Soul Calibur VI: General discussion

WuHT

Premium Moderator
I know this is late af, but don't bother with reddit. It's just 1 big echo chamber where if you don't agree with the majority, you get downvoted and nobody discusses anything with you.
Its hard to find a centralized place to discuss things
This site had a good balance of the ultra hard core + dedicated yet casual + newcomers

Reddit on the other hand is quite something else. Discords are for the character specific more technical/nuanced discussion.
 

WuHT

Premium Moderator
What happened to this site?


No worries. I'm just glad you weren't walking into a dumpster fire.
Hard to say.
Forums seems to be dying down in general (I prefer it for technical posts) and is replaced by either specific discord channels (which can be a pain to look up archived older findings via search) vs casual social media discussion. discord is way faster for posting back-and-forth chat but much worse (imo) for searching up older data unless its saved in some google doc / pinned post.

Soul Calibur reddit is filled people who are firstly redditors and secondly soul calibur fans, so that speaks for itself. I do remember, on character reveals, to check this site for the hardcore fans and also reddit to see the casual fan reactions.
 

Dragons Fury

[01] Neophyte
Soul Calibur reddit is filled people who are firstly redditors and secondly soul calibur fans, so that speaks for itself. I do remember, on character reveals, to check this site for the hardcore fans and also reddit to see the casual fan reactions.
I'll check this site for sure. Reddit on the other hand nah. I've gone enough times to know their opinions aren't worth reading.

From what I've seen of this site, this seems way better for an actual analysis. Reddit isn't for that, it's to get your biases confirmed.
 

RyujiSakamoto

Premium Member
What happened to this site?
The soulcalibur community has many casuals. When there isn't new DLC content on the way, updates, or a new game in development/reveals occurring you will see a major lapse in activity. Like you are seeing now.

When you start to hear rumblings about soulcalibur VII, or an actual reveal + release you will have people coming back. Better pray for Tekken 8's success! :P
 

Dragons Fury

[01] Neophyte
The soulcalibur community has many casuals. When there isn't new DLC content on the way, updates, or a new game in development/reveals occurring you will see a major lapse in activity. Like you are seeing now.

When you start to hear rumblings about soulcalibur VII, or an actual reveal + release you will have people coming back. Better pray for Tekken 8's success! :P
Thanks for the info.

Also, I'm not worried about Soul Calibur's future. This series has a history of success so it's gonna keep being made.
Always found Tekken bland and uninteresting.

On Twitter the SoulCalibur community is still active and our souls still burn!
That's good to hear (the active community part, not Twitter).
 

Jrasta111

[11] Champion
You know, it's just an observation from the time I've spent not just here but within the Calibur and FGC, but it seems like over the years the 'community' has grown more and more insular splitting into smaller groups. 'Echo chambers' if you will. It's not that we don't know it's happening. It's not even that we haven't known all along. No one particularly cares. When I played the old games I'd go through rooms and play lots of people. Sooner or later I'd find a few that wouldn't let's just say appreciate me and I'd get kicked for whatever inane reason. The rate this happens has indeed sped up slowly over the years. Seems like people want to find a hole to crawl into. So to speak.

If I were a betting man I might wager if I played SC6 online right now normally even as a beginner I'd find myself on kick notice from practically half to all in my general range within a week.

When SCIV was around this point in it's cycle even with all the 'imbalance' and 'banned' characters, 'doom' combos, 'star wars' characters and what not people still talked about it. Even generated enough interest at such a late stage to populate the largest round robin Calibur event I've ever seen anyway. Seems like when SCV came along people still talked but it all ended up being this pervasive dour attitude that took hold around here about that time that wanted to treat people like shit if they don't/won't tow the line. Whatever that's supposed to mean. Herding. Like cattle. I suppose. It's so great. Why aren't you playing it. Arsehole.

Anyway I think it's safe to say at this point no one actually wants to talk about that nor has it actually ever been up for discussion so to speak. Seems fundamentally unreasonable to me. I couldn't care less at this point and that may be the root of the issue we find ourselves in. I don't see anyone caring much more anyway. Try as I might.
 

Dragons Fury

[01] Neophyte
but it seems like over the years the 'community' has grown more and more insular splitting into smaller groups. 'Echo chambers' if you will.
I'm new here so I'm gonna take your word seriously, but when I was browsing all these older posts in this forum, there were plenty of diverse opinions and perspectives.

