Michael Pachter Talks On-Disc DLC

According to Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter unlocking downloadable content that is already present on a retail game disc when you by it might not be illegal. On the latest edition of his GameTrailers TV show " Pach Attack," Pachter also says that it shows the greediness of developers and publishers in some ways.

"Yeah, it's just plain greed," he said on Pach Attack. "The answer is that simple. I think that DLC has been so successful that publishers are trying to get a jumpstart and if you put it on the disc it allows them to unlock it when they feel like it."

"Some guys get it right," he continued. "Some guys take a long time to get it out, putting it on the disc allows the publisher to determine the optimal moment to launch it. All DLC is great, games are getting shorter, DLC is keeping people engaged, it's a profit deal. I don't think it makes much difference how it's delivered."

On whether it is illegal to unlock content on the disc that you technically have already paid for, Pachter says it may not be illegal.

"The stuff on the disc, some gamers feel entitled to because they bought the disc, so they should have a right to anything that's on the disc," he said. "And that's a dicey one, you actually do own the disc and I think, theoretically, if you could crack the code on the DLC you probably would be allowed to access it without paying. And I'm not even sure that's stealing because you did, in fact, buy the disc. That's about as close as you can get to legal piracy."

Ultimately Pachter thinks that the practice of on-disc DLC is on its way out. Capcom, one of the companies that have taken the most heat publicly for using this method of delivery, recently said that it would reevaluate the way it handles DLC, though the company admitted that it would continue to use this method in the short term. The most recent Capcom game to have on-disc DLC was Dragon's Dogma.

Source: C&VG by way of The Escapist

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  1. 0
    E. Zachary Knight says:

    It's still piracy, plain and simple.

    ​Sorry. That is not true in the slightest. There is no "plain and simple" case of piracy. Every piracy case has grey area that needs to be considered. Every piracy case has fair use considerations. Every piracy case in unique and you cannot hold one case as a representation of all cases.

    ​Despite what you may think, there is no legal standard in this area. None whatsoever. While you might feel it is wrong, the courts have yet to say one way or another.

    E. Zachary Knight
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  2. 0
    Prof_Sarcastic says:

    If you buy a disc you buy a disc.  Most people aren't savvy enough to hack the contents, but if you are, and if you haven't agreed to any kind of contract, have you broken the law?  Perhaps it varies by country, but here in the UK there is no DMCA, so I'm guessing there was no illegal activity in that case.  Is it immoral?  Perhaps, but that's entirely a matter of opinion, and it would be moronic to assume that my opinion or yours is necessarily correct on that matter.

  3. 0
    kurifu says:

    At some point, any rational person has to realize that what you have said is strictly only an opinion on the matter, very closely linked to what you personally consider "good social behaviour." The problem, that makes this not so plain and simple as you claim, is that most people won't agree with your definition and potentially this also includes the law. The claim that unlocking content on a disc you have purchased is indeed questionable, and largely untested in terms of legal precedent. There are good and logical arguments to support either side of this, and for this reason it is completely fair to say that the issue isn't particularly clear in a legal or social context.

  4. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    That’s still moronic. You didn’t pay for the DLC, whether it’s on the disc you bought or not.

    If you bought the Standard edition of a game, and the disc had Deluxe edition stuff on it, you didn’t buy a Deluxe edition – you bought the Standard.

    It’s still piracy, plain and simple.

  5. 0
    kurifu says:

    You would accept half the content on the disc? To me this seem very arbitrary, what is the test that determines that half the DLC content is acceptable? What about 50.1%?

    I'm of the opinion here that if any percentage of content is going to be acceptable there should be a clear and well reasoned argument as to why that percentage and no other is acceptable. Your statement to supporting 50% does not seem to have very much reason beyond personal satisfaction though.

  6. 0
    Kincyr says:

    I can already see some companies getting around this debate by deliberately having on-disc DLC as "incomplete" and requiring you to pay for 1 or 2 resources (models, textures, scripts, what have you) needed for it to work properly.

    I can forgive a company if the DLC was rather large and about only half of it were on the disc however

  7. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    Wait – there are morons that are trying to say on-disc DLC should be illegal?

    I mean, yeah, I can see why it ain't kosher, but illegal?  You fucking kidding?

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