Street Fighter 5 was such a missed opportunity. Capcom was following the trailblazing Street Fighter 4, which is credited with single handedly having revived the fighting game genre, and, owing to an exclusivity arrangement with Sony, had all eyes on them thanks to an extensive marketing campaign. But the game, while mechanically sublime, launched with a paucity of content and all manner of issues- the ensuing word of mouth was enough to scare most people away, and the game has shambled on ever since.
However, Capcom’s diligent work in supporting the game over the last year seems to be bearing some fruit. Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, Stuart Turner, Capcom Europe’s newly appointed COO, discussed Street Fighter 5‘s launch and subsequent fortunes, noting that the game was in a ‘stronger place’ now.
“Street Fighter 5 is hitting its stride, there are seasons of content to come and we still have support plans for the title for many more years,” he said. “Our Capcom Pro Tour is going into even more countries than ever before while local tournaments are being set up in places such as India in 2017. After a difficult start Street Fighter 5 in a very good place now.”
He also noted that the service model in itself wasn’t flawed, especially for a game like Street Fighter 5– “I still believe the service game model is absolutely the thing for Street Fighter. It was always going to be a huge challenge to take a well loved brand from a traditional boxed product to a service game business model. The way a game like that is produced, developed, tested and marketed are all hugely different to a traditional boxed game. I don’t think it would be wrong to say that we didn’t get much right with Street Fighter 5 at launch, we’ve learnt and put things in place that will avoid such issues ever arising in the future. Getting an offering that’s right for consumers first should be always be our priority.”
Of course, one can argue that something as basic as this is something Capcom should have known to begin with, but they’ve done good work on the game since its launch, and they’re clearly committed to continuing to improve it, so I’ll cut them some slack.