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On PC Super Street Fighter IV

Ask Capcom with Sven episode 1 offers answers from Capcom's Christian Svensson to fan-submitted questions. Along the way he expresses guarded optimism that a PC edition of Super Street Fighter IV will still happen. Word is: "I've always said the answer is 'no' until it becomes 'yes,' and letís just say Iíve not given up pushing, and maybe at some point in the future we could change that question to 'Why did it take so longÖ' instead of 'Why is there noÖ' Unfortunately, we canít do that yet, but Iím still cautiously optimistic." Thanks Siliconera.

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23. Re: On PC Super Street Fighter IV Jan 17, 2011, 23:26 Jerykk
 
Arcade version runs on a single hardware make, like a console. PC version would require far more work than even making the 3DS version...

Sarcasm, I sincerely hope. PC is a high-end platform. Porting a 360 game (I'm pretty sure 360 was the lead non-arcade SKU for SF4) to PC is much easier than porting it to a underpowered handheld.
 
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22. Re: On PC Super Street Fighter IV Jan 17, 2011, 17:30 ASJD
 
Satsu wrote on Jan 16, 2011, 19:00:
Jerykk wrote on Jan 16, 2011, 17:50:
Nonsense. The vast majority of QA time is spent finding platform-agnostic bugs. Scripting, art and collision issues mostly. All of these bugs would have already been found and fixed (or waived) during development of the 360 version. The PC version would have needed compatibility testing, of course, and some basic testing of code and the new UI, but in no way would it have required more QA than the 360 version.
I really doubt a PC version of SSFIV would require much QA at all.

SF4 and SSF4 run on a PC in the arcade:
http://www.system16.com/hardware.php?id=905

Capcom is holding out. Other interviews have turned up responses saying they're not releasing it for PC because of piracy.

Arcade version runs on a single hardware make, like a console. PC version would require far more work than even making the 3DS version...
 
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21. Re: On PC Super Street Fighter IV Jan 17, 2011, 08:27 AhrimaaN
 
bah...  
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20. Re: On PC Super Street Fighter IV Jan 17, 2011, 01:55 Jerykk
 
Of course, PC games tend to be $39.99. At least $10 goes directly to the B&M store, plus at least another $10 in distribution costs. If We're talking Steam it's about that in fees to Valve. So right away 3/5 of the "profit" you mentioned is gone.

The majority of AAA PC games retail at $49.99. Some retail at $39.99, some at $59.99. If you sell the game in B&M, then yeah, you have to cut some of the profit. If you sell only through digital distribution, you cut a bit less, depending on which distributors you use. But even if you only gain $20 profit from each unit sold, that's still only 50k units you need to sell to break even (assuming you have a generous $1 million budget).

People need to understand that porting a game is nothing like creating a game from scratch. You don't need a team of artists, animators, riggers, scripters or designers and the dev cycle isn't 2-3 years. All you need is a few programmers, a designer (usually part-time) and a UI artist (also part-time) for a few months. If you're porting the game during development (as is the case for multiplatform games), the majority of these devs would be working on the console versions as well.

Jerryk, still don't know what kind of products you work for, but your PC QA experiences are so insanely different than mine it's mindblowing. My company wanted to know how anything would respond. It wanted to know how different GPUs and CPUs interacted to keep sustainable framerates. It really wanted to minimize forum posters saying that their DX9.0b card with 2 year old drivers worked fine but updating to new ones gave them purple-and-black checkerboard shadows, etc.

That's standard for compatibility testing. Where I work, it's outsourced to a dedicated testing company. We give them our estimates for the system requirements and they test every combination thereof to determine which hardware works with the game and what combination of hardware offers a playable experience. It usually takes about a week or so. However, this is not an continual process throughout development. It only happens periodically at different stages of the project. This may vary between some publishers but with all the publishers I've worked with, it hasn't.

