We had the great fortune and chance to interview the producer of he highly anticipated Street Fighter V, Yoshinori Ono, and we made sure to ask him all kinds of question about the the upcoming game including the highly classified Story Mode. Below is the full interview:
Hadoken.net: Street Fighter IV was the second coming of the franchise. With that game you were able to bring old and new fans to Street Fighter. What is your goal with Street Fighter V ?
Yoshinori Ono: The SFIV series has already been around for seven years, over which it’s remained “alive” through several iterative upgrades. Even within the Street Fighter series, SFIV stands out as a title that has been great for building community, having generated a wide audience as well as quite a few “pro” players.
On the other hand, after seven years of using SFIV as our premier fighting game, you inevitably end up with enough high-level players who raise the overall level of play, and it becomes quite difficult for newcomers to approach the game now.
Given this situation, we approached the development of SFV with the keyword “reset” in mind. We tried to recreate everything from the ground up, even going so far as to “reset” characters returning from past installments, fine-tuning them to further bring out their originality, with the aim of having returning players say, “Wow, this is new! Guess I’ll be starting over from scratch with SFV!”
At the same time, we’re also hoping this “reset” will bring casual SF players back to the fighting stage. By highlighting the characters’ originality as well as the fact that this game is a “reset,” we hope to see even more players come to try out this next generation of Street Fighter than we saw with SFIV.
Hadoken.net: Let’s talk a bit about how Street Fighter V came to be. Can you give us a quick rundown on when and how development of Street Fighter V kickstarted?
Yoshinori Ono: It was shortly after we finished development of Super SFIVAE 2012 that planning for SFV began. If you look back at my interview archives from back then, you’ll note that I remarked quite a few times that I wanted that to be our last update to the IV series. Clearly, I had SFV planning on the mind. ::laughs::
Of course, in actuality, Ultra ended up being the final iteration of IV. So while we were moving forward with the development of Ultra, we were simultaneously holding discussions to figure out where exactly Street Fighter V would land and what it would look like. By Arcade Edition, the SFIV series’ community had come to resemble what it is today, and we’d started to run our own tournament series, but there was a sentiment that we wanted to get even more people into this game and taking part in the Capcom Pro Tour. And that’s where the “reset” theme came in, accompanied by the tenet of “originality.”
Hadoken.net: You guys have officially announced the full roster as well as the first 6 DLC characters coming in 2016. Can you tell us a bit about the process of selecting which character gets a dlc spot?
Yoshinori Ono: Keeping in line with the “reset” theme we held so firmly during development, we approached our launch roster selection from a wide variety of angles; what characters should return, what new characters would best express the direction we were going with the battle design, what characters were popular, what characters would get the FGC hyped, and so forth.
With regards to the six add-on characters coming out in 2016, basically, after we finished development of the current launch content, the development team and management took a look at the battle design and narrative backdrop of SFV and hashed out what kinds of characters and skills would best fit in.
Hadoken.net: Capcom has also announced that any game updates will be free and will not require the purchase of a second disc. Does that mean we can expect a free Super Street Fighter V update down the line?
Yoshinori Ono: Our policy moving forward will be not to release an incremental lineup under the “Super” label. That sort of titling convention for different version upgrades and editions is probably meant to make players cognizant of when those additions were released, but our stance in terms of the business and development of SFV is to be ever expanding upon the core product and offer game updates for free.
Hadoken.net: By the end of its run Street Fighter 4 had 44 characters. Will street fighter V ever reach this huge number of fighters ?
Yoshinori Ono:The 44 characters of USFIV are certainly more than bottom-tier players like myself can keep straight ::laughs::. That’s a lot of tactics to learn! With Street Fighter V, our key word is “reset.” Hence, at release, we’ll be keeping it to a roster of 16 that people can get a grasp of without feeling overwhelmed. After that, as we’ve already announced, we’ll be putting out six additional characters within 2016. The following year and beyond, we’d like to keep offering new characters and content to keep the game feeling fresh and exciting. But as for an exact number of characters that SFV will reach, that’s still to be determined.
Hadoken.net: Recent fighting games have offered extensive story modes (like Mortal Kombat X and Guilty Gear Xrd) What can you tell us about the story mode of Street Fighter V ?
Yoshinori Ono: The team is aware of the high demand for a story mode. With SFV, at launch, we’ll be offering a prologue which introduces players to the characters and the world of Street Fighter V. As for the type of large-scale narrative everyone is hoping for, we’ll have more details to announce in the very near future, so please stay tuned.
Hadoken.net: The Street Fighter 4 series offered pretty cool anime prologues and endings by famous anime studios, could we expect the same for SF5
Yoshinori Ono: With Street Fighter V, we’ll be focusing more on the fighting game side of things and we have a different art style this time around, so we hope you like what we have for players with this new iteration of Street Fighter.
Hadoken.net: Speaking of Anime, are there any chances of a new Street Fighter anime series or anime movie that will accompany the release of the game? We did not have an anime series since the 90’s
Yoshinori Ono: Mm, indeed. There hasn’t been anything since the feature-length film in…’94? ’95? In fact, that’s partly why we created a bonus anime feature for SFIV/Super SFIV. As for a new anime series, there’s nothing to announce right now but that doesn’t mean we won’t see something new in the future.
— End of Interview —
So there you have it folks, it seems the super secret Story Mode will indeed evolve with the game. Will the prologues mentioned give us a history lesson for all the characters prior to the Street Fighter V timeline? Time will tell. Until then make sure to follow us on Twitter @hadokendotnet to stay up to date on everything Street Fighter.
We would like to give a special thanks to Ono San for freeing some of his busy schedule to talk to us. We would like to give a special thanks to Capcom’s Senior Pr Manager, Jason Andersen, for making this interview possible.