If you’ve been reading my post on this site, chances are good that you already know I’m a big Street Fighter fan. Street Fighter IV was one of the games that I got confident enough to wrap my hands around a controller to actually play instead of just be a backseat gamer to my brother. So it’s no surprise that my love for that game transferred over to Capcom’s latest entry in the franchise, Street Fighter V. I got the game since it came out and I still play it from time to time when I get the chance.
I will be the first one to say that Street Fighter V has a lot of problems. Capcom didn’t do themselves any favors when they launched the game with the barest of modes and they were content to add more stuff later on. I’m also not a huge fan of having to keep on buying new characters instead of making them free as a bonus for being a loyal customer. But Street Fighter V has kind of hit its stride last year with Season 3 as this was the season when Capcom practically revamped the game with Arcade Edition. This, to me was its greatest period and I only had high hopes for Season 4.
Well, we’re right smack in the middle of Street Fighter V’s Season 4. It started off promising with something usual, a new character. But after that? Nothing. Nada. Zitch. Zero. By this time, Capcom should’ve already have, at the very least, given us a clue to what they have in store for this season. Yet for some reason, they’re keeping their cards close to their chest. I’m really annoyed about their silence to say the least! Actually, I think it’s more accurate to say that I feel a little grief stricken for the lack of news. That’s because this probably means that Capcom is getting ready to pull the plug on Street Fighter V.
It may sound that I’m starting me eulogy for Street Fighter V a little early. After all, Capcom seems to still be going all out with promoting the game as the company is still touting their Capcom Pro Tour which brings all of the biggest players to win a huge prize pot that Capcom is personally doling out. They’re even creating an entirely new site tournament called the Street Fighter League this year, which sounds rather wonky. I mean, banning specific characters on an opposing team? Sure, it’s weird but I can’t say I’m not excited for it as that does bring an extra layer of strategy to the proceedings.
You may also point out that, when Street Fighter V first came out, the game’s then head honcho, Yoshinori Ono, stated in an interview that Capcom had plans to support the game until 2020. Well, it’s still 2019; it’s still a full year before Capcom is supposed to call it quits for the game according to Yoshinori Ono. So, why am I already starting the grieving process for Street Fighter V?
Okay, Capcom may still be backing the game right now. But that’s because it’s making them some money without having to put in a whole lot of effort. How are they making that sweet, sweet cash then? Simple: DLC. If you do check out the game’s built-in storefront, you’ll see a ton of things you can purchase for real money. If you’re bored with the default stages, you can go ahead and buy some new ones or, if you’re a lifelong Street Fighter fan, some of the reworked classic stages from previous games!
But the biggest money sink in Street Fighter V is, hands down, the costumes you can purchase for your favorite characters! There are a ton of different outfits you can purchase. There are at least a couple of new outfits for Street Fighter V’s entire roster. Some characters got more. Some characters got less. If you went ahead and bought each and every one of those DLC costumes with real money, you’ve probably supported Capcom for the entire year! Heck, if you buy all of Chun-Li’s costumes, you can probably buy yourself a brand new game!
Creating new costumes may seem like a lot of work, but it really isn’t. Think about it: you’re just changing the character’s outward appearance. You’re not really making the character any better or worse. All his or her moves are all the same. That means it’s much less of a hassle for Capcom to create and sell a new costume than it is to work on a totally new character. Making a new character would entail creating new interactions and animations. Not only that, you have to figure out the hitboxes and hurtboxes of the character as well as hire someone to record the voices and sounds the character will use. Why would Capcom do all of that when they can still make a bundle for less work?
Another clue as to why I believe Capcom is pulling out of Street Fighter V’s development is the fact that there isn’t a Season Pass for Season 4. Why do gaming companies usually put out Season Passes? It’s kind of a promise that they’ll produce some DLC content for the period. Street Fighter V has already had three Season Passes for each year since the game was released in 2016. But Capcom is doing something different with Season 4.
When Capcom revealed Kage, I was entirely expecting to wait for the Season Pass this year. To my surprise, they weren’t bundling Kage with any Season Pass because, well, there wasn’t going to be a Season Pass for Season 4! You had to buy Kage on his own!
In the past seasons, they released around six characters and you can tell they already had a fixed lineup in mind. They teased who was going to come out via silhouettes or just outright announced them at the start. In Season 4, we have… nothing. Not even a hint to how many characters will be made even!
Now, this is pure speculation on my part, but what I got from that is Capcom isn’t planning on releasing too many characters for Season 4. It doesn’t make sense for them to make a Season Pass available if it’s not going to have any content, does it? I will say that I appreciate them not trying to gyp us into buying a Season Pass that doesn’t have any content. But at least tell us what’s in the future for the Season! Who are the other new characters, if any? Are there going to be future patch notes? The really infuriating thing is that Capcom keeps blurting out that they have something in the works but it’s been so long already! Just come out and say it already!
But maybe they’re not saying what coming in the pipeline for Street Fighter V is because Street Fighter V’s future looks bleak. The game is already four years old. That’s like eons in the video game market! I’m betting their glorious announcement isn’t regarding Street Fighter V. Rather, what they’re going to announce is Street Fighter V’s successor. It may not exactly be Street Fighter VI but it’ll be a new fighting game involving the Street Fighter franchise. Maybe it’ll be a new entry in the Alpha series or something.
Nevertheless, once that new game is announced, that’ll signify the death of Street Fighter V. Well, the game’s got a good run. That still doesn’t make me any less sad.
Do you think Street Fighter V still has a future? Let me know in the comments section below!