Will Street Fighter 6 be a repeat of Street Fighter 5?
Over the past few weeks, I’ve seen many conversations regarding Capcom’s next entry in the Street Fighter series, Street Fighter 6. Most of those being centered around console-exclusivity, just like the previous game was. When Capcom decided to get started with Street Fighter 5, they did so with Sony/PlayStation funding the majority of the developmental costs. Which meant that the game would ultimately become an exclusive PlayStation game. That also meant that Capcom would leave out a large portion of gamers who owned the opposite console, which didn’t sit well and frankly still doesn’t.
However, many years later with both Capcom and Street Fighter 5 being in a better place. It begs to ask if/when Street Fighter 6 becomes a thing, should it remain an exclusive title or should the series go back to being a multi-platform title?
But before we attempt to answer that, lets recap on why Street Fighter 5 became a PlayStation exclusive.
Capcom was in bad shape
If you’ve been following the gaming industry for the past ten years, you already know that Capcom was in dire straights not too long ago. The company had fallen from its lofty heights and at one point, there were multiple conversations across the internet as to who should purchase the company. This included Microsoft, Sony, and Disney of all companies. Capcom was in financial trouble, and they knew it. So when the company decided to do another Street Fighter game, there were a few roadblocks. But money, that was the biggest concern of them all.
Capcom simply didn’t have the budget, something that was painfully obvious. Street Fighter producer Yoshinori Ono had confirmed this in a tweet as well, stating that the company didn’t have the money available to start development on the next game.
— Yoshinori Ono (@Yoshi_OnoChin) July 15, 2013
Where Ono was originally against Street Fighter IV, he wanted to do Street Fighter 5. Except there wasn’t any money to do so, and this is where Sony comes into play.
Sony wanted a fighting game to call their own
Capcom was already committed to the next Street Fighter, however, they weren’t sure on how to proceed. They wanted to branch out more with the series. It had to be part of the esports scene, and it had to be accessible to those who weren’t already fans of fighting games. Elsewhere at PlayStation, they wanted a fighting game of their own. Sure, whenever Tekken was metnioned, you immediately thought of PlayStation. Except there was one issue, that being that Bandai Namco had taken the popular 3D fighter and turned it to a multi-platform game in 2007 with Tekken 6.
So PlayStation attempted to create their own fighting game with PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. A fighting game that took iconic PlayStation characters, and pitted them against each other. On paper, it seemed like a good idea, and when the game was released it was meant with mixed success. It wasn’t an outright failure but wasn’t as successful as Sony wanted either.
A few years later, Microsoft had announced they were going to reboot Rare’s fighting game, Killer Instinct for the next Xbox console – the Xbox One. An announcement that I’m sure didn’t sit well with Sony, especially given the limited success of their previous fighting game attempt. However, all wasn’t lost, as this was also right along the time that Capcom had expressed interest in creating the next Street Fighter game, but they were lacking the funds. Where Sony had plenty of money thanks to the success of the PlayStation brand. So Sony and Capcom agreed to met and they both shared the same vision for the game. Thus Sony agreed to help fund the development of Street Fighter 5, ensuring that the game would stay on Sony branded consoles and the PC.
Meanwhile, Killer Instinct had died out despite Microsoft’s best efforts and Street Fighter 5 continued to be played in countless fighting game tournaments. All Xbox One owners who also were part of the fighting game community could do is look for the outside in. Or breakdown and play it on the PlayStation 4, which many ended up doing.
Let’s answer that question now
Now that this history lesson is over, the question remains. Could Street Fighter 6 also become an exclusive title, just as the previous game? No, I don’t think we’ll see that happen again. It simply can’t, and while I applaud Capcom and Sony for their previous efforts, I still say Street Fighter 5 being locked to just the PlayStation was a mistake. A mistake as it divided the fighting game community by taking a gaming series that was always a multi-platform game and held it hostage on one console. Doing so again would be another huge mistake and one I doubt we’ll see happen again.
You simply don’t take perhaps the biggest fighting game series in the world and decide to lock out a good portion of players. How Capcom remotely thought this was a good idea is still beyond me.
Mainly because the franchise is simply too big to contain and Capcom is riding a high wave of success. Monster Hunter World is one of Capcom’s best selling games of all time, the Resident Evil 2 Remake was also very successful, which has prompted work on the upcoming Resident Evil 3 Remake. Even Mega Man 11 sold well, much to the delight of fans of the Blue Bomber. Suffice to say that Capcom is back in a major way, which hopefully means that they have more than enough money in the bank to fund the development of a number of upcoming games.
All of which makes me believe that we won’t see Street Fighter 6 on just one platform, if and when it gets released. Releasing the title on not just PlayStation, but also Xbox and Nintendo brands only makes sense. Especially on the Switch, which has been one of the hottest selling consoles of 2018 and 2019. If SNK can get Samurai Shodown running on the Switch, and looking good I might add. Then surely Capcom can work their magic with Street Fighter 6, especially with the Unreal Engine 4.
Then again, I have been wrong on occasion, and Capcom could once again do something completely unexpected. I just hope they don’t.