Fuck me.

Why was it decided that Lost Swords would be singleplayer only?

The reason that we went singleplayer…well, originally, we were thinking about having a multiplayer option, but because we’re going with a pay-to-win model, we were worried that by having online multiplayer, for all the new users that would be coming in experiencing the game for the first time, they might be immediately deterred by fighting against opponents who had superior equipment and gear—and we didn’t want to have that kind of negative impact on new players.

In the singleplayer experience, having a pay-to-win structure won’t impede the player’s experience with the game.

What’s sad is that they’re blatantly calling it a Pay-To-Win model. And are aware that no one likes this business model. Yet they’re going along with it anyway, confident that it will succeed.

A fighting game necessitates multiplayer. It is the purest form of competitive multiplayer. Removing the multiplayer, more or less, removes the main reason people play fighting games.

The problem of Soul Calibur since Soul Blade was that the games treated themselves more like RPGs than actual fighting games. Players would find themselves customizing their characters/weapons/what not more so than actually fighting. Soul Calibur 4 became more about stats and equipment rather than skill and execution, mainly because the fighting in Soul Calibur isn’t really good. Even then, it’s still fun to bash your opponents in brutal ways.

Namco’s proposition to exclude multiplayer from a fighting game is insane for a multitude of reasons, but their stated proposal is to not alienate anyone from their desired business model. Pay-to-Win is unpopular for good reason. Having to purchase digital items with real money to gain a statistical advantage in a video game causes divides and balance issues. Cutting out the multiplayer only masks the problem. That you are banking on the players to be addicted enough to pay money to get further and further into the game. But who wants to play a single player fighting game? One that you have to “Pay to Win” against an AI opponent? Fighting the AI is simply not fun. Artificial opponents are, no matter what the programming, prone to one-dimensional patterns where they perform the same moves over and over and might lose or win too much depending on the programming. Essentially, this would admit that Namco’s AI programming is terrible and that Soul Calibur can’t be a game measured by it’s fighting mechanics, but more so it’s RPG elements.

This is beyond the threshold of insanity. But what is most concerning is how comfortable they are with calling it what it is. As though they don’t fear losing money off of Lost Swords. It really shows just how confident Japanese developers are in digital considering almost all of the big J devs profits are coming from digital releases. After all, Tekken Revolution was clearly getting more users than Tag 2 was.

With SoulCalibur: Lost Swords, who are you trying to target? Traditional SoulCalibur fans or brand new players?

It might be a little bit of a cop-out answer, but we are trying to target everyone—old fans and new players alike. We definitely value our player base and we want to maintain the quality of the SoulCalibur franchise, but at the same time, this game is definitely catered towards an audience who will experience the franchise for the first time.

He says this while acknowledging the existence of an installment that killed the series and removed fan favorites and changed move inputs for no good reason, rushing production so that the game would not have to compete with Tekken Tag Tournament 2, and just being more animu than it needed to be.

No need to elaborate on how hollow his words are. But it’s worth noting that Namco wishes for audience substitution, much like many Japanese developers today. It seems to be incredibly widespread across the country. Yeah sure, it’s been a good 20 years, but geez.

Can you talk about the difference between western and eastern free-to-play or mobile markets?

In regards to moving to free-to-play, in regards to the user base, the Japanese audience is very cooperative, and we’re very happy about that. The reason for going free-to-play wasn’t so much about the business model itself, but the idea that we wanted to expand the market to the more casual user, and we thought that the free-to-play mold would fit that model better.

This is a telling statement that really shows Namco’s contempt for people who do not agree to their way, and seems to paint a nasty picture of Japanese developers in general, namely Sega. But what’s more is that if Japanese audiences are easily lapping it up, that doesn’t bode well for the rest of world. We don’t like everything the Japanese is accepting of, but if Japanese developers are gonna keep assuming that w/e works in Japan will work everywhere else, they’re going to be globally irrelevant as the years go on. They might be already considering all the games they desire to produce now is exclusively appealing to the Japanese. There’s nothing coming out of Japan that has global appeal anymore.

*sigh*, it’s like reading news about mad men who came up with a new scheme to get money that no one likes, but they’re so sure of it because 5 year olds fall for it. I guess I’ll put Soul Calibur in the “dead franchise” category. It’s been butchered for the last 3 entires thanks to the Tekken whores and the unnecessary changes have ruined the games for the worst. And now this!?

I think I just threw up a little bit in my mouth. F2P and the causualization of games is ruining my hobby.

This is F2P done horribly wrong. An online model like League of Legends would have been much better, where you are just buying characters and skins. I’m sure this game forces you to grind for “gold” to buy necessary items if you don’t pay money.

This makes free players bored/mad because they have to grind, and it makes paying players mad because they are being nickeled and dimed so they can match the artificially increasing difficult ramp.

Fantastic. I hope they come out with a new Samurai Shodown. Probably not.