Reddit on the other hand promotes popularity over validity. All you see there is people agreeing with each other cuz if they don't, they get downvoted. People with unpopular posts, even if they make good points, don't get proper discussions. Just people getting defensive and not hearing the other side.

if I played SC6 online right now normally even as a beginner I'd find myself on kick notice
That says more about the kick feature than the community. It shouldn't exist. It makes "casual" matches feel like private matches and makes ranked the standard experience instead. Online in SC6 felt like a stepdown from 5, though it's been forever since I played 5.

When SCIV was around this point in it's cycle even with all the 'imbalance' and 'banned' characters, 'doom' combos, 'star wars' characters and what not people still talked about it.
Only played 5 and 6. Maybe 4 had more content and that's why it lasted longer. 5 was my first Soul Calibur, so I'm biased, but that game is not as bad as the fans make it out to be. People saying it killed the series are wrong. Soul Calibur has a history of success so it's gonna keep being made even if some games stumble.
 

Jrasta111

[11] Champion
I'm new here so I'm gonna take your word seriously, but when I was browsing all these older posts in this forum, there were plenty of diverse opinions and perspectives.

Reddit on the other hand promotes popularity over validity. All you see there is people agreeing with each other cuz if they don't, they get downvoted. People with unpopular posts, even if they make good points, don't get proper discussions. Just people getting defensive and not hearing the other side.


That says more about the kick feature than the community. It shouldn't exist. It makes "casual" matches feel like private matches and makes ranked the standard experience instead. Online in SC6 felt like a stepdown from 5, though it's been forever since I played 5.


Only played 5 and 6. Maybe 4 had more content and that's why it lasted longer. 5 was my first Soul Calibur, so I'm biased, but that game is not as bad as the fans make it out to be. People saying it killed the series are wrong. Soul Calibur has a history of success so it's gonna keep being made even if some games stumble.
Well as I said I didn't mean specifically here and when we get down to what I was referring to that relates to here, mostly that attitude, it seems like a you had to be there kind of thing. You see this is technically 'online' so to speak and the attitude revolves around the idea of people playing the 'offline' events and gatherings and what not so it's actually kind of rare anyone actually says anything directly. Here at least. Who knows what they say behind closed doors or in other places which is mostly what I was referring to and as we see very little actually seems to happen here per se right now at least. When I first came here it was around the same point in SCIV's lifespan and it was never as dead as this although that is just my personal observation. Be that as it may as far as discussion about the game goes I'd definitely say this is still the best place to come. It was just an attitude. Perhaps lingering. Perhaps not.

Agree about the kick. It is silly. Mostly. But I guess allowances have to be made. Or something. We all know some people just love ruining the fun of others. Still some more have no sense of humour. What do?

I never really cared to argue whether SCV itself was any good. I enjoyed it for how it was for whatever that's worth of course. Mostly I believe it had a lot of unrealised potential that seemed to be being wasted. That's how I felt at the time anyway. Certainly no use for bitterness and resentment at this point.

Way I see it I hope you're right and all we can do is as we've always done which is to say continue supporting the games however it may go. Even if the best days really are behind us we still have them and no one can ever take that away. Keep looking forward and carry that with you I say.
 

Dragons Fury

[01] Neophyte
Well as I said I didn't mean specifically here and when we get down to what I was referring to that relates to here, mostly that attitude, it seems like a you had to be there kind of thing. You see this is technically 'online' so to speak and the attitude revolves around the idea of people playing the 'offline' events and gatherings and what not so it's actually kind of rare anyone actually says anything directly. Here at least. Who knows what they say behind closed doors or in other places which is mostly what I was referring to and as we see very little actually seems to happen here per se right now at least. When I first came here it was around the same point in SCIV's lifespan and it was never as dead as this although that is just my personal observation. Be that as it may as far as discussion about the game goes I'd definitely say this is still the best place to come. It was just an attitude. Perhaps lingering. Perhaps not.

Agree about the kick. It is silly. Mostly. But I guess allowances have to be made. Or something. We all know some people just love ruining the fun of others. Still some more have no sense of humour. What do?

I never really cared to argue whether SCV itself was any good. I enjoyed it for how it was for whatever that's worth of course. Mostly I believe it had a lot of unrealised potential that seemed to be being wasted. That's how I felt at the time anyway. Certainly no use for bitterness and resentment at this point.

Way I see it I hope you're right and all we can do is as we've always done which is to say continue supporting the games however it may go. Even if the best days really are behind us we still have them and no one can ever take that away. Keep looking forward and carry that with you I say.
Thanks for your insight, and I like your last sentence.

Wasn't Soul Calibur popular in the early to mid 2000s? 2 and 4 certainly got a bit of attention back then. I believe 5 was the game that hurt its popularity so maybe that explains the forum's drop in popularity, assuming it's true.
 

