TEKKEN 6 In The USA: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

Hardcore Tekken fans all over the USA are all wondering one thing, WHEN. When will Tekken 6 be playable for us? While Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Great Britain, Hong Kong, China and other countries are all enjoying the latest installment of our favorite series… Tekken supporters in the United States(Except Houston, TX) are crying inside for a chance to finally play Tekken 6. For the full story on Tekken 6 coming to the US, click below…

TEKKEN 6 In The USA: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

by Mark Julio aka MarkMan

THE GOOD

Tekken 6 has been doing amazingly well so far outside of the United States. In Japan, Enterbrain’s Arcadia Gaming Charts show Tekken 6 towering over the competition. This may not be a surprise considering T6 is the only real ‘new’ game out at the moment, but it just shows that Namco put the game out in the right place, at the right time.

The general consensus from competitive Tekken 6 players in Japan show that the game is well received. At first many people were skeptical at the high damage and new systems the game had, but as the weeks progressed into months, more and more people started playing and the game has turned into a successful competitive game both inside and outside of tournament play. Namco has been constantly listening to feedback from both arcade operators and top Tekken players and it shows through the regular updates and system changes that are implemented to balance things out.

In Korea, Tekken 6 is in full effect at all the major arcade locations. The pull of a new game is drawing out players new and old, from all over. This early popularity is easily comparable, if not more than when Tekken 5 was first released in late 2004.

Legendary Tekken 4 & Tekken 5 player MaDDoGJiN is even back from the dead (he’s done with his mandatory Korean military service) and is currently among the highest ranked players with his Zafina and Hwoarang.


He’s BAAAAAAACCCCCCCCK!!!!!!!

Any country that has Tekken 6 pretty much, a safe bet would be that 1) it is making money, and 2) it is very popular. The popularity and attention the game is getting overseas is a good thing… At least we’d like to think… Right?

THE BAD

Tekken 6 is not receiving an official arcade release in the United States. Since Namco USA’s arcade division has closed down awhile ago there will be no distribution for this title.(EDIT 03/15/08; WCMaxi who works for Namco Ltd., has informed us that Namco’s arcade division is still up and running in the US.  Sorry for any confusion). Namco tested the waters at the recent IAAPA show in Orlando, Florida in late 2007 and while Tekken 6 garnered interest from buyers and attendees… It just didn’t sell like it normally would.

If the interest was there, why didn’t it sell? Well, for one thing. The current state of arcade gaming in the United States. Let’s face it, arcades aren’t what they used to be. Since the big arcade game boom and the days of Street Fighter II are now behind us, the arcade industry has seen a gradual decline year after year. The ever growing popularity of PC gaming and home consoles have caused both the hardcore and casual arcade gamers to waver away from the arcades more and more.

Tekken 5 was released in American arcades in late November 2004. Arcade owners enjoyed a good amount of money in a short amount of time… Then Namco announced in Feb. of 2005 that Tekken 5 would be released that same month on the PlayStation 2 console. Arcade owners felt cheated and many casual players stopped playing at the arcade. It was definitely a blow to the arcade industry. Could arcade owners be skeptical about making such an investment this time around? Did Namco jinx themselves? That’s just one thing to think about. The other is PRICE.

A dedicated Tekken 5 machine went for about $6,000 USD when it was first released. Buying a dedicated machine was the only way to get the game when it first came out, so many arcade owners went on and purchased the game for their customers in hopes to at least break even. When the console release dropped about 3 months after the arcade release, arcade owners didn’t know what to think. Now fast forward to late 2007. Tekken 6 is now the ‘hot’ fighting game in town and the cost? Just about $12,000 after all is said and done. Ouch.


We can hope for something like this…. right? :(

You can’t blame arcade owners for not biting the big one on this release. It’s just TOO much. Sure the machine and game hardware itself can easily justify the cost, but in the end, arcades just aren’t making what they used to… In the United States at least.

THE UGLY

You may not play Tekken 6 for a LONG time… Unless you’re willing to travel. As of writing this, Tekken 6 is only playable at Planet Zero in Houston, Texas. The game is $1.00 per play (absurd for a fighting game, but hey arcade owners have to make ends meet somehow) and IC data cards are $10 (Usually $5). In Toronto, Canada… using the exchange rate at the time, Tekken 6 cost just under $2.00 US Dollars PER GAME (Insert expletive here… Although arcade operators have lowered it to about $0.75 recently). You can’t blame arcade operators. They need to make money. You can’t blame Namco, they need to make money too. That’s the sad thing about the arcade business this day in age.

