further discourage consumers from picking these up – even if they're a big fan of the series in question.
Street Fighter V's launch was less than stellar, and it's good that Capcom wants to give players additional free stuff to make up for it. But doing so in the form of two costumes that are already on-disc and then claiming that it's "an 80,000 Fight Money value," drawing a parallel to that being, "almost the full value of a DLC character" is not the best strategy for a publisher that has gained some notoriety for its past DLC plans including content already on-disc.