Top Ten Capcom Mistakes: A Rebuttal
Normally, this is the section where I'd make a really lame joke but this time, it's actually relevant to your interests. Couple of things I want to say right off the bat:
- Because I write this blog, it does NOT mean I hate Craig or Nick or ScrewAttack. This is criticism. Nothing malicious.
- If you don't agree, that's perfectly fine. I anticipate that a lot of people won't agree with what I say. That is something that I can completely understand.
- I'm am not doing this to be that guy who constantly sees faults in ScrewAttack. Again, this is criticism. I'm going to be civil here and instead of making jokes or being a dick, I'm going to find legitmate reasons why I don't like this list.
- This blog isn't done to be an attention whore. It is done because I felt the quality of the last Top Ten was poor.
That's it. Read on.
In the world of video games, few have as much notoriety as Capcom. Founded way back on June 11th, 1983, Capcom has churned out quality title after quality title in the video game industry. Responsible for such classics as Mega Man, Ghosts and Goblins, Street Fighter 2, Final Fight, Resident Evil and many more, it seems that Capcom would be one of the more beloved developers/publishers in video games.
I don’t know when it started but already I’ve seen a disturbing trend of gamers taking issue with Capcom’s practices and their business strategy. Let me make myself perfectly clear: you have every right to complain, but that doesn't mean I will agree with you.
So why am I talking about Capcom? It’s because of the newest Top Ten done by ScrewAttack. You can view said Top Ten here, where Craig and Nick stand in front a camera for 6 minutes detailing what they think are Capcom’s biggest mistakes. Personally, I have problems with their list because of a few things:
- Some of their reasons completely confound me
- It seems like they’re trying to cash in on Capcom hate
I’m not going to sugar-coat anything: the last couple of Top Ten’s have outright sucked. Older Top Ten’s were entertaining to watch and it seems like they had a lot of work put into them. They were anywhere from 8-10 minutes long and they’d take up a good chunk of your time. But you never felt like that was an issue because it was clear that it was a well-scripted, well-researched, and entertaining video.
Newer Top Ten’s seem to cut corners and there is little to no effort put into them whatsoever. They’re short and leave a lot to be desired. The jokes are either forced or not funny. There seems to be less and less chemistry between Craig and Nick with every new Top Ten. It’s a disturbing trend.
I take issue with this new Top Ten and for each of entry on their list; I will answer with a rebuttal. If you don’t want to read massive walls of text or you feel that I’m being too harsh on ScrewAttack, you might want to bail out now. I’ve given you fair warning. Let’s start off here with the introduction:
Before the countdown even begins, Craig talks about the internet hating things. Quote:
Two things: one, ScrewAttack never used to hop on the hate train and when they did, it was done so in a satirical manner. The recent feature “Reasons we hate (insert game here)” is done so in a satirical fashion and it’s not meant to be taken seriously. I believe this is the exact opposite. The main issue I have with this was said above; it feels like this video is designed to capitalize on the current disdain for Capcom. I can tell you right now that people will be singing Craig and Nick’s praises because being negative towards something is an extremely effective way to get traffic on the internet. Why do you think that the AVGN is so popular?
The other thing to note is that ScrewAttack never did this kind of stuff before. They never ripped into a product and when they did, it was either in a review or as part of casual talk on SideScrollers. They were perfectly happy to refrain from joining in on bashing a game or a console unless it deserved it. Also, let’s keep something in mind; I’m not saying ScrewAttack can’t hate anything (and they may not hate Capcom) but it seems odd to bring Capcom up now when it would have been much more topical 6 months ago.
Let’s get to the actual countdown now before I go off on a tangent (those are saved for later).
#10. Destroying Survival Horror
In the first segment on the list, Craig and Nick take issue with the Resident Evil franchise. In the past, Resident Evil was a game where you would cautiously conserve ammunition and try to survive being held-up in a mansion crawling with zombies or a police station overrun with zombies. The guys specifically take issue with the franchise going from survival horror to a 3rd person action shooter. Quote:
If you are going to explain why this is a mistake on Capcom’s part for this, please explain to me why Konami is allowed to do the exact same thing with Silent Hill. You could even argue that a game like Alan Wake isn’t a survival horror game and falls into the “3rd person action shooter” category (and I certainly do). Simply put, survival horror is a very niche market right now. Amnesia is the only example that I can think of (you could also count Slender as well) that has been a moderately successful survivor horror game.
Here’s the kicker though: ScrewAttack isn’t wrong. They’re completely right: Capcom “killed” survival horror when they released Resident Evil 4. But therein lies the problem; Resident Evil 4 was an amazing game and almost every video game critic gave it a positive review. Unlike previous entries of the franchise, the controls were responsive, you didn’t have to fight with the camera, and overall, it was an extremely fun experience. It wasn’t scary by any means but it was a damn fine game.
