Soul Calibur VI: General discussion

DanteSC3

[14] Master
Well then, with respect, you don't know the first thing about how ready publishers are to start making money this way, particularly when they own their own development teams. And that's before you consider all the extended evidence here and the fact that Namco has already adopted this model with its other fighters in the last year. The writing is on the wall with this one: season two is just short of a lock, but still a substantial certainty and I'm confused as to why you keep saying your are not expecting it. Is it based on more than just a vague impulsive call? What combination of specific facts with regard to this property / this company and its business practices and basic industry realities makes you so convinced that they wouldn't avail themselves of a model for selling their products that gives them vastly improved net returns when compared against their base product and allows them to tailor production investment much more closely to demand? Why are you so convinced Namco, who is about as ideally positioned to take advantage of this trend as any company is (and has already started to do it with their other properties) is going to pass up that easy and lucrative model (which if they can establish it as the new normal, will allow them to do an end run around the base game pricing freeze that has been in effect for twenty five years) with regard to this one particular franchise? Look, a lot of things can come along keep it from happening--not the least of which would be poor sales on the first season--but I think the smart money is clearly that it's happening.
Because the only season two that fits their narrative would be Aeon, Edge Master, Hwang, and Rock, and there's a good number of problems with this lineup. Aeon and Hwang would be fine inclusions, but you're going to get people who will not be happy with having to buy the other half of Aeon's moveset when it was already in the game. Edge Master, unless given a unique style with his trademark longsword that he's never actually used in-game, would be a sold mimic, and that's the opposite of good will if you're trying to sell DLC characters. Then there's Rock, who has all but been assimilated into Astaroth, for all intents and purposes. The other option would be Li Long, but he's got even less traction than Hwang, so I wouldn't hold my breath.

They could, for the sake of argument, throw the narrative to the wolves and have a season two that had Yun-seong, Setsuka, Hilde, and Algol in it, but it doesn't make any sense to me for them to do this, instead of just saving those four for SoulCalibur VII. They've come this far, including Cassandra and Amy, taking only the timeline of 1583-1590 into account for characters being included in the game, and they've also not been bending the rules and allowing characters in where they shouldn't be, or "retconning", if you will. They've gone above and beyond to keep the story the same as it originally was, instead of making it work to keep characters/styles like Viola and Z.W.E.I. in, for the extreme example, or Setsuka and Hilde, for the not so extreme example, going against their principle of unique weapons first, even entertaining the idea of having "clones" that they're reworking to make unique instead of just using the unique weapons that they already have.

If we were just talking Namco, yes, they'd absolutely take every opportunity they could to make money. But this is SoulCalibur, the redheaded stepchild, we're talking about here. We don't get the lasting support, even if it means making money, in lieu of other projects. They cut off SoulCalibur V's CaS packs without finishing them when Tekken Tag 2 was on the horizon, even though they doubtlessly would have kept making money by continuing to release more and more parts, because people eat the customization parts up like candy. I have no doubts in my mind that we will get a SoulCalibur VII, the "threat" of this game being the last game meant nothing to me, because if SoulCalibur V couldn't kill the franchise, then SoulCalibur VI won't either. SoulCalibur VI has been doing much better than SoulCalibur V that it wouldn't be nearly as long of a wait for the next game, so instead of looking forward to a season two, we should be looking forward to SoulCalibur VII, not only getting the extra characters, but the game and narrative that supports them.
 

Rusted Blade

[07] Duelist
I feel like the hype is dying down at an incredibly fast rate. If they don't release them both at EVO next month then they might as well not release them at all. As much as i love this game, i can't deny that it's dead already lol.

I don't have any hopes for a season 2, or a sequel at all. Except maybe in 10 years if ever. At least this is a better game to end the franchise with than SCV.


Well, being as I'm questioning two people in a row now as to their gut assumptions on this topic, I want to be clear I'm not trying to be interrogative, but I'm genuinely wondering if you have information I don't (like say, very recent sales figures on the game or the DLC, or something else that is at least a little concrete) with regard to "the hype having died down at an incredibly fast rate," or is it just a matter of the "general sense" you get about the level of enthusiasm. Because I really think decent projections about what is and is not likely to come down the pipe are based a vague impressionistic reading of the rate of decline of excitment. That's problematic for at least three reasons: 1) it's just a poor quality variety of evidence, 2) decline always falls shortly after initial release of a game (unless you are talking about your rare Skyrim that ends up selling more on word of mouth than marketing budget) and that's alright, because your peripheral software is mostly planned for franchise loyalists and your sales / profit margin (and the amount that you have to sell to make the venture desirable) are projected accordingly, and 3) it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy (i.e. enough people delcare a franchise dead--which they've done for literally every single one of these five last games they've made in this franchise since SCIII!--then they can contribute to a drop engagement with the product and thus the liklihood of more extensive DLC content).

