Street Fighter 6 developers had to go against Capcom’s management to get all the features and content they wantedThank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
The history of video game development is usually one of compromise. Whether this is due to technical limitations, lack of time, budget or a combination of the three.
Sometimes, though, special games come out of an environment where those restrictions are removed, and it seems like that’s what the Street Fighter 6 development team had to fight for behind the scenes.
Game Informer recently released their Street Fighter 6 cover story online, which describes a bit about how Capcom management had to be confronted and convinced that their vision for the game was worthwhile.
It basically boils down to the core idea behind SF6 to create something that captures the essence of what draws people to the genre in the first place.
“The concept I got from Nakayama-san was that we wanted to bring it back almost to what it was during the Street Fighter II era,” said producer Kazuhiro Tsuchiya, via Game Informer. “We wanted to make another Street Fighter game that wasn’t just for existing fans of the series, but for everyone, and get the same feeling when all types of gamers fall in love with fighting games… with Street Fighter.” When this concept was brought up by Nakayama-san, it resonated very strongly with me. It’s a challenge, but it’s worth taking on.”
Despite coming in after Street Fighter 5 to take over as lead developer, director Takayuki Nakayama and producer Shuhei Matsumoto, along with their relatively less experienced team, still don’t have the seniority or power to make the big executive decisions themselves.
Yoshinori Ono is no longer there captaining the ship, but apparently that’s where Tsuchiya, who has also been at Capcom for over 30 years, stepped in to be the voice in their corner when they stand up to those in charge of the company .
“It took us a while to convince certain people — decision makers — outside the team to explain why these new features are so necessary,” Nakayama said. “We’re trying to achieve a lot compared to other fighting games, but we want Street Fighter 6 to be important and maybe a gateway for a lot of people to get involved and excited about a fighting game.”
Those with their boots on the ground certainly want to do everything they can to avoid the debacle that was the release of Street Fighter 5, but it’s also easy to see why Capcom would be hesitant to give them everything they ask for.
Street Fighter X Tekken, Street Fighter 5 and Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite all underperformed significantly like the last 3 major fighting game releases for the company.
Heck, they recently revealed this SF5 was originally planned for 6 seasons of DLC content before it was scaled back to 4 — and was then greenlit for a 5th season following the success of Champion Edition.
Meanwhile, their other big properties like Resident Evil and Monster Hunter are making Capcom more money than ever, with Street Fighter playing catch-up.
Fortunately for everyone, though, it looks like we won’t really be hearing about management interference on this particular project.
“It’s very rare to see games come to fruition where they’ve managed to deliver everything the team was aiming for,” Tsuchiya said. “There’s always some kind of compromise that has to be made or ideas that have to be rejected because of budget, schedule, resource issues. But for this time, in terms of the fundamental things that Nakayama-san wanted to achieve with his dream project, it seems like we didn’t really have to make any cuts or compromises for this title.”
We’ve seen the team take new steps with the franchise, such as giving players the ability to create custom avatars to walk around and interact with the all-new Battle Hub, as well as the biggest single-player content Street Fighter has ever seen seen the SF6 World Tour.
Game Informer sounds like Capcom’s management is fully behind their fighting game team now, and all the positive attention SF6 has received so far probably helps put any lingering doubts to rest.
Whether Street Fighter 6 will ultimately achieve its goal of reviving the series and potentially taking it to new heights remains to be seen.
But it’s nice to know there’s a group of people building SF6 who really care about what Street Fighter stands for and why it’s important to get it right.
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