Namco Bandai enters SoulCalibur 5 DLC debate

"No-one ever really knows what goes on in development."

Namco Bandai has defended its pre-launch SoulCalibur 5 DLC announcement - and insisted there's plenty on the disc to keep fighting game fans happy.

The SoulCalibur 5 DLC announcement, made before today's launch of the game, sparked a debate on Eurogamer about the nature of DLC schedules, with some accusing Namco Bandai of selling content already on the disc.

"Pre-launch DLC announcements, otherwise known as 'maybe you should wait for the complete edition to come out when it'll be cheaper,' wrote Eurogamer reader Whizzo.

"Isn't announcing your DLC content before the release of the game terrible business?" asked Canyarion. "You're basically saying "Look, our game is finished, we just decided to leave some parts out. You'll pay full price for the game and then extra for the parts we left out!"

Three packs of DLC are scheduled to launch in February, each priced €1.99 or 160 MS points in Europe. They include bikinis, wings and face paints with which you can customise your characters.

"No-one ever really knows what goes on in development and I think it's important to show that we are supporting the game and will be post-launch," Namco director of marketing and PR explained to Eurogamer.

"I can tell you that the game is no way limited in content and the character creation tool will certainly allow for some truly unique styles entering battle."

Eurogamer's SoulCalibur 5 review returned an 8/10. The Xbox 360 version is currently sitting on a 77 Metascore, the PlayStation 3 version is on 82.

"The scores are in line with what I believed they would be," Kirton said. "I'm happy we've received some nines and also some eights, including Edge.

"I believe the majority of the reviews are totally fair and I think it will do well overall."

Looking to the game's launch, Kirton said SoulCalibur pre-orders have been "quite good", and pointed to its early 2012 release as a potential benefit.

"I think the game is going to do well and it will continue to do well over a longer period," he said.

But what of the future? If SoulCalibur 5 fails to meet sales expectations, what then? Will Namco Bandai pull the plug on the long-running fighting game franchise?

"The franchise is important to us, however at present we are not looking at it 'not achieving'," Kirton said.

"We have worked hard to be clever in the world of PR, we've worked hard with the communities and we've got great reviews to sit alongside the marketing.

"We have no confirmation on a new Soul title however, but you never know what the future holds."

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