At the forefront of video game popularity, the “Street Fighter” series has sold more than 500,000 coin-operated units and more than 24 million console games worldwide — generating more than a billion dollars in revenue. In 1994, “Street Fighter” was made into a feature film starring Jean Claude Van Damme, and though panned by critics, it grossed more than $100 million worldwide. The “Hadouken!” battle cry has become part of the lexicon for a generation of video gamers, and Capcom, the company that introduced the game in stand-up arcades in 1987, will be offering a 25th Anniversary Collector’s Set on Tuesday to mark the occasion.
Game-wise, the set will include “Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix,” “Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike Online Edition,” “Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition” and “Street Fighter X Tekken.” Non-gaming extras include a two-disc Blu-Ray set containing a documentary on the game and its fans, “Street Fighter IV” and “Super Street Fighter IV” anime movies, the “Street Fighter” animated series and “Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie;” an 8-inch light-up Ryu statue, a life-size replica of the belt Ryu wears, a 64-page hardcover artbook also containing submissions from fans and an 11-disc soundtrack. The set will be released for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in North America and will cost $150.
Hero Complex caught up to “Street Fighter” producer Ayano-san to ask a few questions about the game and its evolution.
HC: What is it about the “Street Fighter” characters/franchise that makes it such a beloved game?
AS: “Street Fighter” is at its core a tool for competition between players. Everyone has some measure of competitive desire within themselves and “Street Fighter” was one of the first arcade games that really allowed for two players to duke it out against each other. The gameplay, while simple on the surface level, has multiple layers of depth that is a result of the situations and possibilities that occur within each match. This makes for exciting and addicting game play. As well, players really resonated with the whimsical and unique characters of the series, and the fact that they were the “World Warriors” meant that people all over the world could find someone they liked. Ryu, Chun-li and other characters have become worldwide icons, recognizable even to people who don’t play video games.
HC: How long have you been playing, and when did you first notice the game?
AS: I’ve been playing “Street Fighter” for the majority of my life. My first encounter with the series was “Street Fighter II,” where I was introduced to the game by my friend. We were just middle school students and went to an arcade after school, where we found the machine. It was an eye-opening experience for me. Seeing those two giant characters fighting on screen with colorful and beautifully animated graphics; it was so different than anything else in the arcade at that time. The fact that two people could fight each other in the game is something that made it very unique compared to the vast majority of games back then, which tended to focus more on single-player aspects. Needless to say, I was hooked. My love of “Street Fighter” is what helped me land my position here at Capcom so many years later.
HC: In working on the game(s), what was the most difficult obstacle to overcome ?
AS: The first obstacle is coming up with a game that is both unique and interesting. It’s not always the case that new game play systems are fun, so we need to examine things from many different angles, while keeping feedback from the community in mind. We always strive to achieve a balance between game play that is both accessible to beginners, while having enough depth to keep veterans interested for a long time. Getting to that exact balance point is extremely difficult however, and is what we spend a lot of development time addressing.
HC: So, now the downloadable content question: Will there be other characters to unlock/download/buy in the future or future incarnations of the set? And what do you think about the backlash that erupted over the previous downloadable characters?
AS: Every title we develop is different so I can’t make any sweeping comments about what future games will be like. However, with regards to the recent DLC characters, the “Street Fighter” team has definitely heard the community feedback and we will incorporate it into future fighting game titles as appropriate.
HC: “Street Fighter” was one of the games ushering in a kind of second golden age of arcade games (especially “Street Fighter II”), then was a leader among the console games, and has even transitioned into one of the best fighting mobile games out there. What do you think is the next level for not only “Street Fighter,” but fighting games in general?
AS: Compared to other genres (such as FPS games), fighting games still have a lot of room to grow in terms of popularity and user base. However, if you think about it, FPS and fighting games are both built around the concept of competition, so there is definitely potential for the market to grow. With “Street Fighter,” we want to bring the experience to as many users as possible, so recently we have been focusing our efforts on mobile titles. We have “Street Fighter X Tekken” coming out for iOS later this summer, and also for the PS VITA on Oct. 23. PS VITA players will be able to fight against PS3 players using the cross-play functionality of the title. It’s something we are really excited to get out there.
— Jevon Phillips
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