I can confirm another Tekken 6 machine in Southern California. It’s at an arcade distribution warehouse. It’s not even a dedicated cabinet. It’s a Japanese Tekken 6 board in a Taito Egret III cabinet that has a two player control panel. Asking price? $20,000. It keeps getting uglier and uglier each day.

One thing, as Tekken gamers, we can look forward to… Is the eventual PLAYSTATION 3 release of Tekken 6. The earliest it will come out is November of this year. So keep your fingers crossed.

Hopefully the arcade costs of Tekken 6 will go down in the months to come, maybe you’ll be lucky enough to see one at your local arcade. Just hope. That’s all we have left.

91 Responses to TEKKEN 6 In The USA: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

  1. Nathan says:

    Well Tekken 6 in the UK costs £1 per game. That’s $2 per game. Its expensive, that’s why I’m just going to wait until the PS3 release.

  2. Stridajin says:

    Living in Japan FTW! XD

  3. David says:

    So sadd to hear the state of arcade gaming here in the US. I hope someday, SDSU’s bowling alley gets T6… i still enjoy playing TDR… but i wanna play me some T6!!!

  4. andreafrozen says:

    tekken 6 ps3 at november? nooooooooooooooo!!!

  5. colinmac93 says:

    i didn’t know tht tekken 6 was in the uk. where abouts is it?

  6. gangsterofluv says:

    This sucks so bad!!! After seeing all the T6 vids i been waiting for this game to come out in the U.S any month now. But it looks like i have to wait another 9 months possibly more. I love the arcade scene no matter what the cost to play.

  7. dbostick says:

    November of this year at the earliest?! I can’t wait that long!

    Hell, I can’t believe Tekken 5 came out on the PS2 just mere months after it came out in the arcades at the end of 2004!

  8. Barry says:

    Hey MarkMan, I’ve just read through the review and it’s not $2 per game here in Canada. It was recently $1, but has now been reduced to $0.75 cents CAN. Just though you should know. :)

  9. sixfootasian86 says:

    damn. maddogjin has a ridiculous record.

  10. ABC says:

    My arcade is really cheap…
    they charge $0.75 per game for Tekken 5 DR
    i cant imagine how much it wil cost to play tekken 6

  11. […] TEKKEN 6 In The USA: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly [image] Hardcore Tekken fans all over the USA are all wondering one thing, WHEN. When will Tekken 6 be playable for us? […] […]

  12. dbdnw4 says:

    NOVEMBER??? OMG!!!! sooo far from now…ughh>.< why can’t it be JULY or AUGUST at least!?!T.T

    oh well, they gotta do what they have to.

  13. H2 says:

    Where’d you get November from? That had better be just another one of sdtekken’s/wcmaxi’s mistakes because that’s waaaaaay too long to wait. And Tekken 6 will get completely buried by the competition in November. Namco is run by complete idiots if they release in November.

  14. Onslaught says:

    Living 30 minutes away from PZ in Houston I wish I could feel all your pain. ^_^

    Actually no I don’t Tekken 6 fucking rocks.

  15. Zero says:

    Yeah I was going to say Barry it was $1 when I went there. Looks like I’m going to have find a new fighting game or something to play. I’m so bored with DR now, I don’t want anything to do with it. I want to play nothing but T6 now that I’ve played it so I’m just dissapointed everytime I play DR. So this is terrible. Will these end up killing the Tekken community in the long run? Possibly. Tekken is going the way of SC in America.

  16. G.E.N.J.U.R.O says:

    Sad or not, the aracde scene in the U.S is dead, face it, people, how many of us do you think exist, the majority of gamers in the U.S dont give a crap about fighters , all they know is TEH HALO’S. i fucking hate FPS, that fucking Franchise killed everything. the fact that they have tournaments for that shit is stupid.

    FUCK FPS, FIGHTERS IS WHERE TRUE SKILL IS TESTED. not some fucking . click click, click click click click.

  17. thelonegamer says:

    I hope to gosh that the PS3 game comes a lot earlier than November. That’s far too freakin’ long to wait. I want it now, dammit…

  18. G.E.N.J.U.R.O says:

    i agree, but im thinking there a good chance it will come early. seeing how the U.S won’t get a release.

