Capcom’s quick response to the criticism may be a sign they’re reconsidering the Community License.

Capcom has officially responded to the outpouring of criticism over their recently revealed Street Fighter V Community License. The License, revealed on February 28th, appeared to extremely restrict how tournament organizers could hold events. The response today from Capcom: “We’re reviewing this feedback.”

In their statement, Capcom explained the thinking behind Community License. “Our aim was to make running an event with SFV:CE easier.” This runs contrary to the Community License which seemed to apply incredibly huge restrictions on any tournament organizer. 

Capcom stated that they were “Keen to build tighter relationships with TOs and encourage safe spaces to play SFV:CE.”

Capcom's restrictive Community Licence

The response comes after a poor reception to Capcom’s initial announcement of the Community License. Capcom released a pair of documents, for the Americas and EMEA, with similar restrictions. Within the Licence, tournament organizers would grand Capcom irrevocable license to use and stream all tournament assets and content, while severely clamping down on TO’s ability to use official Capcom assets.

Additionally, the “Qualification Criteria” of the License effectively hindered the ability community tournaments to even be held. Under the the License, “The prize pool for the Event must be set and clearly disclosed in advance of the Event in the Event in the Event Rules (see Section III below) and must be under $2,000 USD per Event.” 

However, many FGC tournaments set a prize pool based on entries. Meaning a pre-set amount will inevitably lead to either tournaments footing the prize pool bill, or pocketing an excess amount. 

Beyond this, tournaments are unable to “charge any fee to spectators to participate in an Event.” Additionally, there are hard caps on prize pools (must be under $10,000 over 12 months), sponsorship amounts (must be under $5,000 per event, and no more than $20,000 in 12 months), no cable or over-the-air TV broadcasts, and no manufacturing or sale of merchandise products based upon the Game Assets are permitted.  

Ultimately, Community License is exhaustive and restrictive. From details about editing logos in any way to an exacting code of conduct, there’s a lot to dislike about the license in its current form.

SFV community reacts to the Capcom Street Fighter V Community License

Suffice to say, the SFV and Fighting Game Community at large was not pleased with what seemed like a direct attack on grass-roots tournaments. Many prominent figures in the scene tweeted to lampoon and criticize the license, or to pull out of Street Fighter V entirely.

Overall, the response to the Community License has been extremely negative. Capcom’s quick turn around of a response, and the statement that they are reconsidering, will not calm all doubters. But it's a good sign that the initial license may not come into force.