Tekken Producer Fumes Over Fan Demands

Tekken Producer Fumes Over Fan Demands

Producer reveals reasons why bringing back actors for a 17 year old series will not happen.

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No doubt there are many problems to be overcome when producing a game like Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Namco Bandai's fighting tournament game. The franchise is 17 years old and counting, and its fans are the persistent type. There is no storyline as such, but everyone who plays has their favorite fighter, and with fandom comes requests - or as producer Katsuhiro Harada describes it, a never ending stream of "bring back the voice actor I've grown to love" demands. These requests would seem to have irritated him somewhat, and he went on a lengthy twitter rant to tell the world why it just isn't happening.

"There are so many characters," he said, "and we can't keep using the same voice actors every time, for a variety of reasons." Some have retired, for a start, while others weren't the voices fans thought they were. Several characters were actually an amalgam of half a dozen or so different actors, supplying laughs, shouts, catchphrases and so on. There are also technical limitations to using the same data from past fan favorite games. "The compression rate, as well as the sound rate, is different today," Harada explained. "Are you playing games on the same TV you used 16 years ago? What about your speakers? Headphones? They are all the same as 16 years ago?"

It doesn't help that, when Namco Bandai goes out of its way to recreate the voice acting of past fighters, the fans don't seem to appreciate it. "WHAT?" Harada exclaimed, "you say some of the voices sound like they haven't changed at all? I guess you didn't notice that the development team has re-recorded them, but made efforts for it to sound as close as possible to the original. And you probably didn't even notice."

Harada's meltdown is fairly epic, but there is a serious point behind the raving. Fan requests can be perfectly reasonable, and as Harada himself said, "I will continue to sincerely comply with fan requests." However some things just aren't possible and fans should be aware of that going in, rather than flooding the developer's email inbox with requests, demands and invective.

"After this lengthy explanation, I will be quite surprised if there are still people who still don't get it," Harada concluded. "Thanks for understanding or not understanding. Whatever."

Source: Eurogamer

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Whaddaya mean you can't satisfy every pedantic, whiny, unrealistic little demand?

Sure you Ken!

Dr.Panties:

Sure you Ken!

I think you may have done something there, but I just can't see it.

Personally, I support this man's meltdown. He needs to get a point across. Desperately. Sometimes a rant is the best method of communication.

On one hand, I can't imagine the kind of grief anyone who produces/develops/etc. an even slightly popular game must go through when making changes. On the other hand, at least people care enough to have an opinion.

On the third hand, maybe decaf is in order?

....People give a damn about the voice acting of a beat 'em up?

of course I'm still playing games from 16 years ago, what kinda stupid question is that.

other wise, amusing meltdown, would be more so if it was from a company i still liked over a game i cared about

Large and/or old fanbases are always unpleasable. Its just a rule of thumb.

Porygon-2000:

Dr.Panties:

Sure you Ken!

I think you may have done something there, but I just can't see it.

Sure you Ken = Shoryuken, its a Street Fighter reference.

I feel obligated to quote Yahtzee here.
"Fans are clinging, complaining dipshits who'll never ever be grateful for any concessions you make. The moment you shut out their shrill tremulous voices the happier you'll be for it."

It would probably help if the fans let the dev know they were appreciated once in a while, instead of always griping like spoiled children.

gigastar:

Porygon-2000:

Dr.Panties:

Sure you Ken!

I think you may have done something there, but I just can't see it.

Sure you Ken = Shoryuken, its a Street Fighter reference.

Every day I lament the fact that sarcasm is a subtext that can't be expressed by text alone.
(I saw what he did)

Dr.Panties:
Whaddaya mean you can't satisfy every pedantic, whiny, unrealistic little demand?

Sure you Ken!

hah, that is actually quite good, i read it in ken/ryu's voice, i can't seem to say "sure you ken" without making it sound like an uppercut that would cut the earth in half.

OT: while he has a definite point, I don't see why they should stop anytime soon, it's part of the job, if you have fans, they are going to get annoying at some point, and you just gotta put your foot down and call it a day at a certain point.

I think I love Harada even more now :D He said what desperately needed to be said, some fans can be the most whiny spoiled crybabies on Earth.

