I feel those that have played Street Fighter V know where we’re going with this one.
I’m not the biggest Street Fighter fan, it’s arguably the best fighting game on the market and can be played (and enjoyed) by filthy casuals like myself or hardened veterans like the ones you see at MLG and Evo and all that goodness.
The problem with Street Fighter V however, is its lack of content from day 1. All you get is 16 characters (which I understand is pretty standard for beat em ups), a survival mode, online matches and a prologue to a story mode which will go live ‘sometime in March’. I was genuinely insulted when I first booted up Street Fighter V and there was no content, this was a game which cost me around the £50 mark.
This leads me to the problem, early access is nothing new. It has been a thing on Steam for a few years now, it allows indie developers to get income from a product which isn’t quite finished but can still put food on the table for the small team of developers. I don’t have a problem with that, what I have a problem with is when big triple A companies start to roll out early access bullshit with little to no public knowledge of them doing so, going back to Street Fighter V if you were a casual Street Fighter fan like me and the new Street Fighter came out you’d think to yourself, “Oh, cool, there’s a new Street Fighter out”, you’d check the release date for the game, go and buy it get it home and play it. Little would you know though to your surprise that there’s literally nothing here, you’d be pissed off and if you’re reading this chances are you bought Street Fighter V and you are pissed off.
Similar thing happened to Star Wars Battlefront, that game dropped it’s single player campaign, replaced it with a shoe string of single player missions with a few objectives per mission a multiplayer mode which in all fairness is great but the difference between the two titles is that one of the titles has its extra content for free and even with the extra characters you don’t have to spend real money on them, you can use in game currency which at the same time as complaining about Street Fighter V, this is a nice thing to see in a time where video games are plagued with DLC this and season pass that… Moving on to Battlefront again, the “Complete Edition” of Star Wars Battlefront cost about £100. A similar thing happened with Batman Arkham Knight with a $30 season pass with bare minimum content within this season pass… But then again Warner Bros. are kind of the worst when it comes to video game releases, EA gets a lot of flack but there are other companies that deserve it as well.
Within the indie game space I have no issue with early access, it’s a good way for developers to get fan feedback and it gets a few quid in the door to help the development process of a small team making a game, what I do have a problem is when big companies like Capcom release early access games at full whack with little to no interaction with the general public. It’s like walking into a shop buying a sandwich and them handing you two slices of bread and saying “Oh, com back next week for your filling”. You’d tell them to f*ck off.