Update: Capcom issued the following statement to MCV concerning the locked DLC content found on the retail disc for Street Fighter X Tekken (thanks Andrew Eisen):
Update: Capcom issued the following statement to MCV concerning the locked DLC content found on the retail disc for Street Fighter X Tekken (thanks Andrew Eisen):
A report on Digital Trends confirms that Capcom supports the efforts of the ESA as it relates to the Stop Online Piracy Act, though the confirmation is merely one sentence from a Capcom representative.
When asked about the company's support, Capcom's representative responded in an email saying "The ESA represents us on these matters."
A Siliconera report suggests that the next Dead Rising game is already in the works and will have a serious social issue in the context of its story. Capcom is not commenting on the details of the report, save to say that they have not announced anything about the next Dead Rising game. If the report is true, the next paragraph may contain spoilers that will make you sad in your soul. If you think spoilers are bad, then you might want to stop reading right now.
Video game publication Kill Screen and game publisher Capcom have teamed up for some Halloween hijinks called "Fright Club." The event is a celebration of Capcom's popular zombie games, but offers a strong line-up of indie music groups for attendees to enjoy.
In the latest video from our own Andrew Eisen he talks in-depth about the Mega Man conspiracy theory making the rounds. Some believe that Capcom cancelled Mega Man Legends 3 for the 3DS and Mega Man Universe, and omitted the Blue Bomber from the Marvel vs. Capcom 3 roster because Mega Man co-creator Keiji Inafune left the company late last year. You may recall that Inafune made several derogatory statements about the Japanese video game industry prior to his departure, which reflected poorly on him and his employer too.
Earlier this week Capcom responded to complaints about the "one save" scheme it implemented into its 3DS game, Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D, saying that it was not a way for the company to combat used game sales. On its official Unity blog the company said that it was in no way meant to lessen the game's overall experience and that it was designed to be like an Arcade fighting game. From the page - here's the official statement from Capcom:
Capcom has felt the wrath of consumers on amazon.com ticked off by its "one save" scheme in its new 3DS game Resident Evil: The Mercenaries 3D. According to a Destructoid report, fans have "Amazon Bombed" the product page of the game on Amazon, giving the game negative reviews and leaving less than flattering comments about the game.
What set consumers off is a "one save" scheme in the game that basically only lets the original owner unlock the extras within the game. Once they are unlocked they are unlocked for good, even if the game is resold or given to someone's friend. Fans are very upset with this new way in which Capcom is trying to fight against second sales of their games.
And the user reviews are not pretty:
Capcom Corporate Officer and Senior Vice-President Christian Svensson announced that Capcom will change the type of DRM it plans to use for the PC release of Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition. The changes are in response to a blizzard of news stories and a strong public outcry lamenting the game's DRM.
Svensson says that Capcom has listened to the community, and as a result, it will make some changes:
Capcom says that the extended downtime of the PlayStation Network is costing the makers of Street Fighter and Mega Man hundreds of thousands of dollars. Answering a question on the company's official Unity Blog, Capcom senior vice president Christian Svensson said that the downtime is costing "hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars in revenue".
"I'm frustrated and upset by it for a number of reasons," he wrote on the blog. "As a consumer, I also play games online on PS3, which I can't do... and likely my personal information is also compromised. Secondly I like to buy things in the PlayStation Store and that I can't do right now.
Capcom Mobile announced today that Smurfs' Village and Zombie Cafe have reached a combined total of 10 million downloads on iTunes. This milestone was achieved over four months with the release of Smurfs' Village in November last year, followed by Zombie Cafe in January. Both games have a combined total of 6.5 million monthly active users as well. Smurfs' Village and Zombie Cafe are free-to-play applications that offers social hooks and casual gameplay for players to enjoy. Additional premium content is unlockable through in-app virtual currencies.
Capcom did not disclose how much money has been made off of micro-transactions within the game. Smurfs' Village is of particular interest because it helped spark a Federal Trade Commission investigation into digital purchases after parents complained about their children buying thousands of dollars' worth of smurfberries in Smurf Village.
If you were looking forward to buying Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 but loathe pesky DRM solutions, then you may want to skip Capcom's sequel. According to NeoGaf, Capcom's game on the PlayStation Store requires users to be logged into the PlayStation Network while playing.
While Capcom may not have proclaimed this fact in any press releases for the game, the company has put it in plain view in the product description:
"NOTE: You must log-in to the PlayStation Network each time to play the game."
So there you go. If you think DRM of this nature is stupid or a pain in the ass, you should skip this game. Oddly enough, the game only offers offline coop play but requires you to stay connected to the PlayStation Network. That in and of itself boggles the mind.
Capcom attempted to quell the leak of two secret characters from Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition this week by issuing copyright notices against YouTube videos. The videos featured Evil Ryu and Oni Akumfa, two charcters that were to be announced by Capcom later. Now the company has confirmed the characters but users who had videos on YouTube can't turn back the clock and some of them have lost whole channels thanks to YouTube's "three strikes" rule. A user with multiple copyright notices can have their entire account suspended and have videos deleted.
One prominent user, Street Fighter tournament player J.R. Rodriguez, lost his channel and more than 50 videos were deleted, according to published reports.
The two characters can apparently be unlocked via a built-in password system, but the passwords themselves were leaked or discovered. Some say that producer Yoshinori Ono has taken some heat for it.
Capcom says that it is "saddened" by the controversy surrounding its mobile division's game, "MaXplosion" for iOS platforms. The company has every reason to be, I guess. Many in the community have called it a blatant rip-off of Twisted Pixel's popular Xbox Live Arcade game 'Splosion Man. But what's worse is that Twisted Pixel has had a few things to say about Capcom's game in a very public way.
While the company has said that it won't sue Capcom for its game (Twisted Pixel CEO Mike Wilford says the company is too small to take Capcom on in court), many members of the company have had harsh things to say in the media and on Twitter. One Twisted Pixel developer went so far as to call it "complete theft." Wilford also said that his company pitched 'Splosion Man to Capcom, who passed on the game. That fact adds insult to the perceived injury.
Twisted Pixel is probably the coolest collection of cats on the planet. Not only do they have a decent sense of humor and an affinity for developing clever games, but they are also humble realists. When asked about a recent Capcom mobile game (MaXplosion for iOS) that some say blatantly rips off Twisted Pixel's popular 'Splosion Man, the company’s CEO gave an honest answer:
"We're definitely not going to pursue legal action," Wilford told Joystiq. "While I think the similarities are pretty nauseating, we're too small to take on a company like Capcom. That, and we owe them one for inventing Mega Man, so we'll let them slide."
Keiji Inafune, the character designer of the popular Mega Man series, has left Capcom. In a blog post on his personal site - translated by Kotaku - Inafune said "sayonara" to fans, revealing that he was "leaving Capcom with the intention of starting my life over."
"A manager's work means evaluating your subordinates and speaking your dreams. Anyone who can do both of those can be a manager. I thought that when I came here, and I still think that now," Inafune said on his blog.
"People that really know me, can see where I'm coming from. I'm not a regular dude. It's probably because I'm strange," he continued.
A new Gamasutra article called "Games With The Power To Offend: Surviving And Stoking Controversy" reveals that Capcom has learned a hard lesson from the public relations nightmare related to claims of racism in Resident Evil 5. That controversy reared its ugly head shortly after Capcom released the first trailer for the game, which depicted black zombies versus a white American protagonist. After that blew up in their face, the company decided that it could never let something like that happen ever again.
After that nightmare Capcom decided that it had to put a process in place to deal with future international cultural issues - to be implemented on both sides of the world. Here's more on that from the article:
Capcom has not received a classification for Dead Rising 2 from the German government, and it doubts it will ever receive one because the first game was banned in the region. So with that in mind it has decided to opt out of a public showing at this year's Gamescom event in Cologne, Germany. This makes a lot of sense because the company is only showing two games at this time and one of them is Dead Rising 2.
