VIDEOGAME SEGREGATION

[ SF SIGN ] 2

I think there’s nothing worse than hanging out at friend’s place who only has 1-Player adventure/shooter games. It doesn’t make for much  2-player interactivity. I buy multiplayer games, including Capcom fighting games, because, as silly as it sounds, I want to be a good host. Plus, obviously, I enjoy playing them tremendously. I love the Capcom fighting games so much, I’ll buy everything Capcom produces that’s got a versus option. From SF2 on SNES, to Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure on PS1, To buying games on PS3 that I already have on Ps2. Capcom fighting games are like pokemons to me. I want them all!  See photographic evidence below:

[ capcom fighting games ]

Now back to the point I want to make about Videogame Segregation.

Traditionally segregation is defined as:

1. the act of segregating or state of being segregated
2. sociol : the practice or policy of creating separate facilities within the same society for the use of a minority group

*source: dictionary.com

I love all the capcom fighting games, but with all the updates and different editions, I’m hooked beyond my budget. And what really irks me is how they segregate their online gamer community between different versions of the same game. For example: last time I checked, Street Fighter 4 had sold around 4-5 million copies, and because there’s so many copies, and because it’s available dirt cheap used,  most of the people online are noobs. So I can win online matches at SF4 without too much work even though I usually take “random” at the character select screen. The newer edition, Super Street fighter 4 AE, which sold 1-2 million or so copies, is harder to find and is more expensive, so most of the people online for that game are hardcore. They’re hardcore enough to pay more for the same game, and hardcore enough to learn a newer more complicated move-set.  I can’t  afford to choose random when I play SSF 4AE online, no, I gotta stick to my strong characters and work hard for every win.

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It’s segregation because it separates people into groups, based solely on their purchasing power and skills set. everybody should be able to play the best, and latest version of the game. And in my case, since I own both copies,  I find it’s a downer that the community is split up like that, and that with my skill set, it’s not a fun option  for me to play the latest version of Streetfighter. That strikes me as a design flaw on Capcom’s part, that they would split us up like that, that they would make the latest, and most updated version of their game, so unapproachable.

And Capcom keeps repeating the same pattern. They’re doing it to us again with Marvel Vs Capcom 3, and the newer version called: Ultimate  Marvel vs Capcom 3. Yes, against my own personal logic, Capcom will ultimately get me to shell  another 60$ for a newer version of the same game that now has a few new characters. Woo-hoo! And I wouldn’t mind paying 120$ for one game, if only the online offering wasn’t split into two absolutely polar-opposite groups.

So you end up with two segregated gaming communities for the same game. One for noobs, one for hard-core gamers. Which sucks, because everybody should be able to play the same game, the best version of the game. No gamer should be told to go sit at the back of the digital bus.

[n]

razorbladecandyAQUA

NATNOTE: For anyone who wants to call me out, and challenge me at SF4 on PS3, my PSN username is: Razorblade_Candy. And I’ll take on anybody online. Well, at least for a couple of matches…   ^_^

[ - getting screwed - ]

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2 responses to “VIDEOGAME SEGREGATION

  1. With the online component becoming so popular with SF and other fighting games, a micro-transaction model might start to make a lot more sense than simply selling a new version of the game every 6 months. Most games now are “always online” anyway to combat piracy (I’m not 100% on board with that, but I can understand the logic behind the strategy). I say sell the core game for 10$ or so, and have players pay for additional characters and content. Players can already pay for costumes, so why not just embrace the system fully at this point, and avoid the issue of splitting the community constantly with different versions of what is essentially the same game(s)? Making the game an “official” online game would mean that all updates to the basic game would be offered free-of-charge by the publisher.

    The micro-transaction model works fine for a lot of MMO’s and online FPS, and I see no reason to not apply the same principle to SF and other fighting games on the PS3/PC/XBOX. Fighting games are multiplayer, they’re online, and their very nature makes them perfect for DLC content anyway. A standardized version of the game would only serve to strengthen the different fighting game communities, which in turn would increase visibility for the games, which of course leads to better revenue. In return, fans don’t need to shell out 60$ whenever a “new” version comes out.

    Seems like a win-win for everyone.

  2. Always online might be an issue for some people ( look at Simcity launch )but overall, that’s a pretty good idea! I’m surprised they haven’t done it like that. MvC 3 had been announced as a stand-alone title that would only get extra content thru purchasable online downloads. But once they were done selling us the “ordinary” version, they got greedy, and decided to trick us into buying the “ultimate” version. I’m starting to think Capcom is controlled by heartless, money-grubbing executives, and not by creative people who care about their projects.

    Maybe I’m old school, but to me, a sequel is a an entirely new game, built from the ground up. Not the same game, with a few new tweaked characters that we’ve already played with to death, in the previous versions.

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