Anyway, from the figures I've seen so far, the game continues to sell well. Namco is still putting some marketing behind the game, and the devs are still engaged with the public about the forthcoming content and I continue to see a lot of social media chatter (though that's my own impressionistic evidence, of course) on platforms like Youtube and Twitter regarding the game. I'd say enthusiasm is above where you expect it to be for a fighter in 2019.
 

Ardenwolf

[09] Warrior
I'm confused... why is there an assumption of Cassandra before Amy? Is there some kind of confirmation or something to back this up?
 

Rusted Blade

[07] Duelist
Because the only season two that fits their narrative would be Aeon, Edge Master, Hwang, and Rock, and there's a good number of problems with this lineup.
Well Edge Master is never in a thousand years going to be DLC character (unless he is just added as a random bonus on top of a season pass that already has four full moveset characters), but those other three are strong candidates for inclusion in a season two, I will grant you. Personally, I believe the second season will be some combination of four from among the following characters, listed here in roughly the order of their likelihood of inclusion: Lizardman/Aeon, a guest character (almost certainly male), Hwang (or Yun-Seong, but not both), Rock, and Li Long. And I think there are plenty of fans of the franchise who would happily pay for that season pass, even if it isn't chock-full of fan favourites. And there's always the potential that some unexpected but highly marketable licensing arrangement for a guest character will pull in / reignite substantial interest from the casual crowd.

you're going to get people who will not be happy with having to buy the other half of Aeon's moveset when it was already in the game.
Seriously, you think that's going to be a bar? What adult human being would be turned off a sale by that fact? First off, as you say, it was half a style and anyway, it was not accessible to the player. Even with a famously finicky / whiny consumer like the video game consumer, that seems far-fetched as something that is going to be determinative of either profitability or whether the devs would want to take that design route.

Then there's Rock, who has all but been assimilated into Astaroth, for all intents and purposes.
Yes, there we are in agreement: the fact that they rolled still more classic Rock moves into Astaroth is a strong suggestion that the dev team did not expect to ever be adding Rock to this game. But as to the broader argument that you express above and here:

They could, for the sake of argument, throw the narrative to the wolves and have a season two that had Yun-seong, Setsuka, Hilde, and Algol in it, but it doesn't make any sense to me for them to do this, instead of just saving those four for SoulCalibur VII. They've come this far, including Cassandra and Amy, taking only the timeline of 1583-1590 into account for characters being included in the game, and they've also not been bending the rules and allowing characters in where they shouldn't be, or "retconning", if you will. They've gone above and beyond to keep the story the same as it originally was, instead of making it work to keep characters/styles like Viola and Z.W.E.I. in, for the extreme example, or Setsuka and Hilde, for the not so extreme example, going against their principle of unique weapons first, even entertaining the idea of having "clones" that they're reworking to make unique instead of just using the unique weapons that they already have.
...I just think you're being (if I can be frank) naive about the realities involved here if you think that they wouldn't be willing to adapt some alternate characters, whether they were perfect fits for the continuity or not, provided they otherwise expected the product to be profitable. I don't think I can more accurately or more fulsomely explain why I think this is an unrealsitic conclusion than I did the last time you asserted this argument in another thread, so I will just partially quote my own response on that occasion:

I think you may be a visitor from an alternate reality if you think there is any chance that they wouldn't be willing to find four characters to fill that roster if they decide a second season is a profitable move. Fighting game developers aren't moving slowly but unerringly towards a serialized bonus content format because it allows studios to fill out their rosters (but only where thematically and narratively appropriate) but rather because it allows the publisher (/typically parent company, as here) to extract a higher return on profit. See, in an industry where consumers have managed to freeze the perceived fair market value of a new release base game for about thirty years, during a period when production costs have sky-rocketed, making the kinds of profits large companies want to see (and to some degree depend upon) becomes harder and harder. Consider everything you have to do for the base game of SCVI, from the coding and production, the design of dozens of characters (the creation and production of their movesets from their design through animation, hitboxing and balance work), work on the basic engine, the creation of many thousands of arts assets including a soundtrack, thousands of modelled items and character features and a dozen levels, engineering the netcode, setting up serverside support and maintaining and patching the system thereafter, licensing, contract, business and administrative costs, initial marketing to get the new entry off the ground and make sure the whole thing is not an entire flop, the list goes on and on and on.

And for all of that Namco gets $60 per unit--for the first year or two anyway, provided the game does pretty well. It's a huge amount of cost and serious risk, even for larger companies. Now consider what they have to provide in a season pass: four characters, one stage, and 100 CaS items. And for that they get $20-30. And they can tailor the amount of content they release in this fashion according to demand as the seasons play out, and ditch further development for a given game at a point where their cost-benefit return is highest. It's way more profit relative to amount of work, time and resources expended, requires a smaller internal staff allocation (freeing up some talent for other IPs), involves a lot less financial risk, and allows for a measured release schedule responsive to market research. They would be absolute idiots not to do it, provided they are confident that they can meet a certain minimal buy-on threshold among the consumer base.

All of which is to say, if there was ever anybody on Project Soul who for some reason suggested they shouldn't do a season two because they couldn't narratively justify four solid characters for a second season (when SCIII alone had 40 playable characters with their own moveset), the Namco execs would make it clear that clueless designer (whatever their position) was not to be invited into any of the meetings with the adults any more. So long as it is profitable, they will keep releasing that content gravy train. It's up to us, as consumers, whether we make that new model worthwhile for them.
...though for what it is worth, I agree that Setsuka, Hilde, Algol and (especially) dampierre are all unlikely picks because of what we know of the development team's design priorities this time around. For the same reasons (among others), absolutely no SCV exclusive character has even the remotest chance of being added, Viola most certainly included. Clearly anybody in the DLC pack has to hit the sweet spot between being a useful character (in terms of both thematics and gameplay) for the design priorities the devs have already telegraphed here (and delivered on in the core product), and also being reasonably acceptable as a part of the aggregate product such that people will pay for it. Thing is, I think you are underestimating how well the characters that fall within the former category will do with regard to the latter. A lot of people would buy an Aeon/Hwang/Rock/Kratos season pass. And for those who won't pay for a season pass, Namco can (and will) sell the characters individually to the consumer, without the price break. They can dice up that content as many different ways as they want and because it is digital content, it costs them virtually nothing to offer additional purchase options.

If we were just talking Namco, yes, they'd absolutely take every opportunity they could to make money. But this is SoulCalibur, the redheaded stepchild, we're talking about here. We don't get the lasting support, even if it means making money, in lieu of other projects. They cut off SoulCalibur V's CaS packs without finishing them when Tekken Tag 2 was on the horizon, even though they doubtlessly would have kept making money by continuing to release more and more parts, because people eat the customization parts up like candy.
Personally, I think this is probably the strongest part of your argument. You're right: sometimes theoretically profitable extensions on content never arise because immediate resources are stretched too thin. And yup, historically (or at least since the mid 2000's) Soul Calibur has generally taken a back seat to Tekken, particularly when a new entry of the latter follows close on the heels of a release for the former. But 2019 is a very different world for development and distribution models than was 2012, and companies are looking to cash in, even as the consumer has become more entrenched on what they want for the buck and whether costumes will suffice. They've clearly got a pricepoint here for a season pass that requires them to deliver genuine content, but because they can package it all together, and because it still represents a huge improvement on their profit-per-dollar-spent-on-development over the base product, there is sufficiently increased incentive to make the effort and increased financial security in pursing this model for a time before rolling the dice on the huge investment of a new entry--and all of these incentives have built alongside the fact that there are now better marketing and distribution systems in place to support sales, and a consumer base that is more amenable (or at least tolerant) of it.

And clearly Namco is an experienced enough player in this market to be responsive to these potential sources of increased revenue with decreased risk by adapting their production and release priorities accordingly--as evidenced by the fact that they have absolutely nothing new announced for 2019 (that I have heard of anyway). Why is Tekken not going to step on Soul Calibur's toes this time (or at least less so)? Because they've planned it that way, and have development teams working on both simultaneously--they've actually gone through a lot of effort to advertise this fact, and it's obvious why. Could sales slumps late in the year cause them to move development back to a core entry for one of their properties? Yeah, quite possibly, but I bet you from herein that two season passes are closer to the average for fighters than one--and eventually major entries will begin to become more serialized, with a little less content delivered at the the start than the previous game each time, and more delivered in increasing numbers of season passes. Because it makes these games once again profitable in a way they haven't been for a while, considering rising production costs and frozen sales prices at launch over the last two decades.

