Super Street Fighter IV is priced less than a full game, but more than a Platinum release - but if you're wondering why (and who barely missed the cut for new characters), Capcom has some answers for you.
$40 is an interesting price for a console game, particularly one in a big-name series like Street Fighter. It might be the standard price for a PC expansion pack, but it's more than Platinum or Greatest Hits releases (and much more than DLC) while being significantly less than the cost of a full game. So why is it the price for Super Street Fighter IV?
"We had two choices, and the economics didn't work out on one... No matter what, we were fracturing the userbase, and we had to start from scratch," Capcom USA's VP of Strategic Planning & Business Development Christian Svensson told Gamasutra, pointing back to an earlier Capcom title - Lost Planet Colonies - that did something similar to Super Street Fighter IV. While containing much of the core game of the original, Colonies added more content, and more importantly was treated as an entirely different game by online services. People who bought the new game couldn't play with those who just had the original.
"The problem is that it gets a new title ID, which means no cross-play with the original consumers. And the other part is designing the game around, figuring out who has which package, even if you could do that. So, we knew we had to go from scratch. A Platinum [version] wasn't really an option no matter what we did," said Svensson. But that wasn't the only reason: Frankly, Capcom thinks that there's enough content there to justify a full disc game - and the company will be throwing in something extra to sweeten the pot for Street Fighter IV owners.
"The other part of this is frankly we were putting in so much new content, we thought that a platinum play wasn't the right play anyway. So, going $10 above Platinum/Greatest Hits pricing was sort of a nice compromise. And we haven't announced it, but for those who have purchased and played Street Fighter IV on the system that they play this on, there will be a nifty little special set of things that those people will have the option of enjoying that others won't."
The announcement that Street Fighter III fan favorites Dudley, Ibuki, and Makoto would be joining the roster of SSF4 was a major turning point in convincing some to buy the update - according to Svensson, Dudley was a no-brainer, and had only just missed the cut for the original Street Fighter IV. "When it came around, Dudley was near the top of the list of who was obviously going to be in the next one. Makoto was sort of the number two in terms of the popularity and 'fan fantasy' list." Presumably, ninja girl Ibuki was next in line, with African martial artist Elena the "next tier down."
Svensson also talked about Capcom's other major fighting game release in early 2010: Tatsunoko vs. Capcom. Despite predictions that the title would not perform well in a market that didn't know half the characters, Svensson says that Capcom is "not at all dissatisfied with the sales at this point. We are cautiously optimistic that it's going to have long legs ... [the] Versus series is well served by Tatsunoko as an outing. It really happens bring Versus back as a viable brand for Capcom."
So, Capcom, how about that new Versus game, eh? I hear the BlazBlue guys are pretty hot right now. You should fight against them.