Capcom missed great opportunity to properly showcase Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition during Unity stream

SF5:AE live stream was not the presentation it should have been

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • December 6, 2017 at 12:57 p.m. PST

I had the day off Monday and took a vacation from fighting games to play through Fractured But Whole (highly recommend if you're a fan of South Park), but started getting messages from FGC friends in the late afternoon about the Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition stream that was being hosted by Capcom Unity. None of the messages were very positive.

I tuned in to the archive yesterday, much like a majority of the Street Fighter community, excited to see new V-Triggers. To put it kindly, the stream presentation was frustrating, and filled with missed opportunities. I'm writing this as a love letter to a company that I desperately want to see succeed.

We got to see the new Arcade Mode build as it's separated into six different paths with varying rosters for each, and then we got to see Capcom employees that had very little understanding of the gameplay side of the game, show us gameplay.

I understand they were likely under strict orders to only show certain things, and I'm fine with that. The whole thing was an Arcade Mode snippet run through, but it was clear that some of the new V-Triggers were on the table, as we got to see six of them.

I'm very grateful for what we saw in both Arcade Mode structure and the six V-Triggers that were presented, but Capcom has so much potential that they're just letting slip away with a lack of showmanship in their reveals and recent presentations.

We used to have Peter "Combofiend" Rosas spearheading these with Mike Ross. Rosas knew exactly what the players wanted, and Ross knew exactly how to carry a presentation. This stream was handled like a small, side show with little direction.

Brett Elston, Capcom's Associate Brand Manager, and Sr. Social Media Specialist, Andy Wong, hosted for the first half of the stream. Thousands were excitedly watching, and it took hundreds of screaming heads in the stream chat all caps-ing "SHOW US V-TRIGGERS" to get the hosts to make that a priority at all.

What's more, when that did finally come into focus, the hosts didn't seem to fully understand how building V-Gauge worked (either by getting hit or successfully using your character's V-Skill). Brett mentioned at one point, while Andy was trying to set up Nash's V-Trigger, "It's hard to, like, intentionally lose. Or, like, to get hurt. It's tough."

Later on, Harrison Young and Mike D came on specifically because of the outcries in the chat for V-Trigger showings. Mike showed off Ibuki's new Fuma Shuriken first, and then Harrison went to show Birdie's new "Birdie Time" Trigger.

Harrison was not aware that performing Birdie's V-Skill builds up his V-Gauge, and realized it mid-stream:


Click images for animated versions

I appreciate what these men do for the company, but it's clear that gameplay isn't a required part of their roles. That's totally fine, but don't have the people that don't know how to properly showcase the game showcase the game to thousands of excited fans, or take some time to study and prepare so that you can properly present.

A strong example of this awareness can be found by looking at fellow fighting game company NetherRealm Studios. The frequent Injustice 2 Watchtower streams are hosted by Derek Kirtzic and Tyler Lansdown, but often bring on Steve "16Bit" Brownback -- QA Analyst at NRS and former top player of the company's games -- to further explain the intricate details of what's being shown.

Granted, these are different companies with different methodologies. However, it's worth noting as this is the level of preparedness that can and should be used for streams of this nature.

The stream wasn't without successes, as there was indeed some great information communicated. Specifics about how Arcade Mode has over 200 endings, and has various objectives to hit while playing were much appreciated.

We did get a presentation of Arcade Mode, and we did eventually see six of the new V-Trigger animations. The information we wanted eeked out, but the experience many will remember is one of frustration and anger as they tried to watch a presentation from a company seemingly out of touch with its fans/consumers.

This immediately sparked for me (as I'm sure it did for many others) the very up and down last two years we've had with Street Fighter 5 and Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite reveals, releases and general public relations.

First impressions are lasting, and first impressions for both SF5 and MvCI were generally not that great. Street Fighter felt incomplete at launch and Yoshinori Ono directly acknowledged this a few months back, which felt incredibly refreshing.

Capcom has adopted a practice of making Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite free to play on select weekends so that those who do not yet own the game can test it out. That's a brilliant move that shows great acknowledgement to their current and potential future fans.

Moves like these show us that the company is making progress in this department, but I do not state lightly that they are in dire need of getting in touch with the mentality of fans and identifying what track those fans are on.

I'm not writing this because I think it's fun to spit venom at Capcom. I want them to succeed. I want to be writing articles that celebrate their successes, because they're the torch bearers for fighting game eSports, and they're the creators of the game that I play the most in both my professional and personal life.

A win for Capcom is a win for the FGC in many ways, and I'm tired of seeing them miss easy lay ups that would both better their reach into the casual community with news and excitement of their games as well as better their relationship with those of us already playing.

How would they make steps toward achieving this? With streams like yesterday's, be aware of what the people would like to see (within the confines of what's allowed) and be ready to present it.

There's already a track record of success with other streams, in the past, and currently — as Capcom UK's Matt Edwards does a terrific job explaining what fans want to see during the Winner Stays On sessions.

Also, have a regular acknowledgement of the community, Michael Martin's Wake Up Wednesdays are shaping up to be a success in this avenue, and I'm looking forward to seeing how this segment grows and fleshes out.

Present information in a more efficient and digestible way. We got a hint about Sakura at Red Bull Battle Grounds this year, and as a result the community has something to speculate on and look forward to. Do this more often with your DLC releases and game updates. Tease us, talk to us, remind us that you're aware of us.

Capcom carries the torch for FGC eSports in many ways. Its successes are successes for other fighting games as well as the community in general. With the advent of live streaming, new DLC practices and eSports hype, the landscape is all new from what it was just a few short years ago.

It takes time to adjust and hone your approach to be as effective as possible, but it's something Capcom desperately needs to fine tune so that it, and the rest of the FGC, can be as successful as possible.

I have faith that it can happen as there are already a few lights shining on the horizon. I look forward to seeing the progress made, hopefully sooner rather than later.

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