  19. X says:

    The November date at the earliest sounds right, because namco said soul calibur 4 will be out first and that doesnt release till like July. Still pissed though; I swear im moving to Japan.

  20. tekken lover says:

    namco sure knows how to piss off it’s fans

  21. KENTOIRC says:

    YO MAN, WHAT BULLS**T, CAN YOU SAY NAMCO BOYCOTT!!!!! F THIS!!!!!!!!

  22. MarkMan says:

    Edited the main article with some more information… Thanks MAHIR and jin11 for the info.

  23. MarkMan says:

    Namco is good people. This isn’t their fault.

    I really want to commend some people that work for Namco such as Jason Arney… do you guys remember the controller ports on the Tekken 5/Tekken 5: Dark Resurrection arcade cabinets? How cool was that?

    Also remember the sleek design and implementation of actual quality arcade parts(Sanwa)… That was all his idea. It’s just a shame that this industry isn’t what it used to be anymore.

  24. tekken lover says:

    at any case i seriously hope they do something about this damn stupid lag, any who have played T5 DR knows for sure that lag can really screw the game play

  25. MarkMan says:

    ^^ Well Tekken 5: DR ONLINE is P2P, so if it lags, you can only blame yourself or the person you’re playing.

    If you ever watch people in Korea or Japan play each other online you’ll notice they can do ridiculous combos/punishment ONLINE due to them having superior internet connections compared to America and other parts of the world.

    I’ve seen -14 moves punished by EWGF followed by combos that would never land for US players online.

    Until America gets a fast enough network, we’re going to suffer still.

  26. G.E.N.J.U.R.O says:

    markman, are you gonna go to texas to see what tekken 6 looks like and how it plays,

  27. HOUSTON says:

    checking in =P

    MDJ has more than 12 inches

  28. MYK says:

    one thing that is confirmed. owner of our arcade in SoCal aka Super Arcade, has already purchased an Int. Version cabinet and got through HK customs already and is already in the Pacific floating it’s way over here. Owner said if anything it should be here by next week at the latest. Sick.

  29. tekken lover says:

    markman but is it possible that namco do something about it since they saw how screw ed up the connection is for north america? cuz i heard from gamespot.com they are planing something to deal with this lag issue lets get or fingure across

  30. gregsnk says:

    i guess ill have to catch you guys online with the ps3 since im in NY..:(((((

  31. k_j says:

    OMG MDJ is back!!
    w00000t <3

  32. Olsie says:

    Damnit. November?
    Time to wait patiently as ever!

  33. stromblaast says:

    hey MarkMan! you said you were going back to the Philippines this summer right? Bring alot of peeps from SDTekken! You’ll definitely enjoy all the Tekken 6 we have here! as low as 25 cents per game :D

  34. bignasty says:

    WOW! tekken6 is only 25 cents per game in the philippines stromblaast, cuz my mom is going over there in june or july.

  35. vinzboy says:

    i guess more people are waiting for t6 in console rather than in the arcades, i guess that is the problem in the U.S, arcade owners right now are not taking any chances in buying an expensive machine, it is very different here in the Philippines, we don’t care if it is released in PS3 or in the arcades, usually we would practice in the consoles but the serious playing would be done in the arcades, i guess it is the same in Japan and Korea

  36. optional says:

    the lowest you can play Tekken 6 in the philippines is $0.19 per game

  37. stromblaast says:

    Well the lowest price per play back in DR was 12 cents. I hope Tekken 6 does the same in a couple of months.

    bignasty: you should come with your mom to the homeland, there might be a summer tournament going on by then.

  38. Pixel says:

    My only hope is if we do have to wait for console is the version isn’t so 1 player this time. How hard would it be to have in-game profiles like many other fighters have done? No fun to play on console against others when all the ranks/items/etc are earned against lame cpu/online play.

    Definitely curious how some people are charging for console play at gaming centers. The closest one I know of is like two hours away, and I don’t want to drive that far to just see how they do it. Either way I’d at least like to support my local arcade by donating a PS3 and TV, so we can still play like old times even though it isn’t an arcade Tekken..

    Guess I should have tried pushing my budget on Tekken, even though $40 a week is still kinda pushing it on the old T5DR cab..

  39. Ayos Mishima says:

    If T6 had controller ports like T5, the arcades would be packed.

  40. Sailorcancer says:

    Tekken 5 when it first came out over here was $1.00 per play. But then went down to .75, and then .25.

