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Piracy concerns lead to cancellation of Super Street Fighter IV on PC

Publisher Capcom wasn't disappointed by sales of the PC version of Street Fighter IV, but due to rampant piracy it has decided to stay away from that platform for the next iteration.

In an interview with Japanese website 4Gamer, translated through Google Translator, Capcom producer Yoshinori Ono talked about all things Street Fighter. During the interview, he said the PC version of Street Fighter IV was "number one in piracy."


Above: Sorry, PC gamers. You're good enough for Street Fighter IV but apparently you don't reach the "Super" threshold

That should come as a surprise to absolutely no one, but even so it has sold admirably since it was released earlier this year. Ono also said he appreciates that so many people wanted to pirate it in the first place. Of course, no one gets any money that way.

Ono says there is no chance of releasing it only on Steam. If it goes to PC it has to be available as a packaged retail game as well so everyone would have the opportunity to buy it. But doing that opens up the door to rampant piracy.

So, the decision was made to neglect the PC for Super Street Fighter IV. It's going to remain exclusive to consoles unless Capcom finds an iron-clad copy-protection system. Are you happy, pirates? See what you've done?


Above: Arrrr! Pirates be ruinin' this industry, ya hear?

But then again, it's not a huge dent in the franchise. When Street Fighter IV was released, the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions took top spots on the US sales charts. The PC version doesn't even show up in the top 20, though neither does any PC game these days, really.

Nevertheless, it's a demonstrative example of why the PC gaming market is dying. Well, except for online game publisher Blizzard. But that's just because they print money at their offices all day.

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24 comments

  • LKabongUno - September 24, 2010 10:03 a.m.

    All I have to say is this: I have the PC and console versions of several games, including Final Fantasy VII, Tomb Raider, Virtua Fighter 2, and Metal Gear Solid. When these games came out, they came out for Windows 98, which is what I had at the time. However, all of these games came out over 10 years ago. I no longer have Windows 98 on my main PC FFVII and MGS, I can't get to run at all on my XP box: you see after 10 years, the company that published both games won't support them. Eidos comes right out on their site and says they won't support FFVII because it's too damn old. Tomb Raider, I can run, so long as I don't run it through my latest leading bleeding edge graphics card: apparently for some reason or another you can make a graphics card that is too good for a game. Had a similar experience trying to run Unreal Tournament GOTY through strictly hardware. VF2 is the only game I can get to run with any decency, and it isn't anything like it was either on 98 OR the console. Compare this to the console versions of these games: I sit down, plug the games in, play them, and they play with no issues whatsoever, 12+ years after the fact. I appreciate the capabilities of both platforms, but the PC Gamer trolls here can go stuff themselves: truth is most PC games are designed for Windows, using DirectX, so these games are only playable so long as the operating system doesn't change too much or the next version of DirectX doesn't use calls that are incompatible with the older version. Once that happens, you'll be in the same boat as the console users. Oh, no wait, you won't be because the console users will be able to at least PLAY their games, while the PC users won't even be able to get their stuff on the system.
  • jmcgrotty - September 24, 2010 9:36 a.m.

    "as the NPD stopped reporting PC sales over 2 years ago" They stopped reporting weekly sales. As of last summer, they still are supposed to be releasing monthly sales. The article didn't say they were using NPD sales charts. If the author was using VGcharts, then PC games are listed. Examples: http://www.vgchartz.com/weekly.php?reg=America&date=40440&console=&maker= The list shows Starcraft at #18 and has been in the charts 8 straight weeks. http://www.vgchartz.com/weekly.php?reg=World&console=&date=40419&maker= shows the week Mafia II came out (#24).
  • masterpc - September 24, 2010 8:14 a.m.

    bought street fighter 4 pc. plus, will soon upgrade current pc and build a new one. but won't ever buy a console.
  • GwaR - September 23, 2010 8:45 p.m.

