The MTV game blog (yeah, they haven’t been just about the music for years) has some advice on buying SFIV if you’re in the market for the game, which boils down to ‘wait for the console version’ since Capcom hasn’t been interested in really getting the game out to arcades as they have used it more as a PR piece at events. According to Capcom, there are four things you need to do to get one, which are: 1) Spend a lot of money, 2) Buy in Bulk 3) Live In Japan 4) Wait.
As you probably already know, I don’t see eye-to-eye with Capcom on this – especially if they want to see the game released in the US then why are they the ones putting up all these hurdles? If it’s too expensive then they can lower the price which would make distributors feel better about getting the game as they are the ones who will typically buy in bulk. Distributors do know that demand is high for SFIV but that is damaged by the high price for a game which will have a console version out in less than six months and where the operator is forced to buy two units if they want it as a 2p game(which isn’t mentioned in the MTV article). Conventional wisdom in this industry says that getting your ROI off of this will be extremely difficult under these circumstances established by Capcom. Telling people to live in Japan or continue to wait just shows how serious they aren’t about this – just take a look at my recent coverage of ArcSys looking to get BlazBlue into arcades (which happens to run on the same hardware as SFIV) and when you compare the two, it doesn’t leave you with much respect for how Capcom is handling this. I’m sure I’m not making any friends at Capcom by constantly pointing these things out but I think it is necessary to do so until they change their attitude about the arcade scene and it’s important that you are informed about it as well.