Like a lot of middleware developers, Tony Cannon started developing his own tool to solve a problem he himself was having. Unlike a lot of middleware makers, though, Cannon’s creation grew out of his problems as a player, not as a developer.

As a pro-level fighting game player and one of the organizers of the Evolution tournament series, Cannon was worried that the arcade culture he was steeped in was deteriorating.

“In the mid-90s, arcades were really dying, and we were in danger of losing this thing we really cared about, because everyone played in the arcades,” he said in an interview with Gamasutra.

A ray of hope came in 2005, Cannon said, when Capcom announced it would be releasing a console version of Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting with online play that could hopefully reconnect players who were no longer able to meet at arcades.

When the game came out, though, Cannon said lag and glitches made the internet play unusable.

“It was just bad,” he said. “It was literally unplayable for a hardcore fighting game person. If all you remembered was Street Fighter II on the SNES and you just jumped back in after eight years and just started playing it, maybe it was good for you, but for hardcore fighting fans it was just unplayable.”

(full article)