When Capcom saw this, what did you think they were going to do? Go back to survival horror when this action game sold 5.38 million copies worldwide? Of course not, they were going to change the formula of Resident Evil so that they could make as much money as possible a.k.a. a smart business decision that made them boatloads of money. They made the Resident Evil more accessible so that they wouldn’t have to rely on fans of survival horror to pick it up. Now, anybody could play Resident Evil, whether you were a fan of the old games or not. You can complain all you want about Capcom “killing” survival horror, but it was a smart move on their part and it looks like the future Resident Evil games won’t abandon the current formula anytime soon.
#9. The Inafune and Killian Depatures
The next point that Craig and Nick try to make is that because Keiji Inafune and Seth Killian leave Capcom, the company must be really poorly managed. For those of you that don’t know, Inafune was integral in the development of the Mega Man series and also worked on the Mega Man X series, Mega Man Legends series, Onimusha series and Dead Rising. Killian meanwhile was Capcom’s community manager up until June 16th, when he announced that he was leaving the company. But Craig and Nick know that Capcom is up to something fishy:
We’ll get to the first part of Craig’s statement later but for now, let’s focus on the second part of his sentence; specifically, the part where he feels that Inafune and Killian leaving of their own accord doesn’t seem normal. Well jeez, Destin and Jose leaving didn’t seem normal. They both loved their jobs so why did they both leave to work at other companies? Does that mean that ScrewAttack is mistreating their employees?!
No, it means that they got better jobs elsewhere. It means that when an employee leaves your company, it may be because he’s moving on to greener pastures. Maybe Inafune quit Capcom to focus on or create his own projects (like his studio, Comcept). Maybe Killian quit because he didn’t want to be working on the same game every year. Perhaps he left because the pay was better or they promised him more creative control. This is just a hunch. There are multiple possibilities. Solely blaming Capcom for the departure of Killian and Inafune is jumping to conclusions however true your assumptions might be.
#8. Spelling Mistakes and Box Art Gaffes
This is where the video starts to go from critical to absurd. To me, this entry seems childish. It’s like that annoying grammar Nazi on the internet who has to analyze your sentence in order to make fun of you. This doesn’t even seem like a complaint; it feels like a failed attempt at humor. I know that I didn’t find it funny.
The irony is, a couple of entries later, cancelling is spelt canceling. Looks like Capcom’s not the only one who needs to use spell check.
#7. Street Fighter: The Movie
There’s not much to this entry. They just hold up the poster and move on to the next number. There’s not a lot to analyze here: it’s about 10 seconds of ragging on a moving that everyone knows is bad.
#6. Not porting over good games
Now we are getting into the meat of this list. This is where the arguments actually start making some sort of sense. Craig and Nick are about to explain why Capcom is making a mistake for not porting over Japan-only released like Monster Hunter G and Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney:
Again, the new Top Ten’s contain some horrible humor. This is an example of that.
I’m going to look at both the Ace Attorney and Monster Hunter series sales figures here for a second as I feel that they are relevant to the point. I will only be looking at games in both series that were distributed to both Japan and North America so that I’m not influencing numbers. First, let’s take a look at how the Monster Hunter series has sold worldwide:
- Monster Hunter (2004 for PS2) - Sold 0.5 million copies worldwide. 51% of sales came from Japan while 21% of sales came from North America
- Monster Hunter Freedom (2005 for PSP) - Sold 1.3 million copies worldwide. 79.1% of sales came from Japan while 17.8% of sales came from North America
- Monster Hunter Freedom 2 (2007 for PSP) - Sold 2.51 million copies worldwide. 69.9% of sales came from Japan while 14.1% of sales came from North America
- Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (2008 for PSP) - Sold 5.34 million copies worldwide. 77.2% of sales came from Japan while 8.2% of sales came from North America
- Monster Hunter Tri (2009 for Wii) - Sold 2.06 million copies worldwide. 51.1 % of sales came from Japan while 27% of sales came from North America
Notice a pattern there? In each Monster Hunter game shipped worldwide, Japan accounted for over 50 percent of sales for every game while the North American audience barely accounted for anything. Tell me, if Capcom had just finished a new Monster Hunter game and they put you in charge of shipping them and they told you that you could only ship to one region, which would you choose: Japan or North America? I think the answer is clear. Now let’s look at Ace Attorney:
- Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney (2005 for DS) - Sold 0.80 million copies worldwide. 48.3% of sales cam from Japan while 46.3% of sales came from North America
- Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Justice for All (2006 for DS) - Sold 0.44 million copies worldwide. 57.9% of sales came from Japan while 35.8% of sales came from North America
- Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Trials and Tribulations (2007 for DS) - Sold 0.53 million copies worldwide. 47.5% of sales came from Japan while 46.9% of sales came from North America
- Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney (2007 for DS) - Sold 0.89 million copies worldwide. 71.4% of sales came from Japan while 25.2% of sales came from North America
- Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth (2009 for DS) - Sold 0.62 million copies worldwide. 48.6% of sales came from Japan while 27.7% of sales came from North America
This one may be a little closer but the pattern is still the same: the success in terms of sales is still higher in Japan than North America when it comes to Ace Attorney. Let me elaborate a little further. In total, Ace Attorney games have sold 3.54 million copies worldwide. That’s a fairly large amount. Japan accounts for 2.09 million of those copies or 59% of sales all-time. On the other hand, North America accounts for 1.18 million of those copies or 33% of sales all-time. So let’s say that for the sake of argument that each Ace Attorney game costs 60 dollars US (Note: my math may be off here, so if you feel the need to correct the numbers, please do so).
