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Capcom finally dropped a statement on the whole backlash surrounding the implementation of in-game ads within Street Fighter V. Some gamers felt it was intrusive and annoying, others thought it was distracting, while some questioned why are in-game ads being implemented in a $60 game? Well, Capcom offered a response to the backlash, but it leaves a lot to be desired.
The executive producer of Street Fighter, Yoshinori Ono, made a statement that was shared on the official Street Fighter Twitter account. As you can see, it states that he thanks the community for the feedback and proceeds to say that Capcom will continue to gather feedback on the feature to improve it.
Part of the problem is that the in-game ads are rather visually obtrusive in the character selection menu and in some of the stages. Many gamers feel as if this will become a slippery slope and we'll soon see all sorts of ads running wild within premium priced games.
Some publishers have used the excuse that development costs require the inclusion of microtransactions on top of product sales, sort of like how Red Dead Redemption 2's online mode has gold bars for sale that allow gamers to pay their way through the game. However, it becomes a head-scratcher when Red Dead Redemption 2 sold 17 million copies at $60 within two week's time, generating over $1 billion in revenue, as reported by CNET.
Essentially gamers are wondering how much is needed to buy into the game so that they aren't hit with all the nickel and diming or in-game ads for premium priced games. Capcom tried to originally quell some of the outrage from the community by stating that the in-game ads within Street Fighter V could be disabled within the settings menu.
I think one of the issues is that the in-game ads are too conspicuous. Capcom introduced a lite version of the in-game ads during the EVO Championship Series by advertising EVO during the sports stages. There were no complaints about this kind of in-game advertising from the community because it looked cool and felt natural; the recent update of having ads on the characters' bodies during the selection loading screen and being advertised in some of the stages themselves was a bit much for some people.
But obviously the most common question is: what's the benefit of leaving in-game ads on? Well, players receive free Fight Money for keeping the in-game ads on, but the offerings are extremely paltry, and would require playing through thousands of matches before you could rack up enough Fight Money to buy something worthwhile. Some gamers in the Twitter thread suggested that if Capcom was going to use free-to-play monetization then the company should just make Street Fighter V free-to-play.
Others asked if it would be possible to at least increase the amount of Fight Money that the in-game ads produce so that it balances out. A few more simply wanted it gone because they fear that -- in addition to microtransactions, DLC packs, and loot boxes -- in-game ads will become a standard.
For now we'll have to wait on Capcom to make a decision based on the feedback, and hopefully it doesn't make things worse for the FGC or the Street Fighter V community.