A post from Capcom's Senior VP Christian Svensson on the Capcom Unity Blog reveals that Capcom has listened to the fans and is reconsidering the practice of including DLC on its retail discs. In his post Svensson emphasizes that Capcom has listened to fans who do not like the practice, and that changes may be on the way, though he says some upcoming releases will still contain on-disc DLC because they were already deep into the development cycle when the policy "re-evaluation" was made. One of those titles is the upcoming Dragon's Dogma. You can read Svensson's entire post below:
We've been getting several questions, here and elsewhere about the future of on-disc DLC.
We would like to assure you that we have been listening to your comments and as such have begun the process of re-evaluating how such additional game content is delivered in the future. As this process has only just commenced in the past month or so, there will be some titles, where development began some time ago and that are scheduled for release in the coming months, for which we are unable to make changes to the way some of their post release content is delivered.
One such title is Dragon’s Dogma, where the decision to include some additional (but not all planned additional) game content for the game on disc was made at the beginning of the game’s development cycle as at the time this was determined to be the most efficient way of ensuring certain content was made available. Owners of Dragon’s Dogma will be able to further their gameplay experience with the release of additional quests, weapons and other items in the months following the game going on sale.
Dragon’s Dogma’s post-launch content will extend the lifespan of a title that already offers around 30-40 hours of gameplay by following the main story thread, but if a player was to complete all the side quests Dragon’s Dogma ships with, that increases to around 100 hours. Players will also be able to add to the stock of 100s of weapons and 1,000s of customization options to create not only their ideally equipped, but also their most elaborately designed character.
Just wanted people to know in advance the whys, wherefores and where we're going in the future. You are being heard. Thanks."
Fans have been pretty vocal about their dislike for on-disc DLC because they feel that if content is on the disc already they should not have to pay extra for it. Capcom took a lot of heat for the on-disc DLC for Street Fighter X Tekken when it was revealed that extra characters that were free on the PS Vita version of the game would cost those that bought the console versions extra money (and it was already on the disc).
Source: Capcom Unity by way of Andrew Eisen.