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The Street Fighter V costume design competition asks for free work

Some unused Street Fighter V costume designs.

Some unused Street fighter V. Costume designs.
illustration:: Capcom

Capcom recently opened a special competition for Street fighter V.and asks fans to submit costume designs for possible inclusion in the fighting game Final season. At first glance, this may be a cool way to interact with fans, but the lack of any monetary compensation makes it all too easy to see this competition as another instance of a developer doing the very real work involved in making these designs disregarded.

What Capcom requires here is commonly known as “specification work”. This is just an expressive way of describing creative work that is done on a voluntary basis with no promise of compensation. Unfortunately, “Working for the Exposure” doesn’t bring any food to the table. While the response to the competition has been generally positive, it’s frustrating that a hugely successful video game company like Capcom is asking people to work for free. I am sure that many of the great artists in the fighting game community would have taken the chance to do paid work Street fighter V., especially with the Covid 19 pandemic that is devastating the economy.

“The important thing is that the competition prompts people to create something that Capcom almost certainly pays other artists for, regardless of whether the design is actually used in the game,” said the sports photographer and outspoken critic of the competition, Robert Paul told Kotaku. “Capcom could easily find artists in the community or call portfolio submissions and commission them in the same way that they would collaborate with third parties. Me, The This would be a true demonstration of goodwill and offers artists the same, if not better, visibility and opportunity. ”

More unused costume designs.

More unused costume designs.
illustration:: Capcom

Instead of paying artists, Capcom markets the fact that the selected designs appear in Street fighter V. as the main reward for their hard work. It is quite possible that these designs will be sold again or at least stimulate additional sales of the game from people who want to use them. Winners will also receive an in-game title that they can use during online play. “The total monetary value of the price is $ 0,” said Capcom official rules. The competition rules also stipulate that Capcom takes ownership of every entry, including those that do not win. In the end, the developer will basically sit on a vault of crowdsourcing costume ideas that he can access at any time without paying anyone a cent.

Capcom didn’t answer KotakuPlease comment.

I also turned to freelance illustrator Lyn (known online under the handle) Shunao) for a better idea of ​​the work involved in one of these designs. Lyn is one of the best known artists in the fighting game community and someone I have personally commissioned in the past. I showed her some of the sample costumes Capcom provides on the competition site and asked her what she thought about how she would approach a similar project, including what she would charge.

“It takes a lot of time and research to work on a character or costume design,” said Lyn. “You want the outfit [to] help the character stand out. This could mean their personality, intention or the silhouette that the designer wants to represent. As a designer, you want the character to be easily recognizable, what he’s wearing or how he’s dressed. How detailed the designs should be on each piece can only be from one to two hours to maybe several days, depending on how much you don’t want to choose. If I was asked to design a costume for a well-known company that will commercialize it, it is probably in the $ 500 range. Maybe even more. “

Capcoms Street fighter V. The competition shows an unfortunate lightness both in terms of fair labor practices and the value of the work of artists. As we saw in the Ubisoft controversy Try to displace works of art and music to the Beyond Good and Evil 2Developers should know better than asking fans to work for free. Taking advantage of a person’s passion when you absolutely have the resources to compensate him for his work is quite questionable and unfair to artists who try to make a living from their art.

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