Still Capcom will be at the show behind closed doors showing off its games to the press. Here's what Capcom had to say about it:
While Ubisoft has been the poster-boy for DRM as of late, Capcom apparently introduced a variation of the technology in its release of Final Fight: Double Impact through the PlayStation Network.
Kotaku reports that the game requires a constant connection to PSN in order to play, and, if the console’s Internet connection is lost, the game exits entirely. An affected gamer on the IGN boards wrote to Capcom about the issue and received this response, purportedly from a Capcom representative:
Yes, there is DRM. This was employed to combat the rampant "PSN Sharing" that has been going on over the last year. We're sorry that your family cannot play the game on their individual accounts (same console). This is a limitation of the Sony network. We are not committed to do this with all titles moving forward but the only way to evaluate impact was to try it with one title first.
While UK bookmakers are infamous for taking bets on just about anything, a counterpart of theirs in Ireland is going a step further and accepting wagers on a videogame match.
Dublin-based Paddy Power is taking wagers on who will win a Super Street Fighter IV match between Ryan Hart and Femi Adeboye, billed as two of the UK’s “most respected players.” The match is scheduled for April 29 and will take place at Capcom’s European headquarters. Paddy Power will offer a live stream of the event.
Paddy Power’s own Paddy Power stated, “We wanted to offer sports fans and games players the ultimate thrill by offering the chance to win big on the outcome of a Super Street Fighter IV competition. If it proves popular, we'll open further books on other videogame competitions."
Capcom has responded to criticism of its Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles by religious leaders with a double-barrel return blast of its own.
Bishop Bryant of Jarrow, Archdeacon Brian Smith and Rt Rev John Goddard accused the game of promoting the occult and violence reports MCVUK. Goddard said about the game, “If we dabble in this area we open ourselves to influences and put ourselves at risk. I would regard any encouragement for children to be drawn into this behaviour with extreme horror.”
Capcom’s Leo Tan fired back, saying, “Most games (and movies) like Resident Evil show characters fighting evil not supporting it. Unfortunately the clergy is showing a lack of understanding of the video games industry and is too quick to splash the holy water and lump video games players into stereotypical boxes.”
This is scaremongering and typical religious hysteria. You cannot blame society’s ills on video games. It’s just absurd.
The title, developed for the Wii, is due out in Europe on November 27. It was released in the U.S. last week.
Yesterday's edition of the Houston Chronicle's Game Hack blog ponders whether racism is becoming a norm in video game design.
Blogger Willie Jefferson expresses concern over 2009 releases Resident Evil 5 and Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood (pic at left) as well as the in-development Left 4 Dead 2. RE5, of course, has already been the subject of much debate over its depiction of African villagers as zombies. Jefferson writes:
I am disturbed by the growing trend of racist undertones that are cropping up in video games.
One of the games that comes to mind is "Left 4 Dead 2." ...Set in New Orleans, players will have to fight their way through hordes of zombies - with several of them who appear to be African-Americans. When I saw the first trailer for the game, all I could think about was Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath...
The game that really inspired this blog entry was Ubisoft's "Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood." The game starts out with players assuming the role of Ray, a Confederate officer... the Confederacy, as far as I am concerned, wanted to keep their cheap slave labor and the like. I can not stand the Confederate flag... To me, the flag represents hate -- and offends me and many others to no end. [It] made me wonder how much research Ubisoft did for this game...
As a minority, had the South won, I wouldn't be in this position I am today...
Just when you thought the swine flu panic was winding down, Develop reports that the virus may impact Capcom's scheduled E3 appearance.
Japan, which has seen a recent jump in swine flu cases, has been closing schools in Hyogo and Osaka prefectures at the request of the government. The outbreak could keep Japanese employees of the Resident Evil publisher away from E3:
Capcom has told Develop that its Japanese arm remains undecided on whether it will be attending the upcoming E3 event in Los Angeles. The publisher has stated however that it will still have a presence at the event with US and UK teams attending...
A spokesperson for Capcom... stated that Japan’s tough travel regulations has impacted on Capcom Japan’s options for E3...