Compatibility testing for the PC isn't really any more of a bitch than certification testing for consoles. Publishers are really paranoid about failing submission so they want as much dedicated cert testing as possible. This means you have a team of testers dedicated to doing the dumbest, most illogical things ever like pulling out memory cards during every save/load point, level transition, etc. If such actions result in behavior that doesn't match the MS/Sony requirements, programmers spend inordinate amounts of time trying to fix them. These issues are often extremely timing specific and/or inconsistent, making them even more problematic to resolve.

Bottom line is that the majority of multiplatform games have PC versions. If PC versions were so risky because of QA costs, publishers simply wouldn't make them. In truth, most PC ports are profitable because they're so cheap to make.

Where do you get these statistics from? Not trying to be rude but you sound like you're talking out of you're ass.

First-hand experience working on multiplatform games with PC versions. My studio recently did a standalone PC port, so the budget was very clear. Coincidentally, it was the easiest project we've ever worked on. Met every milestone and even delivered the GM early.

This comment was edited on Jan 17, 2011, 02:07.
 
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19. Re: On PC Super Street Fighter IV Jan 17, 2011, 00:17 spindoctor
 
Kosumo wrote on Jan 16, 2011, 23:45:
Of the $50, I truly doubt they get more than 40-50% of it.

Street Fighter 4 released at a price point of 40$ if I remember correctly. And you're right, they would only get 40-50% of that amount, if not less. And in this day and age, how long would it stay at full price anyway? I remember I bought the game for 50% off in a Steam weekend deal about 2 months after it came out. Point being that it would need a lot more than just 20k sales to reach 1 million dollars in profit.

Next, I wonder whether it makes sense to attribute only the cost of porting to the PC as the total cost for the platform. For example, if a multiplatform game cost 30 million dollars to make/market, and only half a million dollars to port to the pc... is it right to say that the cost of the PC version is only that half million? This would be true only if they never planned to release it on the PC from the day they started development on the game, and I doubt that is the case, at least with SF4. There's also the opportunity cost of spending time porting a game to the PC versus spending it on creating something for the far more lucrative console market.

And finally, SF4 had the distinction of being on this list. But then, as PC gamers, we all know that not one single potential sale has ever been lost in all of history to piracy, right?
 
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18. Re: On PC Super Street Fighter IV Jan 17, 2011, 00:01 Rattlehead
 
It's really not difficult to make a profit from a PC port. Ports are handled by very small teams, mostly programmers and the average dev time is a few months at most. It typically costs less than $1 million to do a PC port and that's being generous. Even if you only sell 100k units at $50 each, that's still $4 million in profit.

Where do you get these statistics from? Not trying to be rude but you sound like you're talking out of you're ass.
 
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17. Re: On PC Super Street Fighter IV Jan 16, 2011, 23:55 Beamer
 
Even if you only sell 100k units at $50 each, that's still $4 million in profit.

Of course, PC games tend to be $39.99. At least $10 goes directly to the B&M store, plus at least another $10 in distribution costs. If We're talking Steam it's about that in fees to Valve. So right away 3/5 of the "profit" you mentioned is gone.

Then, despite you repeatedly claiming otherwise, PC QA is a bitch.

So you're spending resources for what tends to be not all that much income. You can devote the resources to this. Or you can put your people on something you feel will have a greater reward.



And this is what usually happens: given a choice between the guaranteed lukewarm revenues of a PC release or the higher potential of a console release developers tend to put their limited employees on the console release.
Same with demos. QA on a demo can be as exhausting as QA on a full release. This is why demos, when they happen, tend to be post-launch. Why pull some of your QA guys off of the launch and delay everything when you can just focus on the launch, get it out the door, then devote full resources on the demo? I've seen a lot of complaining about post-launch demos but no one seemed to mind too much when Half Life did it (of course, they gave us a separate mini-campaign but we didn't know that at release.)


