Thursday, June 15, 2017

Capcom at the E3 2017, or why were people hating?

Howdy friends, I hope your summer of games is off to a good start. This year Street Fighter celebrates its 30th Anniversary. You can bet that I have something planned to celebrate the occasion. Until that is ready I do want to say a big THANK YOU to Capcom for everything they’ve done for audiences this year. There has been a lot of negativity coming from some members of the fighting game community in the past few weeks. People have been critical of Capcom for the Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite footage. Most feel that the game seems lackluster and missing a number of characters and even features. It’s a big concern to fighting game fans because Street Fighter V got off to a rough start as well. Other games like Tekken 7 and King of Fighters XIV seemed to be better planned out and had more polish and features when they were released. Not to mention that the footage of Bandai Namco’s Dragon Ball FighterZ looks amazing, allegedly the game is only 20% complete. Despite all of this I want to remind FGC members that Capcom is one of the few studios that believes in the fighting game market, and more important, if it weren’t for Capcom reigniting the spark with Street Fighter IV almost a decade ago then chances are none of the revivals would have happened. Even with EVO setting the foundation for fighting game e-sports there wouldn’t be pro players without constantly evolving titles.



I’ve managed to make a lot of friends and meet plenty of cool and interesting people thanks to Capcom. Without Capcom-Unity and the older 1UP site chances are I would have never crossed paths with a lot of good men and women. The E3 was a chance to catch up with old friends and make new ones. We should be grateful that the company cares enough to not only provide fun games year after year but that they believe enough in social media to host Capcom-Unity and provide a forum for the company and fans to interact. Critics don’t have to wait for a convention to get face time with the employees or other FGC members. If you have something to say you have a place to do it. You have a place to put together a thread, start a discussion and raise ideas that Capcom employees will actually read.

 

I’m upset that people do not appreciate how much time, money and energy is spent creating their online community. I’m just as upset how many people completely ignore what goes into making convention booths. Capcom doesn’t have to create life-size Monster Hunter creatures or Resident Evil houses. They do not have to broadcast live from the floor of the show. They do not have to give audiences dozens of kiosks to try out new games before the general public. They could set up a few monitors and only show video, which is what some publishers do at the E3. Or they could cut down on the demo stations and rely on press-only demos to get the word out. But they don’t do that. They create amazing displays for audiences to enjoy, to immerse them into the worlds they love and support. Still some people have the nerve to complain.



Capcom is not obliged to go above and beyond for the community. They could be like other companies and simply show off what they are working on and ignore any and all feedback. When the E3, or any big convention rolls around it is their time to shine. They create enormous booths, filled with consoles and arcade cabinets not just for press and vendors, but so fans can try out games a few months if not years ahead of release. I’m glad that the company has celebrated the milestones of the various IP. From Mega Man, Ace Attorney, Resident Evil to Street Fighter, every 5 or 10 years they do something to honor their legacy. Think about it, how many companies that were around 30 or more years ago are still around and still creating sequels for their titles? How many have made successful toys, animated shows and comics out of their property?



Those that were mad about what was or was not revealed at the E3 have to realize that the company cannot make everyone happy. The E3 is first and foremost a trade convention. This is one of the big chances in the year that the publisher gets to meet directly with retailers. They have to convince toy chains, game stores and boutiques that they want to order Capcom games as well as merchandise in time for the holidays. Every legacy title with their own following deserves to have quality merchandise released, and not only Street Fighter. Then again Street Fighter is one of the rare games that has street cred. It is an important title with urban youth, the cultural trendsetters. These people want clothing and collectables that reflects the FGC. Later on this year Capcom will build a temporary store and take the exclusive products with them on the road. Again, how many other companies do the same for their fans or community?



Some people online have the audacity to complain about the lack of goodies and giveaways that Capcom was providing visitors. Almost every publisher has scaled back on giveaways at the E3. They wanted the focus to be on the games and not the goodies. As if playing free games wasn’t a good enough reason, what about being able to take pictures with or on expensive set pieces? I mean did anybody even bat an eye at the life-size Ultron-Sigma figure seated at his throne? It was as if people walked off the streets of LA and onto the set of a Marvel film. Visitors could walk right up to the figure and take pictures with him in the background. Capcom has done this type of enormous photo-op at previous conventions and yet people still complain. For those that want a physical reminder of the show they can always get in line for a FREE exclusive goodie.

 

The Capcom giveaways are always worth the wait. They are often exclusive posters signed by a creator. The E3 2017 poster was certainly a collectable. I’ve met Street Fighter producer Yoshinori Ono many times. He is always, kind, enthusiastic and happy to meet fans of the series. He signed one of two exclusive posters at the E3, either the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary one, which was modeled after the Street Fighter II Turbo poster. Or he was signing the Marvel vs Capcom: Infinity poster. You can imagine which one audiences were more eager to get.



I want the critics to remember that Capcom has always done more for their fan base than almost any other publisher. Do you remember any role-playing game organizing a release party for the public? Or creating a secret club event for their online fans? It would be nice to give Capcom, Namco, SNK and the other studios a nice thank you from time to time. It would let them know that despite the criticisms and concerns there are still people that believe in the company. Let them know what they do right just as often as what they do wrong. I’ll get off my soapbox now. If you have something you’d like to say about this please let me know. As always if you enjoyed this blog and would like to sponsor me please visit my Patreon page and consider donating each month, even as little as $1 would help make better blogs and even podcasts!

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