Jrasta111

[11] Champion
Have to say although it's kind of before my time and I haven't paid much attention to the greater community lately even during the SCV days a lot of the older players, including some pretty well known ones outside of this circle even, would hold on to I guess what they thought of as the SC2 days. Nostalgia perhaps as well as some notions of the days before everything was online and out in the open so it was more personable I guess although perhaps rather closed off to newcomers also. Funny how the more things seem to change the more they stay absolutely the same. I mean fighting games in general as well as the community on the whole has always been rather niche really I suppose.

I feel like during the SCV days and into SC6 the games became a bit placid which is to say overly comfortable. I mean having Star Wars guests must have been seen as something of a risk for the series. Not a person I know including myself who liked the series at the time wasn't a little taken aback. But I think that's what made the series great. One might look at Calibur next to Star Wars and think tis being dwarfed by it but I believe to the contrary I think the strength of having guests in Calibur has always been in taking something from elsewhere and giving it something about that you don't find elsewhere. Adding something new both to the game itself and the guests in of themselves.

Now we see characters like Ezio and Geralt which people say 'fit' or are somehow more 'correct' or 'thematic' to which I wonder just what is 'correct' in a fighting game about souls and swords and soul swords. That would be rhetorical. The point is we or rather I don't really see anything about these guests in Calibur being added that I can't/ couldn't have found within the games they came from better. Not that I've played SC6 but the point remains I don't really see it adding anything to these characters worthy of Calibur as opposed to just playing the original games about the characters themselves and honestly I care very little to find out at this point. If I were to have another go it would certainly simply be because it's Calibur. Not a thing to do with them at all.

Just seems kind of stuck on. Like a sticker on a fridge. Doesn't change what's in the fridge. Window dressing that makes you forget you're hungry. Or what you're hungry for. Calibur may be the fridge but not all food goes in the fridge. If you follow me. Also I think the idea of buying regular characters generally and separately isn't good for the community on the whole as it means different people are playing almost entirely different games. Or at least setups. I mean it's not SFV where I'm playing hundreds or thousands of online matches if I just want to play as one character but I least in that I have that option there which actually isn't much of a plus point honestly. Never going to happen... But it seems I'm veering wildly now so I shall simply stop here. I'd just rather not deal with all that.
 

Rusted Blade

[14] Master
Also, I'm not worried about Soul Calibur's future. This series has a history of success so it's gonna keep being made.

Yeah, I think that's the best way to describe the situation: people are as obsessed with painting SCVI as a massive commercial success as they were in declaring that SCV had all but destroyed the franchise, prior to the release of VI. But the truth is both views were exaggerations at best, and SCVI is an established IP owned by a massive multinational with both development and publications arms, and the individual fortunes of particular entries in a franchise mean a bit less in that production context: the series as a whole has enough established history and goodwill that Namco will return to that well periodically regardless of whether a particular game tanks, though needless to say, a game that hits its projections for the company will have at least some impact on the timeline for the next entry. Though in the case of Project Soul, a non-standing development team that shares staff with Tekken and other franchises, it always needs to wait its turn a bit.

When SCIV was around this point in it's cycle even with all the 'imbalance' and 'banned' characters, 'doom' combos, 'star wars' characters and what not people still talked about it.
Yeah, I've given some serious thought to how much of the lack of sticking power (or better said, the lack thereof) of SCVI can be attributed to the quality of the game and its systems, and how much it is simply reflective of the nature of the times, the state of the community, and the fortunes of the genre as a whole. In truth, I think its clear a little of column and A and a little of column B, but as a competitive fighter and Soulcalibur product, I do think SCVI is a little underwhelming, no matter how reasonable it may be to point out that external factors were always going to be a problem for its longterm popularity.

Online in SC6 felt like a stepdown from 5, though it's been forever since I played 5.
I agree that VI feels like a much more isolated experience online. On the other hand, there are some new features, such as the replay leaderboards, which are nice additions, even if the fundamentals of this part of the experience were a little flubbed).

Only played 5 and 6. Maybe 4 had more content and that's why it lasted longer.
IV didn't necessarily have more content than VI, but it was differently distributed: VI is definitely very much oriented towards a blue ocean strategy, trying to capture a larger casual audience. I actually think SCIV is probably the best game in the franchise, despite some balance at launch issues and being fractionally slower (in terms of average frames) than either the game immediately before and after it in the franchise. It has perhaps the best visual design of any game in the series (though there are obviously other strong contenders), good mechanics, probably the best stage design, and just good all around fundamentals. It is very much the inverse of VI with its voluminous, but cheaply produced and underwhelming, single player content and poor design in many key features not connected to the movesets (which are themselves reasonably well done).