Needless to say, at that point it will become a bit of a push-and-pull between publisher and consumer as to what is a "fair" pricepoint, but being as I get hundreds (if not thousands) of hours out of each Soul Calibur game I buy, I don't personally sweat it, and will keep chowing down on any new characters and stages they offer (and probably most CaS content as well, if it is reasonably priced or they continue to bundle it with season passes--which is why they do that. I'm a little more concerned about the serialization getting too out of hand, to the point where we are eventually getting half the game we used to receive at launch, but consumers will just have to be careful to push back at that point (but hopefully not too hysterically and too soon, such that they undermine the profitability of all season passes--its going to be a difficult balance to strike, no doubt). Now I may not be in all respects the most average consumer, granted. Even so, this is still, as an absolute factual matter, a much more profitable route for them to take, now that the technology is in place and they have slowly conditioned the consumer to expect it. Serialized content is the way of the future for the industry (as with many other forms of media today) and the companies that make fighting games are jockeying to be the ones to first take advantage, because their content is a little more amenable to it than many other genres and their profit-to-expenditure ratio has been in the decline for years, even when compared against other players in the industry.

I have no doubts in my mind that we will get a SoulCalibur VII, the "threat" of this game being the last game meant nothing to me, because if SoulCalibur V couldn't kill the franchise, then SoulCalibur VI won't either. SoulCalibur VI has been doing much better than SoulCalibur V that it wouldn't be nearly as long of a wait for the next game, so instead of looking forward to a season two, we should be looking forward to SoulCalibur VII, not only getting the extra characters, but the game and narrative that supports them.
The absolute earliest you will see Soul Calibur VII is 2025; that's a reality we all need to be quite comfortable with. But I agree that it's all but certain that this franchise isn't going anywhere long-term and that talk of each game possibly being the last is always a major exaggeration.
 
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RaphMcSorel

[05] Battler
Yup, that's pretty much what I was imagining, and more or less consistent with usual development and marketing timelines for content of these sorts, further shaped by what we know of their specific priorities in this case. I'm hoping that we might get the Amy announcement and release each about a month earlier than the two rough dates you've projected here, but I'm not holding my breath. We could also realistically see Cassandra in late March, rather than April, though the smart money is probably on the latter. Regardless, I'd be surprised if the order of announcements/releases was anything other than the one you've detailed there. And while I understand why you phrased it as you did, to not appear to be more certain than anyone reasonably can be at this point, I wouldn't say that's "pure speculation"; there's plenty of evidence and reasonable industry best practice assumptions to support the expectation of that rough timeline.
Why would it take such a significantly longer time to release Amy, if according to the leaks, she's being developed in unison with Cassandra? 2B took so long because she's a guest character with a radically unique moveset. Cass and Amy are returning characters, with their movesets already partially developed from other games.

I'm really hoping they're both announced at EVO (for maximum hype) and there's a month release gap between Cass and Amy. That would make the most sense given what it should take to develop them, and the best way to maintain hype. The season pass concluding in August would be the ultimate fizzle out. No one but the hardcore fanbase would care by that point. (Especially since Amy is such a divisive character to conclude the season pass on after all that waiting. I personally love her, but still...)
 
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Rusted Blade

[07] Duelist
Why would it take such a significantly longer time to release Amy, if according to the leaks, she's being developed in unison with Cassandra? 2B took so long because she's a guest character with a radically unique moveset. Cass and Amy are returning characters, with their movesets already partially developed from other games.

I'm really hoping they're both announced at EVO (for maximum hype) and there's a month release gap between Cass and Amy. That would make the most sense given what it should take to develop them, and the best way to maintain hype. The season pass concluding in August would be the ultimate fizzle out. No one but the hardcore fanbase would care by that point.
Well, sometimes it makes good marketing sense to sit on completed content and release it according a schedule. Remember also that this is new(ish) territory for Namco and that they have traditionally not had extensive post-release support going for numerous of their properties at once--including their two most labour-intensive fighting franchises. Historically, the company has shifted much of the same development team back and forth between Tekken and Soul Calibur as one wound down its most recent development cycle and the other wound up. Now, for the first time that I can recall (certainly in the serialized DLC era) they are in post-release patching, maintenance and DLC delivery for both properties at once. So core talent for the dev teams is going to be stretched.

Further, the development of "just" a couple of characters is no small thing. You have to create (even if you have the base established from previous games) new art assets (models, still images, dialogue, weapons and objects), the moveset (including choreographing and animating thousands upon thousands of wire frames), and then extensively bench test those characters for balance, hitboxing and visual consistency--to list just some of the work. Again, all of this while much of your talent is stretched between multiple projects and even that which is dedicated to SC is working on patching previous content and generating CaS materials. And they can't always know with exact precision when a given piece will be (for certain) complete, so it's often safer to announce and market that particular content for a date than is a little further out than they expect they might have it finished. When you add all of those factors together, it's easier to see why there might be a drop of just one new character every few months.

