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Capcom: Now Mods are Cheating

There are few things in gaming that are absolutely sacred, but one of those things is modding. It is an inalienable right, as Bethesda found when they started considering paid modding. Capcom, apparently, didn’t hear this message.


Taro Yahagi, a programmer for Capcom, said mods “aren’t that different from cheating” in terms of what they do to the game internally. Which shouldn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, but of course cheats are something Capcom sell now. Long gone are the days of cheats being an expected inclusion.

It was discussed as part of an anti-piracy conference. You can see the video here – if it hasn’t been taken down.

This comes just a few weeks after Capcom boss Haruhiro Tsujimoto said games were too cheap. At least that was a point we could more or less understand.

But the point on modding is one that is hard to explain away. Modding has been a massively important part of the gaming industry for as long as there has been a gaming industry. From making new versions of games in the 80s to building entire new games with mods today. Likening it to cheating is not just misunderstanding the community, but misunderstanding the industry.

I don’t like calling out individuals, so I’m going to give Taro the benefit of the doubt. In context, he may have meant it literally. But the quote still rubs me the wrong way, because it takes the things that fans are doing and turns it into something grey. Something frowned upon. And that’s just disrespectful.

Capcom and Mods

The Metal Gear Solid Master Collection came out a week ago, and it had a few issues at launch. I’m enjoying it for what it is, but the technical side was found lacking by others. Those people did was Konami hasn’t: they fixed audio issues, they removed filters that made MGS1 look worse than it should and they boosted the resolution up to 4k.

It took them a week.

Is it something Konami probably isn’t thrilled about? Absolutely. Being shown up by a bunch of fans is never going to go down well, especially since some of the things being fixed may never be officially supported. We don’t know why these games weren’t 4k to begin with, but a decision was made somewhere and the collection released at 720p.  But they have sold more copies of their game because other have sorted out the perceived problems than they would have done otherwise. It’s as simple as that. Without modding, without the fans, the collection would have been a less successful game.

Bethesda games are famous for their fan fixes. In fact, barely an AAA title comes out on PC that isn’t somehow improved by the community. That says something about fan dedication and about the state of games. But it’s a good thing there are people willing to do the work for their love of the hobby and little else.

And yes, giant naked vampire ladies come into that as well. Sorry Capcom. But maybe there’s a hint towards costume DLC in the future, huh?


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blank Mat Growcott has been a long-time member of the gaming press. He's written two books and a web series, and doesn't have nearly enough time to play the games he writes about.

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