Pre-ATEI buzz – Tekken 6 rumors and BlazBlue tested in Europe

Shaggy January 12, 2009 5

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In a build up to ATEI within the next few weeks, Europe has seen a location test of the new fighting game BlazBlue (pictured above), with a big turn-out of players only hampered by the fact that the cabinet used was a hatchet job of a CRT and other parts that gave up the ghost after hordes of players came down to check the game out. It’s good news for Europe that the game is coming to the UK and it should be seen at ATEI but if the effort put into the testing is going to use a converted cabinet instead of a Vewlix or something more official then it is certainly not going to help increase enthusiasm for the game. As Kevin Williams pointed out when he sent us this story: “when a successful opportunity exists for the amusement sector to save at least some credibility – it drops the ball at the last moment.” Location testing could be used to build the hype for the game in addition to seeing how a game will handle in the marketplace but we constantly see opportunities for such a thing passed by, with DJ Max Technicka being a notable exception.For Kevin’s review of the BlazBlue Europe debacle, hit the post break below.

In other fighter news for Europe, rumor has it that Bandai Namco will debut Tekken 6: Bloodline Rebellion at ATEI. This would be the second time T6 has shown up at ATEI and hopefully this time we won’t see another scene where players are arguing with execs over the game. Stay tuned for more info and discuss it on the forum.

‘Relearning to Supply a Service – The BlazBlue location test debacle’ – By Kevin Williams

The situation was less than ideal – the final cabinet used was not a VEWLIX but a well worn 1999 CRT (none HD) system, with wonky audio and controls. The machine suddenly become overwhelmed by intense interest from frantic gamers making the trip especially to the basement venue to see the game – soon the cash-box was overflowing, and then…Bang!

Yes, you guessed it. After installing the machine in the worst possible cabinet for just over a day and the Type-X2 hardware was broken, partly due to overheating, partly due to over use of inadequate hardware. Hopes are that the board will be up and running soon but this is just one of recent examples of how the amusement trade seems to act as if they don’t want to survive!

It is in this climate that the fans seem to have taken the responsibility to offer the arcade gaming they want in a package they can play. In this new world we are now seeing ‘player run arcades’, and the direct approach of developers to get their hands on games circumventing the amusement trade! Where the trade dose not want tournament – we have player run competition generating big profits and publicity.

A situation where players’ demands have now caused a reverse in plans with Tekken6, now to be launched outside of Japan – seeing Japanese management countermanding their appointed sales team, who claimed there was no interest! This mirroring the weird situation of sales executives trying to stop players playing the game when exhibited, in order to prove a misguided opinion!

The amusement trade seems to have lived too much on squandering the support of the people that paid their wages – ignoring CUSTOMERS wants, and avoiding direct marketing opportunities. It is as if the amusement trade has lost the ability to support their customers. An ability it will have to re-learn quickly if it dose not want to become extinct!


5 Comments »

  1. Shaggy January 13, 2009 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    I would kindly like to point out to some fans discussing this elsewhere that Namco does know that there is a large Tekken fanbase out in the world but the reasons for them holding back on distributing the game through official channels in areas like the US and Europe is the very high price of the game – they know that not many people will touch the game at the price they were asking for. That and they’ve been planning a console release anyways. Prices are lower now and the demand is there so Europe will see T6 via methods other than importing. MY local distributor has T6 available and I’m in the US even though Namco has not made it official to carry the game through distributors here.

  2. Editor January 13, 2009 at 6:06 pm - Reply

    I would back Shaggy’s words and add my bit – at no point have Namco America attempted to block Tekken6, they have just not promoted it to the same level as a game that they would expect to actually sell. When they were told the expected price that Namco Japan would make the game available it was obviously unworkable to take the risk on a game that would be out that year on ‘both’ console platforms.

    But as time would tell, the price was incorrectly calculated, the home release date was wrong and interest from the player base was wildly miscalculated by all involved. Now under pressure from Namco Japan the international sales teams are being told to go back a reconsider trying to sell this machine. Already it is calculated that over 200 grey imports of T6 have been made in the UK and US, with another 100 on order – this is a serious slap in the face, and loss of revenue.

  3. Nomax January 14, 2009 at 2:22 am - Reply

    I see that more and more small distributors offer machines from Asia, they do so because it is cheaper than the official Japan -> UK -> distro way.

    There’s still a miscommunication between operators and manufacturers, the later often ignoring their final customer needs. Proofs are for example the Out Run 2 SP shortage and the excess of RaceTV unsold cabinets. But uninformed operators is also a problem, failing to offer what players want… Fortunately, this is changing with the new wave of young operators…

  4. Editor January 16, 2009 at 7:20 pm - Reply

    images courtesy of Aion at the NeoEmpire crew

  5. Editor January 16, 2009 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    I totally agree Nomax about the ‘miscommunication’ – I have received some scary questions from operators about buying new games and the idea that some sales directors and the factories use them for advice explains why Sega is sitting on a warehouse full of RaceTV’s!

    For me, I just wonder how long I can keep giving these old farts free consultancy!

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