Capcom did however clarify that it will still have a big presence at E3... “The show is in Los Angeles and we have offices in America, so E3 is still on” the spokesperson added.
As GamePolitics has reported, the U.S. Army has taken a fair amount of heat in recent times over its use of video games and game-related events for recruitment.
Over at ripten, Chad Lakkis notes with a disapproving eye the Army's presence at a Best Buy midnight launch event for the recently-released Resident Evil 5:
I couldn’t help but notice the “GO ARMY” recruitment tent mixed into the Best Buy Resident Evil 5 launch party video... I don’t mind the idea of recruiters but what I do mind is the methods by which they often recruit.
This isn’t the first time the U.S. Army has been accused of blurring the lines between gaming and recruiting. Promoting an official U.S. Army videogame and lacing their official army game website to contain soldier bios designed to look like videogame stat cards is youth marketing at its finest. Look at all the stats you can wrack up kids - assuming you don’t die first.
Posted by GP on Twitter this morning: Game press commentary on RE5 issue perplexes me. Can a white guy even have an opinion on whether something is offensive to black people?
The controversy over whether there is racism in Resident Evil 5 continues to bounce around the media.
Variety's Ben Fritz pens a review of the game (he didn't like it so well) and, near the end, touches on the race issue:
The racial imagery is disturbing at times. No, that doesn't mean the game is "racist." Racism is the belief that race is a determining factor in human capacity and that some are superior to others. That's a tall order for a game and certainly not one "RE 5" fulfills.
But the game does contain some disturbing imagery reminiscent of the violent colonial past... you're the white solder, walking through their villages, murdering every single one of them...
Does that mean you can't make an action game set in Africa, even with a White protagonist and Black enemies? Of course not. It just means you have to address the issue in some way because it's real and unavoidable...
Is it unfair that you have to address the race issue differently for a game set in Africa than for what was essentially the same game set in Spain? Sure. But, you know, colonialism was unfair too. Such is the reality of the world in which we live.
Meanwhile, in a lengthy post, Stephen Totilo of MTV Multiplayer writes that his concerns about the RE5 race issue have faded:
Watching the [E3 2007] trailer again, it still made me feel uneasy. I still didn’t like the fantasy it portrayed...
In the game, however, I saw something different. The white vs. black racial dichotomy was gone. The infected people looked infected. The characters who once looked like poor Africans whom I didn’t want to shoot now looked like undead menaces I needed to stop to stay alive.
I don’t know if I have changed. I don’t think I have. But what I’ve seen of the game has changed. The game gives a different feeling than the trailer. It uses race and color differently. That’s worth more discussion, and I hope people will engage with it.
Yesterday, GamePolitics reported that the mainstream (i.e., non-gaming) press was beginning to weigh in on the race issue in regard to Capcom's just-released Resident Evil 5.
As we noted, the AP's Lou Kesten was concerned. The Huffington Post's Earl Ofari Hutchinson was angry.
Seth Schiesel is the video game reporter for the New York Times. Like Kesten, he has a foot in both worlds. You can't any get more maintream than the Times, yet gaming is his daily beat. Schiesel, who reviews RE5 this morning. believes that the race issue is overblown:
Let’s get this out of the way: Resident Evil 5 is not a racist game.
For at least a year some black journalists have been wringing their hands about whether the game... inflames racist stereotypes because it is set in Africa. The answer is no... Resident Evil 5 exposes the perhaps uncomfortable truth that blacks and Arabs can become zombies too, just like anyone else... The point of the story is that the indigenous people have become the innocent victims of evil white people.
All that said, Resident Evil 5 could not possibly have been made in the United States. Racial sensitivities and prevailing political correctness would have had American game executives squirming in their Aeron chairs the minute they read a budget proposal for a game featuring African zombies.
Not so in Japan, apparently...
While the video game press appears to have reached a consensus that Resident Evil 5 is not racist in its portrayal of blacks, non-gaming media outlets do not seem quite so sure.
Lou Kesten, for example, who covers games for the Associated Press, straddles the line between games and the mainstream. In a syndicated column which will be reprinted across North America, Kesten clearly is uncomfortable with RE5's racial vibe:
Even longtime fans of the horror franchise may find themselves wondering: Is this game racist?...