    @Gamesradar Mark Raby - Since no one else has called you on your bullshit, I suppose I will. How the hell do you expect the PC version to show up in the top twenty if THEY DON'T EVEN POST A TOP 20 FOR PC GAME SALES. You sir are either mis-informed, or don't have a clue, as the NPD stopped reporting PC sales over 2 years ago because it was 'too hard track'. They don't show up next to console game sales for that reason and that reason only. @jmcgrotty - You're just trolling bro, as you obviously have no idea how many games are sold digitally for PCs (hint = the majority). My only problem with all of this, is how stupidly obtuse an argument it is that Capcom is using, and how Gamesradar is eating it up. I never figured you guys for sheep, so think about it for a second here and follow along with me: A) Here is the sentence = 'but even so it has sold admirably since it was released earlier this year' That means that Capcom is pleased with the sales of SF4 on PC, which means that it's either selling well or that it has sold well enough that they've made a good amount of profit. B) Next = During the interview, he said the PC version of Street Fighter IV was "number one in piracy." -This is fairly common and sad, but the best and most popular games on the PC are the ones that are the most pirated. So, if we take point A + point B then we get (from Capcom) = Don't make games for the PC because they sell well/make a profit and because they are popular they will also be pirated. Is everyone else reading this or am I crazy? Seriously, how can a video game be selling well/making a profit and yet be a bad decision? The only reason I can firgure is that Capcom is counting piracy as LOSSES. Which is absolutely ridiculous. It's like counting all of the used game sales as losses -oh wait, the video game companies do that too....
  • TheVoid - September 23, 2010 8:22 p.m.

    Color me bummed! And here I thought Capcom was embracing the PC market with it's excellent PC versions of SFIV and RE5, both of which took full advantage of the PC's ability to utterly teabag consoles on all fronts. I also didn't appreciate the "dying PC" remark. Take a stroll over the PC Gamer office, say that out loud and count the seconds before Stapleton and Decker take you down (and then calmly explain why you are SO wrong while you lick your bleeding wounds in the corner). Way to throw your own GR neighbors down the river, you simple-minded twat! Just because the PC is not in the "golden era" that it enjoyed roughly 10+ years ago doesn't mean it has one foot in the grave. One look at the incredible success story that is Steam and that should be enough for you to suck on for a while. And so what if 20 console games sell better than any PC game? It's not a matter of placing, it's a matter of being profitable, and to that point a console port probably doesn't require nearly as much effort as a from-the-ground-up PC game, like Starcraft 2, which is doing just horribly sales-wise these days! Regarding piracy, yes it is a problem, especially for PC gaming. But here's the thing: Make a good enough game, and you will make money. You may lose a fair amount to piracy but there are enough honest gamers out there who will support a worthwile game/developer. Just look at Sins of a Solar Empire (look at that, another PC-exclusive), which was released with ZERO DRM and still managed to turn a better-than-decent profit. And then there was World of Goo's PC-exclusive "you name your price" campaign which was incredibly successful and something you would NEVER see happen on a console. And of course there's Steam, which routinely offers sales and user-friendly DRM that even the most jaded of pirates would have to admit as being a clean and fair way of doing things. Here's another trick that PC game developers need to realize: Piracy really only applies to the single-player experience, so if there's a strong multiplayer component built in, that will make it difficult to pirate per the simple fact that the game is likely to be updated frequently, which will change the main .exe file, which is what pirates swap out to get the game to run properly. If that .exe is expected to change frequently, pirates are less likely to want to get tangled up in that mess, and all of the sudden the asking price doesn't seem so bad. Of course that isn't to say that every game needs to have multiplayer, but from the PC piracy standpoint, it is a huge detractor that I don't think most developers are even aware of. At the end of the day PC pirating has been and will always be an issue. What sucks is developers' knee-jerk reactions to the perceived threat and their lame-brained decisions to screw the PC gaming market altogether rather than lose some sales potential while still staying ahead of the profit margin. Moving games away from the PC is just dumb when clearly success can be found through proper DRM management (i.e. Steam) or simple faith that a good game will make good money (i.e. Starcraft 2, Sins of a Solar Empire, hell, even SFIV!). @ onepersonwithnoopinion: "Fighters should stay on consoles. Period." Clearly spoken by someone who has never seen the PC version of SFIV in all of its' higher-than-console-def and not-reliant-on-console-servers online speed. And because PCs essentially stay the same in the ways that matter most, we'll still be playing our copies of SFIV 10 years from now while you wish your PS5/XB720 had proper backwards compatibility. In fact, at the end of the day, if a game is coming out on consoles and PC, I go with the PC version, even if it's months later. Why? Well, if done properly the PC version will likely shit all over the console versions graphically. And then there's the fact that I'll still have the option to play that game long after the consoles of that time (and associated servers) have gone to their respective graves. Not to mention mods! Who can forget mods? What an excellent way to prolong the life of an excellent game WITHOUT BEING NICKELED AND DIMED TO DEATH VIA DLC. Usually because such mods are developed by the game's community, another benefit to using an open platform like PC. The list goes on. So enjoy your consoles as their death clocks begin to tick the second after they are released while us PC gamers enjoy a very bright and seemingly endless future. I'm just sorry Capcom doesn't see it my way.
  • ChrisCultista - September 23, 2010 4:30 p.m.

