Not to say it's unjustified, but many PC gamers seem paranoid and angry. Case in point is Street Fighter IV, which was recently announced to be arriving summertime, an estimated five months after its console release. As with many other titles, this prompted accusations from fans to be flung that Capcom were delaying it intentionally to prevent (or minimize) piracy (i.e. get as many people as possible to buy it on consoles first where piracy is less likely).
Capcom is denying as such, saying it's simply a matter of time and the accusations are "completely absurd":
"Well the answer is the game's not done," stated Christian Svensson, Capcom vice president, business development and strategic planning. "So, to put things into perspective, the Street Fighter IV team is working on two things right now. They're finishing the PC SKU, and people are like, well the arcade was the PC, how hard can it be? Well we had all of these additions for the console version in terms of content that didn't exist on the PC. All of that needs to be rolled back in.
We have to do an online integration with an online service. I won't discuss which one yet because it hasn't been announced yet. Obviously the arcade had no online. Here we have an online integration that has to be done. We have to optimise the game for a variety of configurations, both up and down, so that it looks pretty on things that are more powerful than the arcade system and it runs well and at 60 frames per second on things that are considerably less powerful, so we sell to more than the top two per cent of the market.
All of that takes time. The testing on PC in particular is a very very time consuming process. Testing and optimisation versus obviously when we're working on console or an arcade board for that matter, it has a known configuration that we can optimise for out of the gate."
The console versions, he notes, are released earlier as opposed to being held back until the PC version is ready because, quite simply, business dictates it. Who can blame them? Of course, the PC gaming industry would get a nice boost if all companies timed it so the PC and console versions released simultaneously, as Ubisoft did with Prince of Persia, for example. But this is not always feasible, especially given it takes millions of dollars of investment for a given game, and the figure only climbs with each version.
Capcom have done excellent jobs of bringing big franchises to the PC in the past (like Devil May Cry), with minimal digital rights management (DRM), and it sounds like they really know what they're doing with this one as well. A couple of us here are anxiously awaiting the game's arrival on the platform, and with that we say Capcom should take all the time they need as it can only mean a better game for us in the end.
Svennson pretty much confirms this, stating Street Fighter IV on the PC "could become the definitive version", adding, "I think you'll see a few extra bells and whistles on the PC version when that comes a little later this year too."