Capcom's PlayStation 3 version of the brawler compilation Final Fight: Double Impact
comes saddled with restrictions that hamper PSN "sharing" capabilities and require online authentication to play, prompting fan frustration and a response by Capcom, which pledges to make such requirements more clear.
Every time the downloadable game is launched, it checks in with the PlayStation Network server; if it cannot establish that connection, the game cannot be played. And while most PlayStation Network games can be "shared" with up to five PSN accounts, Double Impact
can only be played by a single account within a given 24-hour period, severely reducing the effectiveness of the sharing system.
This combination of authentication systems has previously been used in other PlayStation Network downloadable games, including Warhawk
and SOCOM: Confrontation
. However, those games were online-only, making the use of online authentication a trivial matter.
Fans have been particularly outraged by the lack of clear pre-purchase documentation of these restrictions. In an official statement, Capcom has apologized for not making the system more clear.
"Capcom would like to formally apologize for the issues consumers are having with the PS3 version of Final Fight: Double Impact
," the company said. "Typically, the notification for a required PlayStation Network connection appears in the full game description when a game is downloaded from the PlayStation Store. Unfortunately when populating this content this detail was overlooked and wasn't included in the versions of the game that released in North America and Asia."
The company noted that "this protection mechanism has been implemented in numerous games offered on the PlayStation Store before." It said "a fix is on the way," referring to a clearer statement of terms on the game's PlayStation Store page.
Online reactions to the copy protection began to coalesce when an IGN forum user
described his frustration when his wife and children were unable to play the game from their own separate accounts on the same PlayStation 3 console.
He followed that up with an alleged response from a Capcom web admin, who wrote, "This was employed to combat the rampant 'PSN Sharing' that has been going on over the last year," and said Capcom is "not committed to do this with all titles moving forward, but the only way to evaluate impact was to try it with one title first."
It is not clear if that response indeed originates from a Capcom employee; the publisher has not verified its authenticity.