    "ALL digital distribution (and by definition that includes Steam) is a cancerous fad that won't be around long enough to bother counting the 17 more copies they would sell. Give it up." Sir, what planet are you from? Anyways, there is something that we arent getting. Steam is pretty awesome in the anti piracy area, so why doesnt the Capcoms go to the PC? Because you cant have the whole market you dont want a part of the PC market? That does not make sense.Steam is guaranteed profit even if they dont get the whole retail sale. Somethin is fishy.
  • Lionzest7 - September 23, 2010 2:47 p.m.

    I agree with them on the portion that they are not gonna release a game because of piracy. I mean why not? If a lot of people are gonna play for free, just skip it and make it console only. On the other hand, yeah I've been kind of pissed since Capcom decided my vanilla SF4 purposefully would not be able to use DLC to update the game. They also decided to forcibly buy the game again for another 40$. I did not so I could care less about super. I don't even really like SF4 to begin with, but own a copy for my ps3.
  • HereComesTheHypeTrainCHOOCHOO - September 23, 2010 12:36 p.m.

    Didn't place in the top twenty? Well what the fuck do Capcom expect when they release the PC version so far after they release the console versions?!? The diehard fans who owned a console bought SF4 on the console when it came out, thus negating the need to buy it for their PC. Quit trying to compare apples to oranges Capcom. And quit swallowing this bullshit blindly Gamesradar. The two expansions to GTA4 sold way better on the 360 than on the PS3 because, guess what, they were available for a whole frigging year on one system before finally migrating over to the other. Did Rockstar make the gaming press rounds and accuse PS3 owners of being pirates because of that discrepancy? Nope, Rockstar knew they screwed over PS3 gamers and their product's sales were reflected in that. I just wish Capcom would come clean with how they have treated the different game audiences and how that might be a factor in how their games have sold instead of mindlessly crying "PIRACY" every time they decide to shit on the PC yet again.
  • Randomwordcombination - September 23, 2010 11:54 a.m.

    I'm still convinced this is just a PR stunt. This decision was probably sales-based (because, come on, who is going to play this on PC?), and they are using this opportunity to fire another salvo in the war against piracy. Attack Code Name: Guilt Trip is a go!
  • Vulneratus - September 23, 2010 10:48 a.m.

    Goddamn pirates!! Always running(read: sailing) around plundering, pilfering, pillaging, marauding, raping, burying treasure, illegally downloading street fighter,... wait a sec...
  • JohnnyMaverik - September 23, 2010 9:12 a.m.

    The reason is not clear because SFIV sold just fine on PC. Also: "ALL digital distribution (and by definition that includes Steam) is a cancerous fad that won't be around long enough to bother counting the 17 more copies they would sell. Give it up." http://www.pcgamer.com/2010/09/20/digital-downloads-more-popular-than-boxed-sales-in-us/ Fk u, have a nice day.
  • infernox - September 23, 2010 8:58 a.m.

    db1331 knows what he is talking about. piracy isnt a new thing, gamesradar have articles on it. because of steam sales i have bought old pc titles i would never have bought otherwise like knights of the old republic.
  • crumbdunky - September 23, 2010 8:40 a.m.