And the thumbnail for this stroy is a picture of Ryu why exactly? Yes I know it's a picture of Ryu from street Fighter X Tekken.. but that game was made by Capcom, not Namco, and if you're going to use a picture from SFxT in a story about Tekken you should probably at least use a picture of a Tekken character, no?

Anyway, I have no issue at all with Harada here. If there was some major aspect of gameplat being removed from such a long running series then I could see some reason for the fan uproar (though not likely to the degree in which it would be likely to occur).. but this is the voice acting. In a fighting game. Seriously guys?

anthony87:
....People give a damn about the voice acting of a beat 'em up?

...people still give a damn about a beat 'em up?

That part is news to me!

My basic attitude is that Harada is being unreasonable, and failing to acknowlege that he's basically a victim of his own success, as well as the simple desire to keep recycling the same series/content for 17 years. If you keep making Tekken, it's not unreasonable for people to expect it to be well... Tekken, and returning characters to actually be returning characters.

With the technology we have today I've been reading some stuff about concerns over so called "Synthespians", the idea that it's increasingly possible to create entirely artificial actors into productions via computer that look, act, and sound like the real thing. Meaning that some actors are increasingly concerned over competing with younger versions of themselves (for all intents and purposes) or people using this technology to basically resurrect any actor ever on screen (big or small). We of course aren't quite there yet as far as the visuals go (but I expect it to come sooner than anyone realizes) but we ARE there when it comes to the sound. Harada even seems to aknowlege that using digital equipment they can reproduct what was used before, and chances are they can also use old voices to produce new dialogue. The thing is that it takes effort.

Perhaps it's my irritation with fighting game developers eclipsing all other problems I have with the industry, but I think the bottom line is that companies like Namco want to puke this stuff out as cheaply as possible and sell as much as they can individually. Overall, fighters seem to be becoming increasingly bare bones compared to the features inherant in some PS-2 titles like say "Soul Calibur III", and you see sometimes as many as half a dozen characters locked out on disc for DLC, or simply developed alongside release to sell seperatly for more money. A company like Namco that has been involved in some pretty heavy nickel and diming and arguably stripping tgheir products down, finds it an anathema to be told that they are expected to provide quality content in terms of things like voice acting as opposed to simply getting people to pay for the honor of them demanding more money.

anthony87:
....People give a damn about the voice acting of a beat 'em up?

Yes I must admit, I was rather surprised as well.

I was a huge Beat em up fan for a while, the I can't say it was the voice acting that held me.

Wow, a Japanse developer blowing his top.

A rare sight indeed.

It doesn't help that, when Namco Bandai goes out of its way to recreate the voice acting of past fighters, the fans don't seem to appreciate it. "WHAT?" Harada exclaimed, "you say some of the voices sound like they haven't changed at all? I guess you didn't notice that the development team has re-recorded them, but made efforts for it to sound as close as possible to the original. And you probably didn't even notice."

If they're saying the voices sound like they haven't changed at all, then I say they DID notice.

Dr.Panties:
Whaddaya mean you can't satisfy every pedantic, whiny, unrealistic little demand?

Sure you Ken!

Thank-you for covering.

WaysideMaze:

anthony87:
....People give a damn about the voice acting of a beat 'em up?

Yes I must admit, I was rather surprised as well.

I was a huge Beat em up fan for a while, the I can't say it was the voice acting that held me.

What in the nine hells...

This is a fighting game. A beat-em-up is something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.

RvLeshrac:

WaysideMaze:

anthony87:
....People give a damn about the voice acting of a beat 'em up?

Yes I must admit, I was rather surprised as well.

I was a huge Beat em up fan for a while, the I can't say it was the voice acting that held me.

What in the nine hells...

This is a fighting game. A beat-em-up is something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.

Yes, you are right. I apologise. I meant fighting game. My point still stands. The voice acting was hardly the main draw of the genre.

Yes, you are right. I apologise. I meant fighting game. My point still stands. The voice acting was hardly the main draw of the genre.

But getting the right voice acting for a character in a fighting game--or at least one who's not godawful--is an important part of a fighting game's aesthetic, and aesthetics/style are a HUGE part of fighters, something a lot of people take for granted when they focus only on the mechanics/balance merits of certain games. No matter how mechanically sound a fighting game is, if it has no characters people actually care about playing, no one will play it. That lends itself to voice, fighting style, special moves, and overall personality of the character. Could you imagine how many memes we wouldn't have today if any of your favorite characters from fighting games looked, acted, or even sounded different?

