Street Fighter Community License unites fans, players and organizers in outrage
This week Capcom has announced a Community License Agreement for Street Fighter V. This would affect the way that esports events are organized for the community and really limit organization. The response to the Street Fighter community license was, frankly, brutal.
People hated it, and for good reason. After the initial backlash, Capcom has explained a bit more about things and their intentions.
Street Fighter Community License
The Street Fighter Community License agreement was just announced at the end of February. This was an agreement that would apparently apply to all Street Fighter V tournaments held in America. This is a licensing scheme, laying out more rules for events. It would force all tournament organizers to apply for the license before they were allowed to hold their event. This would significantly limit who could hold an event.
The license would require all events to be run under Capcom guidelines. This would add legitimacy to events as official even on a smaller scale. Capcom would also provide marketing materials. However, there was a major drawback to the Street Fighter V Community License.
One major factor working against the community license already was giving Capcom more control over a system that was working fine already. However, there were more constrictions. All live streams, video, and photographs for events would be usable by Capcom without royalties, regardless of the arrangements with photographs and organizers.
For prize pool and cash flow, Capcom had even more control. Capcom could choose to outright ban charging for spectator tickets. That’s along with official merchandise. While it isn’t guaranteed to happen to every tournament, this is worrying. Capcom could shut down the entire income of an organizer. However, it also extends to prize pools. Capcom had the right to limit them. While the organizer had a say, Capcom would cap or alter the prize pool.
Reaction to the Street Fighter Community License
The reaction to the Street Fighter community license was largely negative. Most people saw it as an unnecessary and in places ridiculous attempt to control the esports community that didn’t really improve on anything. There was a lot of negative reaction to the community license. However, it largely boiled down to viewing the license as a way to control American tournaments, rather than actually help them in any way.
Capcom's new rules in a nutshell: pic.twitter.com/alCWGUYlXl
— Xam-O (@xamaslam) March 2, 2022
Capcom didn’t take long to notice the backlash to their decision. They issued a statement on the entire thing shortly after:
They have said they will be reviewing the feedback for the community license. This could mean some changes are being made. However, their statement also clarifies their ‘aims’ with the community license. It isn’t entirely certain if they’ll be ditching these aims entirely. It’s possible the community license gets some changes before its full implementation though.
Instead of looking at larger more established esports as a template, take the time to assess our scene as its own unique entity, and use the opportunity to be the innovator of something better for *us*. There’s a reason why FGC is so resistant to the current concept of “esports”.
— James Chen (@jchensor) March 1, 2022
Fans overall were not impressed, thinking it signaled bad news for the long-term health of Street Fighter. Coming so soon after the announcement of a new game, these restrictions would assumedly apply to Street Fighter 6 once it’s released too.