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Joystiq interviews Capcom's Seth Killian at Street Fighter IV launch party

Kevin Kelly

Seth Killian is the Community Manager at Capcom, which means he spends his days playing games and interacting with fans. It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it. Seth has had his hands full lately with the Street Fighter IV launch and the upcoming release of Resident Evil 5 -- and will hopefully be kept even busier if Tatsunoko vs. Capcom is finally brought to the US. (Can we add a new Darkstalkers to the wish list, too?)

We caught up with Seth at the Street Fighter IV launch party to get the skinny on all things Street Fighter, Capcom's plans for future "Vs. games," what's happening with Viewtiful Joe, and where Seth likes to get his game on in Los Angeles.

Gallery: Street Fighter IV | 170 Photos

So tell us, what exactly is your job?

My basic job actually is I am the Senior Manager of Community at Capcom. I am out there talking to the fans, running the little community blog, and trying to talk about the best parts of our games, and basically just show off things that amuse me. That is basically how we do it.

It is like, "I like this. Maybe another Capcom fan out there will like this." It is all Capcom stuff, but we try to have fun with it. I am also lucky enough to be able to work on some of the games and do a little bit of development, but also stay in touch with the fans.

For me, that is really it. I love video games, but I love seeing what video games do to people and watch people get excited and happy about games. That is it for me.

Do you plan events like the launch party?

"It is about the fans. At Capcom, that is not just BS."

We had a great events team that has really worked hard on this, so I am responsible for a very small slice of this. I could never have pulled off something on this scale. My job basically was to get fans here, and that may have gone a little overboard. There is a terrifyingly large crowd out there, which I think is completely awesome. I hope everybody gets in here tonight. It should be great.

We're glad this one was open to the public, a lot of game launches are kept private.

That is really important to us at Capcom. That has been the change, definitely, since we had a community team. I started two years ago. That was the beginning of it. We had a BBS that people posted on. We had like one post every two days or something. But there has been a sea change since then. We have really made an effort in everything we do.

Even last year at E3, which was closed to the public; we snuck 40 of our fans in just to bring them in and show them the show floor, because that is what this industry is really about. It is about the fans. At Capcom, that is not just BS. We are doing it everywhere we go. Fans are in. Fans are the priority. That is the centerpiece. I hope for press it is exciting as well. It is easy to get jaded and bored by all this crap. But if you can see the kind of enthusiasm it has in other people ...

That is what keeps me young; seeing how happy other people are about things, and juiced. I think it is fantastic. That is what the Street Fighter clubs are all about. That is what events like this are all about. We are doing it also with Resident Evil, so it is going to be a continuing trend at Capcom. As long as we stay in business, the fans are going to be right there at the top.

Have you guys thought about creating another Versus game for the Wii or another console for Western audiences?

Well, we have Tatsunoko vs. Capcom.

What's happening with that one?

We are really trying to bring it, so there are some different options that are on the table as far as licensing goes and trying to figure out a way to bring the game over. We are fighting that battle very heavily.

We know Vs. are great games. Obviously Marvel vs. Capcom ... those were great games. We would love to revisit something like that. Again, complicated lawyers, man; that is basically the bottom line. But yes, we love the Vs. games, and Tatsunoko is a testament to that.

Is it a situation where Capcom is waiting to see how Street Fighter IV goes before making the next move?

I don't know. That would be Marvel's decision and I don't know what they are thinking. But as far as Capcom goes, we know this game is going to be very popular and we would love to do something else in a Vs. vein.

Lag is very bad news for online fighting games, especially online. Has Capcom been doing anything to ramp up the servers to prepare for the onslaught of the launch day?

"Day One, who knows? Things may melt down."

Day One, I don't know, could get ugly. It has been great so far. I am unhappy because there are people who have the game now. Well ... it is out before launch. They are already playing online and they will report to you that it is an unparalleled online experience, so it is really fantastic.

Day One, who knows? Things may melt down or whatever, but in general, it is going to be awesome.

The game has been seen a lot and played a lot. There have been different builds out there. Have you guys had a single big complaint about it?

Well there has been a lot of feedback on more subtle points. With fighting games, there is such a delicate balance. If you fuck up one or two little things, the whole game can fall apart.

So there has been a lot of feedback on a bunch of little things, but there hasn't been any sort of overwhelming complaint. We really try to present the characters in a careful, well thought out way before we release them on the public, and their reaction has been of course really great.

We have great respect for the franchise and the history. We want to nail it. We have gotten great feedback from fans since then and have made small adjustments, but nothing overwhelming.

In the Tatsunoko vs. Capcom game, Viewtiful Joe is a playful character. Is there going to be another Viewtiful Joe game sometime?

No plans right now. That was a great production from the Clover Studio. Those guys are no longer with us, but they are still making exciting games. But Viewtiful Joe is still part of our legacy and we are still bringing him back in games. We think he is a really fun character.

Gallery: Street Fighter IV: Character Roster | 25 Photos

Around the office, do you guys have favorite characters, or are there favorites that get played a lot?

In Street Fighter?


I don't know. There are a bunch of stiffs at the office. They all play Ken and Ryu. I am the experimental guy. I will play anybody forwards, backwards, and upside down.

There are some other good Street Fighter players at the office, but in general, most of them just play Ken and Ryu. They are boring, so I am always yelling at them.

Is the Seth boss character named after you or based on you?

I don't think he was based on me. But yes, the producer has been very kind that way. So before I was officially on the project, that was their idea. It is a great honor to be a part of Street Fighter history.

When does the next update come out? Champion Edition, Hyper Fighting, anything?

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