Capcom: No SFIV Arcade for the US

Shaggy November 17, 2008 13

soup_naziI figure it’s good to get this out of the way before the main page is flooded with IAAPA info.  Capcom has come around and made it official – SFIV will not come to arcades in the US. It’s not much of a surprise now since the console release is in Februrary and the only thing they’ve said up to this point is that it’s technically illegal for arcades in the US to have one imported. Their reasoning is that arcades have been dead since 2000 and so it’s not worth their time to sell games players want to the arcades that still are around (with a strategy of forcing arcades to buy two overpriced versions of the same game to play it properly which would have gone down well).  When asked about SFIV helping rejuvenate the scene, the communications director basically stated that the game isn’t that great to do that sort of job, as he apparently paid no attention to the fact that arcades who have (“illegally”) picked up the game have seen a resurgence of people coming in to play. I guess Mr. Kramer just doesn’t get it – arcades are only as strong as the games they have and game history shows that sometimes you only need one big game to get the ball rolling elsewhere – Street Fighter II itself is a great example of that, as are system sellers like GTA or Halo on consoles. Capcom is obviously not interested in doing anything to help out arcades but thankfully we have others who are willing to fill in the void. Of course if arcades saw a major resurgence (with some of the stuff we’ve got coming out of IAAPA) then I’m sure that Capcom would suddenly change their mind but if they did, I wonder how receptive some would be to them after they’ve teased SFIV arcade in the States without the real intention of bringing it over. As they say on the internets, Epic Fail Capcom. Epic Fail.

[Thanks to Phil for the tip] [Via Edge Online] [Discuss on the Forums]


  1. sh1pwr3k November 17, 2008 at 3:49 pm - Reply

    WTF capcom seriously?? Your completely right SFIV would not revive the arcades…wait what are we saying im sure there is a large portion of the market that is starving for a new SF. There are about a dozen arcades that already have this cab and are charging $1-2 per play. I dont think that SFIV could single handedly revivie the scene but it would definately help.

  2. Shaggy November 17, 2008 at 4:17 pm - Reply

    I would have helped a while back, that’s for sure – if Capcom didn’t ask so much for it. The fighters I have at my arcade all have done very well, in particular SF2. People are still hungry for arcade fighters, they just need decent games to play with it. People are very hungry for SFIV – my distributor was getting several calls a day about SFIV – that is not something that normally happens with a new arcade title and they were trying to get some SFIV units in but Capcom was being overtly greedy and wanting too much for the game. I don’t accept the excuse that it’s to cover development costs since the console version will pay for that and the TypeX2 hardware is not that expensive to build – I could personally build a far more powerful PC for far less then what they want for an X2 and that’s without the discounts Taito gets.

  3. ferrarimanf355 November 17, 2008 at 9:10 pm - Reply

    The thing is, the home version is scheduled for a February release, and it has a few characters not in the arcade version (Dan, Sakura, Cammy, and apparently Rose from the Alpha games made it in, too…), so it won’t be THAT much of a loss… unless you don’t have an X360, PS3 or PC that can run the game.

    Now, Tekken 6… why is Namco denying us that game, and making us wait another year for the home version?

  4. scott November 18, 2008 at 12:21 am - Reply

    apparently software costs money too…

    There is a price drop for Tekken 6 arcade. Let’s just say that its cheaper than Blazblue now…

  5. Shaggy November 18, 2008 at 12:29 am - Reply

    I know that it does – what I was saying is that they charge thousands of dollars for the arcade version to cover the dev costs when they can more than make it up on the console release. But they like to saddle the arcades with a big chuck of that cost and then we end up paying $10k+ for our games. I understand that they have to charge some for development but the problem is that they make it so expensive that few can afford it, then they say the arcade version doesn’t or won’t sell well and then shove it off onto the consoles.

    So on Tekken 6, a cabinet is finally below $7k? That would be nice.

  6. scott November 18, 2008 at 9:10 am - Reply

    a tekken6 cabinet is under 4k

    sorry it just irks me that when an (industry) piece of hardware that shares the same internal architecture as something in the consumer market, like a PC, that that people put 2 and 2 together and make the price difference a Talking Point. The TaitoX2 hardware itself actually is a small part of the overall cost of a SF4 kit.

    the arcade hardware has always been expensive, I haven’t heard anyone complain about the 12k price for a single Maximum Tuned 3 cabinet, and there are MULTIPLE 4-cabinet sets in arcades all around California. and you know what, if it does cost an extra something thousand more because sf4 costs more to develop, THEN SO BE IT. Street Fighter 4 is an excellent game and the developers deserve the money, in my opinion, its still not bullshit pricing like Tekken is. If your area doesn’t have it, the you have to wait for the console version February, or move to Japan or California.

    On a broad spectrum of how much arcade hardware costs, SF4 is still cheaper than most driving games, definitely cheaper than the starting cost of tekken and vf5, but more expensive than KOF, Blazblue, GGXX, SF3, Arcana, MB.

