Taken from a diatribe posted on the GameFAQs fighting games board.
*"San Francisco, CA. I wanted to see whether or not it would be different than the Gamestop SF4 tourney finals set up. Pretty much the same, meaning that Capcom is mostly behind the set up.
I may appear to be ungrateful, but I couldn’t help but walk away from these events with a bad taste in my mouth.
The good news is I did get to ask Seth Killian a number of questions I was itching to ask (8 total). Half of them had to do with things he had no hand or say in and people kept interrupting (it was the theme of the night) whenever I tried to get his opinions on such things. But for the most part, I got all but one question (which I couldn’t remember and had to look up which led to me getting interrupted again) answered which kind of sucks as it was probably the most interesting one.
The event itself… Where to start. First and foremost, there was an EFFING VIP SECTION AGAIN. I HATE these things. What is the effing point? Why are people so desperate to feel “above” others? OK, that question answers itself. But when you’re trying to sell a product like a video game, why in the world would you divide your consumer base in such a way without even getting money for it?
The answer? Because they were pretty much dividing their consumer base along the lines of “people who have no real interest” in the VIP section and “idiot dumb gamers who’ve been sinking money into this industry for the last 20 years” down below. Why in the world do people accept such ridiculousness?
Of course I’m exaggerating and generalizing, but, sorry, and this is going to be a jerk move, when I first got into the VIP section (which I only desired to be in so I could observe what I’m complaining about), there ere 25 people. 13 girls and 12 guys. Never in my life have I seen such a ratio when it came to a fighting game. What gives?
How did I get in? I had to 1: Two weeks ago, notify a female friend who plays fighting games that MVC3 existed. 2: Ask her to get me a VIP pass. 3: Ensure that she did not disclose to the dude she was asking that I was a dude.
My only other friend who got a pass? A well-connected gent you may have seen in the Qore piece on Keystone II or on a number of pre-release gameplay streams of SSF4? Could only get one if he brought a girl. Excellence.
What the F is this crap?
And it wasn’t just non-gaming girls. People were having conversations touting the fact that they had “never picked up a video game” and “didn’t work in the industry” but were invited by a friend because it would “be cool.” Like, they were proud that, even with their lack of exposure to the product, they were still “above” everyone.
So you have all these people high stepping like they’re better than everyone. And all these overdressed girls walking through these crowds of gamers to get upstairs to where the “important” people are with that look on their face like “eew, eew, eew” and it’s like “What the F are you doing here if you don’t want to be around a bunch of gamers?”
The held the stream upstairs in the VIP section. Excellent way to stay connected with the majority of your fans. Don’t let them see you in action doing the things they’ve gone out of their way to catch live on the internetz.
The best set-up for MVC3 was also in the VIP section. People are like “well, duh, that makes sense.” But when you think about it… It doesn’t. You want MORE people to see your MOST IMPRESSIVE CRAP. Business 101. There was an open bar in the VIP section (I don’t drink). That’s not enough? Throw some veggie platters and couches up there and call it a day. When it comes to witnessing the product, there should be no division.
Whatever. Anyway. As far as the other aspects of the event…
You had your usual “serious business” security on the street who would totally posture and overdo it whenever a cop car drove by. Some of them were cool. The sucky part was that not everyone was getting in. A lot of people ended up being turned away and I think they were cutting up the wristbands of people leaving to ensure they didn’t pass them on. This isn’t a problem for me in general but there was, like, nothing in place to really organize things as far as capacity went from the get go so you ended up having people wait for a really long time to find out they weren’t getting in.
VIP got to go in 30 minutes early which was the only time I actually got on a machine and that was only because my friend wanted to play (I prefer to just go crazy on release day). I played for maybe a tenner then went back outside to wait with the rest of my friends.
Either how, a bunch more posturing as they started letting people in “slowly.” They did this at the Gamestop tournament as well and I never understood it. These aren’t farm animals. I understand you don’t want 230847 people running in at the same time, but a nice consistent pace of issuing wrist bands and checking IDs (more on this later) should have been fine. Or maybe I’m just ignorant about these things.
The set up was cool. Lots of cool posters and gimmix and whatnot. But the first thing I notice, of course, was the effing loud music.
I may be alone in this. But I hate loud music. I don’t get it. If this was just a place to dance exclusively, sure. But you are rendered helpless if you wanted to share awe or talk about some new technique or even hold a convo with some people you hadn’t seen in a while. Not this time. We got DJs because we are LEGIT. Some DJs who, seriously, would make comments like “I don’t play video games, but…”
A tangent on the music… The music wasn’t all bad. Hieroglyphics. Souls Of Effing Mischief did 93 to Infinity and I had NEVER seen them live. It was effing awesome but it doesn’t change my stance. The only sounds I think should be heard at a video game launch party are those of the players speaking and the games sounding off.
