I’ve seen more and more people around the various corners of the internet asking the same question, over and over. And that question is “Why isn’t Street Fighter V getting an arcade release” or “Is Street Fighter V releasing in arcades”. Both are very good questions, ones that merit a response or I should state a logical response. However after doing some research, I feel that a logical answer to the question wasn’t provided. What was provided however was a statement from Capcom’s own Yoshinori Ono, who went on to state that that the Japanese arcade scene isn’t what it used to be.
The Japanese arcade isn’t what it used to be. I think there’s a big difference between Capcom, Street Fighter and me and Namco, Tekken and Mr. Harada. We’re in different situations – both companies run arcades in Japan, but the Capcom ones are going towards crane catchers and one-off cabinets. There’s not much space for the typical arcade cabinet. That’s the situation. The Namco arcades, they’re still very much on the video game side, and Mr. Harada’s giving it a good run with Tekken in the arcades, and more power to him for that, but we’re not in a comparable situation.
Now, why I respect the hell out of Ono and find him very entertaining, he ultimately doesn’t have the end all say regarding the state of the Japanese arcade scene. And sure, I’ll agree that it’s not the same as it used to be, but how can it? With more and more powerful home hardware such as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One begin released, as well as more and more niche and arcade titles making their way to the PC, how can it. The times of companies pumping globs of money into development of more powerful arcade hardware are over or just about, with many of them just resorting to developing strictly for consoles, but it’s not dead… not yet. Or at the very least and this part hurts, it’s in way better shape than the North American arcade scene.
That said, I think Ono is caught up with his friendly rivalry with his best pal, Harada-san. However both of the acclaimed personalities are not the only fish in the sea. For example, several major fighting games were released in the arcade in the past 12-24 months, which include Arc SystemWorks Blazblue: Central Fiction, Guilty Gear Xrd SIGN, Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator, and even Namco’s Tekken 7 and Pokkén Tournament have landed in the arcades. So, no I don’t think the decline of the Japanese arcades is the reason why Street Fighter V isn’t appearing arcades, or at the very least it’s not the only reason why it isn’t.
It’s no secret that Sony is helping the funding of the upcoming titan of fighting games and of course it would only make sense that Sony would only want this appearing on their platform. Though I’m also extremely grateful that SFV is also appearing on PC, though I’m not 100% sure why or how that even happened, I’m not complaining. However, think about this for a moment. If SFV did release in the arcades, don’t you think that it could potentially cut into the profits of the PlayStation 4/PC release? Sure, it doesn’t make sense but think about it. Japanese arcades are a proving ground for those who frequent them. Pumping in quarter or token after each other, lining up to play the next person. Or perhaps that lone wolf is sneaking off to the arcade to get a shot at solo play, learning every in and out of a character/s. Money that could be spent on a PlayStation 4 and a copy of SFV.
Sure, that maybe a stretch and of course it’s all speculation. And so is this, maybe they want SFV to be the best that it can be. Fighting games are notorious for being unbalanced and full of bugs or things that were not indicated to be found or exploited. Infinities anyone? Perhaps Capcom and Sony simply want to remove any unneeded overhead, especially since Capcom will definitely be pumping out a few patches for the title after release and of course the only way to do that in arcades is to setup a networked system or create new add-on on or completely new boards for arcade cabinets, both of which could potentially be more than an owner of a arcade can afford. That would then turn into an issue for those who want to compete in fighting game tournaments, I mean who wants to play on an outdated version of a game, one that be updated with certain nerfs or buffs to characters?
Again this is all speculation, however we can only either go off by what we’re told or we can investigate and draw our own conclusions, just as I have today. What do you think about the matter? Do you miss the fact that Street Fighter V will never officially be released in arcades or is it that much of a big deal? We’d love to know in our comments below.
Though, truth be told that the moment there isn’t a official release of a Street Fighter title in arcades, that’s a definite sign of trouble. Street Fighter V is set to release on the PlayStation 4 and PC on February 16, 2016.
Sources: Eurogamer, Youtube