Capcom’s rivalry with SNK and why Capcom was slow to produce 3D fighting games

BlackaneseNiNjA

-餓狼伝説弟子-
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Fantastic video from Yoshiki Okamoto :buttrock:
The channel is full of industry secrets and is really interesting for those of you who also love learning about the behind-the-scenes world of arcade game development.
 
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sirlynxalot

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I watched a lot of this but didn't quite get the explanation of the reasons.

It sounded like one reason they kept doing 2d fighters instead of 3d fighters was because SNK was a rival company that did 2d fighters (but its not really explained why this rival relationship made capcom continue doing them, was it for social or cultural reasons to maintain the rivarly? Or maybe capcom felt that SNK would completely steal the 2d fighter market if they stopped and it was still a lucrative market at that time?).

Another reason the guy mentions is that capcom had its 2d fighters in the front of the arcades, which is the best physical location, and didn't want to push them out of that position into the back of the arcade, or out of the arcade - however, he explains they will only exist in the front of the arcade while the games are new, suggesting that capcom kept making new 2d fighters so its 2d fighters could continue to be in the front (but this just sounds like a reason for why capcom had to continue making new games in general, rather than an explanation of why it had to keep making 2d fighters instead of replacing aging 2d fighters with new 3d fighters?).
 

BillyJoelZeta

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It’s very popular these days to make videos with titles like “The real reason…” or “The truth behind…” or “Why/How [something happened/didn’t happen]” and then never actually explain it in the video. What they usually really mean is they will take you through it step by step.
 

BillyJoelZeta

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This was a really good video. It makes perfect sense to me now, thinking back on how things were at the time.

They way he talks about wearing out the fan base…I for sure remember feeling that. Once I got good at SuperTurbo or Zero2 or Second Impact I frankly really wasn’t interested in a new game coming out and me having to learn how to be good again. SFZ3 and the CvS games felt very not worth learning…but I can’t say I hurt sales from me as I usually bought most of those titles.

I can see their situation. What he didn’t really mention was that Virtua Fighter may have been proof of the future everyone knew was coming…but it also sucked and nobody played it due to it being near zero fun. It wasn’t at the front of the arcade where the money was…but they knew some day a 3D game would be. They had to get into 3D, but now? If you switch with a main product it would suck because Cap/SNK didn’t know how to do it yet. If your game goes to the back of the arcade then it makes no money and you will make no more games. Who would be first to commit suicide by committing fully to 3D fighting? He feels they stayed locked into this too long, which is why Namco and to a lesser extent Sega own %75 of that business now. In the end SNK went bankrupt and Capcom left arcades selling Street Fighter to the American side. Together they ruled 2D fighting, easily made the best, and almost went out of business when the trend they were so firmly entrenched in died off.

It is interesting that 2D games, and 2D fighting games even, still get made. Eventually 2D and 3D came to both be popular, nobody should have felt the push for 3D as strong as they did. It forced a thousand+ horrible polygonal games to be make nobody ever enjoyed. Nintendo knew…
 

mhell06

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I watched a lot of this but didn't quite get the explanation of the reasons.

It sounded like one reason they kept doing 2d fighters instead of 3d fighters was because SNK was a rival company that did 2d fighters (but its not really explained why this rival relationship made capcom continue doing them, was it for social or cultural reasons to maintain the rivarly? Or maybe capcom felt that SNK would completely steal the 2d fighter market if they stopped and it was still a lucrative market at that time?).

Another reason the guy mentions is that capcom had its 2d fighters in the front of the arcades, which is the best physical location, and didn't want to push them out of that position into the back of the arcade, or out of the arcade - however, he explains they will only exist in the front of the arcade while the games are new, suggesting that capcom kept making new 2d fighters so its 2d fighters could continue to be in the front (but this just sounds like a reason for why capcom had to continue making new games in general, rather than an explanation of why it had to keep making 2d fighters instead of replacing aging 2d fighters with new 3d fighters?).
I understood it as they didn't have time to do R&D for 3d hardware/games because it would risk them losing their place in front of the arcade, especially with SNK releasing games every other month.
 

Mr. Karate II

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The Content creators like Yoshiki Okamoto are one of the few reasons I continue to pay the ADSL every single month.
 

Tarma

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I thought the reason they carried on putting out 2D fighting games is because they were generally preferred over 3D fighters... both SNK and Capcom put out 3D fighters in the mid-90s and none of them did well at all, hence why the Hyper-64 was such a big flop.
 

Evan

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I thought the reason they carried on putting out 2D fighting games is because they were generally preferred over 3D fighters... both SNK and Capcom put out 3D fighters in the mid-90s and none of them did well at all, hence why the Hyper-64 was such a big flop.
Yeah and also since the MVS was so prevalent in arcades in made sense to continue to make games for the hardware.
 

bulbousbeard

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The truth is that Street Fighter 2 was the only one that really crossed over into the mainstream globally. Capcom could never figure out where to go with it. As they made the games more complicated they lost the casual audience, and none of the later games were really as fun or as good as SF2.

And if you want to know the real reason anything is ever done is the video game industry, it's because of money. CPS2 games were cheap to produce and cheap for operators to buy just like the Neo Geo, and that's why they hung onto them for so long.

If CPS2 protection had been broken earlier, they would have dropped that platform like a bad habit.
 

Tarma

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It's an interesting watch, and I may keep tabs on his future posts, but I don't think his memory is as good as it might be.

He says Resident Evil saved Capcom at the time SNK was going under and helped Capcom change course. Well, Resident Evil came out in '96 and SNK didn't hit the skids until 4 years later.... by which time Capcom had produced three sequels and a number of spin-offs.

Capcom did a number of 3D fighting games over the same period as well - Star Gladiator, Street Fighter EX and Rival Schools.

Whether Capcom was in trouble in 1996, I don't know, but seeing as that was only just beyond the peak of Street Fighter II's success, I would be asking - where did all the money go???

SNK on the other hand wasted its success (financially) on developing the Hyper-64 and the Neo-Geo Pocket.

At least Capcom had the sense to dip its toes into the 3D brawler scene by using someone elses tech, rather throwing cash at a proprietary system.
 

Ralfakick

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I’ll watch the video when I get a chance but wasn’t Capcom Fighting Evolution produced because they abandoned a 3D project that was being done by ex SNK staff that didn’t have too much experience with 3D?

I think it’s mentioned in here if I remember correctly


I still liked EX 2 and Rival schools etc and think they exist fine not part of the main series. At least we have Fighting EX Layer on PS4 and arcades which have the same spirit as those
 
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joe8

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I've played SFIV, it's a decent game, but I still think 2D is better for fighting games.
SFIII and KOF had flashy graphics, while still being 2D.
With 3D games, you can't really see eveything that's happening, at one time- the camera has to switch viewing angles all the time, to try to let you see everything that's going on in the fight. Which isn't the case with 2D fighters- you can see everything that's going on between the two fighters, all of the time, with no delay. Which makes it easier to play your best game.

Two other reasons Capcom stuck with 2D, was that they really believed it was better for fighters (hence SFIII was 2D), and just like SNK with their Neo Geo, Capcom's programmers were masters of 2D programming, but not 3D. From what I understand, programming in 3D is very different to 2D.
 
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