5 was my first Soul Calibur, so I'm biased, but that game is not as bad as the fans make it out to be.
No, it most certainly is not. The lack of proper development time and budget is obvious with that game, no doubt, but despite it's flaws and some peculiar design choices that probably would have been second guessed if the production had not been so rushed, it's nevertheless a very stable and enjoyable competitive fighter with many fun features.

I think the strength of having guests in Calibur has always been in taking something from elsewhere and giving it something about that you don't find elsewhere. Adding something new both to the game itself and the guests in of themselves.
I'm not 100% sure I am following your statements here, but I have to agree with the general sentiment that stylistically juxtaposed guest characters are a boon to the variety and depth of the gameplay experience itself, rather than something to bitch and moan about for some sort of metatextual reason or another.

Now we see characters like Ezio and Geralt which people say 'fit' or are somehow more 'correct' or 'thematic' to which I wonder just what is 'correct' in a fighting game about souls and swords and soul swords.
I agree that the hand-wringing about the tonality of certain guests characters has often been excessive. There's literally never been a guest character that so exceeded the extreme goofiness of Soulcalibur's default setting, continuity, and presentation such that they became a problem. Yoda was a bit of a minor misstep, but because of mechanics, not aesthetics. By the same token, though, I think Geralt and Ezio both worked very well in the formula. Almost all of the guest characters work because the PS development teams for each entry (that includes guests) did their homework in studying those characters and their style/quality of movement, and found tactical options that bridged their fighting styles in their home media with the style and gameplay needs of a Soulcalibur game.

Also I think the idea of buying regular characters generally and separately isn't good for the community on the whole as it means different people are playing almost entirely different games. .
I have to disagree on this, however: the continuing support model for fighting games is an important development for the genre, that is necessary to allow games like this to continue to be profitable despite declining market share (both within the genre and in terms of competing products generally), and skyrocketing production costs. Something had to give and season passes are a reasonable alternative to a bunch of other options that are much worse. Although, it must be said that there is a big fat caveat in the fact that this only works so long as the overall balancing work stays solid, and the pricepoints for the post-release content reasonable, two areas where the fanbase does have to keep the company honest. Actually you might add that the content delivery models need to be well-adapted to the product, and non-exploitative of the consumer or damaging of the experience. Thankfully, Namco still seems to be maintaining decently fair practices in these regards, when compared against other publisher titans like Activision-Blizzard, and EA. Knock on wood...
 
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Jrasta111

[11] Champion
Yeah, I think that's the best way to describe the situation: people are as obsessed with painting SCVI as a massive commercial success as they were in declaring that SCV had all but destroyed the franchise, prior to the release of VI. But the truth is both views were exaggerations at best, and SCVI is an established IP owned by a massive multinational with both development and publications arms, and the individual fortunes of particular entries in a franchise mean a bit less in that production context: the series as a whole has enough established history and goodwill that Namco will return to that well periodically regardless of whether a particular game tanks, though needless to say, a game that hits its projections for the company will have at least some impact on the timeline for the next entry. Though in the case of Project Soul, a non-standing development team that shares staff with Tekken and other franchises, it always needs to wait its turn a bit.


Yeah, I've given some serious thought to how much of the lack of sticking power (or better said, the lack thereof) of SCVI can be attributed to the quality of the game and its systems, and how much it is simply reflective of the nature of the times, the state of the community, and the fortunes of the genre as a whole. In truth, I think its clear a little of column and A and a little of column B, but as a competitive fighter and Soulcalibur product, I do think SCVI is a little underwhelming, no matter how reasonable it may be to point out that external factors were always going to be a problem for its longterm popularity.


I agree that VI feels like a much more isolated experience online. On the other hand, there are some new features, such as the replay leaderboards, which are nice additions, even if the fundamentals of this part of the experience were a little flubbed).


IV didn't necessarily have more content than VI, but it was differently distributed: VI is definitely very much oriented towards a blue ocean strategy, trying to capture a larger casual audience. I actually think SCIV is probably the best game in the franchise, despite some balance at launch issues and being fractionally slower (in terms of average frames) than either the game immediately before and after it in the franchise. It has perhaps the best visual design of any game in the series (though there are obviously other strong contenders), good mechanics, probably the best stage design, and just good all around fundamentals. It is very much the inverse of VI with its voluminous, but cheaply produced and underwhelming, single player content and poor design in many key features not connected to the movesets (which are themselves reasonably well done).


No, it most certainly is not. The lack of proper development time and budget is obvious with that game, no doubt, but despite it's flaws and some peculiar design choices that probably would have been second guessed if the production had not been so rushed, it's nevertheless a very stable and enjoyable competitive fighter with many fun features.


