Yoshinori Ono, known for being Capcom’s Street Fighter IV series producer (and also for his outrageous Chun-Li cosplay,) has been busy as usual, with his latest appearance at EVO 2013 and more recently at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con, where 4Gamer caught up with him and talked about his thoughts on the future of fighting games.
The first question asked by 4Gamer, is one that’s been on the mind of many fighter enthusiasts. What about fighting games for next-gen consoles?
“Personally, I don’t want to stop Street Fighter’s main numbered series at IV,” says Ono. “Realistically speaking, developing a title for next-gen consoles requires a huge amount of staff members, and a large sum of money. The issue of money also applies to everyone else, as it’ll be required to invest in a new console, game, and arcade stick.”
Lately, we’ve seen a trend of free-to-play fighters; with titles such as Tekken Revolution, Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate, and Killer Instinct hitting the market. Ono shares his thoughts on that, too.
“If you look at fighting games as a competitive sport, one might say the more players, the better. Going F2P lowers the hurdle of needing money to start, which I believe is one the ideal parts about it,” Ono expresses.
“On the other hand, knowing whether a company can guarantee [recovering] the development cost is something to which I don’t currently see an answer. So, I’d like to think about it a little more after seeing how well Harada (Tekken series producer) and Hayashi (Dead or Alive series producer) handle it.”
He continues, “When thinking about games as a product, it boils down to how much the company intends to spend in order to make it, and how much the players will likely spend on it, and the balance between the two is very important. For example, back in Street Fighter II, one play was 100, 200 yen, which was enough to cover the development cost; however, those costs are now much higher than what players would imagine. At the moment, I don’t have a clear vision of how we can balance the two.”
4Gamer mentions that Tekken Revolution and Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate aren’t completely new games, but rather updated versions, which they believe it has allowed them to challenge the F2P model.
“There’s a lot of things to think about when it comes to the billing model,” Ono replies. “For example, in trading card games, you can become stronger by paying money and acquiring new cards. For arcade fighter games, you don’t get anything from your money. The motivation of ‘wanting to become stronger’ is what they pay for.”
“For Fighting games, we’re always thinking about finding ‘something’ which can be acquired by paying money,” he continues. “If can find that, I believe things would go smoothly. One of our trials was the ‘Gems’ of Street Fighter X Tekken.”
Meanwhile, Siliconera recently caught up with Capcom’s fighting game manager, Matt Dahlgren, who mentioned that Darkstalkers Resurrection didn’t perform as they had hoped. While he didn’t reveal anything regarding a possible development of a new Darkstalkers game, Ono had a few thoughts to share after 4Gamer asked about a possible new game in the series as well.
“Asking you guys to just wait a little longer is where we truly stand right now,” Ono admitted. “Darkstalkers Resurrection was just updated other day, too, and we’re really feeling your passion. Our activities to finally show the world a new Darkstalkers are still going on, so It’d bring me great joy to have your continued support.”