If you add up the sales of the all the North America copies sold, it equates to about $70,800,000. That is a lot of money. Now let’s take a look at how much Japan makes. Again, let’s assume that every game in Japan costs 60 America dollars (which would be about 4,736.42 yen). If you add up the sales of all the Japan copies sold, it equates to about $164,985,296.67 after conversion to America dollars. For those of you wondering, that’s 2.3 times the amount that all Ace Attorney games have made in North America. Do I even need to add up the Monster Hunter totals?
Looking at the numbers for both Ace Attorney and Monster Hunter, it’s clear that the Japanese audience loves these games more than their North American counterparts. But you may be asking yourself “Sierra, wouldn’t Capcom be making more money by shipping these games to the U.S. instead of just focusing on the Japanese market?” and the answer is “perhaps”.
It’s all about demand. Capcom knows that the Japanese will buy Monster Hunter because of the number of copies each game has sold in Japan. It’s an established market: Capcom is guaranteed to make money selling Monster Hunter in Japan. They can cover the costs of making the game and shipping it. At the same time, it’s a risk in North America because the market is so small. Look at the number of copies sold for the most recent Monster Hunter game: would you ship copies to North America knowing that only 27% of your sales came from there? The same thing goes for Ace Attorney. So now my question is this: is it a mistake to ship a game to another territory knowing that you’ll be making little to no profit? Of course not, because that’s bad business.
But I have another gripe. The other reason I don’t like this entry is due to the fact that Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney might be coming over to North America. At TGS 2011, an English press release said that “English Names are TBD” which suggests that it could be coming to English-speaking localizations (such as, oh I don’t know, AMERICA!). Also, 7 weeks ago, a story broke that French retailers C’discount and La Fnac (don’t ask me how to pronounce ‘em) listed the game as “Coming soon” with a date of December 2012. Oh, by the way, at this year’s Tokyo Game Show, the one that ScrewAttack is covering, Level-5 announced that they’ll be showing off a couple of games. One of those games is Professor Layton vs. Ace Attorney. So maybe, just maybe, we will see Phoenix Wright team up with Herschel Layton. It seems likely to me considering Capcom just announced that Ace Attorney 5 would be released in North America as well.
#5. Re-hashing old games
Aside from the very original joke, ScrewAttack brings up the point that Capcom is too busy re-hashing older games like Street Fighter 4 and Dead Rising 2 to work on new, original games. They cite games like Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition, MvC3: Ultimate Edition, Dead Rising: Off the Record, and Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition. The thing I don’t get is why this is a bad thing. Capcom did this all the time with every Street Fighter game without a number at the end of it. They were numerous versions of both Street Fighter 2 and Street Fighter 3 but Craig and Nick seem to be completely fine with those. Also, since you guys love 3rd Strike Online so much (considering you play it any chance you can get), why is that not on the list? It’s an odd exclusion.
The other little amusing point I want to bring up is that literally every other company does this. Fallout 3: Game of the Year edition, Batman: Arkham City – Game of the Year edition and any game that ends with “Game of the Year edition” is a re-hash. But it’s not okay for Capcom to do it for some reason.
#4. Shutting Down Clover Studios
Admittedly, this IS one of Capcom’s biggest mistakes and it’s a mistake that I bet they regret. Clover Studios was responsible for such great games as Viewtiful Joe, Okami, and God Hand. These games have earned critical praise and are said to be some of the best games of the previous generation. All of them were developed by Clover Studios and published by Capcom. The studio was shut down in 2007 and its surviving members are now a part of Platinum Studios who are responsible for games such as MadWorld, and Bayonetta as well as upcoming titles like Vanquish and Metal Gear Rising: Revengence.