I'm not 100% sure I am following your statements here, but I have to agree with the general sentiment that stylistically juxtaposed guest characters are a boon to the variety and depth of the gameplay experience itself, rather than something to bitch and moan about for some sort of metatextual reason or another.


I agree that the hand-wringing about the tonality of certain guests characters has often been excessive. There's literally never been a guest character that so exceeded the extreme goofiness of Soulcalibur's default setting, continuity, and presentation such that they became a problem. Yoda was a bit of a minor misstep, but because of mechanics, not aesthetics. By the same token, though, I think Geralt and Ezio both worked very well in the formula. Almost all of the guest characters work because the PS development teams for each entry (that includes guests) did their homework in studying those characters and their style/quality of movement, and found tactical options that bridged their fighting styles in their home media with the style and gameplay needs of a Soulcalibur game.


I have to disagree on this, however: the continuing support model for fighting games is an important development for the genre, that is necessary to allow games like this to continue to be profitable despite declining market share (both within the genre and in terms of competing products generally), and skyrocketing production costs. Something had to give and season passes are a reasonable alternative to a bunch of other options that are much worse. Although, it must be said that there is a big fat caveat in the fact that this only works so long as the overall balancing work stays solid, and the pricepoints for the post-release content reasonable, two areas where the fanbase does have to keep the company honest. Thankfully, Namco still seems to be maintaining decently fair practices in these regards, when compared against other publisher titans like Activision-Blizzard, and EA. Knock on wood...
I'm hardly an economics expert nor the sort to advise multi-national companies about handling their assets just a customer who knows what they like. I don't like 'season passes'. I don't like 'roadmaps'. Not actual roadmaps. Those are useful. They serve an actual purpose. Well perhaps that's not entirely fair. 'Roadmaps' here serve the purpose of selling promises.

When I was young there were games on shelves in stores and you bought games. Some of them were shit. Some were ok. A few were pretty great. The point is you knew what you were getting yourself into. What a 'season pass' tells me is not to buy this game. It's not finished. Perhaps games cost more to make, I don't know, that doesn't mean the actual economic experts employed by these companies should choose now to fall asleep when they should be working/planning hardest to make sure the company can release the finished products people expect and maybe later be able to produce more if it exceeds expectations.

This is the crux of any point to be made here I feel. I'm not going to argue about any market theory regarding selling characters wholesale. SCIV had Yoda and Vader after all although it was only two and no one ever really cared as they were star wars characters and in general people are suckers for the more and extremely low hanging fruit. The point is when I buy a game I expect to get a game. Not the promise of a game later on down the line. Not a metaphorical bat for video game companies to beat me over the head with until I buy a 'season pass' or whatever form it takes. cough SFV ahem

In the end it's just honesty. It's rare and it can't be bought. In the short term it always seems to cost more than it earns but you need not be an expert in economics to know it's the only thing that has real staying power. No one is going to buy things from people they've decided are dishonest shits who don't deliver what they promise. It's just what people expect and no one should ever have to ask. If it comes to the point it is being demanded it's already way beyond the pale sadly which we see in many places already.

I only hope Calibur is not soon to follow along. I don't see it as a particularly bad issue. The selling characters. It's the slippery slope. Sometimes one has to just admit they've found their way onto it and brace themselves. Perhaps twas always an inevitability to be faced eventually. But it must be faced regardless.
 
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Rusted Blade

[14] Master
I'm hardly an economics expert nor the sort to advise multi-national companies about handling their assets just a customer who knows what they like. I don't like 'season passes'. I don't like 'roadmaps'. Not actual roadmaps. Those are useful. They serve an actual purpose. Well perhaps that's not entirely fair. 'Roadmaps' here serve the purpose of selling promises.

When I was young there were games on shelves in stores and you bought games. Some of them were shit. Some were ok. A few were pretty great. The point is you knew what you were getting yourself into. What a 'season pass' tells me is not to buy this game. It's not finished. Perhaps games cost more to make, I don't know, that doesn't mean the actual economic experts employed by these companies should choose now to fall asleep when they should be working/planning hardest to make sure the company can release the finished products people expect and maybe later be able to produce more if it exceeds expectations.