As to hype, remember that most people who end up purchasing these characters will end up doing so through the season pass, in order to get the price break, so their enthusiasm (as far as Namco's marketing division is going to be concerned) only needs to be maintained up until the point they make that purchase, whether it is before or after August or whenever the last content drops. Also, I suspect that Namco will start hinting at season pass two in June or July, and then make an official announcement close to the time that the first is wrapping up, thus adding a new load of fuel to the hype train.

I should be clear though, that I don't think it will take significantly longer to announce/release Amy; I think it will be roughly two and half to three and a half months between each character released in the season pass, by the time the whole thing is done. But I think it's reasonably possible that she may drop as late as autumn. I'm really hoping the timetable is closer to late June--fingers very much crossed for it--but I would not be surprised by August as Lisa speculates.
 
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DanteSC3

[14] Master
@Rusted Blade I do get what you're saying, but I still just don't really agree. The framework just isn't there to add the other characters, even Aeon and Hwang, without the effort just coming across as feeling very cheap. Cassandra and Amy got new designs, so they will have new and exciting appearances, the likes of which we haven't seen before, much like the rest of the cast. If they redesign Aeon and Hwang, then they would have to go back and retroactively fix the story mode art, or remain maddeningly inconsistent. If they just give them their respective SoulCalibur IV and SoulCalibur III appearances, then they'll be slighted as being lazy. Edge Master (if he gets to happen) has an excuse, at least, since his design is timeless and has a precedent of coming back exactly the same but with better graphics, but Aeon changes drastically with each game, and Hwang was also quite different between the three games that he appeared in. I'm sorry, I just don't see this reality where we get these characters. I'm not trying to be a downer, it just doesn't seem feasible with the game that we have and what we have to work with.

Bringing back Kratos for a guest as a second time, even if they use the older Kratos from the latest God of War game, would be a new thing to happen, to use a guest more than once. It would also be a bit tacky to bring Kratos back alongside Aeon who just stole his moves in the last game. Rock and Li Long both have equally no chance, if you ask me, and I really doubt they'll be inventing new characters to fill niche roles instead of just bringing back the actual characters, because that's what the fans want. Setsuka's master or whoever trained Hilde (or even Salia, as the rumor once was way back when) using her style, that just wouldn't do, to represent those moves, if they're looking to make the fans happy, they'll need the real deal. But the real deal doesn't work in context with SoulCalibur VI, so that's where the point of contention lies. We might get more customization equipment, but I severely doubt that we get any more characters after Cassandra and Amy.

2025 is a bit long, too, I'd say we might see SoulCalibur VII by 2021/2022, which may coincide with the next generation of consoles, or into their second year, depending on when that happens. That, in itself, would be push for a new game in the series, because looking at our current generation of consoles, I'm really not expecting launch backwards compatibility, so people who jumped on PS5 or whatever the next Xbox is going to be called who would still want to play SoulCalibur, without having to break out the old console, so there would be demand. Much like between SoulCalibur V and SoulCalibur VI, they really don't have to rebuild much of the core game going to a new generation, since it's already there. Polish the graphics (or not, in some places), make a new gimmick or two, reuse a bunch of other stuff, and they could push out a SoulCalibur VII with minimal effort. The only reason SoulCalibur VI took so long was internal business struggles.
 

RaphMcSorel

[05] Battler
Well, sometimes it makes good marketing sense to sit on completed content and release it according a schedule. Remember also that this is new(ish) territory for Namco and that they have traditionally not had extensive post-release support going for numerous of their properties at once--including their two most labour-intensive fighting franchises. Historically, the company has shifted much of the same development team back and forth between Tekken and Soul Calibur as one wound down its most recent development cycle and the other wound up. Now, for the first time that I can recall (certainly in the serialized DLC era) they are in post-release patching, maintenance and DLC delivery for both properties at once. So core talent for the dev teams is going to be stretched. Further, the development of "just" a couple of characters is no small thing. You have to create (even if you have the base established from previous games) new art assets (models, still images, dialogue, weapons and objects), the moveset (including choreographing and animating thousands upon thousands of wire frames), and then extensively bench test those characters for balance, hitboxing and visual consistency--to list just some of the work. Again, while much of your talent is stretched between multiple projects and even that which is dedicated to SC is working on patching previous content and generating CaS content. And they can't always know with exact precision when a given piece will be for certain complete, so it's often safer to announce and market that particular content for a date than is a little further out than they expect they might have it finished. When you add all of those factors together, it's easier to see why the drop of just one new character every few months.

