Ever since its announcement late last year at Sony’s PlayStation Experience event, Capcom’s Street Fighter V has been building an incredible amount of anticipation among fans. The forthcoming fighting game promises to not only be the most impressive in the series to date, but also the most accessible. Fans and pros alike will be able to get into its many nuances, and the cross-compatibility of the PC and PlayStation 4 versions means the player base will be unified across the two platforms.
What’s more, the game is likely to be a hit during the Capcom Pro Tour, a special series of events where fans compete for big cash and prizes. It has already become a big mover-and-shaker in the eSports industry, and Street Fighter V should propel it even further when it makes its debut on PlayStation 4 and Steam early next year.
VentureBeat recently posted an article featuring an interview with Capcom’s director of marketing and eSports, Matt Dahlgren, about Street Fighter V‘s impact in the community, as well as what it can do for the eSports scene.
First off, Street Fighter plays a vital role in Capcom’s business model, since it’s one of its biggest franchises. “Street Fighter is actually unique because it is owned by Capcom USA,” said Dahlgren. “So we have a very large fighting team structure that is in place there that handles everything, from our product marketing to our licensing business. There are also some levels of development oversight as well, so if there is anything that has to do with Street Fighter as a brand, I am involved in it at some capacity.” This is unique, considering that Street Fighter V is being developed in Japan, but still being released as a U.S. property.
As far as getting a game involved with the Capcom Pro Tour (and thus competing for the Capcom Cup), Dahlgren explains, “It’s pretty much up to our discretion. We have a very strong team that is built from people who come from the fighting game community. So we look at various tournament organizers and the ones that we feel are really pushing the bar in terms of production capabilities and really trying to rise the fighting scene to new heights, we want to partner up with those.
“So when we created the Capcom Pro Tour, we didn’t want to come in and basically take over the competitive scene. We wanted to create a structure that provided opportunity for everyone that’s involved. So all of the tournaments, with the exception of Capcom Cup, are still run and are independent organizations, but we basically tried to band everyone together to tell a better story of what goes on (in the fighting game tournament scene) throughout the year.”
Dahlgren also talked about the structure of the tournament, which seems pretty detailed. “Basically what it is doing [is that] it takes the fighting game scene that has existed for many, many years and like, all it is doing is taking advantage of the structure and getting everyone to work together to tell a better narrative of what goes on throughout the year.
“So now the events are not necessarily competing with each other, they re more working together to tell a larger story. So the way the Capcom Pro Tour works is we have 32 spots up for grabs to qualify for the Capcom Cup. The Capcom Cup is our year-end finale. We ve got 16 premiere events. Anyone that wins a premiere event will automatically qualify for the Capcom Cup.
“Then we are partnered with 40 other tournaments on the side, which we call ranking events. They all get ranking points for the top eight placements and then we track those on our leaderboards. That determines our next 15 spots. Then we automatically invite the previous year s champion, which round up to 32.”
It’s worldwide, as well. “We put a lot of effort to make sure Capcom Pro Tour is a globally minded league. We split up the premiere events and ranking events evenly per territory, so North America, Europe, and Asia all have the same amount of points. Then for the remaining category we split those up into either emerging markets or events we consider to be global,” said Dahlgren. “Like EVO brings in talent from all over the world, so we consider that a part of our global structure.”
As for what role the next Street Fighter will play in all this, Dahlgren explained, “I would say, really the Capcom Pro Tour was built for Street Fighter V. We just wanted to launch it earlier [running the Street Fighter IV series] to make sure we got into a good rhythm before Street Fighter V came out.
“But Street Fighter V is the first Street Fighter that has been created with eSports in mind,” he continued. “We ll be balancing the game during the Capcom Pro Tour to show respect towards the competitive scene. We re also going to have some announcements in the near future as to how the game will tie in directly with the Capcom Pro Tour. But Street Fighter V is really the product that we believe is going to help Street Fighter rise as a competitive product and help the fighting game community grow over all.”
Online will play a huge part as well. “We have a lot of concepts that we re putting together. We know online play is going to be a really huge focus for Street Fighter, so we want to make sure there are online components to the Capcom Pro Tour,” Dahlgren added. “Things will make a lot more sense and layer together in the very near future.”
The full interview can be found here. Street Fighter V will release early next year.