It cost Bandai Namco absolutely nothing to put Akuma in Tekken 7: Fated Retribution
Ever since it was first revealed that Street Fighter’s iconic character Akuma was exclusively in Tekken 7: Fated Retribution, discussions about how this came about have been in abundance. Some thought maybe this was a way to test a Street Fighter character and its mechanics in preparation for Tekken x Street Fighter. Others speculated that since TxSF has taken so long to come out that maybe this was a way of calling it “even” between Bandai Namco and Capcom. Well, neither of those theories are correct.
In a recent interview with Tecmundo, Senior Game Designer for Tekken, Michael Murray revealed it was something much deeper than that. Here’s what he said:
There are many steps and layers to it. At first one would think that as we are talking about two Japanese companies that the negotiation would be simple and easy but in reality, the rights of the Street Fighter franchise belonging to the American division of Capcom. So even if producers Yoshinori Ono and Katsuhiro Harada talked among themselves and decided something at a particular level, yet the Japanese offices and Americans would have to negotiate all the paperwork for it but, on the other hand, we do not pay anything for Akuma licensing.
Many think so, but the truth is that no, we do not pay. The reason for this is that we have an interesting agreement with Capcom because we are holders of multiple patents related to training mode in fighting games.Patents related to what appears on the screen and playing hits by the player. Many fighting games would like to use these systems but could not because we are the owners of the patents.
So we allow Capcom to use these systems in exchange for the character license. After the American firm was convinced of this strategy, the process was simple from there.
Welcome to the real world of video gaming. Tecmundo believes that patent Michael may be referring to is US6764401 B1, which was registered in 2004. Patents are so detailed though, so it could be one or more patents involved.
And who knew that the Tekken training mode was that advanced, so much so that Capcom would be willing to part with Akuma? That’s huge. It also reveals that a lot of thought goes into making Tekken. It isn’t just thrown together on the fly. The fact that a patent is involved reveals as much. And this should help fans understand why a game can take so long to plan, develop, and release. Red tape. It’s a good thing Bandai Namco has been creating Tekken for over 20 years, and due to that they probably possess a boatload of patents related to Tekken.
You learn something new everyday.