Jerryk, still don't know what kind of products you work for, but your PC QA experiences are so insanely different than mine it's mindblowing. My company wanted to know how anything would respond. It wanted to know how different GPUs and CPUs interacted to keep sustainable framerates. It really wanted to minimize forum posters saying that their DX9.0b card with 2 year old drivers worked fine but updating to new ones gave them purple-and-black checkerboard shadows, etc.
 
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16. Re: On PC Super Street Fighter IV Jan 16, 2011, 23:45 Kosumo
 
Even if you only sell 100k units at $50 each, that's still $4 million in profit.


Of the $50, I truly doubt they get more than 40-50% of it.
 
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15. Re: On PC Super Street Fighter IV Jan 16, 2011, 23:21 Jerykk
 
It's not a huge part of the bug-stomping process, no, but it is a cost to consider when putting together a game even just to drop on Steam and nowhere else. The money they'd make would have to exceed sales.

It's really not difficult to make a profit from a PC port. Ports are handled by very small teams, mostly programmers and the average dev time is a few months at most. It typically costs less than $1 million to do a PC port and that's being generous. Even if you only sell 100k units at $50 each, that's still $4 million in profit.

I don't know how many units SF4 PC sold. If it sold so poorly as to not generate any profit, I can understand why they wouldn't bother porting SSF4. However, that would require that SF4 PC sell less than 20k units, which is pretty bad, especially considering that an extremely niche indie game like Amnesia sold 200k.
 
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14. Re: On PC Super Street Fighter IV Jan 16, 2011, 23:10 finga
 
Jerykk wrote on Jan 16, 2011, 17:50:
Nonsense. The vast majority of QA time is spent finding platform-agnostic bugs. Scripting, art and collision issues mostly.
It's not a huge part of the bug-stomping process, no, but it is a cost to consider when putting together a game even just to drop on Steam and nowhere else. The money they'd make would have to exceed sales. Of course Capcom would release SSFIV on PC if they thought it'd make money. Maybe they're wrong, but clearly they don't think they'd make money. (Or they're waiting for another update version, which is certainly a valid reason for a core of gamers who, for the most part, doesn't even really get into fighting games.)

Sure, the arcade machines are actual PCs, but it's not like that version is tested on some huge range of hardware, either. It'd still need the same compatibility testing with a range of hardware, including SLI/Crossfire, multicore CPUs, sound, and network equipment. And OSes. And compatibility with whatever download service they use. (Ask Obsidian about the first few days of New Vegas on Steam.)
 
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13. Re: On PC Super Street Fighter IV Jan 16, 2011, 22:42 spindoctor
 
Fibrocyte wrote on Jan 16, 2011, 17:28:

Uh, no. He pretty much summed up the bluesnews community quite well. Your comment about Blizzard is so ridiculously off base.

Yep.
 
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12. Re: On PC Super Street Fighter IV Jan 16, 2011, 21:44 ochentay4
 
Well, I went ahead and bought Continuum Shift to see how good it was. And I really hate it. I went back to SSF4. My friends AND girlfriend love it too. It could be good to have it on the PC, but playing this game without gamepad its a crime. And I dont have/want more gamepads.  
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11. Re: On PC Super Street Fighter IV Jan 16, 2011, 20:33 Dr. D. Schreber
 
I used to get worked up over this, but I'm playing Continuum Shift so much I don't think I'd even bother with SSF4 anymore.  
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NOT THE BEES! NOT THE BEES THEY'RE IN MY EYES AARRGRHGHGGAFHGHFGHFG!
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10. Re: On PC Super Street Fighter IV Jan 16, 2011, 19:25 KilrathiAce
 
I hate when they say "its a no until its a yes", just say no and thats it stop talking bs.  
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"On 2646.215 I myself attacked & destroyed TCS Tiger's Claw in my Jalthi heavy fighter"
Bakhtosh Redclaw Nar Kiranka
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9. Re: On PC Super Street Fighter IV Jan 16, 2011, 19:00 Satsu
 
Jerykk wrote on Jan 16, 2011, 17:50:
Nonsense. The vast majority of QA time is spent finding platform-agnostic bugs. Scripting, art and collision issues mostly. All of these bugs would have already been found and fixed (or waived) during development of the 360 version. The PC version would have needed compatibility testing, of course, and some basic testing of code and the new UI, but in no way would it have required more QA than the 360 version.
I really doubt a PC version of SSFIV would require much QA at all.