As to hype, remember that most people who end up pruchasing these characters will end up doing so through the season pass, in order to get the price break, so their enthusiasm (as far as namco's marketing division is going to be concerned) only needs to be maintained up until the point they make that purchase, whether it is before or after August or whenever the last content drops. Also, I suspect that Namco will start hinting at season pass two in June or July, and then make an official announcement close to the time that the first is wrapping up, thus adding a new load of fuel to the hype train.

I should be clear though, that I don't think it will take significantly longer to announce/release Amy; I think it will be roughly two and half to three and a half months between each character released in the season pass, by the time the whole thing is done. But I think it's reasonably possible that she may drop as late as autumn. I'm really hoping the timetable is closer to late June--fingers very much crossed for it--but I would not be surprised by August as Lisa speculates.
I get that development is a complex process, but remember that 2B took a significantly shorter amount of time to release than any of the Tekken guests (despite being more complicated), and they even apologized for it. Clearly they're more competant than the Tekken devs. Also, why would they go out of their way to say they're sorry about how long it took, and then turn around and bring back two returning characters in the same amount of time (or even longer, as you claim)?
 
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Rusted Blade

[07] Duelist
@Rusted Blade I do get what you're saying, but I still just don't really agree. The framework just isn't there to add the other characters, even Aeon and Hwang, without the effort just coming across as feeling very cheap. Cassandra and Amy got new designs, so they will have new and exciting appearances, the likes of which we haven't seen before, much like the rest of the cast. If they redesign Aeon and Hwang, then they would have to go back and retroactively fix the story mode art, or remain maddeningly inconsistent. If they just give them their respective SoulCalibur IV and SoulCalibur III appearances, then they'll be slighted as being lazy. Edge Master (if he gets to happen) has an excuse, at least, since his design is timeless and has a precedent of coming back exactly the same but with better graphics, but Aeon changes drastically with each game, and Hwang was also quite different between the three games that he appeared in. I'm sorry, I just don't see this reality where we get these characters. I'm not trying to be a downer, it just doesn't seem feasible with the game that we have and what we have to work with.
Eh, I'm perfectly happy getting the classic designs, personally, and I think a lot players would be, provided the movesets were unique, viable, and balanced against the rest of the roster. But we shall see! In any event, I appreciate you taking my massive, verbose deconstruction in stride. I put off registering here for years (although I've been using the forum for ages to source news on the franchise), but now that I'm here I find I like how most of the regulars are happy to strongly disagree without taking things too personally.

@Rusted BladeBringing back Kratos for a guest as a second time, even if they use the older Kratos from the latest God of War game, would be a new thing to happen, to use a guest more than once. It would also be a bit tacky to bring Kratos back alongside Aeon who just stole his moves in the last game. Rock and Li Long both have equally no chance, if you ask me, and I really doubt they'll be inventing new characters to fill niche roles instead of just bringing back the actual characters, because that's what the fans want. Setsuka's master or whoever trained Hilde (or even Salia, as the rumor once was way back when) using her style, that just wouldn't do, to represent those moves, if they're looking to make the fans happy, they'll need the real deal. But the real deal doesn't work in context with SoulCalibur VI, so that's where the point of contention lies. We might get more customization equipment, but I severely doubt that we get any more characters after Cassandra and Amy.
Yeah, I know it seems like a stretch that Kratos would be a repeat guest. Honestly, I just used him as an example of someone who could drive sales as a guest. At one point I really did think he could be a SCVI bonus character. After-all, his first apperance was in a handheld title even most longtime franchise fans never played, and he has recently seen a massive update in apperance and fighting style in his own soft reboot entry. All things considered, the stars seemed to be aligning to make him a strong contender. But taking stock of how long the first season pass is going to take, he's not likely to be a hot property in time for a speculative season 2. More's the pity--I'm not a huge GoW fan by any means, but I think he'd be a great fit. And since I expect Aeon will be given a moveset halfway between his classic and SCV styles, and Kratos would have to be redevlopped to allow for his new moves, I doubt there would be much need for crossover in their styles. But again, he's probably not a realistic pick, all factors considered.