Place was crowded. And there was a definite lack of organization. As in, like, there was really no system in place so if you didn’t have a good “spot” to play a set up, you were in for some hard times. All I could think about was the dance floor space, the money spent on the open bar in the VIP and all I could think was “set ups and more set ups.”
Again, I may be an old fart or something. But I believe that the launch party for a video game should be about, you know… playing the game. That should be numero uno. You make sure you’ve got maximum set ups and systems in place to get everyone on those machines. Maybe they did have the max amount of set ups they could have. But games seemed like such an after thought.
The biggest thing that stands out is the execution of the “event” itself.
Started at 8:00 PM. 21 and over. IDs checked at the door.
Sounds about right. Until you think about it.
It’s a release party for a VIDEO GAME about SUPER HEROES and CAPCOM CHARACTERS fighting. This is not necessarily a mature situation. I’ve been heavily into these things since before I was 21. I know it was because of the entertainment and alcohol but why the F do those things take precedence over, you know… the game? And the audience for it?
I must just be missing the point. I would have been devastated as a youth being excluded from such a thing due to being “too young.” Not that that’s the point. The point is that I would have been interested in general and it’s not just going to be adults purchasing this game. And you can’t even go without an ID which sounds like small change but it’s like, dude… People just want to play games.
I would expect something like starting at 4:00 PM. Running until night. Perhaps running on a weekend? Something? I don’t know. Yes, it wouldn’t have been the “bombest place to hang out” or the most “happening” thing. Or the most “popping” (is that still said?) Yes, there would have been chillens. Running around with backpacks and Yu Gi Oh.
But I used to be one of those chillens. And I was just as much of a fan as the adults so I don’t understand the company sponsored exclusivity.
And it seems like such risky business. Taking chances with a rowdy crowd and alcohol. There were some… events that went down that, had wind been caught by the right sources could have led to some bad press. Sure, it’s your standard “nightclub” ridiculousness but Capcom isn’t a nightclub company. They produce video games. And I doubt any media outlet is going to push for accuracy and specifics when it comes to writing headlines about “X and O goes down and video game event.”
I’m sure people went and I’m sure a lot of people enjoyed themselves. I just couldn’t shake the thought (the reality) that so much of it was about trying NOT to be what it’s all about. So much of the event came across, to me, as an insecure bid to be “legit” with it’s VIPs and open bars and DJs and musics. It’s like just playing games wasn’t good enough so many things were done to mask the fact that this was a video game event.
The focus on music.
The division of the crowd between “VIP” and "non-VIP."
The bid to appeal to, focus and REWARD those who haven’t given a crap of jack about your products to this day.
It just screamed “PLEASE let us be legit and look! We’re not games!”
What it SHOULD have been (yes, I’m boldly speaking) is NO VIP. Run the stream somewhere where everyone can see the magic. Tons of set ups and some organization. And maybe a tournament to add some gimmikry to it all. But focus focus focus on PLAYING THE GAME and GAMES. The people who matter spend hours doing that at home alone. You don’t need a bunch of extraneous nonsense to make an event a hit.
And I’m tired of seeing the people who have contributed so much to this industry being treated like lower class individuals.
This has been long and random. Sorry. I’m still tired."*
The guys at Capcom are completely out of touch with reality.
“VIP” section comprised of 13 chicks and 12 dudes, the majority of which don’t play games and are only there because “they thought it’d be cool” and “knew people.”
Best setups for the game in the “VIP” section.
Slowly letting people in even though the Goddamn place is empty and making people who are actually interested in the game sit outside in the cold.
Start time of 8 pm, ages 21+ (WHAT THE FUCK?! WHO DO THEY REALLY THINK IS THEIR TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC?!), ID’s checked at the door, open bar available at “VIP” section only.
I am a 25 year old male with a B.S. in a biological field and I know more about successfully marketing this game than all of those ass-clowns.
Seriously, fuck Capcom. So glad I wasn’t there for that queerness. They can kiss my 60$ good-bye. I hope they go bankrupt and California breaks off the Western Coast and drifts into a typhoon.
Edit: Haha, my thread on Capcom Unity got deleted. Fucking asshole poser admins running damage control can eat a hot bowl of dicks.