This is the crux of any point to be made here I feel. I'm not going to argue about any market theory regarding selling characters wholesale. SCIV had Yoda and Vader after all although it was only two and no one ever really cared as they were star wars characters and in general people are suckers for the more and extremely low hanging fruit. The point is when I buy a game I expect to get a game. Not the promise of a game later on down the line. Not a metaphorical bat for video game companies to beat me over the head with until I buy a 'season pass' or whatever form it takes. cough SFV ahem

In the end it's just honesty. It's rare and it can't be bought. In the short term it always seems to cost more than it earns but you need not be an expert in economics to know it's the only thing that has real staying power. No one is going to buy things from people they've decided are dishonest shits who don't deliver what they promise. It's just what people expect and no one should ever have to ask. If it comes to the point it is being demanded it's already way beyond the pale sadly which we see in many places already.

I only hope Calibur is not soon to follow along. I don't see it as a particularly bad issue. The selling characters. It's the slippery slope. Sometimes one has to just admit they've found their way onto it and brace themselves. Perhaps twas always an inevitability to be faced eventually. But it must be faced regardless.
Well, if I'm perfectly honest, that's exactly the kind of irrational "we'll cut off our noses to spite our faces, because the way the product is sold is not what we are familiar with" thinking that the FGC consumer base is finally getting over now (and needs to get over, if the franchise is going to survive and thrive in the modern industry). But we might be talking past eachother a bit here, so let me clarify what I mean about the constraints developers have to work within today:

Those games that you got off the shelf when you were a kid were produced for a small fraction of what it takes to develop, market, publish, and deliver to marketplace a similar-positioned product today. The earliest fighters literally cost hundreds of times less to produce and bring to market than their contemporary counterparts. At the same time, the fighting game genre has crashed in terms of it's market share of the overall gaming industry, and certain franchises (Soulcalibur most assuredly included) have shrunk considerably in terms of how much market share they have of even that narrowing slice. But here's the critical part: during all of those long --decades-- of increasing production costs, the price of a game (unlike virtually every other consumer product in existence) has remained virtually frozen for most games at about $60/£50. When you combine all of these factors, the math is incredibly unkind to companies who still want to produce quality products in this sphere.

So clearly something has to give, and there's only so many options on how to do this, and none of the alternatives are remotely as consumer friendly, non experience-breaking, or more reasonable than the season pass/post-release support model. Let's consider the options:
  • You could increase the cost for the base product or create several different tiers of base product. This is only really viable for triple-A games in hot franchises, and probably will never be particularly realistic in a genre where publishers are struggling to maintain enough consumers at the base pricepoint. In fact, most fighters have to leap to slashing their prices and boosting their sales through discount events just months after release these days.
  • The could create a pay-to-win model; clearly a terrible idea for pretty much any game, but particularly heads-up competetive experiences, and a death-knell for any fighter.
  • You could create a grindfest experience linked to microtransactions a la Diablo Immortal, but I'm sure I don't have to explain why that is a terrible, terrible idea.
  • You could create a subscription-based, games-as-a-service product. But not only would this end up being drastically more expensive than a couple of season passes, for a fraction of the benefit, it would also be pretty certain to kill any fighter before it even had a chance to gain any popularity.
  • You could do a freemium model (as with the most recent entries of Dead or Alive), where everyone gets the core experience for free, but with limited content in terms of characters and bells and whistles, with additional content costing a premium. This is the least onerous of the alternatives to a continuing support model, but notably it really amounts to the same thing: it's just a little more a la cart, allowing the consumer a cheaper entry point (maybe even completely free if they can live with the limited content), but will typically cost them significantly more (than a similar core game and all its season passes), if they want all the content under this model.
  • You could just produce a product that is a fraction as large as what people have traditionally come to expect from a full price game and nevertheless try to sell it at full price. But you will be savaged by reviews and word of mouth, and probably will not make your money back.
That's pretty much all the options (alternative to a continuing support model), and all of them either A) are infeasible in terms of turning a profit/sustaining games in the genre; B) are deeply exploitative and bilk us out of much more of our money; C) break the game, making it much less like those complete, reasonable, balanced, and fun products of yesteryear; or D) are some combination of those types of downside. And then you have to factor in that a game like Soulcalibur, owned by company like Namco, doesn't just have to turn some sort of profit: it actually has to turn enough of a profit to be an attractive option when compared against all the other IP that they own and might want to push as a product.

So realistically, season passes are what we've got if we want the genre to both survive and not become a cesspool of absolutely shitty, broken, money-sucking experiences. But luckily I don't think we even need to look at the season pass as indicating that the core product is "incomplete" as you suggest. That's a kind of non-sequitor that people have been using for years: but it doesn't hold up to scrutiny in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, there's potential for unscrupulous companies to try to exploit such a model to increasingly give you less for your buck. But there's nothing about the model that makes that an automatic result. That's what I meant when I said this is the best option but that the consumer base/fanbase has to keep the company honest by open pushback and withholding transactions if they begin to feel that the value per dollar is dropping below a reasonable level. But if you are getting a core game that has 20-30 characters, twelve stages, full online features (with decent netcode, matchmaking, and server maintenance), a beginning creation suite, a handful of single player modes, and a decent level of polish and balance, I would say you are getting a "complete" product and have nothing to complain about, even if you buy a fully priced copy/license at launch. And notably, everyone who bought SCVI got all of that and more, and most of them paid less than full price.

