Svensson is VP of Strategic Planning & Business Development at Capcom U.S.
-- and that puts him in an interesting position. Though the company's big hits
primarily come out of its Japanese division -- as it is undoubtedly the
Japanese developer that best handled the generational transition -- the U.S.
division has its say in operations.
fact, as the owner of the Street Fighter
IP, the decision to revive the series and launch the incredibly successful Street Fighter IV -- though, as Svensson
discusses, the development took place in Japan
under the creative control of the Japanese team, a complicated arrangement.
He also discusses the recent revelation out
of Capcom Japan that Western studios, in the wake of GRIN's less-than-successful Bionic Commando,
will not handle IP generation but instead work with established brands.
touches on his hopes for the spring launch of Monster Hunter Tri -- as Capcom U.S. once again attempts to make the series,
which is one of the biggest in the Japanese market, popular in the U.S.
thing that I have been unclear on is the involvement of Capcom U.S.
with Street Fighter. It's still
always developed in Japan.
Obviously, Dimps was involved...
Christian Svensson: Well, let's back up two
seconds. There are lots of parts for Street
Fighter. There's Street Fighter IV.
Yes, that was developed with Japan. Capcom USA hired Capcom Japan to run and develop that project, who in
turn hired Dimps to do work on the project. So, that project developmentally is
managed by Capcom Japan, but the project is owned and paid for by Capcom USA, which is
ultimately responsible for it.
In the case of Street Fighter, with HD
Remix and perhaps some other things that might happen somewhere further
down the line, those were all started, initiated, and driven by the U.S.
you think there is a fighting game resurgence now?
CS: I certainly like to think so. I do
think that a lot of the interest and activity and energy that has been poured
back into the fighting game community has been jump-started by HD Remix first and then by Street Fighter IV.
I think Street
Fighter IV sales are a testament to how consumers have been about it, and I
think that Super Street Fighter IV
coming up in a little under two months now, the character selections were
driven by straight out of the fan feedback that came pouring out as we were
going into development on Street Fighter
IV. So, we took all of the energy that Street
Fighter IV brought and ported it into Super.
definitely had a lot of nerdface ideas about who should be in.
CS: Every Street Fighter fan does. Everyone has their favorites. Everyone's
very passionate about it.
favorite's not in there.
CS: Which one?
wanted Elena so much.
CS: She just barely missed the cut. She was
the next tier down.
time I met Ono, I was like, "Hey? You know what would be really cool? Put
Elena in the game."
CS: I agree. But she didn't make it. But,
you know, we had done a number of studies as far as popularity.
Super Street Fighter IV
overwhelmingly seeing everyone being like, "Makoto being in the game was a
decider for me, a major point whether I was going to buy this."
CS: Dudley was a just-miss the last time around, and
it was there sort of a conscious decision to leave Street Fighter III [characters] out in the first outing.
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.
setting the price point for the game lower than the original.
CS: It's $40. 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. There was no way to just sort of do
an update on the DLC, and if we'd done what we did Lost Planet Colonies -- I don't know if you'll recall -- basically
it had everything had the first game had and a ton more.
And we did that as our Platinum package.
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
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.
has the kind of fighting success extended to Tatsunoko vs. Capcom?
CS: To some degree, yes, but not to the
same extent. Let's put it this way. That was always a challenging project from
a "Is this appropriate for the Western market?" [perspective]. A lot
of people worked really hard after the outcry of fans who really wanted to see
it happen over here, to bring that Westward.
There were a whole bunch of questions like,
"Will fighting fans really support something on the Wii?" And, you
know, we're a couple weeks in right now, and we've been doing re-orders. We're
not at all dissatisfied with the sales at this point. We are cautiously
optimistic that it's going to have long legs...
series is well served by Tatsunoko as
an outing. It really happens bring Versus
back as a viable brand for Capcom. So, in that regard...
And I think the fighting community is what
has driven that far more than the Wii community at large. It's the fans. They
may also have a Wii, and they may be a 360/PS3 player primarily but they also
have a Wii. And then there's also a lot of people who bought a Wii just for TvC. Without the fan support and the fan
requests, A, it wouldn't have happened, and B, we wouldn't actually be
relatively pleased with where we are.