I agree with the producer, but I'm just saying, VAs are important.

Fuck, I wish my life was so good and my problems were so small that I had time to whine and cry about voice actors in a video game e_e

Good on Harada. Some fans will just have to realise they can't always get what they want. Does it seriously effect the game that much? It's a bloody fighting game >.< they're not even story focused games!
EDIT: They didn't used to be at least. 4, 5 and 6 tried to give the franchise a proper storyline which was good, but Tekken is just a game I want to play with friends rather than get lost in.

I've liked the franchise since Tekken 2 and I don't give a hoot about voice actors. As in, they've always been good enough in my eyes. Paul's gruff manly voice, Anna's sultry voice, Xiayou's typical high pitched Japanese voice.

The only thing that confuses me is how they all speak different languages and can understand each other o_o

Porygon-2000:

gigastar:

Porygon-2000:

I think you may have done something there, but I just can't see it.

Sure you Ken = Shoryuken, its a Street Fighter reference.

Every day I lament the fact that sarcasm is a subtext that can't be expressed by text alone.
(I saw what he did)

challenge accepted!
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even if the joke is on me using a picture.

if the guy wants tips on how to handle this annoying outcry for the same thing just ask any producer of a cartoon or animated movie that involves batman but not Kevin conroy. that being said i dont see how people can get worked up over voice actors in a fighting game when the most some of them say is a sentence or two

EeveeElectro:
The only thing that confuses me is how they all speak different languages and can understand each other o_o

That's gonna get even more confusing now that even more of the characters have started speaking their native tongue in this installment. Though maybe not, since I doubt this game will have many (if any) cut-scenes.

"After this lengthy explanation, I will be quite surprised if there are still people who still don't get it,"

Prepare to be amazed.

rolandoftheeld:
"After this lengthy explanation, I will be quite surprised if there are still people who still don't get it,"

Prepare to be amazed.

Hell, if Japan is anything like us, all the fans are gonna do is use the nature of his outburst as grounds to completely ignore the statement and then maybe come up with some long thought out diatribe about how the changing of the voice actors changes the "feel" or "history" of the character in such a way that it actually kinda sounds like a reasonable statement until you think about it and go "waaait a minute."

It's what we as a gamer community are best at if anything.

anthony87:
....People give a damn about the voice acting of a beat 'em up?

My thought exactly...
Then again most of my "heroes and heroessessesesess" (not sure the second one is correct) are muted ones. Or then I just don't listen too much to dialogue -.-

EeveeElectro:
Fuck, I wish my life was so good and my problems were so small that I had time to whine and cry about voice actors in a video game e_e

Good on Harada. Some fans will just have to realise they can't always get what they want. Does it seriously effect the game that much? It's a bloody fighting game >.< they're not even story focused games!
EDIT: They didn't used to be at least. 4, 5 and 6 tried to give the franchise a proper storyline which was good, but Tekken is just a game I want to play with friends rather than get lost in.

I've liked the franchise since Tekken 2 and I don't give a hoot about voice actors. As in, they've always been good enough in my eyes. Paul's gruff manly voice, Anna's sultry voice, Xiayou's typical high pitched Japanese voice.

The only thing that confuses me is how they all speak different languages and can understand each other o_o

Totally. I mean, fuck the core customers who are interested in laying out 60-fucking-dollars for your product each time it sees a release for nearly two decades. Who needs a loyal fanbase, anyway? Surely there will always be people buying your product, why would you ever consider things like word-of-mouth and customer evangelism?

Guffe:

anthony87:
....People give a damn about the voice acting of a beat 'em up?

My thought exactly...
Then again most of my "heroes and heroessessesesess" (not sure the second one is correct) are muted ones. Or then I just don't listen too much to dialogue -.-

Man, if only someone made a book that contained words similar to the word you wanted to use, so you could not look stupid when discussing a subject.

Hint: A "Thesaurus" was not a Grecian dinosaur.

Pretty sure it was a joke, Leshrac. No need to get so hot under the proverbial passive aggressive collar.

*claps*
bravo.

Games industry, you should be taking notes here.

 

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