About a month ago, every Capcom game on Steam would have overwhelming positive reviews. Since then, those reviews have shifted quite negatively. The reason: Capcom is punishing their consumers by updating their old catalog of games with digital rights management (DRM)
How is stopping piracy seen as such a negative thing? DRM is known to affect a videogame’s performance with issues like long loading times, decreased frame rates and making modding difficult. It is not uncommon for DRM to be cracked within a day to remove these issues or consumers to pirate an earlier version of the game before it was updated with DRM.
While there is not a definitive answer on why Capcom is going to this extent, most have concluded to a specific situation that happened during a Street Fighter 6 tournament this summer. The event’s host, who was streaming the competition, left a nude Chun-Li mod installed on his computer. Everything would have been fine unless there was a competitor who used Chun-Li as their fighter, which there was.
According to a recent Capcom developer conference held for their research and development team, mods are essentially the same as cheating, especially ones that “violate public order and morals,” such as nude mods, which is why older games are being updated with DRM that tends to break mods that are already installed or prevents modding altogether.
I have no problem with gamers downloading mods. Gamers technically own the game, therefore, they can modify the game files to their hearts’ content. Capcom decided to lump everyone who mods their games as cheaters because someone wanted to see a character naked, which I think is an over exaggeration. Mostly, everyone who mods games are not degenerates.
I own most of Bethesda’s catalog on Steam, and their games are still talked about to this day because of the modding community. On Nexus Mods, a site to download mods for videogames, six of their games dominate the site with the most downloads. Those games are Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout 4, Oblivion, Skyrim and Skyrim Special Edition.
The mods that are made for those games add new characters, weapons, monsters, quests, world spaces and companions into the game. There are mods that change the gameplay and user interface, and some also help the game run more smoothly or not crash all the time. While most Bethesda games still crash with mods installed, they do not crash as much.
There is also the fact that some mods were also turned into games. The most famous mod, Garry’s Mod, was a sandbox mod for Valve’s Source engine until it was eventually released as its own game. The Forgotten City, a quest mod for Skyrim, was the first mod to win an award at the Australian Writer’s Guild before it was adapted into a game. Counter-Strike, Team Fortress, Dota and PUBG started out as mods before they became the multiplayer games they are known for.
Is modding cheating? No. In fact, it is the one reason why so many older games are still breathing. I understand if Capcom denounces the minority that mods their games that violates their intellectual property, but they also do not have to punish the rest.