Widespread multiplayer connectivity issues in the Steam versions of Super and Ultra Street Fighter IV have had players fuming for weeks, but apparently Capcom is working on a big fix -- contrary to popular belief.
First, a brief history lesson: recently Super Street Fighter IV, a relative elder statesman of the fighting game world, underwent some pretty major changes. Capcom stripped Microsoft's much-reviled Games For Windows Live system from its circuits and replaced it with their own system rooted in Steamworks, Valve's ubiquitous backend that often handles things like multiplayer lobbies, achievements, and the like.
Allegedly Super Street Fighter IV and many other games made the jump because GFWL was switching the "live" sign in its door around to reveal a "dead" one, but then it didn't. But hey, Steam spin-kicks the crap out of GFWL anyway, right? So hurrah, freedom, etc.
Problem is, Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition and its newly released pseudo-successor Ultra Street Fighter IV haven't taken to Steam particularly well. There have been rampant online connectivity issues for weeks, and they sound pretty severe:
Some people were even going so far as to fondly remember an old foe, speak the name of The Unspeakable:
For weeks, the response from Capcom was slight, and nothing substantial changed in the game. Ultra Street Fighter IV launched on Steam yesterday, but things still didn't improve. Thread after thread on Steam and Reddit complained of busted netcode -- some (like in the second example above) with hard proof -- but the cries seemingly fell on deaf ears.
Fortunately, Capcom is finally on the case. I reached out and received the following statement from a Capcom rep:
"We are aware of the online connectivity issues with the PC version of the game and are working to get them addressed as quickly as possible. We are also regularly monitoring forums for user feedback and will continue to keep an eye on any major issues."
Which backs up messages like this one, received by a Steam user a few days ago:
There do, however, appear to be quite a lot of bugs to work through, and players are giving their combat thumbs a rest to report even more. Meanwhile, a recent patch claiming to address some of the bigger issues doesn't really seem to have fixed a lot. I don't personally know how hard these types of systems are to fix, but here's hoping Capcom's not looking at something that's inherently busted. That would likely take a whole, whole lot of time and work to rebuild.
For now, at least wheels are in motion. Capcom is on the case. After all this waiting, here's hoping for a quick turnaround.