Protest as we might, PC versions of big-name console games arriving later than their disc-bound cousins increasingly seems to be a fact of gaming life. We’ve heard all manner of excuses in the past, from polish to piracy, but Capcom have just offered their own reasoning for why we see the likes of Resi and Street Fighter amble onto PC weeks later than their console kin.
Short answer: “Quite often, PC development starts when the console development finishes or nearly finishes.”
My obvious reply: “Er, why not start it earlier then?”
Capcom’s unwritten counter-response that I’m entirely guessing about and thus fabricating: “Because our devs don’t have big enough teams.”
My hugely presumptuous counter-counter-response to imagined counter-response: “But this does mean that you’ve not designed PC versions with the PC in mind from day-one, right? You’re just hurriedly adapting what’s already been completed for console, yes?”
Capcom’s made-up (by me) riposte: “Look, you’ve just invented this entire conversation (apart from the first line) so there’s no way you’re not going to set us up to look bad, is there?”
My anxious response: “Er. But if your words are just a figure of my imagination, how come I’m the one who’s ended up looking like a twonk? I must really hate myself :(”
So yeah, that’s my fabricated bullpoo. Let’s get back to real words now. Capcom’s longer explanation, as spoken by senior vice-president Christian Svensson in this forum thread: “Unless we start sitting on the console code and not releasing it until the PC development is complete (which we can’t do from a business planning perspective), there’s going to continue to be some small gaps, unfortunately.”
They note that there have been plenty of simultaneous PC releases, however: Dark Void, Bionic Commando, BCR, MotoGP, Dead Rising 2, Dead Rising 2:OTR. The Street Fighters and Resis seem to be the main losers in this regard, and that remains the case with Street Fighter x Tekken and Resident Evil 6.
I suppose I’m not surprised, as console is very much the main audience for those franchises, but it does seem a shame that they can’t add a few more people to the dev teams so we can all share in the joy at the same time.