More bang for the Buck – Video Games and New Added Content

There is a GREAT trend going on in the gaming industry these days – with all gaming platforms from the PC to the X-box/Playstation/Wii being integrated with high speed Internet, game developers have discovered something revolutionary: its possible to not only MAKE a great game, but also extend its lifetime in a gamer’s liberary by adding free content at later dates.

This process has gone on for years now with MMORPG’s, but now the industry in general is catching on. A great example is Street Fighter Iv – with its huge single player mode and online modes already packaged with the game, the game has TONS to do and is a great entertainment value. It also recieved great reviews accross the board, with most major media outlets giving it a 9.5 score or better.

Even then – Capcom decided to EXPAND the available content FOR FREE, adding tournament modes and a system similar but much more expansive than the arena challenges in WoW.  This move is great business practice, making their existing product last longer, and also creating user loyalty for their products. Here is a press release they offered on the subject:

Championship Mode, in a nutshell, means hot tournament action and match replays that let you watch the best of the best. Championship Mode goes live for both PS3 and Xbox 360 on Friday, April 24, and it comes entirely FREE.

For anyone that wants more than will fit in a nutshell…

Tournaments:
The tournaments offer a new take on classic SFIV competition. They are broken out into 5 different levels, which means everyone can participate and find a good challenge without getting blown out of the water or bored. You score Grade Points (GP) for tournament wins, and as your GP total grows, you’ll become eligible to enter into more exclusive tournaments. Winning tournaments will also net you Championship Points (CP). The CP work basically like “prize money” up for grabs in the tournament. The higher the GP skill of the players in a particular tournament, the bigger the CP prize!

 

In true tournament tradition, character selection is double-blind. With the CP purse on the line, you won’t be able to see who your opponent has picked until you’ve both made your choices, and the battle is set to begin.

The tournaments are run according to a standard type of single-elimination bracket, but your opponents are generated dynamically. This means the matching system will automatically match you with a player of your skill level participating in that tournament type, so you don’t have to wait around. Since the tournaments are already seeded by player strength, you’re assured quality opponents at your same skill level, as fast as possible. If you can advance through the rounds to take a top placing, you’ll score GP and CP. As your points increase, you’re eligible for tournaments with increasingly strong opponents.

–SG Championship (SUPER GRADE): 5 rounds long. The highest grade championship in which only top players can participate.
–G1 Championship (GRADE 1):5 rounds long, for advanced players
–G2 Championship (GRADE2 2): 4 rounds long, for intermediate players
–G3 Championship (GRADE3) 3 rounds long, for beginners
–FREE Championship (Free Grade): 4 rounds long, open to anyone regardless of their level.

The tournament system is set up to reward you for participating. At G3, you actually score a point even if you get knocked out in your very first match. At G2, you don’t gain points for a first-round loss, but don’t lose any either. Similarly, you never lose points by participating in the FREE rank tournaments. Only in the top G1 and SG tournaments is it possible to lose GP, and even then you only ever lose 5 points for a first-round loss.

One of the best things about the new mode is that can play in tournaments in just the same way you can use the “arcade request” feature, so you’re free to play in arcade mode while waiting for your next tournament challenger, who will be chosen automatically based on your rank.

Last, but most certainly not least, disconnecters, aka pullers, aka ragequitters, your days are numbered: If you disconnect during a match, the system will also dock you your progress in the tournament, so pullers will never be able to advance into the higher ranks of tournaments. What’s even more fun is that the system also happily displays your disconnect percentage, so if you’ve got a bad habit, it’s right there for everyone to see.

Replays
Replays are generated straight from the Championship Mode tournaments. The top 5000 Championship Point leaders will be given the option to upload a replay, which are then available for anyone to watch. Everyone on both X360 and PS3 will have be able to watch any of the replays on their platform, but there are also some system-specific extra features on the replays:

On PS3, viewers can watch your replay and vote in real time according to characteristics like “beautiful” or “funny.” For the nerds, you can vote once every 30 frames (that’s 2x a second!), although there is a cap to avoid total vote spamming. Replays will be ranked according to the user-submitted reviews, making it easy to find the flavor of replays you want to see.

On X360, you can’t vote on the matches, but you can watch and then save a number of your favorites. While watching your saved matches, you’ll also have the option to turn on input commands (just like the Training Mode option), so you can see the gritty details of exactly what button and joystick inputs the top players are using to win.

And just for good meansure, the full press release is below:

Update to Street Fighter IV: Championship Mode comes free!

Capcom is bringing new options to Street Fighter IV with an eye towards serious players. Street Fighter IV’s Championship Mode update expands on the fighting fun by offering players the chance to compete in tournaments and to watch replays of the best tournament matches. Best of all: it comes to you at no cost! The Championship Mode update will be available for both PS3 and Xbox 360 owners on Friday, April 24 (times TBD).

Championship Mode offers you the chance to compete in 5 different grades of tournaments, creating the right challenge for players of every skill level. You’ll score Grade Points (GP) for tournament wins, and as your GP total grows, you’ll become eligible to enter into more exclusive tournaments. Winning tournaments will also net you Championship Points (CP). CP are like “prize money” up for grabs in the tournament. The higher the GP skill of the players in a particular tournament, the bigger the CP prize!

Replay Mode allows you to select and watch the best Championship Mode tournament matches.

On the PlayStation Network, you can rate matches while you watch according to characteristics such as “awesome” or “funny.” Replays are then ranked based on these vote ratings.

On Xbox Live, instead of rating the matches, you can choose to download and save your favorite replays to study the players’ techniques. You’ll also be able to turn on the input commands from both players to be able to review their button and joystick motions in precise detail.

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~ by asickler on April 17, 2009.

One Response to “More bang for the Buck – Video Games and New Added Content”

  1. Stop gap fun. That’s all this is until Starcraft 2 and Diablo 3 come out.

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