@Rusted Blade2025 is a bit long, too, I'd say we might see SoulCalibur VII by 2021/2022, which may coincide with the next generation of consoles, or into their second year, depending on when that happens. That, in itself, would be push for a new game in the series, because looking at our current generation of consoles, I'm really not expecting launch backwards compatibility, so people who jumped on PS5 or whatever the next Xbox is going to be called who would still want to play SoulCalibur, without having to break out the old console, so there would be demand. Much like between SoulCalibur V and SoulCalibur VI, they really don't have to rebuild much of the core game going to a new generation, since it's already there. Polish the graphics (or not, in some places), make a new gimmick or two, reuse a bunch of other stuff, and they could push out a SoulCalibur VII with minimal effort. The only reason SoulCalibur VI took so long was internal business struggles.
Yeah, but since when has Project Soul rushed to take advantage of the new hardware? If my memory serves, the last time they released within two years of a new platform was Soul Calibur I on the Dreamcast! Namco just never seems to position its games to be a platform driver but rather tend to wait until the architecture is well understood before signing on. There's nothing saying they couldn't change this, but the situation was exactly the same before the current generation, and instead they only just barely got a game out for the end of said generation! And while it's true that even cross-generationally, they can reuse some assets, the length between entries has only grown, for five straight games. I just don't expect that to change this time around. But I'll be the first one get on board the hype train if my expectations prove wrong!
 
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Rusted Blade

[07] Duelist
I get that development is a complex process, but remember that 2B took a significantly shorter amount of time to release than any of the Tekken guests (despite being more complicated), and they even apologized for it. Clearly they're more competant than the Tekken devs. Also, why would they go out of their way to say they're sorry about how long it took, and then turn around and bring back two returning characters in the same amount of time (or even longer, as you claim)?
Well, we really have no way of knowing how long 2B had been in production prior to her announcement. A licensing deal to add IP from another series doesn't happen over night, so we can presume she was probably in the works at least for some months. On the other hand, for all we know Cass and Amy have been in development for a good while as well.

As to that apology, I would have to go back and look at the exact tweet, but I suspect people are reading too much into it, given the context. Developers are usually pretty good about managing expectations and they usually accomplish this in large part by not making their internal deadlines too obvious. Now, from what I have seen, Okubo is a little more hands-on and doesn't mind pulling back the curtain a little to keep fans engaged (which, personally, I like), but he's also kind of...how do I put this politely?...not stellar in regard to his capacity with English. I'd be hesitant to read too much into what comes out of tweets or interviews unless it was really, really clear what they were saying. I can't remember if that was the case here (if you remember the comment exactly, or have it handy for reference, could you refresh me?).

In any event, whatever has been said before, I can't imagine a turn-around on each character taking less than a couple of months, given everything on their plate. I hope that some of this work has been already finished, but the sense I get from the disclosures to date is that much of the content for the season pass is still very much a work in progress. They have maintained a pretty steady clip so far, so we can have some hope that they will sustain that pace, but even an absolutely rapid turn-around would take at least a couple of months between characters, if we look at the industry norm. I can't honestly expect seeing Amy before late May/early June and that would be a best-case scenario, I expect.

If I'm wrong, I'll be so happy to eat crow on this one. I've waited on nothing in my thirty-five-year love affair with video games like I have waited on having Amy's moveset back in my hands in a current Soul Calibur game. I am so hyped to see what her style looks like, it's just not a healthy relationship for a person to have with a consumer product, honestly! So if I heard tomorrow that she was just three months away...I'd probably have to apologize to co-workers if it happened during the day, because all they would hear is "OH MY GOD--YES, YES, AMY, WE'RE BACK! WE'RE BACK!!" coming from my office, which would undoubtebly raise questions--questions I could not reasonably answer, without looking like an emotionally retarded lunatic, if I had to explain it was about a video game character and my desire to use her to inflict humiliating defeat upon my foes. All of which is my long-winded way of saying, if anyone was primed to hope for a quicker turn-around here, I'm that person. But familiarity with the industry suggests to me that early summer is the most realistic projection, until there is more evidence to latch on to.
 

RaphMcSorel

[05] Battler
Well, we really have no way of knowing how long 2B had been in production prior to her announcement. A licensing deal to add IP from another series doesn't happen over night, so we can presume she was probably in the works at least for some months. On the other hand, for all we know Cass and Amy have been in development for a good while as well.