  41. Darkneji says:

    MYK, when you say Super Arcade in SoCal are you talking about the one just outside of Mt. Sac?! I pray you are, cuz that means that I will be getting my hands on this bad boy very soon!

  42. Billy says:

    Harsh, but not surprising. It’s funny… I used to pull for long arcade runs before the home version so we can get fixed console versions and not the other way around like SC3. Now I find myself wishing that this came home as fast as Tekken 5, because in all likelihood that’s the only way I’m going to get to see it. November at the earliest is way too late.

    Hey, at least we’ve got DR at home, right? Right…? Sigh.

  43. what0080 says:

    Being a New Yorker, it’s especially hard on me… If I remember correctly, there’s only two or three arcades in the city, only one of which is available daily…and that’s in Chinatown. Right now, they only have T5:DR and I get pretty blank stares every time I ask when T6 is coming… Now to hear that it may not come AT ALL until NOVEMBER on the PS3 AT THE EARLIEST(!!!), this just made the pain even deeper.

    [/whining]

  44. WCMaxi says:

    Uh… why does the article claim the arcade division in North America is closed? We’re not closed by any means. T6 in NA and other countries is a mere supply and demand equation. Ultimately, NA player’s penchant to sit on their asses until the game hits console has brought this upon themselves. No operator is willing to take the financial risk on T6 knowing the ROI will never be reached and player loyalty is only as long as the game remains off consoles.

    For Namco America we did everything we could, even hosting massive tournaments at our own loss couldn’t turn the boat around. Not only did operators lose tons of money in T5, Namco America did as well.

    The real ugly is that players brought this upon themselves.

  45. MarkMan says:

    Hi Jason, thanks for the clarification. I guess I should have gotten the official word instead of saying otherwise. I’ve been going through what was discussed in #tekken, I should have known better lol.

    I’ll edit the article to reflect how it really is.

  46. editor says:

    Jason, I am a little confused – I have it from Bandai Namco that T5 and Tag proved very profitable games, with high sales? Now we learn that it was not? What is the truth?

    Also I have word from operators that enquires in US and UK to buy T6 are being ignored. I think it is time for Namco America to come clean on what the offical statement is on T6.

    We have that weird situation of IAAPA where the machine was hidden away, and no staff would answer questions. Or that unusual situation at ATEI where Namco staff turned off the machine rather than have long cues playing it!!!

    With the number of US operators buying their T6 kits from Hong Kong, I think Namco America will look a little left behind if the machine is a success outside their plans!

  47. WCMaxi says:

    Editor:
    For Bandai Namco., Tekken has always been a point of profit; however, that profit is almost entirely realized in Japanese operations of the coin-op game. Namco is still a very large amusement operator in Japan and Tekken Tag and 5 were massive hits there. Japanese players don’t spend much time on console so operations have always been a boom.

    NA however is the exact opposite and NAI lost money on T5 accordingly.

    Ignored? I don’t think so. The issue is they ask and we tell them the cost an they usually fall off from there. For us to stock the game and proceed with localization (I did most already) there’s a cost we incur. If there’s no REAL demand for the REAL price of the game we would lose money on stocking the game (storage cost, shipping costs, purchasing costs, etc.). It just isn’t remotely smart business – T5 taught us this much.

    Both strategic moves… if we generate demand for it we then have to stock it (see above) and definitely sit on excess inventory because operators won’t buy. Comparatively T5 was nearly 1/4th the cost and didn’t justify stocking. T6 is simply too expensive for the NA market. A market in massive decline because its players prefer their couches over social interaction.

    Number of operators… you mean one? One operator in Houston who has never been concerned with ROI because he uses the location as a tax shelter? Yes… no doubt we’re going to end up with egg on our face of that one. We’ve done the math and there’s no more than 8 locations in NA that can sustain T6; and even so, their potential to match ROI on the product isn’t there. Comparatively, for TTT or T3 there were excesses of 10,000 locations that could sustain the product and easily attain ROI on it within 3 months. Naturally, 90%+ of those locations are one, but even if 10% remained and could sustain ROI on T6 we’d have something to talk about. However, the vastly cheaper T5 showed us the players won’t turn out for the game; even when DR remained off console for nearly 2 years.

    Some simple ROI for you, Tekken at best might do $1200 to $1500 a week. This is a very generous estimate, the realistic is about $500 to $800 and even that is on the high end. Locations that could sustain such in NA would be about 20 total. Lesser locations will get about $300 from their tier one FGs. If T5 was $4500+ for cabinet+game, T6 would be nearly $14000 for the same. Since T6 was HD only you would likely need to invest a minimum of $7000 PCB and $2000 in monitor.

