The original Street Fighter IV received an excellent port to the PC back in the summer of 2009. So what’s keeping its even-better successor from coming to the same platform?
It’s not that Super would be a particularly tricky port to personal computers; on the contrary, Street Fighter IV was designed for Taito's Type X2 board, which uses Windows-centric DirectX software, so a PC port wouldn’t be a tricky or time-intensive job for Capcom to undertake. Ono also points out that the original PC version of Street Fighter IV enjoyed “strong sales” worldwide. So, what’s keeping Super off of the PC?
== TEASER ==According to Ono’s interview with 4gamer, piracy is the ”sole” reason the Street Fighter PC ship has sunk, revealing that the PC version of Street Fighter 4 was the most pirated version of the game. If Super was ever going to head to computers in the future, Ono said, the game would need to be bundled with serious copy protection schemes to justify the port. Ono claims that releasing a Steam-only PC port of Super Street Fighter IV isn’t reasonable either; while the move may insure copy protection and hamper piracy, Ono claims that making the title Steam-only is “unfair” to those consumers who use digital distribution hubs other than Valve’s service.
However, it’s Ono’s talk of piracy where that story gets a little bit fishy. I don’t doubt that the PC version of Street Fighter IV was the most pirated version of the game. I do doubt, however, that a pirated version of Street Fighter IV would do anyone much good, pirate or otherwise. After all, the original PC version of Street Fighter IV does have integrated copy protection; in the US, Street Fighter IV is a Games For Windows - Live supported game. If you want to play Street Fighter IV online or save your progress on the PC version of the game, you needed to first authenticate the game online through GFWL, and that includes copies of the game purchased through Steam. Capcom’s Senior Director of Strategic Planning and Research Christian Svensson explained why a pirated PC copy of Street Fighter iV won’t do players much good in a post on the Capcom.Unity forums back in June of 2009.
A pirated version( of Street Fighter IV) won't authenticate on GFWL and thus you can't save your game/progress or play online/hit a leaderboard. At best, the pirated versions are very fully featured demos.
It’s entirely possible that the GFWL authentication was cracked, and that pirates were able to get the full suite of Street Fighter IV content, or that the major piracy occurred outside of the United States, in countries where the game did not ship with GFWL support. But if GFWL authentication is required to add the online play to the game—and make Street Fighter IV a meaningful product on the PC—then why not just do that again? It’s doesn’t look like Capcom and Microsoft are on bad terms when it comes to GFWL support; the upcoming PC version of Dead Rising 2 will require PC players to authenticate the game through Microsoft’s service. And GFWL support hasn’t stopped plenty of other games from appearing for sale on Steam or Direct2Drive.
Or maybe it's not some conspiracy! Maybe it's just that the top Capcom brass can't justify putting Super Street Fighter IV out on a platform where the game can be played for free, even if playing the single player ladder on a profile that can't be saved isn't the optimal way to play that game. At any rate, for now PC game players looking to trade focus attacks will have to do so on the console versions of the game.