Yes, the vast majority of monsters in "RE5" are infected black men. Does that make it racist? I believe producer Jun Takeuchi's claim that the story led naturally to Africa, and it's obvious that a zombie-creating virus unleashed there would lead to hordes of African zombies.
Still, there were plenty of moments where I felt uneasy after shotgunning a path through a crowd of feral Africans. Even though "RE5" makes some points about colonialism and capitalism... the racial imagery is more loaded than its creators probably realized.
Judged purely as a game, "RE5" is undeniably entertaining. But many players are going to find it disturbing for the wrong reasons.
At left-leaning political blog Huffington Post, commentator Earl Ofari Hutchinson pulls no punches. For Hutchinson, RE5 is clearly an exercise in racism:
The well-worn script reads like this. A protest group blasts a video game manufacturer... for dumping a game on the market loaded with racially insulting and demeaning stereotypes. The video game team yelps that the game is pure entertainment, has some blacks or Latinos in on the design and production, and gets high marks from the industry...
So it was no surprise that Jun Takeuchi yanked out that script to defend his video game brainchild Resident Evil 5 from the charge that it's racist. But what else could one call it? It features a white male (modern day Bawana) mowing down a pack of poor, primitive disease challenged Africans... . The racist game reinforces the worst of the worst ancient stereotypes against and about Africans...
GP: When video game controversies flare, there is typically lag time between the gaming press's more immediate coverage and the issue's crossover to the mainstream media. Now that RE5 has been released, it's likely that the racism issue will be receiving a new round of attention from mainstream outlets in coming weeks.
The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) has weighed in on Resident Evil 5 and finds no evidence of racism, reports Eurogamer.
Complaints of racial insensitivity in RE5 have cropped up periodically ever since a trailer for the game was released at E3 2007. Most recently, Eurogamer's report on a pre-release look at RE5 code renewed concerns about possible racism in the game.
But the BBFC's Sue Clark dismissed the racial angle in a scene fretted about by Eurogamer:
It's the bit where you see "a white blonde woman being dragged off, screaming, by black men", as our preview put it... [BBFC's] Clark responded, "In the version [of the scene] submitted to the BBFC there is only one man pulling the blonde woman in from the balcony, and I can't say the skimpiness of her dress impressed itself on me. The single man is not black either.
"As the whole game is set in Africa it is hardly surprising that some of the characters are black, just like the fact that some of the characters in an earlier version were Spanish as the game was set in Spain," Clark continued.
"We do take racism very seriously, but in this case there is no issue around racism."
Odd that both Eurogamer and Kikizo reported it was black men doing the dragging, but presumably we were given an earlier version of the code than the one submitted to the BBFC.
While gamers continue to debate whether or not the upcoming Resident Evil 5 contains racist imagery, the Penny Arcade crew has weighed in on the issue with a new comic (left).
Incidentally, in a recent GamePolitics poll on the topic, 83% of GP readers disagreed with the idea that there was racism in the game.
For the full PA comic, click here.
Kotaku and other sites reported today on a new series of game-themed "Unity" debit cards from Capcom. Here's how Kotaku explained the program:
The co-branded Visa debit card is the first of its kind in North America. The cards will feature art from Street Fighter IV, Resident Evil 5 and Bionic Commando.
The pre-paid cards will also let gamers earn points on Capcom-Unity.com, cash back from online or retail purchases and earn "accelerated rewards" through the online Capcom rewards mall...
Unity card holders will also be able to "jump the line" at Capcom events or gatherings, gain access to Beta tests and other things like "being written into a Capcom game or comic book or possibly even being an extra in a Capcom movie.
However, the Bitbag urges caution before taking the Capcom card plunge:
I just wanted to warn folks that are planning on getting this “rewards” card that it doesn’t really give you Capcom-specific rewards. There is also a $9.95 set-up fee and a $4.95 monthly fee. Just lookin’ out for you guys.
GP: Gamers, what do you think?