  7. Molloy November 18, 2008 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    I’ll be sorry that this didn’t make it to arcades. Even when I own a home conversion of a game, I often enjoy playing it in the arcade for competition. Plus, I know I’ll probably get good value for my credit because I know all the moves and won’t die after two rounds.

  8. editor November 18, 2008 at 2:11 pm - Reply

    Oh sorry Capcom, the machine is already in America!!!

    Seems they dropped the ball big time on the US and UK application – the console division out ruling the AM division – shame on them.

  9. Shaggy November 18, 2008 at 2:49 pm - Reply

    I’d like to see the evidence of that T6 price, but I’ll take your word for it for now. I still find it hard to believe that the price has dropped nearly $10k as the few distributors carrying the game in the US are charging roughly $13k-$14k for the game about a month ago.

    But I know it’s not just the hardware, I said that there is the software side to it as well and cabinets vary in price. There are many factors to consider but we’ve seen several companies make strides this year and they have brought costs down for several games. You might be fine with companies charging $9k-$10k a pop but that’s probably because you’re not an operator with a budget to worry about and several bills to pay from rent, to wages, utilities, game upkeep, etc. If you are an op who is fine with paying this kind of money for setups then congratulations on being rich enough to foot that bill for one game. You obviously live in a bubble if you think that no one complains about the $12k price of a MT3 cabinet because it is ridiculous and that’s one reason why they don’t sell 10k+ units (or 5k units for that matter). I’ve heard distributors from different parts of the country complain about that game and others in the price range like it because they don’t sell very well. Having a few setups in CA and maybe New York or Texas isn’t enough to get your game ‘out there’. And saying something like “if your area doesn’t have it then move” is naive and fairly elitist. Arcades were strong when they could be found everywhere, not just in certain population centers.

    With the price drop of T6 it shows that developers are starting to get the idea that the games need to cost less to sell better. If Namco were completely confident that the product would have strong sales, they’d hold to their price. I agree with you that a fine game deserves to make returns for the dev staff (although they usually have a fixed wage and don’t get a share of the profits) but a balance needs to be found as a very expensive game will not sell as many units, not be as successful and in the end not make them their money back. Some devs have got the idea and have been finding ways to reduce costs on the games so that they sell better – even Konami who is getting back into the game in the US has told me about their effort to reduce costs without skimping on quality so that the games sell better. Sega dropped the price pretty hard on RaceTV when it wasn’t selling well at all – it started at $7k this year and I’ve already seen some places carry it for $4k new so there is a bit of leeway they build into these machines. Raw Thrills is trying to keep all of their games priced in the $5-6k range, GlobalVR is sort of the same although it varies a bit on their end.

    Overall I would think that we should all agree that the less it costs to purchase one game, the better it is for all of us involved in the arcade industry. Not just for the big guys with a ton of money already but for people wanting to start their own arcade. I get mail nearly every week from someone wanting to start up their own place but it’s difficult as the starting cost for a large arcade can rise fast. More arcades out there = more ‘consumers’ for the arcade devs to sell to = more sales = better for everybody. And much of that is tied to price. Obviously there are certain areas where devs can’t make cuts if they want to maintain a certain level of quality, but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t try.

  10. a SF gamer November 18, 2008 at 7:00 pm - Reply

    i call bullshit.

  11. scott November 18, 2008 at 11:05 pm - Reply

    No that is a misunderstanding, Namco is not price dropping T6. The price of T6 is for a used kit. Because arcades in japan are dumping the kit in droves and keeping the cabinet for the T6BR upgrade (hence the low price). Concerning the original price of T6 when it launched, the reason for that pricing was because they sold the game in full cabinets only. No kits.

    Any yes it was quite elitist of me, but mostly true. US Arcades are on life support, tend to be an average statement, and the polar opposites can be seen in places where arcades are popular, like California, and abysmal, like some airport in Montana. Arcade owners in Cali, have no problems throwing 12k to a MT3, because they are confident that they can make it back, The target market is here and are more willing to spend the money.

    I agree that it better if the cost of running an arcade was cheaper, but unfortunately, games nowadays are more complex, have bigger development teams, and that makes things more expensive. The expense of running an arcade is only one part of the whole “arcades dying” movement there are other reasons why people stopped going to the arcade.

  12. Shaggy November 19, 2008 at 3:23 am - Reply

    I see on T6, my bad. I just thought it was a cabinet since that’s what you said above.

    People have different tastes all over the country, there is no question about that but devs aren’t going to want to make games for just people in California. I believe that the target market for arcades is everywhere, but what it hinges on is marketing and game selection. People will go to the arcade if they find games they like but if the kind of games they like aren’t being made or are out of reach, only showing up at a select few arcades then it’s going to be difficult for arcades to thrive. That and unless a big name is attached to it arcades get little media attention but that is partly the fault of arcade devs themselves not always doing more to get the word out.

    We’ll have to see how prices are on all these games coming out of IAAPA and how operators will take to them. Personally I am hoping to pick up a couple of games, if I can sell off my HOTD4 and Tsumo Motion cab I might be able to get a few things including BlazBlue.

  13. scott November 19, 2008 at 3:44 am - Reply

    if you wanna correspond of this further, you’ve got my email address

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