    So, at best the ROI for T6 would be 2 months. This however is extremely unrealistic. The more realistic ROI for T6 would be within the range of 1 year.

    Compare this to similar money spend on a tier one driving game… while more expensive, they should pull in $1200 to $1500+ between their two seats. Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 3 two seats is similar in cost to T6… assuming the operator only has that much to spend on a game, which is the better investment? Driving games are still very active in many locations and not a niche product, the ROI is quicker, there never will be a console port and driving games aren’t hampered by them… so clearly, the immediate ROI and the long term ROI shows that T6 is money poorly spent.

    Compare this to TTT… which had a price tag of $1200 to $800 and pulled in the exact same numbers as T6 (as that is the real maximum). So you could have a 1 week ROI to 1 month for a lower tier location… WOW. Granted, console release still killed your game, but at least the risk was minimal.

    Markman:
    Uh… #tekken as a news source? I’d think after your time in the industry you’d know better. Sources should always be checked at the source… I mean you’re talking about IRC. You know my email.

  48. MarkMan says:

    Yea, I SHOULD know better… lol.

  49. PhoenixArreat says:

    Odd… double the hardware price each iteration, then blame the fans for not making it profitable?

    Where have I heard that argument before…

    Oh yeah! Playstation 3.

    Please.
    Namco killed Tekken in the US; the fans aren’t to blame. Seems like a fundamental misunderstanding of the environment and culture in the states, as well as your own console releases undercutting your market.

    For one, if you haven’t noticed, North America’s pretty large. We don’t have the population density, and arcades aren’t that close for most people who don’t live in a major city. I live in upstate NY, and the closest T5 machine was 15 minutes away, not a quick hop onto a subway train, as it might be for many Japanese. It’s not that people in the US don’t want social interaction, we’re just too damn far apart, and it costs too much to move to where other players are. Hence the popularity of online console gaming. It may not be perfect, but when I can get online for a year for the same price as it costs to buy gas to make 10 trips to the arcade, then it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out why Americans made the choice they made.

    Speaking of consoles, last I checked, nobody forced you to release T5 so soon after arcade release. DR may have remained off console for 2 years, but it was still Tekken 5. To say leaving DR off consoles “demonstrated” how little support there was for Tekken 6 in the states is ridiculous. What consoles did it hit, might I ask? PSP and PS3, which have nowhere near the installed base of the PS2, so there wasn’t much demand there either. It wasn’t going to make me go buy either system, just to get the tweaks and 2 extra characters. If you want to compare apples to apples, tell us how well T5 was doing in arcades before it hit PS2, and how well it did after. I’d be willing to bet the contrast was pretty severe.

    But no, that’s the fans’ fault. Just like it’s the fans’ fault for you having the audacity to release a $10K coin-op fighting game and wonder why nobody will buy it in the States.

    So long, Tekken. It was nice knowin’ ya. Good thing I bought my own TTT cabinet a few years back, and it didn’t even cost the same as a friggin’ car at the time.

    Odd how that works, huh?

  50. WCMaxi says:

    Phoenix:
    Yes I am very aware of all that… however, even if we look at successes the old Tekkens we still have to account for inflation, R&D costs on new hardware, etc. The cost must go up. The issue is however, even if the bump is only slight the number of active players between T3 and T4 fell dramatically, at the same time as the “wait for console” movement took hold.

    You are 100% right about T5 and that wasn’t something we (NAI) could control. T5 went from going strong to completely dead. But again, this means that everyone went from having a good time out of their mother’s basement to strictly stuck down there doing the Dew. But if you look at T3 or TTT the same didn’t happen. When the console released there was a dip, but nothing as severe.

    That is of course one issue, the larger issue is that Japan operational profits remain the primary ROI on any Tekken. As such the titles must be catered to that. The bulk of the added costs come from features most NA players will never use, network, cards, greater visuals, etc.

    Please do not be confused, blame is never something that can be set 100% on any one front, but player loyalty and their ‘omfg when’s the console coming out” ways were a large contributing factor to the overall death of the NA fighting game scene.
    -Size and population density of NA
    -Operator budgets
    -ROI issues due to R&D inflation due to hardware and features
    -US Dollar
    -Player drive to sit in their mother’s basement

    At any rate, the issue is regarding T6 and as my ROI model demonstrated there really isn’t much we can do. I’d love to have a discussion on the death of the NA FG scene, but that’s another topic.

