Tidbits from Capcom regarding their PC fighting games (From EVO)


#1

I am in the admittedly small minority of exclusive PC gamers who are also fighting game enthusiasts. After Capcom’s panel at EVO, I struck up a conversation with one of the Capcom employees and got to ask a few PC specific questions. Nothing here is hugely ground breaking, but thought I would pass on what I learned for the interested. Further explanation after the bullet points.

[LIST]
[]Overall approach to PC gaming by Capcom
[
]An in depth explanation for why SFxT has so many issues was provided.
[]Discontent over GFWL is well known.
[
]Cross Platform considerations
[/LIST]
APPROACH TO PC GAMING
The effort to get games to PC is driven almost entirely by Capcom USA. Source code isn’t even provided to the porting team until after the game is already live on consoles.

At the moment they are caught in a vicious cycle, summarized as follows:

Capcom Japan: We will let you develop for the PC simultaneously (and give it more attention) if you can demonstrate there is an audience for it. We haven’t seen it yet.
Capcom USA: That is because we give them shoddy ports with GFWL long after the console version is released. If you let us develop simultaneously so we can release it at the same time and solve bugs during production, and you will see there is a big audience there. We can’t prove it until you let us develop simultaneously.
Capcom Japan: That sounds fair- we will let you develop for PC simultaneously once you show the big audience is there.
Capcom USA: HURRRRR!

It was also mentioned off-handedly that Christian Stevenson is primarily to thank for getting things like AE on PC. They are continuing to work with Capcom Japan to try to do simultaneous development, but nothing that was said suggested this is close to being a reality.

SFxT ISSUES

In addition to the problem of only getting source code once the game is done and having to rush thing, the main wrench in the gears was the new netcode. Simplifying, the netcode is programmed in such a way that it utilizes a combination of your network connection and computing power to determine how many frames can be “rolled back” in the game to determine the results of your actions. This works fine on consoles.

     It does not work fine on PCs.

     In essence, PCs have enough processing power that they can "rollback" many more frames than the PS3 or XBOX360. As a result, if one computer can rollback 7 frames while the other can only manage 4, you start having the issues that we all know SFxT has. It works on the consoles because the processing power is identical- everyone can roll back 3 frames and the problem is avoided. 

    A fix for this issue is still being worked on.

GFWL

They know we all hate it, and they hate it too. Nothing explicit was promised, but it was not-so-subtly suggested that we keep any eye out for news in this regard. At a minimum I would take this to mean that alternatives are being actively considered.

CROSS PLATFORM PLAY

     It does not sound like this is a big priority in their eyes. I specifically mentioned Skullgirls, and was told that 2D games are much easier to do the netcode for. Nothing was said about it not being a possibility going forward, but it sounds like we definitely should not hold our breaths on this.

Hopefully there are a few other PC gamers out there who gained something out of the post.


#2

Thanx for the info, was a good read and I did learn something from it.
Sad that CJ is there own worst enemy in getting decent PC support.
Only thing I would have done different was to ask if they can tell you why SSF4AE v2012 1.07 patch is so badly delayed.
It came out for consoles on 12th Feb, but PC players are still waiting for it over 5 months later.


#3

So what’s it gonna take to make them take a chance? I thought AE on PC sold ridiculously well.


#4

Good shit sir =] Thanks for helping clear it up. Heres to hoping for UMvC3 PC :slight_smile:


#5

Japanese businessmen seem to be extremely risk averse. It’s been so bad that they’ve practically let the entire platform agnostic indie revolution pass them by. We are basically on the last year of the current seven year generation and they’ve only just recently mustered up the courage to really tackle digital stores with more of their old fighting game IP(which Capcom is kinda flooding based on the small release window between Jojos and MvCO) and it’s only on the consoles to boot. They also have the entire market to themselves on the PC so far and they aren’t doing much of anything to build a scene with the constant delays.

These Japanese businesses only move when someone else does the work for them. I expect Capcom Japan to take the platform more seriously if Namco or Netherrealm ever takes it by storm(which they could do easily btw). There have been dozens of amazing indie success stories where small studios have seen 400-700k in sales thanks to Steam and clever marketing, but I don’t see Skullgirls doing that unfortunately.

Basically… someone has to go in there and show them how it’s done. Japan is just too reactive to do anything meaningful from the get go.


#6

Why won’t Skullgirls do that?


#7

They don’t have the manpower.

The beginning of the year was practically empty after SFxT’s abysmal release and the only competition for SG was SCV which is about as different from a niche 2D fighter as it gets. Skullgirls still was not ready for a January launch after a summer delay. We fast forward to the release date for Skullgirls and it played a primary role in the game not being chosen for the biggest EVO yet where even the smaller fighters like SCV, MK9 and KOF blew up like never before. The game lost what could have been 50-60k views in the biggest tournament of the year despite being the promising fighter of the year so far(Persona is shaping up nicely though).

Now we are in the summer and one of their key workers can’t work on adding lobbies and spectator mode because he is too busy breaking his back to bring us the best PC port the fighting genre has seen to this date, but it has taken months and they are missing the Steam sale which basically makes the indie success stories we all know and love. The patching system for consoles has also made adding updates a bitch so the game is still sitting around without being patched with all the thoughtful changes Reverge and Mike have come up with.

Reverge is like the Valve of the FGC, except they don’t have the gigantic crazy fanbase, money, manpower, distribution channels or hats. They’re a prime example of the underdog in just about every way I can think of and reality just keeps getting in the way of their awesome ideas and work ethic.

Goddamn I’m brown nosing like hell right now. I hope you can see my point, though.


#8

Unfortunately, Japan don’t see PC as a major platform for gaming. VNs, Doujin games and the occasional MMO is what their PC market mostly consist of.


#9

Capcom Japan doesn’t know business from it’s own left foot.

What else is new? They screw up everything. The American branch is the only one that even tries anymore.


#10

We can expect an update via Capcom’s blog about SFxT patching and SSF4AEv2012 1.07 after Sven returns from Brazil…

…hopefully everything will become A LOT clearer for the PC fan-base soon and we start getting far fairer treatment.


#11

There’s a 1.07 patch for AE? Damn, I’m way behind in that game.


#12

Yep, the v2012 update is the 1.06 patch. But it had some bugs (Ryu car humping bug for one)
PS3/360 got the 1.07 patch on Feb 12th (The last patch that was released)
Over 5 months later we are still stuck with the 1.06 version of v2012 and waiting for 1.07 to release.


#13

I hope no one believes this.