SF4 and SSF4 run on a PC in the arcade:
http://www.system16.com/hardware.php?id=905

Capcom is holding out. Other interviews have turned up responses saying they're not releasing it for PC because of piracy.
 
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8. Re: On PC Super Street Fighter IV Jan 16, 2011, 18:49 Beamer
 
Naw, they already plan on it. They've always planned on it. The only reason they want it to look like there isn't any hope for a PC release is because they want PC gamers to "Cave-in" and buy the console version.

That doesn't even begin to make sense.
 
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7. Re: On PC Super Street Fighter IV Jan 16, 2011, 18:24 TurdFergasun
 
so is pc getting this game already? like comeon zangief needs a new loetard. the current sfIV is completely unplayable without some added zazz, i'm just totally dying for this to make it to pc. for the love of god how hard is it to program zangief's new tights anyway?  
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6. Re: On PC Super Street Fighter IV Jan 16, 2011, 17:50 Jerykk
 
Then, after the game had massive success, they went ahead and put out the PC port, which of course takes longer to do QA on since there's about a million and one hardware issues they have to deal with over a console version.

Nonsense. The vast majority of QA time is spent finding platform-agnostic bugs. Scripting, art and collision issues mostly. All of these bugs would have already been found and fixed (or waived) during development of the 360 version. The PC version would have needed compatibility testing, of course, and some basic testing of code and the new UI, but in no way would it have required more QA than the 360 version.

People conveniently forget that console games have to go through certification, which requires them to comply with a bazillion arbitrary rules set forth by Sony and MS. If you fail certification, you lose a lot of time and money. In order to avoid this, console games go through thorough certification passes periodically, much like PC games go through compatibility passes periodically. Some console games even have a dedicated cert team testing throughout the whole project.

Please don't speak about the inner workings of game development when you actually have no idea how they work.
 
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5. Re: On PC Super Street Fighter IV Jan 16, 2011, 17:28 Fibrocyte
 
4D-Boxing wrote on Jan 16, 2011, 16:49:
And even if they do, you'll be back here when the announcement hits, bitching that a $40 price point is too high for owners of the original SFIV.

Ouch one bitter kid!

Uh, no. He pretty much summed up the bluesnews community quite well. Your comment about Blizzard is so ridiculously off base.
 
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4. Re: On PC Super Street Fighter IV Jan 16, 2011, 16:49 4D-Boxing
 
And even if they do, you'll be back here when the announcement hits, bitching that a $40 price point is too high for owners of the original SFIV.

Ouch one bitter kid!

Seems that he's acting just like the people he is trying to criticize. In the 2 comments before his we can clearly read people saying the game was dumbed down lol.

People know that there is more money in consoles and that consoles are the main market for devs, it's been like that since the Atari 2600.

In finga 's world customers are not allowed to voice their opinion. Long live Keizer Finga ..no one have an opinion or else he might snap. I can picture him red faced typing all that on his Android phone.

Here is a bit of truth, reviewer and the devs admitted that MA2 was made accessible (what some call dumbed down). Who cares, they have to make games for everyone not just hardcore gamers. If console gamers prefer casual gaming there is nothing wrong with that. Just like there is nothing wrong with PC gamer looking for depth in their games.

No company is forced to release their stuff on the PC. Poor Blizzard probably going to go broke with that MMO stuff on the PC lol. Bioware can leave the PC market all together and the only impact will be more room for devs who have the courage skill and knowledge to push gaming forward.

Anyways enough time wasted on this, he does not even realize that based on his logic cell phone games are going to kill console gaming. Not true but his logic implies this based on sales and market growth etc..
 
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