My brief hiatus is over now after I had been out in the wilderness camping. It was quite fun but with it over, back to the news of the arcade world. It doesn’t look like much has gone on this past weekend at the very least that means there isn’t a whole lot to catch up on. The Comic-Con that took place at San Diego this past week was certainly the biggest piece of news and once again there is some arcade-related goodness that came out of it. We already discussed the Ratchet and Clank arcade cabinet Sony made a few days ago but that wasn’t the lone arcade presence at the show.
Stern had TRON Pinball setup at the event and I give them props for taking advantage of such a well-known and intensely covered event like this to market their game. There were quite a few fans of TRON there, including a number of cosplayers so this was a perfect venue to let them know about the game, in case they hadn’t heard already. They even held a tournament with a cash prize where a non-Tron cosplayer took home the prize.
Joystiq proclaims that The Behemoth had the best booth of the show and what do you know, it just happened to be setup very much like an arcade. Like they did at PAX, The Behemoth had Castle Crashers and BattleBlock Theater setup in some custom made arcade cabinets and they were very popular. Seems to me that the company is plenty fine with giving a nod to arcades and I wonder how open they would be to working with an arcade company out there to make this idea a full-arcade reality(and vice versa). The arcade version would ultimately need some sort of exclusive content or a slightly different feature to stand out a little more (as I have learned from experience with Blazing Angels and Super Street Fighter IV) but there is a fanbase out there for these games and that would ultimately translate into sales. Between SSFIV, Blazing Angels and what I’ve heard about Pac-Man Battle Royale lately, is that a joystick game with a name that people know and arcade exclusive content or features can do well. If there is very little between it an a console port then that is where it struggles. Either way, the success of these arcade setups by The Behemoth probably means that more companies will be doing the same thing in future Comic-Cons. (Joystiq link is Stinger Report newsfeed 1085)
Moving on, Sega also setup an off-site “Sega Arcade” facility (via GameSetWatch) for CC but strangely enough – there were no Sega arcades there to speak of. I’m not sure what to make of this, if it’s just Sega’s marketing department doing their own thing without consulting the actual arcade division of the company or something else. It’s silly that they would go to all that trouble to setup a Sega “Arcade” and have zero current or classic Sega arcade games on hand. I’m not sure if this is exactly the issue here but it seems to me that it would be more efficient to have a unified marketing department than to have one separate between consoles and arcades. Atari from the early 80’s comes to mind where they found ways to get the word out on their arcade machines, console games and home computer lines, sometimes all in the same commercial. That is certainly better than ignoring one important part of the company to focus on another. At least they had a cool wall joystick as seen above.
There was some news about fighters (via Arcade Hunters) at the show but so far I’ve seen little to no evidence that they plan on doing anything really arcade related with these games anymore except for Tekken Tag 2. But that will certainly come to consoles, probably not too long after the arcade release in Japan. Even if Capcom did make an arcade version of SFxTKN and MvC3, they’ve made it clear that they are willing to shaft operators over these games and frankly I don’t think operators should give them the time of day, much less their money. I expect many places out there to continue to just run the console version of the game in the arcade to save themselves several thousand dollars in wasted money. Since the console versions are superior in content, offer Sanwa quality sticks to complete the experience, and are a crapload cheaper to own, it’s not hard to see which version a majority of players will ultimately spend their time and money on. (Arcade Hunters link is Stinger Report newsfeed 1083)