At EVO 2011 big news was made about how Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition would be getting a free update on consoles, as Capcom heard from many people that Arcade Edtion was unbalanced (which was intentional in the first place according to the game’s producer). They were going to fix that and promised that this would be the last time the SSFIV series is updated. Free updates were promised for consoles and Capcom also stated that it would be tested out first in Japanese arcades, which today some of thos balance updates have been detailed on the Capcom Japan Development Blog. Let me take this opportunity to bring to light how some customers of theirs happen to go completely unmentioned in all of this – Western customers who put down a huge chunk of change for the SSFIV AE Versus kit which was released earlier this year.
I sent a tweet on August 2nd 2011 to Mr. Yoshinori Ono asking about this as I am one of those customers(I should also mention that my TypeX2 board just so happened to completely break down shortly before I had it for 90 days; I had to send it back for repair, which I am still waiting on to receive back over a month later):
I am a US arcade operator that spent $10k on the SSFIVAE Versus kit this year. Will I be able to get the Ver2012 free too?
I think it’s a fair question but it’s one that has so far been ignored by Mr. Ono and Capcom. The update is testing in Japanese arcades until Friday, so arcades are certainly on Capcom’s mind at the moment. If they are going to promise free versions to everyone but one segment of their customers, then I think that is something that needs to be made public. The Versus kit wasn’t developed by some rogue element within Capcom that the management didn’t know about and shortly after it was brought to the US, suddenly Capcom felt it necessary to release this made-specifically-for-arcades version as DLC for everyone to own cheap. It’s their property to do so of course but as it gives high-paying European/US operators a very short time to recoup money on the game, we end up holding the bag and getting severely burned as many players stay home once that DLC is available. You would think Capcom might show a little appreciation for those who give them that much money (kits were typically going for $6000-$9500 depending upon the version; if you got just the hard drives, or the full kit respectively – average fighting game kits go for about $2500-$3000; if you got the Japanese version with Vewlix cabs then you spent much more on it) but instead we get the cold shoulder. If you are an operator who has made your money back and then some, I would like to hear about it as so far, I haven’t heard such stories where this game is concerned.
It is one of those risks you need to be prepared for as an arcade operator but there is no reason for us to go away quietly. If they choose to continue to ignore us then that is their choice but let this be a future warning to any Western operators interested in official Capcom arcade products – it can be much more trouble and money than it is worth so pick your games carefully.