Its predecessor born around the meteoric rise of esports, Street Fighter V promises to carry on that legacy with elements built for competition and crowds. The latest installment in the long-standing fighting series was "reset" in the all the right places, says Yoshinori Ono, the man who revived the series with Street Fighter IV.
Street Fighter V just launched for PlayStation 4 and PC platforms, and Ono is already thinking about sipping colorful drinks for exotic locations while he works on new Street Fighter content.
To do that, Street Fighter V has to be the smash hit he and Capcom hope it will be. Capcom and Ono started with a strategy to reset key elements of the game.
"Whenever we were considering how many characters to include and the most that people could handle, well, 16 characters was the number that we had in the arcade version of Street Fighter IV and it just seemed to make sense as a starting point," says Ono.
Street Fighter IV had 44 characters by end of the game's life, Ono noted. That meant that players had to learn the strengths and weaknesses of 44 characters, even if they only used a handful of them to compete against other players.
Street Fighter V already has a DLC strategy in place that could see its number of combatants near or even success that 44 character count. For now, Capcom and Ono are focused on resetting what they revived so that it lowers the barrier to entry for new players or series fans who didn't spend much, if any, time with the last game.
While dexterity and flawless execution where the keys to separating novices from elite players, Capcom tuned Street Fighter V to be a bit more forgiving. That accommodates "more players with a broader range of physical skill," but hardcore players will almost always hold the edge.
"They're always going to be better than a new player who now finds it easier to do a fireball because they're always going to know how to better deal with a fireball than a novice. However, it does mean that we at least are giving the amateur player a chance to get on the pitch and play," he added.
Making the game more accessible to a broader range of players is one thing. Keeping them there is another. So it all goes back to Capcom keeping players engaged with a planned stream of content that will include live tournaments, new character reveals and various other DLC.
If Capcom can keep that content streaming out and the players flowing in, it'll be the realization of one of Ono's dreams. He wants to see Street Fighter V live longer than its predecessor did.
"The more I can do that, the closer and closer I get to my dream of finally working from an exotic location with a multi-colored cocktail," says Ono.
For those not already playing the game, check out a Street Fighter V's review in the video below: