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ATP Podcast Episode 24: Arcades Are Not Dead

It's been a while but we're back with another podcast. This time around, MYK and I have Rip on the show to discuss the current and future status of arcades in America, as well as some thoughts on TTT2. I'm pretty sure this is the most worked up I've ever gotten on a podcast since this topic is very important to me. Anyway, hope you guys enjoy it. 

As always, If you have any questions or suggestions, don't hesitate to leave comments or contact us at






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Avoiding the Puddle Episode #24 Arcades Are Not Dead

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Reader Comments (139)

Patching fightinggames post release is absolutely standard these days for consolegames. Not something I would worry about at all. I mean even MK and Marvel are on the patchbandwagon. Every rts and fps basically gets patched these days (last broodwar patch came how long after release?) and as another genre dependent on gamebalance fightinggames are following in line. Technology has helped a lot also with this being the first consol generation (xbox and ps3) with proper online functionality. I guess gamecompanies are learning as they go along also.

"why would you balance a game once its outside of it project cycle? "

Just of the top of my head;
Customer relations. It's embarrassing to the company with highly bug ridden software. Long time (next game) loss if many players of a series jump boat to another game. Giving exposure to a game and keeping it relevant in a very competitive market. Wanting to make you buy shitty DLC costumes down the line etc. Great unbalance kills life-cycles extremely fast. People who are interested in the game read at a gamesite it's broken / what not and there will be no patch functionality to fix it ... of course it effects sales. People were waiting for tekken trainingmode for DR a long time.

Friday, October 7, 2011 at 1:52 PM | Unregistered CommenterReality

do you even know when the last marvel patch was? i think you'll be surprised.

and your reason isn't good enough for most companies. once its outside their price cycle, how much more product do they move because of a "Balance patch"? who cares about life cycles; game companies would rather you pick up one of their new titles, not play the same one for years. they don't get money from you picking up a GH copy of T6 and playing it online for free, why would they extend the amount of time you are going to play? is a different business model, and every fps patch is accompanied by them selling you shit, and is dependent on market research if it even goes to dlc. does tekken have anything that 100,000 people will put down $5 more for? maybe paid practice mode, right?

please keep arguing about stuff you know about. embarrasing a company? namco puts out a game where you can molest anime pop stars. you think they are worried about being "embarrassed"? bottom line is anime pop stars gets them $$$, nothing else matters.

Friday, October 7, 2011 at 2:10 PM | Unregistered Commentersubt-L

[once its outside their price cycle, how much more product do they move because of a "Balance patch"?]
Balance adjustment patches help encourage potential customers who previously put off the original release of a game to buy the game. Hypothetical situation: Company X releases an unbalanced piece of garbage called Game Y. The Game Y meets sales projections but many customers complained and/or returned the game to the place of purchase, where it could be bought used by some other unfortunate douchebag.
Balance patches aren't about moving new product, it's about maintaining a loyal customer base. A loyal customer base helps sales of future titles... something SC5 is going to struggle with. That's not an ARCADE title, but I digress...

[every fps patch is accompanied by them selling you shit]
Errrrr.... nope. I don't ever remember installing a patch for Quake 3 Arena or Unreal Tournament and seeing some sort of advertisement for a current or upcoming product. When Steam patches I don't have to peruse the store until they finish; I can make a sandwich, for example. How your getting from advertisements and FPS patches very isn't clear.

[please keep arguing about stuff you know about.]
this shit's never gonna end, is it?

Friday, October 7, 2011 at 5:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterMiga-Oh

"do you even know when the last marvel patch was? i think you'll be surprised."

Actually I think you will be. 4th of October event 50 was unlocked by an onlineconnection. Even though this wasn't a balance patch it might as well could have been. Its still valid in argumentation as opposed to that gamecompanies don't support their games after release. I don't know if you've heard of this thing called consumer branding but it's all the rage these days. I don't know why you try to bring up an example of MVC3 either in your way of disregarding a product after it's release since it's clearly not in your favor. It's obvious that capcom listens to players whine and moan about balance in that game; many complained about them patching it to early and the sentinel health deduction being too steep. Ultimate marvel will arrive within a year of normal marvels release which is a record gamewise. I bet a lot of those playing T6 vanilla, the arcade game you put up for this grand comparison, vanilla would've loved BR to arrive that fast.

I'm sorry but saying that gamecompanies don't support their games after release these days is mute. Anyone with eyes and ears can see that is not the case.

"and your reason isn't good enough for most companies."
Says who? You?

"once its outside their price cycle, how much more product do they move because of a "Balance patch"?"

Right, Netherealms didn't push the MK patch prior to evo for any reason at all.

Friday, October 7, 2011 at 6:23 PM | Unregistered CommenterReality

about quake: and i'm sure all those patches really made them so extra... oh wait, quake in game advertisements.

steam patches because a screen pitching their products isn't earning them money.

mk patching because they aren't holding back characters to make you pay for them.

umvc3 because capcom isn't charging you $40 for the same shit. or sf4 where they are charging for the same shit.

loyal customer base is one thing. you can obviously fix BAD things. but its not like marvel fix dhc glitch and abusive xfactor boosts that were ruing the game, yet people are going to pay for umvc3.

even the argument of customer loyalty is still about money and them selling you shit. if the cost to submit a fix is more than the audience you will lose, then they still won't do it. arcade edition didn't sell well for shit, so capcom is putting out a free update to generate more revenue so people can buy the product they didn't even bother to advertise before? yeah... that's has NOTHING to do with money...

reality: if its so obvious, outside of mortal kombat who are trying to do everything they can so that people will stop treating them as a joke, please show me another fighting game that is actively patching their game past 3 month that isn't trying to get money out of you, and no, a timed unlock does not count.

if its so obvious.

this won't stop? if reality, and im not talking about the guy posting above me, can't convince you of the truth, then i'm sorry. namco isn't doing good. at all. its actually doing really bad. if you knew the industry instead of assuming every company is rolling in money like valve, then tekken's business model has made sense for when and where they made those decisions.

people think patching is as easy as one dude writing a code, plugging in numbers and putting it in the game. changing one line of code to give to the world can cost up to hundreds of thousands of dollars, and none of those patches can be statistically linked to increase player purchases. factor in losses from recouping stores for discounted inventory and sale prices, you can break your company if you are carelessly patching your game on consoles. so unless you are going to change psn/xbl's business model, you console only players who feel patches will run free in the wild, you are either going to have to front the price with dlc or the company is going to...

and if the company has a choice, they'll rather have you pick up the bill or not do it at all. business is business.

yet in an arcade, i can play (and enjoy) 6.0, namco is happy because they are getting money from, they are getting money from arcades, they are funding their own patches without having to deal with psn/xbl fees, and are not limited by anyone but themselves. makes you wonder why they chose arcade only release...

Friday, October 7, 2011 at 9:32 PM | Unregistered Commentersubt-L

One thing, I don't know where the misconception of the Banapass costing big $$ came from. A Banapass costs 300 yen and you never have to replace it, which is much cheaper than the 500 yen T6BR IC cards you had to replace after 500 uses. And yes you can play TTT2 without having to ever buy a Banapass/card just like any other Tekken.

Friday, October 7, 2011 at 11:45 PM | Unregistered CommenterTekkenReplays

Good lord.
Tekken is amazing.
Playing at home with friends offline is incredibly fun.
If you're lucky enough to play it in arcades,it's brilliant there.
Online can get chuggy,but isn't unplayable,and if you like it,play the hell out of it.

Why the hell is (almost)everyone attacking each other for how they play the game?
I love Tekken and don't want to see it die in any fashion.

Stop the verbal dick punching and pick up a stick.

Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 11:10 PM | Unregistered CommenterBlufr

I've been waiting for a new podcast, thanks.
Excellent topic.

As much as i "enjoy" playing online T6 i know it is not a good translation of what a dedicated arcade cab can provide. Sure its great to have it home, but its just a mere reflection of the "real" T6. people forget that in an arcade cab, you and your opponent are playing on a machine that 1-Has STANDARD parts, and 2-Has a STANDARD version of the game. This creates an equal playing field for competition. You cannot guarantee any of these details online. Some people use turbo, some people play pad, others may have a weak internet connection and some people just plain find ways to cheat, which i think ruins the whole experience. For those that say arcades should die, they are just ignorant fools who enjoy mashing buttons against their little sister and racking up hella W's (LOL!). Putting it this way, who cares what you did in little league (console T6) as its not the major leagues(arcade T6) . To those who complain "thats all i got", well not everyone can make it to the majors, right? It might seem harsh to those decent online players, but its true IMHO.
Hope this isn't something off topic but, we complain that arcades shouldn't die, yet all i saw at EVO for T6 were mostly pad players. I don't recall seeing any pads at Tekken Crash. At least people using sticks would show that the arcade "essence" is still a basis for high-level competitive play, especially in a major U.S. tournament. I wonder if i'm the only person who feels this way. I'm sure NBG noticed...Before i'm judged, i'm just a regular guy who started playing games again as an adult, yes i'm old school and remember the old arcade days and hate to see them wither away.
My two cents.

Sunday, October 9, 2011 at 5:10 PM | Unregistered Commenterheckler3000

Do you guys want balance patches from the results/feedback of communities that put in the time at arcades or do you guys want patches done through the feedback of online warriors, along with the fact that most online infrastructures (USA) will continue to be a joke?

Sunday, October 9, 2011 at 8:25 PM | Unregistered CommenterJaguar_C

Every major tournament in the US is played on Console...nice try heckler

Monday, October 10, 2011 at 12:55 PM | Unregistered Commenterdefx

for those wondering, this debate most likely started because of offline players challenging the "realness" of online tekken. in addition to experienced offline players who refuse to play online, there are a good number of experienced offline players who choose to play online regularly, while still complaining about tekken online and online players. if not for that, there probably wouldnt be a dispute between these two factions. naturally, being associated with the group under attack, online players get defensive and argue in kind.

while it is true that online is not exactly the same as playing offline, it is also true that trends clearly show that arcade play is on the decline. sure, you may see a resurgence of offline play with each new game release, but this is a fleeting phenomenon, running its course until the same game becomes playable online, on a console. the folks who want to keep arcades alive are simply outnumbered by others who dont really care if they die. thats not to say you shouldnt keep playing in arcades if you want to, or with friends offline; but if things continue as they have been--well, you know...

complaining about online play will only serve to evoke emotive responses from online players who outnumber offline players, and--lets face it--are the preferred consumer. venting frustrations about the trends relating to arcades and online players in public will only subject your views to counter argument, and it wont do anything to buck the trend causing your aggravation. its better to just enjoy what you have while you still can, and leave it at that.

Monday, October 10, 2011 at 5:31 PM | Unregistered Commenteronlinewarrior

You guys are awesome keep making this... Over and Out

mickey mouse operation

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 7:58 AM | Unregistered CommenterR4zyel

wow very interesting thread, where was I when this was first posted... even though its late cant help but post my own opinion. Honestly speaking even if there was arcade around me I still wouldnt go, dont have the time and even if I did have the time I would rather take my gf to the movies.. I started playing tekken online and thats how I enjoy it, yes arcade version might be awesome and all but online is what I know and I love it just as it is. That said I obviously dont want to see the arcade scene dead cause then I wouldnt be able watch the streams and learn from top players. Also I must give credit to the arcades cause its used as testing grounds before the finished product is released to people like me who are really namco's biggest customers. at the end of the day both sides support each other so cant we all just get along.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at 5:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterCauselessRebel

you can never replace what the arcade feel is.

eff namco.

Monday, October 17, 2011 at 6:06 PM | Unregistered Commenterbrnsntrn

I am one of the oldest Tekken players (39), and have been playing Tekken since T1. I used to practically live in arcades in Ohio and TN, as well as worked in several of them.

Regardless of my past, I know when it's time to accept change.. and the video game world is always changing. I will miss the arcades deeply.. but like anything else, I will get over it. I already have.

I don't use my internet for playing online fighters (tried it, didn't like it because of the lag). I get together with a group of friends to play offline.. and that's good enough for me (us).

There will come a day where online play has zero lag here in NA, but that is still several years away.

In all, as long as there are players like me and my friends out there, there is nothing to worry about. Tekken/fighting games will still happen as long there is demand, regardless of the inevitable death of the remaining arcades.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 at 4:38 AM | Unregistered CommenterThe Dude

"Arcades are dead" is a fucking meme. The people that say that shit are just repeating what they heard some other asshole say. I've had people say that to me before and they are always people that didn't go to arcades when they were everywhere and sure as hell haven't been to one lately.

Saturday, October 22, 2011 at 6:26 PM | Unregistered Commenterhexcrass

If Planet Zero wasn't a 35+ mile drive each way from where I live, I would go there much more often. They've had KOF 13 for many months there and I've been up to a total of three separate times to go play that game almost exclusively but the gas usage from those trips was too much for me to deal with.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 at 11:46 AM | Unregistered CommenterXTG

I don't believe in not supporting arcades, but just as you say its ignorant to say arcades are dead I think it ignorant for you to say playing online isn't the way tekken is supposed to be played. And its really dumb for you "you shouldn't play it if you couldn't play it offline." If you factor in all the people who play online and they just suddenly didn't play or if there was no online mode, do you know how much money Namco would lose out on because they wouldn't buy the game? And you talk about embrace the new times and all this other shit. You should start listening to your own ideals.

Sunday, November 6, 2011 at 8:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterRezz

Dude release a podcast why don't you do them anymore.... I check your site every week and no new podcast there's been so much news and I'm wanting to hear your views on it

Wednesday, June 20, 2012 at 3:33 AM | Unregistered Commenterlstr

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