    If SF4 made a profit why not port SSF4? I doubt this would have been a ground up PC build, the costs would have been low and they would still have been free to try to flummox the pirates on top. Maybe they just doubted the sales of the same game in a different box would lead to more piracy when the PC gamers saw exactly what con Capcom themselves were offering as new content and a "new" game. I game less and less on my rig, personally, for a lot of reasons but this news following the DA2 news(that they weren't making a full, dedicated PC version this time round-again because of piracy ultimately)does worry me. PC gamers might harbour too many pirates in their/our midst but if the industry looks like it;s ripping us of itself doesn't that go a long way to making sure piracy continues? While companies l;ike Capcom are willing to fl;eece us the p[iraqtes have a reeady made "they deserve it" excuse for their own gereed and as a result get tolerated by other legit gamers. They want piracy rooted out? The way to do it is by changi9ng attitudes so gamers won'5t put up[ with pirates and piracy but while the industry shafts us it won't happen. And, yeah, many who pirate do so in order to get a good look at a game before actually buying if it's any good or has online components and IDK if the likes of Capcom DO get this but to them piracy is piracy and that means theft-it's just sad they don't see when they're doing the same(RE5 Vs content, SF4 costumes etc).
  • jmcgrotty - September 23, 2010 7:03 a.m.

    "The Pc version of MW2 was available as a download and retail package both of which required Steam so there is something this guy isn't telling us..." No, they told everything in the article. They refuse to release a retail version because of piracy and they refuse to release a Steam version without a retail version. You might not agree with the choice of them saying either both or neither, but the reason is clear. "just cuz SSF4 is supposedly canceled for PC doesnt mean the whole damn Platform is going up in smoke" They laid it out pretty good in the article that SFIV didn't make the top 20 selling game charts when it came out. That means, at a minimum, 20 games on console that one week sold more than the anticipated release of a popular franchise. It doesn't mean that they platform is going up in smoke, but it does allow the company to question if the development time needed for 1 specific platform is worth it with sales that low (compared to console versions of the same game). There is a difference between dying and dead. "Also they still haven't started counting digital sales in the top 20 from all the major digital distributors" ALL digital distribution (and by definition that includes Steam) is a cancerous fad that won't be around long enough to bother counting the 17 more copies they would sell. Give it up.
  • teenlonewolf - September 23, 2010 3:10 a.m.

    i dont think the guy who wrote this article is a fan of PC Gaming -> "Nevertheless, it's a demonstrative example of why the PC gaming market is dying. " sigh... THIS IS GETTING OLD!!! just cuz SSF4 is supposedly canceled for PC doesnt mean the whole damn Platform is going up in smoke... do some research or something. well im going to play some BC2/TF2/L4D2/Mafia 2/HoN and about a dozen more "DEAD" games on my "DEAD" PC now Caio
  • db1331 - September 23, 2010 2:41 a.m.

    Not that I care about this game, but they seem to be making a dumb decision. They were just going to port it from the consoles anyways. It's not like they were going to make a PC build from the ground up. I can't imagine it would cost them a lot of money to copy & paste the game and tack on basic PC features. How many copies of the game would they have to sell to recoup that money? 1000? Also, for the love of God, can we please stop saying things like, "Nevertheless, it's a demonstrative example of why the PC gaming market is dying"? It's really tiring after hearing it for the past 10 or more years. PC gaming is doing very well. Just because you don't see a PC games section at Gamestop when you go to pick up your dumb ass $140 special edition game doesn't mean PC gaming is dying.
  • superrey19 - September 23, 2010 1:39 a.m.

    The Pc version of MW2 was available as a download and retail package both of which required Steam so there is something this guy isn't telling us...
  • TURbo - September 23, 2010 1:24 a.m.

    That's what I hear with just about every game that uses Microsoft's Games For Windows when developers decide to stop making them on PC. The Piracy, when the Games For Windows stuff is very clunky and takes a huge hassle for first time users.
  • ArmTheBomb - September 23, 2010 1:11 a.m.

    The lack of mod support kinda sucks, but I can kinda see where they are comin' from. Cheapskates ruin the industry. It's called Steam people, buy games for cheap and support the people who make games for a living.
  • n00b - September 23, 2010 12:55 a.m.

    aww man and i was looking forward to mod costumes for ibuki

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