  51. daniel says:

    WCmaxi
    From daniel
    Well answer this question why namco did make a single arcade with two jotsticks and one monitorthat will have lower the cost of the arcade machine and during the months that past you guys will you guys lower the price of the arcade or will take a year to lower the price

  52. editor says:

    WCMax – I have a real problem with the business strategy. Your comments are a great example of you should just packing up and letting others play in the US amusement scene. The comment”…if we generate demand for it we then have to stock it …” seems weird. The whole point is to market and sell games, that is the market – at present Namco’s marketing budget has been cut, and what is left has been appallingly applied. You also stock games that are doing very badly but still support (stock, spares, sales) without complaint (Chase HQII).

    My biggest complaint is that your management team made their mind up over T6 long before they started testing – and then tried to hide the popularity. The fact of taking the game to IAAPA and then hiding it away and not comment on its release – or the fact of Namco Europe turning off the machine when it got too popular at ATEI. I spoke with Namco Japan and they said that Namco America had said that no one would buy the game and there was no interest – now they have to claim the grey imports are just ‘hardcore players’ not representative of the market – what happens when it is revealed the ROI that these grey important have made. It would not surprise me that Namco USA sees the same situation as Sega Amusement USA just has!

    I am still at a loss how Namco America lost so much on T5 – Namco Europe saw a very profitable sale of units – and more importantly great ROI for the market. As Namco Cybertainment runs over 500 arcades one would have hoped you could have shipped machines in for self operation and so benefited from revenue?

    I have read NA’s observation of the US amusement scene before and it seems a little too self defeatist. I know console is big and that we compete against consumer game sales, but the operation business is still very strong (look at the profits from D&B, CEC and Petes Pizza and that is with a low key amusement focus). If you feel the business is not worth the candle leave! This would free up the market from the restraints of a large operation that is placing unfair stress on what the market can support – then Betson, Raw Thrills, Gloabl VR, Sega and others can fill the vacuum.

    Now that you have all relocated to Chicago I am sure you can now see that maybe you have a little too many overheads. I wonder if it would be better to cut the operation, and focus on self operation before you look towards creating more US only games!

    Regarding your comment on number of operators of T6 kits – you were right back in Feb there was only one… but now I am sure you are aware that there have been an alarming number of sales of kits from CoinopExpress and HK sellers. That means by just a conservative estimate there will be over 10 kits in the US by the end of the month, and that is small operation – now that is egg on face!!

    Some simple ROI for you – why operate Maxi Tune, or Mario Kart 2 if that is your bottom line. I also ask again “why not operate the machine yourself!” And why not an official statement on why T6 is not available, rather than allow the web forums to spread the word for you. Alienating this big a player base seems stupid beyond words. I know you are a foot solider only following orders, and may have strong feelings on this move – but as with WWII, stating you were only following the commands of your superiors was no defense! The news that NA is now hounding those sites that have brought kits also adds to the hypocrisy – why not support them?

    Regarding your comment “Sources should always be checked at the source” – we have tried John and Frank, and even Kevin for a comment on this rumor and have not heard anything – I will personally go up to your booth at ASI and ask this question again, but I think you know that this was not the best handled positioning on a product. I really have to ask if Namco can excuse this as just a example of a declining industry… or a declining operation in the States?

    I think it was perfectly stated above that Namco USA has fundimentally miss understood the player and the market and are now blaming the climate. The climate has been like this for some time, why have you not changed to adopt new practise. Again we see a situation that looks to have been forced on you by Japan, and which you are unable to work with. I would have to agree with Namco Japan that after allowing US to localize T5 for the US market, the return was not worth the effort. I would have suggested an enclosure approach (as in Japan) using the machine as a attraction – rather than trying to re-kindle the glory days of the single sale upright PCB JAMMA… those days are not coming back!

    On the cabinet cost – and that cost which US players will never use. It was NAI’s policy not to support ALL.NET and IC cards not the players. The T5 IC card implementation was VERY successful, and you are still using cards on games such as Maxi Tune. But lets not hide the real fact that the PS3 derivative hardware is the real ball buster on the T6 price point, and that is to do with Sony not Namco Japan – and in particular Sony not happy with supporting the arcade rather than console release of T6.

