While he holds many responsibilities at Capcom, most of our readers probably know Yoshinori Ono as the current producer for Street Fighter, with Ono having spearheaded the series’ revival with Street Fighter IV.
Speaking with Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata, about Super Street Fighter IV 3D Edition, Ono has some interesting thoughts to reveal on what led to the revival of the series, following a nine year gap after Street Fighter III. Essentially, Ono feels that with Street Fighter III, Capcom made the game too inaccessible to the vast majority of players.
“We had locked the doors of the "entrance" without even knowing it,” Ono told Iwata. “By designating the "entrance," it ended up becoming a game that only a select few could enter.”
He continued: “It was a kind of pleasure you feel by being a part of an exclusive group. We game creators also became drunk with that feeling. Thankfully, even 14 years after its release, there still are world tournaments held for Street Fighter III!”
When development of Street Fighter IV first began, Ono reveals, some within Capcom suggested that they make the game even more “over the top” than Street Fighter III because that was what it seemed like the most vocal fans wanted. From his own experiences, though, Ono knew that the loudest voices weren’t necessarily indicative of the broader opinion. He says it took him two years to convince Capcom to let him create Street Fighter IV with the vision he had for it, since others at the company felt his vision for a game that would feel familiar to players was outdated.
Ono compares Street Fighter IV to a class reunion. “The class reunion means to think how we could let the former players who played the original to feel like joining it again,” he says. “For example, when you are going to a middle school reunion, men usually think about the girl they liked right away.”
He continues: “They’d have these thoughts about how she’s doing as they head on over to the reunion. But when they get there, everyone has changed and he doesn’t know which one she is. Something like that. (laughs) If it were me, I’d try to imagine lots of things about that girl on the way to the reunion.”
Ono also reveals interesting information about his development history and how Dead Rising was the result of a failure on the part of Shadow of Rome, which he was personally involved with. It’s an interesting read as you’d expect, so I’d recommend giving it a look if you like learning about game development history.