A lot of Capcom fans have been wondering why the Japanese company has chosen GFWL over Steamworks, as Valve’s DRM seems a whole better – and provides proper protection prior to the game’s launch – than the one of Microsoft. Well, time for some answers as Capcom’s Senior VP of planning and business development, Christian Svensson, went ahead and explained the reasons for choosing Microsoft’s DRM.
According to Sven, one of the key points is the fact that 95% of system calls are identical to Xbox Live. Yeap, it’s the porting thing we’ve discussed in other topics and the reason why From Software decided to use GFWL in Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition. As Sven said, if you have an Xbox 360 version of a game, you’re ‘95% of the way to having a working PC SKU, and the calls that are different, aren’t wildly different. No additional integration required.’
Sven also claimed that GFWL provides feature for feature mapping with Xbox Live, meaning that there cannot be gaps between the two versions of a title that uses both of them. In addition, GFWL’s SSA remains secure and the service provides native development support, if needed, in Japanese, in Japan’s time zone. This is crucial as Capcom’s teams are based in Japan and – as of now – Steam does not provide something like that.
Naturally, a lot of users were upset with Sven’s answers and in another thread, Sven said that Capcom was actually one of the first companies who attempted developing a full Steamworks title:
“We were there before anyone else. Know how I know? Because I did that particular deal with Valve back in 2006 and we were working with them at that time to pull the key pieces of said features out of Half-Life2 code for integration into Lost Planet 1. It was the first time that was ever done with a non-Valve game. Libraries and SDKs didn’t even exist yet.”
So what happened and Capcom decided to ditch Steamworks over GFWL? Apart from the aforementioned key points, only Capcom knows. It’s a fact thought that there must be something that forced Capcom in doing such a thing.
Sven concluded that he loves Steam as a service and at some point, he’ll have news to share regarding that fact. Sven has also stated that piracy continues to be a sizable challenge on nearly all platforms. Sven wanted to expand and share his opinion on piracy, however he felt that ‘sharing it is unfortunately too large of a lightning rod that will attract far too much unwanted attention.’ Does this mean that Capcom shares the same thoughts as Ubisoft or is the company unhappy with the recent, underwhelming, console sales of its games?