Tekken 6 – Artificial Shortage by Namco?

Here’s another feature article from our friends at The Stinger Report. Enjoy!

Tekken 6 – Artificial Shortage?

Players in the US and UK accuse Namco of creating an artificial shortage of Tekken 6 machines.

After visiting the only cabinets in the UK (the same one from ATEI) on a Thursday at 9pm,tk6uk.jpg over 15 players were counted patently waiting to play (click on the thumbnail). The machine has been swamped from afternoon till evening, stated one of those waiting players.

However this near Space Invaders success has not been matched by available machines. Now fully launched in all Asian territories, enquires from all independent amusement operators internationally have not been satisfactorily answered.

Off the record one bowling site buyer said — “…I was told there was no interest to import the machine as no one wanted to buy it or the cards!” The source also revealed that representatives for Namco were claiming that the hoards of player interest at ATEI was just ‘hardcore players’, and had not been reflected on test!

No word if only Namco sites in America and the UK will have T6 machines — or if the lack of interest is a demand by Namco executives to avoid costly export, or from Sony regarding PS3 boards, or a request from Namco consumer to focus interest only on the PS3 launch later in the year. Conspiracy theories abound towards explaining what is causing this crazy situation.

Whatever the reason it seems amazing that the popularity of this game is not matched by manufacturer availability — a quick calculation of players paying £1 per gaming and £5 per IC card and the system will pay itself back with these crowds witnessed very quickly and make a BIG profit for those luck enough to get their hands on a machine!

[Discuss on the Forum]

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10 Comments on “Tekken 6 – Artificial Shortage by Namco?”

  1. RyanDG Says:

    Now this is rather interesting… But it makes a lot of sense. I know there are two arcades close to me that have been trying to get their hands on the game, but have been told by the official Namco distributors in the area that there is no word on when they are going to be made available by Namco Bandai Games. It also solidifies the reports from over on SD-TEKKEN where Jason Arney (a Namco Bandai Games employee) stated that Tekken 6 would not be mass produced for a North American audience like the other Tekken games were.

    As a question, has anyone seen the game available on official Namco Bandai Games distributors in the US? The only play I’ve seen it available is through specialty/import re-sellers.

    This may be a really bad missed opportunity for Namco if they don’t take advantage of the Tekken fanbase…

  2. Josh Says:

    Yeah this seems strange. Wouldn’t Namco want to sell as many arcades as they can? Seems like they are missing the boat on this one. They better act fast before the other slew of fighters come out. I am glad to hear about the long line ups though. Gives me hope of starting my own arcade and not going out of business in 2 months.

  3. editor Says:

    I know guys, is is very strange – as if the sales guys don’t want to sell it!

    I am going to ask Namco CEO flat at ASI what the reason is – so expect to hear about me being thrown off their booth!

  4. Josh Says:

    Lol! That will be hilarious. But I am curious as to what their thinking is.

  5. RyanDG Says:

    I can’t wait to see their response. Even if they are going to try to excuse the ATEI attention as “hardcore” gamers, the fact that they did have those gamers coming out to the event should be enough of a reason for them to realize that there is an audience dying to play the game already. And they can’t even begin to argue that arcade owners at the event didn’t notice that attention…

  6. Replay Says:

    As much as the hardcore dedication to this machine is admired you have to remember the units that were on sale at ATEI were only half a machine. Brent / Namco crammed a 2 player setup onto a small machine designed for one person. We were offered the Demo unit and passed because quite frankly that cabinet is not geared towards the UK or US market. As with the Sega Lindberg cabs it looks flimsy and i’m pretty darn sure that getting spares for it in the future will be a nightmare.

  7. editor Says:

    Replay – I have to say that is a bit of a watery reason not to buy a game that looks already to be a BIG success with the players.

    The LinderBergh Upright Cabinet has held up well on test, and was modified to UK and US operators request – removal of IC card, stronger joys. Now that they asked for all these changes they quibble on buy it.

    Lets face a simple fact UK operators don’t want to buy the machine at this price and have thrown up fake reasoning to avoid admitting they are not buying it. The UK distributor has has to bow to the buyers will. That means – as I have been saying for many years – current arcade and facility operators are not the best people to operate arcade machines.