At that point, if a company wants to offer season passes to increase the content offerings and create a more robust experience than they were able to deliver with a reasonably priced core product, increasing the depth of the experience and making them a marginally better return and increasing the likelihood of a faster turn-around on the next entry in the franchise, that is to my mind a pretty clear win-win (especially considering the much more money-grubbing/experience-ruining alternatives) and refusing to accept this new/works-best-for-everyone option (just because it doesn't come packaged as a product that looks like the ones we grew up with), is incredibly self-defeating and unreasonable.

Don't get me wrong, I totally understand why DLC puts people on guard: in the late 2000's/early 2010's, it felt like almost every company pushing into DLC territory was competing to find the quickest and most offensive way to separate you from your money. As a consumer culture, we got burnt and saw how unscrupulous the biggest companies could be--and the trust has just never been fully restored, particularly as we watch major publishers continue to push boundaries and manipulate consumers to give them less product and inferior experiences for more money.

But crucially, it doesn't have to be that way, and some companies are dealing squarely with the fans of their products to deliver fair exchanges under the new models. In my opinion, though SCVI was far from my favorite Soulcalibur experience, and I do have concerns about where they put their emphasis in terms of the content, I don't think the season passes were an unreasonable money grab: I definitely got my money's worth from both the core game and the season passes, even buying multiple copies on multiple platforms. That, at the end of the day, has to be how we measure whether a product is complete: no other option makes sense or is sustainable in today's industry.
 
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Jrasta111

[11] Champion
Well, if I'm perfectly honest, that's exactly the kind of irrational "we'll cut off our noses to spite our faces, because the way the product is sold is not what we are familiar with" thinking that the FGC consumer base is finally getting over now (and needs to get over, if the franchise is going to survive and thrive in the modern industry). But we might be talking past eachother a bit here, so let me clarify what I mean about the constraints developers have to work within today:

Those games that you got off the shelf when you were a kid were produced for a small fraction of what it takes to develop, market, publish, and deliver to marketplace a similar-positioned product today. The earliest fighters literally cost hundreds of times less to produce and bring to market than their contemporary counterparts. At the same time, the fighting game genre has crashed in terms of it's market share of the overall gaming industry, and certain franchises (Soulcalibur most assuredly included) have shrunk considerably in terms of how much market share they have of even that narrowing slice. But here's the critical part: during all of those long --decades-- of increasing production costs, the price of a game (unlike virtually every other consumer product in existence) has remained virtually frozen for most games at about $60/£50. When you combine all of these factors, the math is incredibly unkind to companies who still want to produce quality products in this sphere.

So clearly something has to give, and there's only so many options on how to do this, and none of the alternatives are remotely as consumer friendly, non experience-breaking, or more reasonable than the season pass/post-release support model. Let's consider the options:
  • You could increase the cost for the base product or create several different tiers of base product. This is only really viable for triple-A games in hot franchises, and probably will never be particularly realistic in a genre where publishers are struggling to maintain enough consumers at the base pricepoint. In fact, most fighters have to leap to slashing their prices and boosting their sales through discount events just months after release these days.
  • The could create a pay-to-win model; clearly a terrible idea for pretty much any game, but particularly heads-up competetive experiences, and a death-knell for any fighter.
  • You could create a grindfest experience linked to microtransactions a la Diablo Immortal, but I'm sure I don't have to explain why that is a terrible, terrible idea.
  • You could create a subscription-based, games-as-a-service product. But not only would this end up being drastically more expensive than a couple of season passes, for a fraction of the benefit, it would also be pretty certain to kill any fighter before it even had a chance to gain any popularity.
  • You could do a freemium model (as with the most recent entries of Dead or Alive), where everyone gets the core experience for free, but with limited content in terms of characters and bells and whistles, with additional content costing a premium. This is the least onerous of the alternatives to a continuing support model, but notably it really amounts to the same thing: it's just a little more a la cart, allowing the consumer a cheaper entry point (maybe even completely free if they can live with the limited content), but will typically cost them significantly more (than a similar core game and all its season passes), if they want all the content under this model.
  • You could just produce a product that is a fraction as large as what people have traditionally come to expect from a full price game and nevertheless try to sell it at full price. But you will be savaged by reviews and word of mouth, and probably will not make your money back.
That's pretty much all the options (alternative to a continuing support model), and all of them either A) are infeasible in terms of turning a profit/sustaining games in the genre; B) are deeply exploitative and bilk us out of much more of our money; C) break the game, making it much less like those complete, reasonable, balanced, and fun products of yesteryear; or D) are some combination of those types of downside. And then you have to factor in that a game like Soulcalibur, owned by company like Namco, doesn't just have to turn some sort of profit: it actually has to turn enough of a profit to be an attractive option when compared against all the other IP that they own and might want to push as a product.