    Oh to answer Daniels question – they (NAI) did not select the cabinet design, this is the Japanese design and it was forced on them to support. Unlike the T5 and TTT design that NAI made themselves, this is the Japanese cabinet built for the player base and for a cluster of connected units and display screen. Not the cup of tea of international operators (but loved by those players that have had the rare chance to play on it). http://www.spong.com/editorial/r/e/reportamus265369l.jpg

    And finally, I just read the report of the Walnut Creek T6 machine installation – just broken ROI record, try and explain the lack of interest again please!

  53. Zarzob says:

    Reading this article makes me sad.

    I’m from New Zealand, and an arcade here got 2 sets of the Deluxe Tekken 6 machines (1 player per side, two cabinets) which I was told cost $36K (USD I guess – I don’t know whether that’s for one cabinet or one set of cabinets) and charged NZ$2 per game (that’s around US$1.60-1.70 or so) I can’t see why arcades think they won’t profit from Tekken 6. I would guess it has broken even by now, if not very close and it’s had Tekken 6 for about a month now. I myself spent NZ$200 over 3 days on Tekken 6 alone, and that’s just ONE person out of the many players here.

    If there are hardcore Tekken fans out there, they WILL play the game even if it’s $2 per game. The arcade here got the machine at about 6PM on one day, both machines were populated AT ALL TIMES from that 6pm till about 1am, and the following day from about 2pm till again 1am.

    Even if an arcade got one machine to be safe, it would easily make its money back before the console release of the game.

  54. editor says:

    I think everyone may be missing the point – Namco dose not want to ship them outside of the US, when Sony wants to have people put ALL their cash into buying the console release in November!

  55. daniel says:

    wcmaxi

    well you didn’t answer my question on if tekken 6 arcade machine will lower the price in the comming months or will take a year to lower the price. another question do you think that namco arcades in the usa will try to import tekken 6 machines from japan or europe.

  56. Kasht says:

    I just read the entire thing and it really shocks me…

    Puerto Rico gets screwed too, as we are part of the US. However, Im sure that the T5 and T5DR sales in PR beat many places in the US. We have a ton of people still playing the game in the arcade. Yes, you have the console freaks that only play it there, but there are still crowds of people wanting to play the game a few times a week. Look at the character rankings for the IC cards, we have some of the highest ranks in the US!!!

    You will see 10+ people in PR playing MvC2, and up until last year, 30+ people playing 3S in the arcade. We have had people traveling everywhere to play the game! This year about 7 people from PR went to several major tournaments in the US.

    The worst part is that Puerto Rico finally got a spot for Tougeki Super Battle Opera 2008 for Tekken 6, and we do not have the arcade yet. I was hoping that we would get one soon, but all the posts here just let my hopes down… :(

    WCMaxi, if you get any info on an arcade release for Puerto Rico (if any), contact me directly at kasht@tekkenpr.com. I would still like to send a team to Japan! ;)

    Kasht

  57. Arcade Man D says:

    Okay, brief intro required, as this is my first post here.

    I work, basically, down in the trenches, as an assistant manager of the Namco-operated arcade chain (NCI), and I am a fan of fighters (more than just Tekken).

    The problem with saying that there is player demand for T6 is quite simple. Yes, there is, but it’s not enough. Let me explain.

    My arcade has Tekken 6 in one of the most visible spots there is, directly adjacent to a token changer, to boot. While I’m not allowed to give exact numbers, I can guarantee that even a slightly older ticket redemption game generally makes more money than DR does most weeks. There was a major shift in the demographic for arcades a long time ago, while I was still a young’un. No longer are the arcades where the hardcore gamers congregate to discuss frame data and put it into practice. The majority of the play DR sees is from casual players who wouldn’t know the difference between Soul Calibur and Tekken, or SF and KoF. This is not a knock against their intelligence, this is because they view the games differently than a hardcore gamer. To a casual player, a fighter is a way to blow off steam after a hard day’s work, or a stressful morning at home getting the kids off to school, and in this case, any fighter will do the trick. A casual player will sometimes have a series preference, but Tekken 4 vs. Tekken 5 won’t matter to them. A hardcore player, however, does know the subtle nuances, and plays what is perceived as the “best” version by the majority of hardcore gamers.

    It is this dichotomy that caused the advent of hybrid arcade/FECs, which are what the vast majority of arcades are nowadays. And with games like Initial D 4, for which three has a slightly larger following in my arcade than Tekken does, having already been nixed at a corporate level, the outlook for T6 has been dim at best.

