The Capcom Home Arcade device, twin joysticks with 16 pre-loaded Capcom games, was announced last week with a rather hefty price tag of £200. It is powered by the FB Alpha emulator which is used to run the original arcade ROMs for an authentic arcade experience.
However, the FB Alpha emulator is open source and, like many open source products, strictly forbids any commercial use. Barry Harris, one of the chief developers of emulator, tweeted that “FBAlpha has been licensed by Capcom Home Arcade.” How this has happened is unclear, the emulator has been created as a collaborative effort, Mr Harris does not have the right to license it.
The contributing developers on the FBAlpha forum are understandably upset. “I am very against someone profiting from my work unless it’s me, of course,” posted one developer. “I have never accepted payment for my emulation work. I’m considering pulling out all of the code I wrote and ported for FBA-this would effectively make FBA back into just a CPS and Neo-Geo emulator.”
Interestingly it’s not Capcom who are making the stick., it’s actually Koch Media GmbH, aka THQNordic. They seemed to have licensed all the games and logo from Capcom who in turn don’t want have anything to do with the device and are directing all enquiries to Deep Silver, the publishing arm of Koch Media.
Given THQNordic’s recent and quite extraordinary PR gaff – shoutout to Mark – they probably need to make a statement quite soon. It does appear the official website for the device went offline recently and had some wording regarding the FB Alpha emulator amended, but you can still pre-order the device.
The games included are:
1944: The Loop MasterAlien™
vs Predator™Armored Warriors™
Capcom Sports Club™
Captain Commando™Cyberbots™: Fullmetal Madness
Darkstalkers™: The Night WarriorsEco Fighters™
Ghouls ‘n Ghosts™Giga Wing™
Street Fighter™ II: Hyper FightingMega Man: The Power Battle™
Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo™