Happy Friday everyone! This week I am yet again going to be talking about Street Fighter (I know, I know, I’m sorry). I had planned to write about another topic, but it wasn’t ready in time, so I had to substitute this one in. It is a Thought that I had planned to write for awhile now anyways, so I hope nobody minds.
The last time I wrote about Street Fighter V, I talked about how the game lets people purchase characters by just playing the game. And how some players were insisting on Capcom giving them more despite the fact that every other fighting game required money for DLC. But today, I am going to talk about how Capcom saved the game from a bare-bones mess, into what it is today. Welcome to Lgndary Thoughts!
Street Fighter V originally launched 2 years ago. Capcom held several beta tests that allowed players to try out the game, and many were very happy with what they saw. The visuals were great, the gameplay was excellent, and the fighters looked awesome. There were some technical issues that needed to be worked out, but most people thought the game was really shaping up to be a great improvement over Street Fighter IV. On top of the excellent gameplay, Capcom had also announced a shift in their policy regarding updates and DLC. Unlike SFIV, players would have the option of buying characters simply by playing. In addition to that, Capcom also promised players that they would never have to pay for a Street Fighter IV to Super Street Fighter IV style update again. Needless to say, fans of the series were pumped.
That is, until the game launched.
Upon its release, buyers of Street Fighter V couldn’t help but notice the glaring lack of what had been standard features of past iterations. Most notably was an arcade mode. A VS CPU mode was also missing, amongst some other, smaller things. So to put in plainly, while the core of the game was great, it was incomplete.
Naturally, sales of Street Fighter V did not meet expectations, and was being outsold by other fighting games in tremendously less time. Even when Capcom added a cinematic story mode, and made many other improvements, the game could not shake the perception of being bad or a waste of money. It started to feel like no matter what Capcom did to the game, the perception of what it used to be would continue to hold it back. It wouldn’t be enough to add an arcade mode, or VS CPU mode, or anything else. They needed something bigger.
Enter Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition. A brand new version of the game that redesigned the menus, added new play styles for characters, added not just 1, but 5 arcade modes, just to name a few of the new features. And to top it all off, this entire version of the game was 100% free to all existing owners of Street Fighter V.
With one release, Capcom generated a ton of hype around their game, fixed almost all of the problems the original release had, kept those that already bought the game happy by giving them free content, and destroying any perception that the game was unfinished. It took them 2 years to do it, but Street Fighter V is finally the game it should have been all along, and more. When faced with criticism, Capcom didn’t walk away from the game, or try to defend it, they actually worked hard to listen to the fans, and delivered. That is how you save a game, and other developers in similar situations would be wise to take notice.