But before we go and say that this was a bad idea, let’s look at it from the business side of things. Viewtiful Joe sold 0.62 copies worldwide, Okami sold 0.61 copies worldwide, and God Hand sold a measly 0.07 million copies worldwide. Not one of these games sold 1 million copies, not a single one. It doesn’t matter how much critical acclaim a game gets, what matters at the end of the day is money. It’s a business. Unfortunately, that’s the way it works sometime. I’m positive that Capcom regrets the decision but at the time, it was the right one.
#3. Street Fighter X Tekken On-Disc DLC
Next up, Craig and Nick discuss the on-disc DLC issue in Street Fighter X Tekken.
This is actually the only sentence I agree with in this video. We’re 3 ½ minutes by the way.
Yeah, I could see how that would get annoying. One thing that irritates gamers of today is DLC and there’s no bigger cul- Wait, this isn’t going to launch into some sort of food analogy right? Oh, please don’t let there be food analogy, please don’t let there be a food analogy, please don’t let there be a food analogy...
Dammit. I’m actually getting pretty tired of hearing gamers using food analogies to describe DLC because no restaurant in the entire world would employ the same business practices. Hell, the video game industry and restaurants aren’t even in the same scope! Why are there so many stupid comparisons? It’s ultimately pointless because you know that no restaurant would ever, ever do something as insane as what video game developers with on-disc DLC. STOP WITH THE GODDAMN ANALOGIES!
While many gamers and game journalists agree that on-disc DLC is bad (Jim Sterling said that it would never be okay and Michael Pachter went as far as saying gamers were entitled to hack their games because of it) you don’t need a food analogy to sum it up for us. Just say that’s it bad because it locks content that you already have on the disc. So basically, cut out Nick’s part because that part is unnecessary. You don’t need to treat us like idiots. We know. Also, I don’t know if either of you have been to a pizza place, but that’s usually how it works: you have to pay to put extra toppings on a pizza, usually at a fee of $3 to $5 depending on the topping. DLC is completely different. Don’t even act like they are similar.
#2. THEY CANCELLED MEGA MAN! RABBLE, RABBLE, RABBLE!!
Oh boy, the very thing that I was dreading. I knew that eventually, Craig and Nick would launch into a tirade claiming that Capcom were idiots because they neglected Mega Man. Let’s get this over with:
Capcom’s mascot? Craig, it isn’t 1993 anymore, Mega Man hasn’t been Capcom’s mascot for the longest of times. Here’s another thing I’m getting sick of seeing: blind Mega Man worship. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate the series, but it’s not the early 90’s anymore; Mega Man just isn’t that popular today. I could tell you that the video game world is better off without Mega Man but then I’d have a thousand angry people telling me that I’m gay and I don’t know what I’m talking about because I grew up in this generation. To be direct to the point, Mega Man is a relic and wouldn’t sell in this day and age: stop blindly worshipping him and stop blaming Capcom for not releasing the exact same game again.
Yeah, that’s my question too. Not why were these games cancelled, more like what was Capcom supposed to do? Inafune clearly had his hand in BOTH projects and with his departure, it must have been hard to make game without its creators influence. Honestly, how well do you think these games would have fared? Do you really think that Capcom would make a profit on a downloadable title or a game on a system that, at the time, was doing poorly? The answer is no and solely blaming Capcom for the cancellation of both games is foolish. Inafune’s departure had to have had some influence as well. Add that to the fact that the most recent Mega Man game, Mega Man 10, didn’t do as well as expected and it was all but inevitable that the games were cancelled. But let’s continue:
Again, it could be that the creator of Mega Man now works at his own company. It could be that the most recent Mega Man game didn’t sell well. It could be because nobody wants to play a Mega Man game anymore. It could be a combination of these three.
Oh dear God, NO!
Sigh. Remember when I said that recent Top Ten’s have been of poor quality? This is one of the reasons why. Guys, it isn’t funny. Making the sound of a baboon having sex at the top of your lungs isn’t funny, it’s annoying. You started this crap back in another Top Ten. It wasn’t funny then and it sure as hell isn’t funny now. It doesn’t add any comedic value to the video at all.
There’s no recap for the list so that means it’s time for number 1. What is, in Craig and Nick’s mind, Capcom’s biggest mistake?
#1. No longer making Disney games
This is a little surprising. Yes, Capcom used to make some really cool Disney games but is it really a mistake that they stopped?
