23 September, 2010

One More Business Says It's Leaving The PC Ghetto

written by Blain Newport on Wednesday, 22 September, 2010

I read a story about Capcom not releasing Super Street Fighter IV on PC. It was disappointing. I bought SF4 for the PC during the Steam winter sale last year, fully knowing I wouldn't actually play it. I just wanted to throw Capcom a little money for being a good citizen, supporting the PC without consumer harming DRM. So this is a slap in the face.

The game's producer (Yoshinori Ono) said that the PC version of SF4 had strong sales but was "number one in piracy". Doy. The PC's an open system (compared to the consoles at least). You might as well cancel the PC version because the sky is blue.

Maybe he just said it wrong. Maybe something got lost in translation. Maybe the piracy numbers on SF4 were truly horrendous.

But the article 1up got the story from also says that despite the PC port being easy to do, there would not be a Steam release because it would be unfair to people who can't buy from Steam. So it's not about piracy because Steam would solve that. It's about fairness. But excluding the PC gamers entirely is already unfair.

Again, maybe it's a translation problem, but this story doesn't seem to make sense. And narratives like this aren't unique to Capcom. A lot of the business people sound like this when they talk about the PC. Piracy is a tough problem, and most companies don't sell enough on PC to make it worth their time to figure it out. But once in a while they see a game like Spore or Starcraft 2 move millions of units and they can't stay away.

It's not a new problem. And it's not going away. But it annoyed me particularly this time, so I wanted to say something. Capcom's good citizen credentials are hereby revoked. Please resume your normally scheduled web surfing.

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