Sibley Put: AAAAAND THAT’S THE GAME (or Not)

July 21, 2011

‘Sibley Put’ is where Josh Sibley, real American hero, boldly and unabashedly dissects the hot-button issues of modern video gaming and its surrounding culture. Everything he says is to be taken as personally as possible, so get those brows ready for some serious-ass furrowing. You babies.

This. This is actually it. After almost 20 years, one of my oldest favorite companies responsible for my favorite video game character of all time has finally let me know in no uncertain terms that they want nothing to do with me.

They have told me in the clearest language possible that they do not care about their fans, much less listen to them, even to the point that they will create PR nightmares in order to ignore them.  They have actually made the entire process of becoming a fan of one of their properties toxic.  They are so obsessed with squeezing every last drop out of an even moderately successful game that they will sacrifice anything, and they have communicated in the most succinct way I can think of that whoever is in charge of the company is utterly impervious to anything resembling common sense or even a rudimentary understanding of the game industry. Being a Capcom fan is like being in a relationship with a girl who gave you a great blowjob once, hints coyly that you might get one again, and when you go to see her she instead works over your Lead Singer and his two Backup Vocalists with an aluminum bat while wearing a hat made out of a watermelon. It’s mean, it doesn’t make sense, and she’s ruining something you love.

Let’s skip my own personal fury for a second and just focus on how fucking rock-stupid they are with how they handled basically every single second of this. For those of you who don’t know, Mega Man Legends 3 was never actually greenlit. Capcom said, “Okay, we’ll release a prototype version of the game, a demo, on the 3DS store, and if it sells well, we’ll continue making the game.” In the meantime, they advertised heavily that this game was going to be community driven from day one. They asked fans far and wide to come to their forums and share ideas and vote on what they wanted to see.

They never even got to the point where they released the demo before they canceled the project. Are you guys fucking retarded? Do you realize how easy it would have been to plop a demo on the market, even knowing you were going to cancel it just so you could go, “Sorry guys, it didn’t sell, we were right.” Even if it sold fucking gangbusters and you still decided you hate money for some reason, you could still say that and no one would have known. The fans would have been saying, “Well, we tried but we failed. Good game.”  What you did instead was actively pursue the attention of some of your most loyal fans, give them a bit of hope to rally under, and then yank the rug out from under them.  Your PR guy must have shot himself in the mouth when he saw you did this. I’m trying to think, and I think the only way you could have handled this worse is if you hired someone to take the list from the game community, go to each of those houses and punch each of those people in the face.

This is made even worse by the fact that you’re basically saying “We’re not willing to even commit enough money to release a bare bones concept that you have to buy. Your game is so stupid we’re not even willing to profit off of lying to you”. Fans are supposed to believe that there’s no money in Capcom’s budget even to give fans the chance to support their favorite franchise, and then they turn around and in the same year release a THIRD version of Street Fighter IV, a SECOND version of Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and even a remix of Dead Rising 2 starring Frank West for fuck’s sake? Your fans aren’t stupid Capcom, despite what you may have heard. They can look at the fucking shelves and see that whatever money you would save isn’t going to new, better games, it’s going to milking every last drop out of whatever you released that people looked twice at on the rack.

Actually, let’s talk about Dead Rising and Street Fighter IV for a second, shall we?

Yoshinori Ono begged you on hands and knees to make another Street Fighter. Before that, you had disbanded your fighting game teams and decided that people never wanted fighting games again. Ono was finally able to make another Street Fighter, and would you look at that: each version has had incredible sales. Dead Rising was another project Keiji Inafune had to plead and beg to make, even had to break the rules to make it. Both it, it’s sequel, and all the associated DLC has made you millions.

So tell me again how you know Mega Man Legends 3 wouldn’t be worth it? How do you know that there isn’t an audience? Is it forum involvement in your little community? I hope that isn’t it. If it is, maybe you should give a call to any MMO developer on the planet and ask them just how many of their players are actually active in the community, especially before the game even comes out.

Is this the same little voice that told you those other games wouldn’t be worth it and you were super fucking wrong? Is that the same voice that said that your fucking shitty games that you pushed hard because they were outsourced and cheap to make were going to be the ones to float your company? Is it the voice that told you there was a huge fucking audience for Zack and Wiki? Because if it is, maybe you should stop fucking listening to that voice. After it happened once, you think someone would speak up and tell whoever’s over there that’s making awful decisions that he genuinely doesn’t know what he’s doing and should listen to his talent. After it happens many, many times, someone should get fucking fired.

Mega Man Legends 3 would absolutely make its money back. Without a doubt. Do you know why? Because, Capcom, you sold people a stand alone cartridge for forty fucking dollars that was nothing but the minigame that has always been both free and tacked onto the end of an actual game of Resident Evil, and people bought it in droves. You know why? Because there’s nothing to fucking play on the 3DS. You’re telling me that people wouldn’t buy a sequel to a loved franchise ten years in the making provided the proper marketing were in place? Especially on a system that literally has nothing else new to play?

A lot of people are talking about this, saying “Psh, you’re not going to boycott Capcom. What, are you going to not buy Dragon’s Dogma and Asura’s Wrath? Those look great! You can’t just not buy Capcom games ever again, you don’t know what you’ll be missing!” I sat there and thought about this for a while. You know what? I actually think it’s time. Let’s say Dragon’s Dogma is great. Let’s say Asura’s Wrath is game of the year, and I love them and buy them. Purely statistically, chances are better than average that I’ll never see either franchise again. I’m tired of doing that. I realized that I know exactly what I’ll be missing if I don’t ever play another Capcom game ever again, because Capcom has told me in no uncertain terms: I’ll never play another Darkstalkers, another Mega Man that’s not a quick nostalgia cash grab, a Resident Evil 2 remake, Power Stone 3, Gotcha Force 2, Viewtiful Joe 3, A Bionic Commando that doesn’t suck dicks, or sequels to any one of a number of brilliant franchises that they’ve dumped on the side of the road. I really don’t even want to call it a “boycott,” because that word implies that you’re not supporting something you would otherwise be all about in order to effect change. That’s not what this is anymore, because boycotts never work and Capcom will never change.

This is more like when I was in middle school, and made friends with this kid that I ended up hanging out with all the time. Thick as thieves we were. I moved away after middle school however, and lost contact with him. Turns out we found out that we were going to the same college years later, so we thought hey, why not be room mates? Turns out, in those high school years, he became the biggest, angriest, most depressing cunt known to man. I realized too late that the friend I had back then was no more.

That’s how I feel with this: I’ve finally realized that this is what Capcom is always going to do to me over and over. They’re the cool friend that turned into a fucking dick. It’s finally time to say goodbye.

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