It is not unusual for companies to have their own parties in honour of its hard working staff. What may be unusual though is a Christmas party aimed directly at its fans. Well with the initiative of one special CAPCOM staff lady and her colleagues that was exactly what happened. The party was not mainly focused on the games but instead was more about getting the fans together for some fun and socialising.
The beginning of the party may have not been out of place in one of those traditional Christmas cards. Both familiar and unknown faces were dashing around handing out Christmas cards to fellow members of the CAPCOM Europe forum. The lucky host and her colleagues also got loaded with enough chocolates/cookies that would make half of the country’s dentists very rich. There was an open bar with a substantial tab so everyone was spending some quality time near the counter.
In terms of games there was Dark Void, Lost Planet 2 AND Tatsunoko Vs CAPCOM. The two first games were demo builds of sections with Lost Planet 2 being similar to the demo available on Xbox live. With Dark Void it had a section where Will was still finding his way through the void without the popular jetpack. In Tatsunoko’s case it had most of the full cast available to be be played with. There was also a corner where dedicated Monster Hunters slowly gathered together to do some quests on their PSPs.
Throughout the evening there was a movie displayed on a projector over the period of two breaks. The video clearly demonstrated the major effort that went into getting this party done. In it various staff members from Japan discussed various topics about Christmas. Some of these topics included what they did for Christmas and New Year, a little surprise info on their current titles, messages for the European fans and so on. Some of the answers went from the amusing(Christmas food was about KFC and cakes) to the hilarious(Watching Die Hard every Christmas in the office). The locations where the short interviews took place were also very imaginative ranging from massage tables to a car being driven around. It was during the second part of the video that the major prizes for the evening were revealed.
The producer for Tatsunoko came on screen and started talking about the various topics described. He revealed towards the end that the winner of a special party tournament would win a hoodie signed by him. The video also revealed a couple of Monster Hunter Noodles (or Man noodles!!) to be given out in a raffle. The raffle consisted of numbered tickets given out to everyone and each one had a different prize. It was indeed very generous to not only have a prize for 1 ticket but everyone that came. the prizes ranged from Dark Void Figures to Monster Hunter rice cracker boxes.
The competition was based around Tatsunoko and involved everyone that came to the tournament. There were some very tough and talented fighters in the crowd as it went on for a few hours. With some luck I actually made it all the way to the final two only to have been beaten by the incredible Ryu(Moderator at CAPCOM Europe forum). It was great though to have been so fortunate to play with so many people, using my Ken the Eagle and Frank West (He covered wars after all).
After all the excitement (anymore and the paramedics would have had to come!) with the tournament it was time to pack up the game machines. Around this time a camera filmed everyone giving messages and singing a 18+ rated zombified version of Jingle Bells for everyone in CAPCOM Japan. The rest of the party consisted of more socialising in a smaller area of the bar. In addition everyone that attended the party came away with a bag filled with many wonderful items. IT was clearly not enough to have a raffle prize for everyone, a hoodie for fast fingered Ryu and CAPCOM Japan staff showing us how to cook noodles! The bag was filled with 1 x monster hunter red t-shirt, 1 x CAPCOM Christmas themed t-shirt, 1 x Dark Void t-shirt, 1 x Will figurine, 1 x Spencer figurine and 1 x Darkside flu mask(for non contagious zombies!).
To summarise the party was a spectacle which definitely would put just about every Christmas party to shame. A massive thank you to the lovely host lady Tenebra and her colleagues (Tubemole, JackTheRipper, ElectricLeo and more!) from the CAPCOM Europe. These people deserve a lot of respect for creating something so special for their fans. It is something which has never been heard of ever happening and a unique way of thanking them for their continued support. It was also a pleasure to have spent the afternoon with fellow CAPCOM fans.