Capcom’s Street Fighter fighting game series continues to be a huge draw for fans around the world. Ever since its introduction back in 1989, it has evolved with a number of sequels, including Ultra Street Fighter IV, which has become a phenomenon at tournaments everywhere.
Now, the series is about to enter its next evolution for PlayStation 4 and PC, and that new version gained a lot of exposure this past weekend at the EVO fighting tournament in Las Vegas. At the tournament, live viewers and online streamers via Twitch got a chance to see the next big step in the Street Fighter franchise.
Street Fighter V, which was initially announced late last year at Sony’s PlayStation Experience, gained even more buzz at the Electronic Entertainment Expo last month with the introduction of two new fighters – Cammy and Birdie – alongside a better explanation of its changing battle system, which players can adapt to on the fly as they fight with one another.
This past weekend at EVO, Capcom added yet another piece to the fighting puzzle, introducing a new combatant named Necalli. This big-haired brawler will add a new fighting style for players to adapt to in the game, whether they’re playing as him or taking him on in battle.
“Players who enjoy a straightforward, hard-hitting character will feel right at home with Necalli, as he possesses a wide variety of savage, close-range attacks, as well as a command grab, all with the goal of demolishing his foes,” Capcom’s Peter Rosas stated in a blog post.
“We want to change the way that players interact with the series, and create an ever-evolving environment for players to enjoy. By releasing new characters on a regular basis, it will ensure that there is always new content to look forward to in the short term, and it prevents the competitive environment from ever becoming stale.”
The debut trailer directed and produced by Ayzenberg for Necalli is below.
In addition to revealing a new character – and hinting at more to come before the game’s release next year – Capcom also broke down its business plan for Street Fighter V, and it’s quite different from the usual plan game developers follow these days.
Instead of having to pay extra money to unlock new combatants in the game, players can actually earn all the content by playing through it. This marks a changing of the guard for usual development from Capcom, a move that a number of fans have come to appreciate since its announcement yesterday.
Balancing will also be kept in check, according to Rosas. “Players can take a break from the game, but then come back at any time and continue to play with the characters they already own, with the newest gameplay balance,” he said.
This will be good news for avid fans who have stuck with Street Fighter over the years, and ones that keep coming for a number of profitable pro tournaments. Capcom has even devoted itself to marketing a Pro Tour to hype the games in the series, with a number of popular players competing for prizes.
And these fighting tournaments are definitely a big draw with consumers. GamesIndustry International reports that over 250,000 people tuned into the final Ultra Street Fighter IV competition, marking a huge record for a fighting tournament. The entire event was streamed all weekend, with thousands tuning in to see the best of the best compete in a number of games, including Mortal Kombat X and Super Smash Bros. Melee, an older favorite for Nintendo’s GameCube console.
With these records continuing to rise – and Street Fighter V looming in the distance for a 2016 release on PlayStation 4 and PC – there’s no doubt that the fight will continue.