Friday, May 25, 2012

Talking Street Fighter x Tekken Blues

So Capcom released Street Fighter x Tekken, a mediocre, buggy fighting game, into a market they themselves over-saturated, then attempted to nickel-and-dime the fans to death by locking away content behind a paid firewall. Game fails to reach sales goals. Company bosses are baffled and confused when said game fails to sell millions of copies.

No thanks, count me out. I will not become a mindless, willing lab rat, pulling levers and running mazes just to get my sugar pellet. I would much rather treat my fans with dignity and respect. I'd rather build communities instead of mindlessly exploiting them. True gamers know better than to be used.

My thinking is this: if you're going to flood the market with fighting games - and I'm a big Sega Saturn fan, so I love fighting games - at least make them affordable. Heck, I'll sell you Capcom's 4-Meg Saturn fighters for $10. That's a fair price, I think, not $40-$60. But it's easy to talk that way with vintage catalog titles; newly-developed ones are a different story.

How many copies of Street Fighter x Tekken does Capcom have to sell, at $60 a copy, in order to break even?  How many copies of a "Project Phoenix" fighting game, at $10 a copy, do I have to sell in order to break even?  Now ask yourself this: what is going to happen when the kids figure out the $10 game is functionally identical (or better) to that $60 version? 

Here's the key to understanding our situation:  Street Fighter x Tekken required a budget of millions, a staff of dozens (if not hundreds), and the latest technology, including 1080HD, online play, and DLC.  Meanwhile, Project Phoenix games were produced and released eons ago.  The finished games are now collecting dust in warehouses.  Capcom has no interest in a classic game like Street Fighter Zero 3 on Saturn (shown above), certainly not in the PS360 era, and so it becomes lost and forgotten.

All I am doing is dusting off an old fighting game, pressing it to an SD card, and selling for the price of a movie ticket.  Clayton Christensen calls this "crappy products for crappy customers."

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