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Capcom: “PC Game Modding is Cheating!”

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By Nelson Schneider - 11/05/23 at 03:30 PM CT

Long, long ago in those halcyon days of… two years ago, Capcom, one of the big Japanese developer/publisher Corporate Samurai who lorded over the Console Gaming Golden Age of the 1990s like a benevolent Philosopher King straight out of Plato, committed to making PC its “main platform” regarding game development and releases, driving another cold-iron nail into the heart of the twisted pit fiend console gaming has become since the dire 7th Generation. Alas, it seems that Capcom didn’t realize what, exactly, it was committing to, as the Corporate Samurai who once seemed poised to lead Japan into glorious PC Gaming future recently turned a 180, when it declared that unofficial mods for PC games are tantamount to cheating (right before shaking its tiny, Trump-like corporate fists at the sky and yelling at a cloud).

That’s right, one of the only remaining things that still separate PC Gaming and Console Gaming on any fundamental level has drawn Capcom’s wrath. Of course, the existence of fan-made mods, cheats, trainers, and every other form of game tampering exist only on PC nowadays because the consoles have completed their metamorphosis into such heavy-handed DRM blackboxes that console gamers aren’t even allowed to backup their own save files in most cases.

According to Capcom’s official stance, it’s obvious where they’re coming from in their denouncement of mods, and it’s – unsurprisingly – from a very corporate perspective. Capcom is worried about mods’ ability to somehow damage the reputation of their IPs, naturally, but that comes secondary to their concern that mods are undetectable by anti-piracy software.

Of course.

However, this small-minded, myopic view of mods barely scratches the surface of what unofficial alterations to PC games are able to accomplish. Without mods, it would be impossible to run ancient games from the ‘80s and ‘90s on modern operating systems. Without cracking obsolete forms of egregious DRM, games that employed SecuROM would be unplayable by their legitimate licensees (or, to use obsolete terminology, “purchasers”). Furthermore, mods in single-player games are nothing akin to “cheating,” as there is no other party whom will be cheated by using them.

This entire episode all boils down to the fact that Capcom – and Japanese game corporations in general – is simply not, in fact, ready to adopt anything close to the “PC First Mindset” they were so proud of in 2021. While their goal of making PC their main platform was admirable, they were doing it for all the wrong reasons – namely that PC Gaming is growing and had become nearly 50% of the market in Japan at the time they made that statement. Yet Capcom failed to realize that part of the growth of PC Gaming comes from how open it is, without any of the draconian restrictions and nickel-and-dime monetary shakedowns that happen in the console and mobile spaces. And when push comes to shove, PC Gamers will stop buying Capcom games before they stop using mods.

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