Street Fighter V producer Yoshinori Ono recently sat down with Gameinformer to discuss the current development of Street Fighter V. During the interview, Ono stated that “we wanted to make sure we lowered the bar for entry as much as humanly possible.”
“Looking at Street Fighter III,” Ono said, “it’s very well-known that it’s a master class title, it’s a masterpiece in and of itself, but the game got to a point where it was so high level that only masters could really play each other.” Street Fighter IV produced a similar competitive scene. “The reason that I felt [the bar of entry should be lowered] was because games are supposed to be something that you enjoy and have fun between lots and lots of people.”
Ono sees the introduction of the V-Skill, V-Trigger, and V-Reversal systems in Street Fighter V as a way to sweep the slate clean, as both new and veteran players will have to learn how the unique features of this game work. Street Fighter V also includes a training mode — a first in the series — that guides new players through the fundamentals of the Street Fighter franchise.
The attention paid to accessibility echoes that of Nintendo, and fellow video game producer Masahiro Sakurai, creator of the Super Smash Bros series. Smash Bros was always intended to be a pick-up-and-play title, and when Smash Bros Melee inadvertently produced a highly competitive following, the features that fostered this level of play were removed from subsequent games. Sakurai stated his reasoning behind this decision being that, “If new players from this generation of gamers are to come in, then we should try to make it accessible, simple, and playable by anyone.”
It’s possible Capcom’s focus on accessibility may have more to do with sales, as accessibility allows for much broader market access. To compare the two franchises, Street Fighter IV has been on the market for six years, is available on PS3, Xbox360, and PC, and has only sold over eight million copies. In just over a year, Smash Bros Wii U (including sales of Smash Bros for the 3DS) has sold over 11 million copies (all figures have been taken from the VGChartz database).