The Invisible Web

Your Trip Into the Chapel Perilous

EGM’s Story Ends; Capcom Producer Ono Bids Farewell

Posted by invizweb on January 10, 2009

Editor’s Note:  Electronic Gaming Monthly is a publication that has filled me with fine memories.  It was from this magazine I began watching my first and one of the foremost anime series, Ranma 1/2.   Sushi-X’s rumor section was my favorite due to its dirt sheet format.   Although one of its primary purposes was for gamers to purchase more games, the magazine also told stories about lives beyond the digital realm, and of inspirations to create some of the masterpieces.  Farewell EGM, you will be missed~!!

Below is a letter from the CAPCOM producer, Yoshinori Ono of Street Fighter IV.

Letter From Capcom

I can’t recall the first time I met EGM’s staff — it must’ve been years ago. Since then, it seems like I’ve had a new title going just about every year, which gave me a chance to meet up with EGM editors to discuss my projects. At this point, I imagine I’ve met just about all the editors. I’m familiar with them now, and they know me, too. I feel close enough to them to chat casually at lunch, which isn’t always the case in this industry.

EGM’s always had a good relationship with Capcom, graciously covering our titles — and even literally placing our big games on the cover. Of course, the coverage isn’t always universally positive, but the EGM staff’s second to none in connecting with gamers and getting information out there where it needs to be.

That said, it was with sadness that I heard that EGM was going to suspend publishing. Of course, 1UP.com will continue to thrive, and that’s great, but I still hold paper publications in high regard, and I think that readers also appreciate having something physical to hold in their hands — and that remains for reference once read. This provides something that the Internet, for all its usefulness, simply can’t provide due to the fast pace of electronic news dissemination.

It’s only fitting that my last dealings with EGM were to help roll out Street Fighter 4, a title that’ll bring the series back into the limelight after a decade-long absence. We made our first SF4 announcements via EGM, and I recall telling my colleagues at Capcom USA that EGM was the right magazine for the job. I’ve long respected the reverence and importance their editors place on our chosen hobby, and I knew that they were the right choice to help make our announcements.

It’s worth mentioning that no one was as passionate or obnoxious (just kidding!) with their pleas for a new Street Fighter game. No matter what the topic of the interview, EGM editors would invariably ask about a new Street Fighter game. As I’ve said before, without these questions, the game would likely never have been made.

Speaking of SF4, I fondly recall inviting EGM and 1UP.com staff for a secret unveiling and hastily arranged “mini-tournament” here in a small meeting room in Tokyo shortly after our initial announcement in October 2007 in London. I’m grateful for the enthusiasm that they showed then. I was impressed with their love of Street Fighter — but also frightened, as development was an uphill battle, and I knew then just how high fans’ expectations truly were. Their passion for the series is what inspired me to get into the ring and fight until the game was finally where it needed to be. Speaking of thanks, special thanks go out to Milky, whose comments — even at that early stage — served to help us solve several balancing issues we’d encountered. You have my gratitude.

During our clandestine meeting, a very early version of the actual game was ready to be unveiled to our guests. The reaction was great — EGM’s support gave me clear direction. I was sure, perhaps for the first time, that we were headed in the right direction with the game, and my uncertainty vanished. I was certain that this was the game that users wanted, and I was able to move beyond my own worries and present the game with pride.

As a result, our branches in Japan and the U.S. were bombarded with feedback from users. Attendance and reaction at events was through the roof. Perhaps the pinnacle of these events was the San Diego Comic-Con this past summer. At that event, I was finally able to present the game with all of the changes implemented from EGM’s feedback. Suffice it to say, the reaction was incredible.

Creating games while keeping track of the needs and opinions of the average user is terribly important, and I feel that organizations such as EGM and 1UP.com are instrumental in making that happen. To hear that one of these bastions of game journalism will soon close its doors is disheartening. Still, I look forward to seeing what the editors will go on to do. I have high hopes for them.

EGM, thank you for the memories! Thanks for supporting us and helping us make our games even better!

Yoshinori Ono
Producer, Street Fighter 4

Read more on Street Fighter 4 and EGM here.

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