    While our arcade has been the center of the area’s Tekken community recently (especially with the other local NCI arcade having lost their Tekken, and gaining an SC3 in its place), the question becomes “are there enough arcades in the structure that would significantly benefit from increased revenue should they receive a T6 in place of their T5, T5.1, T5:DR?”, and the answer influences the purchase of them as a whole by corporate boards. If that answer is no, and, let’s say, Chuck E Cheese also decides not to get them (I haven’t been in a CEC in a looooong time, and I’m not sure if they even carry fighters anymore, though they did when I was a kiddie), Namco US would be fully justified in saying that there isn’t enough demand to justify a US release.

    Take that whole thing as you will, but frankly, it is partially everyone’s fault. The hardcore players aren’t supporting arcades like they used to, so their dollar vote is being outvoted by the casual players. Operators are choosing redemption games over video games due to this, and due to (real or perceived) greater revenue (which may or may not be partially negated by cost of supplying product). Game companies see this shift, and focus their attention into redemption games, leaving video games to require a higher price point for the break even point, let alone to turn a profit. This leads back to the operators charging more per play, which turns more players off to the arcade experience. While this sort of spiral is survivable, it requires a lot of work, and because this spiral doesn’t affect the business of a hybrid arcade/FEC, in its sum total, there is less incentive to implement a solution at the level that would have the best chance.

  58. MarkMan says:

    Arcade Man D: So you’re saying that some Namco owned arcade in Colorado has Tekken 6 up and running? To my knowledge there are only two Tekken 6 machines up and running at arcades in the USA. One in Houston and one in Los Angeles. Please verify.

  59. editor says:

    Arcade Man D: I have to agree with MarkMan on the machines in US. But this could be the test machine used at IAAPA?

    I will not bore the readers, but just cut to the chase – arcade is not a dirty word, I think the action that Cybertainment (NCI) has done since buying out a number of chains is appalling, with no updates or refurbishment they have lived off the body of arcade players without putting anything back.

    I normally report in the trade media about a two tier industry – on one side there is the ‘hardcore’, a sector of the market often let down and very badly abused by greedy operators – on the other side there is the ‘casual’. A sector that is served by the majority of the industry (simple and non-repeat).

    Regarding T6 – none of us have seen the true potential for the game, because no one is prepared to connect the system to ALL.Net in the US or look at the mobile phone player feature. And before you say there is no money in this ‘online’ capability – Konami has just launched their system in the US and Incredible Technologies with their Golden Tee have seen BIG profits from their online system.

    Time for a brand new amusement facility initiative and time to get rid of NCI / Cybertainment for a better structure – just noticed that your president was sacked last month!

  60. patitoroshi says:

    xD… Here in Chile we play tekken 6 just US$0.20 per game, I’m so glad playing…

  61. daniel says:

    i got a question to arcade man D in colorado have a tekken 6 arcade machine?

  62. Isaak says:

    If colorado did have a Tekken 6 up and running, most of us CO peeps would been all over it.

  63. kimchi says:

    30 cents to play tekken here in korea (visiting)

  64. dy1989 says:

    it’s really sad that we can’t play T6 anytime near in CA. I’m a new immigrant from China and arrived just 2 weeks ago. T6 in China sure seem to be a very popular thing. And the worst news is that i’ve played .5RMB per game. We’ve got like about 5~6 sets of T6 in Shanghai.
    well, bad news is now i’m here

  65. Bryan Scott says:

    Will Tekken 6 come out for the Xbox 360 or PS2? Because i don’t have a PS3 and i have tekken 1, 2, 3, tag, 4, and 5 i don’t want to miss tekken 6.

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  68. jojo-OrlFla says:

    Hi Everybody,

    Great posts and blogs. I agree. The arcade gaming industry continues to shift for the worst. As the demand for purchases on game consoles such as PS3 and Xbox 360 increases, the local arcade places such as Tilt will continue to shrink. Many of the Tilt and Cyberstation arcades have left or closed in Central Florida. Rocky’s Replay may be re-opening in Casselberry but only carries Tekken 5 : DR. Just went on a trip to Antioch, TN at the Game Galaxy Arcade in the Hickory Hollow Mall where they have Tekken 6 :BR. It’s set-up on a Tekken 5 cabinet. My suggestion is that you bring your own PS2 controller or prostick controller since the controller panel is not bolted down well. Thanks again!
    jojo

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