During the EVO 2015 Street Fighter 5 panel today, Capcom opened up the gates and let loose a tremendous amount of information pertaining to the game's future. We here at EventHubs got the chance to discuss this new information with the company, and in turn acquired details on Street Fighter 5's roster size, their goal of making Street Fighter into a growing platform, and much more.
Capcom got started by explaining their new content strategy for Street Fighter 5, and how it differs from previous iterations of the franchise.
"We're positioning Street Fighter 5 as more of a service," Capcom's Director of Brand Marketing & eSports, Matt Dahlgren, told us. "We're moving away from having a disc-based model, such as compilations like Super Street Fighter 4 or Ultra Street Fighter 4, and focusing on Street Fighter as a platform itself, which is going to grow over time."
"Our goal is to have a constantly evolving Street Fighter world that delivers fun for all different player types."
Capcom reiterated that the initial Street Fighter 5 disc will be the only one you'll ever need to own. Then they announced something that is sure to please most Street Fighter fans out there.
"Moving forward, all balance and system adjustments will be made available for free to players. All post launch gameplay related content can now be earned by playing the game," Dahlgren stated.
In previous iterations of Street Fighter, you had to buy a new version of the game in order to access additional characters, balance adjustments and gameplay tweaks. Capcom is handling things differently with Street Fighter 5.
"This time around, if you're dedicated and you play the game continuously, you will be able to earn that content for free," Dahlgren continued.
We asked Capcom if they had estimates on what kind of time players would have to invest to access the content in the game, but that's still being decided.
"We're optimizing that, and figuring out the correct time frame, but that's part of the reason why we're doing these beta tests," said Dahlgren.
16 playable characters at launch, four will be brand new, future plans for additional fighters
Capcom also gave us the lowdown on the game's launch roster size. Street Fighter 5 will have 16 playable characters to start, four of which will be brand new.
"We feel that's a good balance for a very diverse roster, but not being too overwhelming for new players to hop into the game," Dahlgren expressed.
Capcom will continually add additional characters, making this the first iteration in the franchise where it’s possible for dedicated players to continue to expand on their gameplay experience without the need to purchase further titles in the series.
A shift in approach
Capcom explained why they decided to make Street Fighter 5 into a platform rather than compilation discs.
"Looking back on Street Fighter 4, these compilation discs revived interest in the series for a limited amount of time," Dahlgren said. "However, for a general audience, waiting a year for new content was too long, so that made it very difficult to sustain people's interest.
"Additionally, that old strategy punished players who took a break from playing the game. For instance, if they stopped playing during Street Fighter 4, and they wanted to come back and play a little more during the Super Street Fighter 4 era, they would have been forced to purchase an upgrade to play in the largest player pool.
"Essentially, what we did over time with Street Fighter 4 is made our player pool smaller and smaller by eliminating people who didn't purchase the upgrades. That old method forced players to purchase all of the new content, even if only a few characters were really appealing to them.
"Looking forward, our new strategy is more consumer friendly. This also creates additional long-term engagement with the game, because the more you play it, the more you're rewarded. We're always adding to the player base this time around — we're never shrinking it by requiring a paid update. Players can leave at any time and come back at any time, and play on the latest balance adjustments with the largest player base," stated Dahlgren.
By releasing new characters regularly, it ensures there is always new content players can look forward to in the short term, said Capcom.
"That allows the competitive environment to never be stale, so there are always new strategies and tactics that are evolving," he said.
Pricing not available yet, two types of in-game currency
At this time, Capcom is still working on the pricing model for future content, so a price breakdown isn't available just yet. What we do know is that there will be in-game currency that will be separated into two different types: Fight Money and Zenny.
"Fight Money can only be obtained by playing the game, and that's what you use to earn the gameplay related content," Dahlgren explained.
If you're looking to speed up the process, however, you can access content immediately by purchasing Zenny with real money and using it to buy characters, and other content up front.
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