So realistically, season passes are what we've got if we want the genre to both survive and not become a cesspool of absolutely shitty, broken, money-sucking experiences. But luckily I don't think we even need to look at the season pass as indicating that the core product is "incomplete" as you suggest. That's a kind of non-sequitor that people have been using for years: but it doesn't hold up to scrutiny in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, there's potential for unscrupulous companies to try to exploit such a model to increasingly give you less for your buck. But there's nothing about the model that makes that an automatic result. That's what I meant when I said this is the best option but that the consumer base/fanbase has to keep the company honest by open pushback and withholding transactions if they begin to feel that the value per dollar is dropping below a reasonable level. But if you are getting a core game that has 20-30 characters, twelve stages, full online features (with decent netcode, matchmaking, and server maintenance), a beginning creation suite, a handful of single player modes, and a decent level of polish and balance, I would say you are getting a "complete" product and have nothing to complain about, even if you buy a fully priced copy/license at launch. And notably, everyone who bought SCVI got all of that and more, and most of them paid less than full price.

At that point, if a company wants to offer season passes to increase the content offerings and create a more robust experience than they were able to deliver with a reasonably priced core product, increasing the depth of the experience and making them a marginally better return and increasing the likelihood of a faster turn-around on the next entry in the franchise, that is to my mind a pretty clear win-win (especially considering the much more money-grubbing/experience-ruining alternatives) and refusing to accept this new/works-best-for-everyone option (just because it doesn't come packaged as a product that looks like the ones we grew up with), is incredibly self-defeating and unreasonable.

Don't get me wrong, I totally understand why DLC puts people on guard: in the late 2000's/early 2010's, it felt like almost every company pushing into DLC territory was competing to find the quickest and most offensive way to separate you from your money. As a consumer culture, we got burnt and saw how unscrupulous the biggest companies could be--and the trust has just never been fully restored, particularly as we watch major publishers continue to push boundaries and manipulate consumers to give them less product and inferior experiences for more money.

But crucially, it doesn't have to be that way, and some companies are dealing squarely with the fans of their products to deliver fair exchanges under the new models. In my opinion, though SCVI was far from my favorite Soulcalibur experience, and I do have concerns about where they put their emphasis in terms of the content, I don't think the season passes were an unreasonable money grab: I definitely got my money's worth from both the core game and the season passes, even buying multiple copies on multiple platforms. That, at the end of the day, has to be how we measure whether a product is complete: no other option makes sense or is sustainable in today's industry.
You misunderstand it seems. All I said was I don't like 'season passes'. Or 'roadmaps'. In short policies that treat customers like idiots who cannot think nor have any desire to do so all the while fostering this attitude among them. I said I'm no expert and it's not my job to sell games to people. All I'm saying is if the game company want me to buy their games they need to do their jobs. If I'm not buying their games that's their job to fix. It's not my job to buy games and play them.

Expecting people who just want to enjoy the games they paid for with the money they did work for to use that money not to enjoy games like they may as well have not bothered and then getting upset and writing chunks of word salad in response sounds a little something like 'cutting off your nose to spite your face'. Wouldn't be my choice of words but waste not.

I don't care one way or another. Do your job is not something I should have to say nor shall I. It should be obvious. I merely point that out. Treat your customers like cattle who rely on you for something and see how that turns out. Alternatively glance left and right because they've been doing it all along.

Everywhere.

Tis indeed meaningless to argue this point for or against. Tis how it is and it is unacceptable. Figuratively it's the difference between me walking into a store then picking up a game and buying it or never even crossing the threshold to consider the possibility. If you're perfectly happy with the way things are going and the companies feel comfortable with their direction as I am also with mine own there is absolutely no valid reason I would be willing to specify here for a change of direction for anyone. Even if I were to most vehemently disagree it's still not my job to stop anyone else nor do I have any particular care nor reason for doing so currently.

Frankly all I may do is take your respective word for it and wish you all the best as I always tend to and now do so.

This is my final word on the subject.
 
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