As to that apology, I would have to go back and look at the exact tweet, but I suspect people are reading too much into it, given the context. Developers are usually pretty good about managing expectations and they usually accomplish this in large part by not making their internal deadlines too obvious. Now, from what I have seen, Okubo is a little more hands-on and doesn't mind pulling back the curtain a little to keep fans engaged (which, personally, I like), but he's also kind of...how do I put this politely?...not stellar in regard to his capacity with English. I'd be hesitant to read too much into what comes out of tweets or interviews unless it was really, really clear what they were saying. I can't remember if that was the case here (if you remember the comment exactly, or have it handy for reference, could you refresh me?).

In any event, whatever has been said before, I can't imagine a turn-around on each character taking less than a couple of months, given everything on their plate. I hope that some of this work has been already finished, but the sense I get from the disclosures to date is that much of the content for the season pass is still very much a work in progress. They have maintained a pretty steady clip so far, so we can have some hope that they will sustain that pace, but even an absolutely rapid turn-around would take at least a couple of months between characters, if we look at the industry norm. I can't honestly expect seeing Amy before late May/early June and that would be a best-case scenario, I expect.

If I'm wrong, I'll be so happy to eat crow on this one. I've waited on nothing in my thirty-five-year love affair with video games like I have waited on having Amy's moveset back in my hands in a current Soul Calibur game. I am so hyped to see what her style looks like, it's just not a healthy relationship for a person to have with a consumer product, honestly! So if I heard tomorrow that she was just three months away...I'd probably have to apologize to co-workers if it happened during the day, because all they would hear is "OH MY GOD--YES, YES, AMY, WE'RE BACK! WE'RE BACK!!" coming from my office, which would undoubtebly raise questions--questions I could not reasonably answer, without looking like an emotionally retarded lunatic, if I had to explain it was about a video game character and my desire to use her to inflict humiliating defeat upon my foes. All of which is my long-winded way of saying, if anyone was primed to hope for a quicker turn-around here, I'm that person. But familiarity with the industry suggests to me that early summer is the most realistic projection, until there is more evidence to latch on to.
I definitely hope you're wrong (and you sure seem to hope you're wrong as well). If you're right, at least I got a heads up thanks to you.
 

sytus

[11] Champion
I'd say we might see SoulCalibur VII by 2021/2022, which may coincide with the next generation of consoles
Yeah I think SC7 will be released around that time period. The 9th generation is on the horizon (Switch is 9th generation but is a hybrid and doesn't have a generation jump in hardware power) and by the time the consumer is wet for another Soul Calibur game I have no doubt it will be released around mid life cycle of those consoles for Bamco to maximize it's sales returns.
 

Klimat

[08] Mercenary
k but all four dlc characters being female? if that’s true then that’s so iconic, Okubo really fuckin snapped w this one and i can only applaud his bravery
Most popular characters still not in the game are all females, I think it's not as much bravery as simply a good business sense.
Because the only season two that fits their narrative would be Aeon, Edge Master, Hwang, and Rock, and there's a good number of problems with this lineup.
Yun-Seung, Setsuka and Hilde are all easy picks. For starters, they are all older from Talim and Talim made it into SC6 no problem, so age is not an issue. Project Soul just need to give us their backstories in Chronicles as an excuse to include said characters the same way they did with Talim and Tira.
Hilde is the most obvious of three. According to SC lore her father, the king of Wolfkrone, became malfested and transformed into an animal during the Evil Seed incident (so during SC1). That's the story right there, you start playing as Hilde training under her father, establishing Wolfkrone, then Evil Seed happens, you fight a couple of random (or not so random) malfested citizens with the king as the final boss (insert drama here). The epilogue is Hilde getting officially crowned, her mad father getting imprisoned and Hilde vowing to inflict revenge on those responsible for Evil Seed.
With Setsuka the story can be her younger years wondering around alone getting into fights after she ran away from home, then training under her newly found teacher before getting sent far away to deliver a letter, the final training fight being a final exam of sorts. Her teacher being a bodyguard can include a bodyguarding subplot along the way.
Yun-Seung story can be all about living in Seong Dojang, challenging other students with Mi-na as the final boss.
 

Nyte

Fu-ma's Shadow
It'd be easy to make a Season 2 with six characters:
  • Hwang
  • Lizardman
  • Setsuka
  • Dante (from Devil May Cry)
  • New male (using a bow and arrow that doubles as a staff and has arrow projectiles)
  • New female (using a grimoire and sword with magic spell attacks)
Having two newcomers and a guest would fill the spots. I want Hilde badly, but I suspect she's being saved for SCVII because the content only reaches SCIII.
 

sytus

[11] Champion
Gonna call it now that there won't be a season 2 for SC6 because all fan favorites including upcoming are already in. Sucks but it's the reality of things.