Has nothing to do with piracy. Testing and optimisation takes time.
Capcom has denied accusations that it is releasing the PC version of stupendous fighting game Street Fighter IV after the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions because of piracy.
Last week we broke the news that the PC version of Street Fighter IV will be out in "the summer". The console versions of the game were released on February 20.
Some PC gamers reacted angrily to the news, as you can see from the comments on the story. However, speaking to VideoGamer.com, Christian Svensson, Capcom vice president, business development and strategic planning, called suggestions that the difference in release timing is due to piracy "completely absurd", and revealed that it's simply down to the game not being done.
"Well the answer is the game's not done," Svensson said when asked about the release discrepancy. "So, to put things into perspective, the Street Fighter IV team is working on two things right now. They're finishing the PC SKU, and people are like, well the arcade was the PC, how hard can it be? Well we had all of these additions for the console version in terms of content that didn't exist on the PC. All of that needs to be rolled back in.
"We have to do an online integration with an online service. I won't discuss which one yet because it hasn't been announced yet. Obviously the arcade had no online. Here we have an online integration that has to be done. We have to optimise the game for a variety of configurations, both up and down, so that it looks pretty on things that are more powerful than the arcade system and it runs well and at 60 frames per second on things that are considerably less powerful, so we sell to more than the top two per cent of the market.
"All of that takes time. The testing on PC in particular is a very very time consuming process. Testing and optimisation versus obviously when we're working on console or an arcade board for that matter, it has a known configuration that we can optimise for out of the gate."
Some PC gamers have questioned Capcom's reasoning for releasing the PC version after the console versions, given that the original arcade release, which Svensson himself describes as "effectively a PC", hit Japanese arcades in 2007.
However, Svensson described that view as "a bit misguided". He said: "While the assets are created on PC, the hardware on which they're running and which they're being optimised for are not PC. Consoles increasingly look like PCs to some degree. The PS3, while it has a PC-like GPU, is not a PC. It does not run in DirectX in any way shape or form. The multi-threaded multi-SPU issues that you have to contend with are completely different than what you have to tackle on a PC. To some degree a PC is a more known commodity and going to PC is a fairly well understood process, but that process still takes time.
"Your next question to me is probably, well why don't you just hold the console versions until the PC is done? The answer is the unfortunate financial realities of making our numbers within certain financial years or quarters drives when we have to actually get some stuff out of the door. The other part of this is while the PC is an important part of our business today, the forecast does not justify holding back the lion share of the revenues that comes from consoles to make it happen."
While many PC gamers will be disappointed by the wait, Svensson said that Street Fighter IV on PC "could become the definitive version", adding "I think you'll see a few extra bells and whistles on the PC version when that comes a little later this year too."
What do you think of Christian Svensson's comments readers? Let us know in the comments section below.