While I’m not the biggest fan of Street Fighter V or how Capcom and Sony handled the release, I still can’t understand how incomplete information in regards to the game is being spread and used to formulate the future of the series. Case in point are several articles and posts I’ve seen floating around regarding the status of Street Fighter V and while I respect the members of the gaming community, if you’re going to compare apples to apples, then you have to do it correctly.
The latest article so far states that the first week of Street Fighter V‘s sales have failed to match the first week of sales for Street Fighter IV, a game that launched in 2009 on both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 4. Now, before anyone accuses me of coming after someone’s neck, especially since I’ve had enough of that this month, I wanted to break this down and be realistic. The data from this article comes from Famistu, putting the first week of Street Fighter V sales at 46,836. Mind you this is all retail / physical copies which only include the PlayStation 4 sales, nor does it include any digital sales from either PSN or Steam, which is the only way the title was sold on PC. So, how is that actually comparing the sales correctly? And sure, Japan isn’t as huge on digital sales as most other countries, but they still do purchase content via digital means to be considered worth while.
However, despite how poorly the launch was handled and I’m not defending that, there’s also other elements here at play. The first glaring and obvious point here is there’s a huge difference between now and 2009. Back when Street Fighter IV was launched, both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 were on their strides and were going back and forth, well except in Japan. There’s a big difference this time around, especially since Street Fighter V wasn’t even launched on an Xbox console and was also released via digital distribution, which wasn’t tracked via Famistu. So I don’t see how it’s fair to say that the title didn’t sell well, especially since there’s a number of sales excluded. And going back onto the other platform that Street Fighter V launched on, the PC, none of those sales were accounted for.
Sure you can argue that this was just on the PlayStation 4, but if those PSN’s sales aren’t included, how is that accurate? The first week of sales for Street Fighter IV for the PlayStation 3, from VGChartz, was 83, 391. Now, let’s look at that for a second. During that time, how many fighters were out for the PlayStation 3 during the time. Not many if I recall, which helped drive the titles sales. In addition, this was when everyone was waiting on a new Street Fighter game. For the most part, the desire and hype of Street Fighter IV sold the game. I know a large amount of people who used to love fighting games when we were younger and simply stopped playing fighting games, but started up again when Street Fighter IV was released. It had backing, it was being released on two popular gaming consoles , it even enjoyed a nice run in arcades (Japan) and it had momentum behind it.
Street Fighter V? Not so much. Especially since there was tons of backlash from the fighting game community due to countless changes to characters throughout the betas, as well as the removal of popular game mechanics. And the release of the game didn’t help as it was lacking several major and expected features, such as a fleshed out training mode, the missing arcade mode and issues with the online mode that made the game unplayable at times. So much negativity surrounds the bodied release of Street Fighter V, that word of mouth and first hand experiences have diluted the sales of the game. Plus adding to that is the fact that it only is available for one gaming console, not that the Xbox One is doing any better in Japan, but a sale is a sale.
I would wager to compare total sales of Street Fighter V in both Japan vs North America and across both platforms, not just physical but digital as well. Only then would I think about the possible decline of Street Fighter. To to leave an example, there are still large numbers of people playing Ultra Street Fighter IV, and within that crowd are people don’t care much for Street Fighter V and haven’t even picked up a copy yet. To many gamers, especially those deeply rooted in the fighting game community, Ultra Street Fighter IV is more than enough and wouldn’t even attempt to play Street Fighter V if they weren’t forced to do so. And when I say forced, look at EVO 2016. No Ultra Street Fighter IV in the line-up, so if you want to play on what is considered to be the grand stage of the Street Fighter scene, you have to play Street Fighter V. So yes, it’s kind of forced. And even still, Street Fighter V still broke a record with the number of entrants for EVO 2016.
In 4 days, SFV has broken the record for the most entrants at Evo in a single game! This is going to be a crazy year! #Evo2016
— Evo (@evo2k) February 22, 2016
In closing, if Capcom in regards to Street Fighter, have showed us anything, it’s that they know when they screwed up and they have the know how to make it right. Look at Super Street Fighter IV, look at Ultra Street Fighter IV, and hell, look at Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3. All three are follow-ups or upgrades to their previous fighting games, all with issues that were corrected over time and in many cases, perfected
So yeah, it’s way too early to call for gloom and doom, especially without all the data to formulate it at least. And for our honest feedback on Street Fighter V, be sure to check out our review here.