UK community expresses frustration and feedback with Bandai Namco’s Tekken 7 access
The order and manner in which a new Tekken game is rolled out has been a matter of discussion, frustration, and ridicule for many years. The order is more or less this: the game comes out in arcades first in Asian markets, and then the rest of the world generally has to wait 2-2.5 years for a console release. That’s it. This business-model has existed for twenty years or more.
Tekken developers Katsuhiro Harada and Michael Murray have expressed that this business model actually has the best interest of the console player in mind. The arcade releases pretty much serve as a testing phase, allowing Bandai Namco to balance the game, remove bugs, implement new features and much more. And the money they make, much of it is poured back into research and development. There is a method to the madness.
With Tekken 7 Bandai Namco has shown that they understand people’s frustration with this approach and have tried to ease the pain a bit. They put together a North American Tekken Tour to give players access to the Tekken 7, as well as chance to win big money and qualify for the King of the Iron Fist Tournament at the end of this year. But as you could expect, if you’re not from North America, this means nothing to you. If you’re from Europe or South America you still feel a huge void.
North America isn’t exactly busting at the seams with Tekken 7 gameplay though. Let’s be honest, no-one has access quite like Japan and Korea. Not even Australia. And though there is a Tekken Tour here in North America, it’s not as widespread as you think. Hundreds of thousands have still not touched the game, and the only place in the USA that Tekken 7 can be played continually is a place called Level 257 in a small town in Illinois. And guess what? It’s only a Tekken 7 Vanilla cabinet.
So, is it time for Bandai Namco to change this business model? Even Gamespot editors have stated that if Tekken 7 didn’t come out this year (yes, this year; as in 2016), it could possibly be the end of the Tekken franchise. Well, I don’t quite agree with that, but I think things will need to change for future installments, because the current model has several adverse side-effects. One, it gives Asian players an unfair advantage in tournaments. Two, it frustrates the Tekken community because they have to wait a few years before a game comes out. There are other factors, but it’s not worth talking about at this juncture. Bottomline is that Bandai Namco knows, understands, and wants to improve things.
In a video released just today, UK Tekken and Street Fighter player Justin ‘KingJae’ Nelson recently attended the Legends of Gaming tournament and was disappointed to learn that he and other Tekken players had no access to Tekken 7: Fated Retribution. Yet, popular YouTuber’s like Ali-A did (a Call of Duty YouTuber). He shares his disappointment with how Bandai Namco has handled the rollout of Tekken 7 in the UK. He also compares it to his experience with Street Fighter.
KingJae isn’t the only UK player to have such sentiments. This is just the latest.
But while some people don’t like how things are going, there are others like YouTuber EternalDragon, also from the UK, who actually welcomes this business-model and doesn’t want to see it change. He published this video a few days ago.
So, what do you think? Does Bandai Namco need to change their approach? Could this business-model end up destroying Tekken in the long run? Some may argue that this approach is why Tekken has fallen behind in popularity and appeal when compared to Street Fighter. It’s plausible.
At any rate, share your feedback in the comments.