    We have a industry where we avoid direct advertising and marketing, treat the players (our customers) with contempt, and also hide the actual revenue. I know all too well why some operators do not like swipe payment – how can you skim!!

  8. Dominic Says:

    Replay:

    These machines are solid and are built to last. Ive been to japan recently to see these machine in full swing, downstairs in club segas akihabra branch they have 40 of these cabinets running virtura fighter 5. Now these machines get played consistantly everyday and have been doing so for the last 18 months, when i was there i asked how the linderbergh stood up against the versus city battle cabinet and the answer was

    NO PROBLEM..MACHINE VERY GOOD!

    The only maintenance these machines need are the buttons and sticks replaced on a regular basis.

    How can you turn around and say they are flimsy? What are you basing this on? Or did you mean, look flimsy? Because if your not buying one of these machines because it “looks flimsy” you would be a fool and a very poor business man. Do your homework on a product before you buy it, know your product and know your martket. You clearly don`t know either, so don`t comment on things you know nothing about.

    How can you say these machines are not geared towards the UK market? In the UK and US arcade machines or battle cabinets as they are called have ALWAYS been on a side by side format where each player sits next to one and other. How can you say that this style of cabinet isn`t directed towards the UK market? when infact this machine was designed for the UK and US markets. Only in japan are head to head set ups the set standard for arcade cabinets, in america and europe it`s always been side by side NOT head to head, this machine is perfectly geared towards the UK and US market, you clearly don`t know what you are talking about.

    Also, this machine is taking between £200-500 per day in trocadero, the machine cost 5k, i know because i am the person responcible for funland buying 2 of them. As of today this machine has been in trocadero 11 days. If it is taking £500 a day, it`s already turning over a profit. If you knew anything about business, arcade cabinets, games or the people who play these games you would have known to snap up a couple of these machines for your business.

    Also who is “WE” what company do you represent so i know to drive by some day and throw eggs at your door, or perhaps even walk in and get a job, because i clearly know more about the coin op industry than you or anybody you work for ever will.

    Editor:

    when i was at atei i spoke with some guy that works for namco, i forget his name now, but he said that NAMCO EUROPE are not looking to supply or distribute Tekken 6, and will only do so if namco japan push them to do it, the vibe i was geting was nobody at namco cares, if japan say yes, they will do it, if they don`t we wont kind of thing, bit upseting since tekken has always done well in the UK.

    I read on neoempire that namco in manchester has tekken 6 now, so maybe the man from del monte has said yes?


  9. [...] Tekken 6 – Artificial Shortage by Namco? [...]

  10. Replay Says:

    Editor:

    A fair response but a couple of additional points I could make would be that as a single site operator that does not have a massive footfall we have to be careful with what we buy. Up to this point we have had every fighting game from Namco UK as either a kit of a dedicated (I use that term very loosely for this company) cabinet always with the knowledge that we can upgrade it to the next hardware revision a year or so down the line. With Tekken 6 the Namco tech on site told me it only outputted in HD and that it could not be used on a standard cabinet. I don’t know how true this is but I’m not overly confident about the future proofing of these current cabinets. Thats before we even look at the PS3 release which is rumored for late summer this year in Japan.

    As for the Big success part, if every location had a hundred players clambering to throw money at the machine then they would be selling but we have a very vocal minority that seem to be based in London and as you can tell from Dominic’s post above they are fanatical to the point that they threaten to egg your business just for disagreeing with them. It’s very easy when surrounded by strongly voiced opinion to believe it is the majority because it’s all that you hear but i’d say there are a lot more people out there that would prefer something new or different in the arcade at the same price point. Take the Konami guitar Freaks and Drum Mania for example which are excellent machines and are struggling to get enough orders and would definately lift good money. The price on those? approx £5.5k – £6k and you will most likely get a higher turnover on those from the general public than Tekken in a cramped cabinet.

    For the cynics, If it had been in a better cabinet I would have bought one at the show and I would happily have paid more for it. The game is not at fault, the cabinet is. Finally with regards to the money it’s lifting in the trocadero, with the footfall that place gets, if they put a shiny metal box with flashing lights on the wall with a coin slot, I dare say it would lift 50 – 100 a day. There are very few locations especially privately owned that get that much exposure so it always helps if you factor that into your equations too.


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