Okay, so it looks like it IS a mistake that Capcom stopped making games based off existing Disney franchises. I don’t see why as the company clearly has grown and expanded since the early 90’s. Really, there’s no reason to be making Disney games anymore when you could just focus on your own IP’s.
This is very true. Most of these games are really good and are games that are still fun to play. But again, Capcom has moved on to creating their own IP’s instead of using existing ones like Darkwing Duck and Aladdin.
I’d just like to point out that Craig has started his sentences with the word “look” three times now. It makes me question whether or not there was an actual script that was being read from. Again, it just seems sloppy.
Anyways, the main issue I have with this quote is something that I’ve already said: ScrewAttack, or Craig to probably be more specific, thinks it’s their job to point out all the things we hate. I don’t like that. It’s really a disturbing trend that I’ve noticed over the course of the last couple of months.
ScrewAttack has always been about acceptance for me no matter whom you are or no matter what you say. You job isn’t to complain about things you don’t like, your job to is to be entertaining and interacting with your community whether you like something or you don’t. In my opinion, you did not do that with this video. Saying that because you’re on the internet, you’re obligated to hate something is completely rubbish and everybody here knows it. It’s a cop out. Stop with that ridiculous notion.
As to why Capcom is no longer making Disney games, the answer is simple: Disney Interactive. You see, Disney Interactive is now the publisher for most games that are based on Disney franchises today. Of course, there are developers like Avalanche Studios (responsible for Rampage 2: World Tour and MK Trilogy) and Junction Points Studios (responsible for Epic Mickey) that are responsible for making the games which Disney Interactive then publish. Capcom is probably never going to make another Disney game again because there are 6 different studios doing exactly that.
You’ve spent your entire time this video questioning Capcom’s decisions and now you’re saying the need to bring licensed games back to their previous quality. To me, that doesn’t make sense. What you’re essentially saying is, “Jeez Capcom, you’ve really made some horrible decisions these past couple of years. By the way, do you think you can decide make some more awesome Disney games? That’s a decision we won’t question at all!”
ONLY 90'S KIDS WILL GET THIS, AMIRITE?! As if there weren’t enough problems with this video, the final ten seconds are used to insult the current generation. I may not have examples this time, but I’m pretty sure the 90’s era of gaming wasn’t all sunshine and lollipops.
That’s it. That’s the newest Top Ten in all its glory. I honestly cannot believe that something like that was made. To be fair, it’s somewhat topical. Loads of gamers today are complaining that Capcom have gone downhill in recent years. That being said, I still didn’t like this list: the quality was poor, I never once thought a joke was funny, and there seemed to be no research put into it. It was like ScrewAttack saw the most common complaints against Capcom and decided to list them off.
Before you go and say that I hate Craig or Nick or ScrewAttack, allow me to tell you that’s completely false. I made this for two reasons. One of my reasons was to criticise this video. I believe that as a g1, I am allowed to criticise something from ScrewAttack if I don’t like it or if it isn’t of high quality (which is what ScrewAttack should be striving for). I believe that this video wasn’t ScrewAttack’s best effort and therefore, I disliked it. One thing I will not do is stay quiet when I don’t like something. I will speak my mind. The result is what you see above.
The second reason I made this is because I’m sick and tired of seeing the anti-Capcom circle jerk (also known as an “echo chamber”). It’s gotten fairly annoying to see everyone make a post about how Capcom has devolved into a shitty company and how they’ve “lost faith” in them. I see thousands of people do this. Someone will post something like “Does anyone else feel like Capcom isn’t what they used to be?” and they’ll immediately get a response agreeing with them or joining in on the hate train. Don’t believe me? Look at the like/dislike bar of the Top Ten. It’s almost all green. Look at the comments. Nearly everyone is agreeing or adding reasons to the list. But there was one comment that struck my eye. It was, at the very least, a little insightful:
Oh, I’m sorry, it wasn’t this one. It was the reply below it:
See what I mean? It’s hard to escape it.
Right so I’m fairly certain everyone is going to pop in and spend 5 minutes saying what an idiot I am down in the comments section. Take your time, I will read all of them. That being said, if you want to see my next project, click the subscribe button (or the unsubscribe button as I’m sure there will be some of those). I have a couple of upcoming blogs I’m sure you’ll enjoy including my Top 10 Comic Book Villains. It’s going to take some time to complete that one but I’m sure that the community will enjoy it. To end this blog I just want to say that if you liked the last Top Ten, you are entitled to your opinion. If you think that Capcom has gone downhill in recent years, you are entitled to your opinion. Don’t treat your opinion or the opinions of others as fact and certainly don’t treat my opinion as fact.
Until next time g1’s.