Games made for the community
Every once in a while gems like these come along.
Members of different gaming communities, such as fighting games or FPS games, usually have a hard time at getting exactly what they want from upcoming titles. While most publishers and developers do listen to criticism and requests from these communities, they rarely prepare a product that is completely tailor made to the community’s specifications. Let’s take the example of the fighting games community. There have been numerous requests to improve the online netcode of fighting games to a solid standard.
One of the most requested additions to the online netcode is a piece of software called GGPO. GGPO is a middleware program that allows a near lagless experience by reserving the inputs you press during a match the way you are used to. Hence, even though there is latency between the two players, the player doesn’t feel lag in their input. While some of the development team members feel the justification for putting GGPO into their games, it’s extremely hard to convince the higher ups in the company to adapt something that they don’t exactly believe will be successful. GGPO is one of the large numbers of requests that the community have been demanding and is an example of how games made for a specific community are hard to come by.
There are however a few rare games that come out every once in a while which are specifically tailored to what the community wants. The most recent example of such a game is SF3: Third Strike Online Edition. 3rd Strike Online Edition was made to include a ton of features that fans requested specifically. It included GGPO, tools to upload matches directly to YouTube, watching replays with friends, and many other features. The product was also placed at a solid price point in order to attract a large number of buyers to it.
Now what people might not realize is really how important this game is to the fighting community as a whole. Not necessarily as a game itself but rather what it represents. 3rd Strike Online is a testing product. It is one of those projects that development teams had to really push and convince the management body to justify having the features I just listed in the past few sentences. If the product succeeds and sells well, the team will prove that having those features implemented is actually a huge deal sales wise. If not then management will not agree on their future games including features such as these.
Communities have to realize that these rare occasions where they suddenly get a game packaged directly to them, the hardcore, means that they need to take this opportunity and run with it. Titles like 3rd Strike Online should be bought by every single dedicated Street Fighter player to show the higher ups that projects such as these sell and that these new features are actually the reason this game sold so good. The managers and directors of these large companies such as Capcom are the people that make the final decision. In order for the community to convince those people that this is the way to go, they have to speak with their dollars. It is opportunities like these that lets us play games exactly how we wanted them as well as build a future Segway to make sure future titles also satisfy our requests.