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“Street Fighter V feels like a bit of a reset in terms of something that more casual players want to get excited about because it's a brand new game with a brand new engine, brand new stock game and brand new characters and everything that could come along with that,” brand manager Brian Ayers (pictured above left) explains.
“But also, it's a bit of a reset on the community side of things and the pro-gamer side of things. They're all starting from the same page. For this game, we're trying very much to make it newcomer or lapsed fan-friendly. That's one of the big points of Street Fighter V is it's welcoming people in different ways.”
Capcom has ditched this release plan for Street Fighter V. All consumers need to play the game is the base disc that launches next week. Subsequent content, including stages, modes, characters and costumes, can be bought in-game with currency called Fight Money or can be purchased with real money or ‘Zenny’ as it is called in-game.
“We've been quite honest in saying that Street Fighter V – the disc or digital edition – is the only version that you'll ever need,” Ayers says.
“You'll never have to buy or be forced to buy another iteration further down the line. What that means is you don't split the player base. Everyone can always just buy that game and know that two, three years down the line and know they can jump back in whether they are just spectating or being a competitor.”
He continues: “We want Street Fighter V to last a console generation. That's a very brave move from the business side of things. But that is how we are looking at the product as well. It's not: 'right, get it out, it's the first six months and then it's done'. We're talking lifetime on this now in years rather than quarters, which I think is quite telling in itself.”
Davis adds: “It’s much more about the longer game with Street Fighter. We're not having the other iterations coming and that was a brave decision for us to make. Although we had a lot of different versions of Street Fighter IV, every single one was commercially successful, all the way up to Ultra Street Fighter IV. We've made the decision to not do those because we want to give the fans what they want, we'll give them the extra content but it'll be digital downloads and it will be stuff they can earn for free in the game. It's about us listening to the fans feedback rather than looking at just numbers.”
“Mortal Kombat under Warner Bros has significantly raised the bar in lots of different ways. Last year’s Mortal Kombat X went very hardcore on its single player elements and we realised that we needed have an answer to that – not to Warner Bros directly, but we needed to satisfy what the consumer demands.
“For the first time, we've got a full cinematic story mode that's coming as free content, again, with the nature of supporting the game long-term rather than stuffing it all into the disc for Day One. We're staggering a lot of the stuff to keep people interested and coming back. That's set for June. We've seen it already and it looks fantastic. Fans don't need to go watch a Street Fighter anime any more – it's all within the game in terms of story telling.”
Ayers adds: “Betas do get used more and more as a marketing tool these days, which can skew the perception of what the beta is for. The reason why we had four betas was we needed to get this hitting the ground running on Day One.
"As much as the first beta was a bit of a disaster, we still learnt from it. We were giving people extra days. We're lucky in that the fighting game community is one of the nicer ones. They were championing our message as well, keeping the detractors at bay – you're always going to get people going 'I want my free stuff now and why doesn't my free stuff work?'. It was a lesson learnt, and thankfully we had a supportive enough community that they just spread that message for us.”
He continues: “During our most recent beta, we had an email from someone from the producer-side of the business. 'The beta is going really well' was the subject, and then they said it was 'going nervously well – too well. What's going on?' We were still all prime to react to things going wrong. It was great.
"We're really confident that going into launch, we should be issue free.”