We found out everything you want to know about the upcoming release of Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection.
Most questions were answered by Yoshinori Ono, Street Fighter series executive producer, with an additional answer by Shuhei Matsumoto, producer, Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection.
When did you decide you wanted to do something special for Street Fighter’s 30th birthday?
Ono: We’ve tried to do something for most of the 5-yearly anniversary milestones, although the 5th anniversary was right in the middle of the Street Fighter II craze, and the 10th anniversary kind of passed by without anything in particular. It was the 15th anniversary when myself and the Street Fighter team kind of remembered at the last minute and forced a 15th anniversary celebration (I can laugh about it now…). Since then we’ve done something for the fans on the 20th, 25th and 30th anniversaries, and now we just have to figure out what we’ll do for the 35th [laughs].
Was Digital Eclipse the obvious studio to work with?
Ono: Capcom USA (CUSA) are the ones leading the 30th anniversary project, and as they have worked with Digital Eclipse on other titles, CUSA pitched them to me as the perfect partners for this project.
How did you decide which games to include in the collection?
Ono: In the video games industry, 30 years is a very long time for a brand to have continuously released new titles. It’s enough years for me to have gained plenty of grey hairs and wrinkles! Considering this long history, the series has fans from every era and age range, and we wanted to be able to cover as many eras as possible. There are of course some titles we had to leave out, but maybe we can bring those back for the 40th anniversary [laughs].
What was involved in bringing arcade titles to console?
Ono: Last Spring we brought out Ultra Street Fighter II on Nintendo Switch. As a creator I probably shouldn’t say something was “surprisingly” popular, but the game was very well received and many players bought it. I knew that many different ages of player have their own feelings and memories of the Street Fighter II series, so I wanted to bring something with the atmosphere and feel of that time and add features that would appeal to series fans. In the same way, for Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection, we’ve included all kinds of development concept art materials and music and so on, to satisfy players who remember each era of the series.
For things like the museum, was it necessarily harder to get hold of older pieces of artwork?
Matsumoto: We started gathering the old artwork about a year and a half ago. Some of it was easy to get hold of but it is 30 years of history after all, so some of it we had to go into the basement archives of the Capcom HQ – it was like the final scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark [laughs]. We found so many great treasures, and sometimes even stayed late at night getting absorbed into reading old documents and materials, even shedding a few nostalgic tears! We’ve put everything we found in the game so definitely check it out! You’ll be sure to stay up late looking at them just like I did [laughs].
Are you hoping to appeal to series veterans or Street Fighter newcomers?
Ono: As I said earlier, the age range of fans is so wide, with people loving the series for many years, and many of them currently still playing Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition and watching gameplay and tournaments like the Capcom Pro Tour online. I often see parents and children together at tournaments, not just as spectators but participants! When I’m in a photo with fans like that, I do get into a slightly fogey-ish mindset and think to myself, I’ve been making Street Fighter games since before this kid was born! (laughs)Anyway, I want this game to appeal to both veterans and the new generation of fans who might just be getting into the series, and are curious about its history. I hope those new World Warriors will pick the game up from that perspective.
What’s next for Street Fighter?
Ono: My next immediate task is new characters for Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, and I’m currently swamped with that work [laughs]. Your readers are probably saying to themselves right now, “no, they mean after that!”, right? Well, maybe I’m gonna work towards the 40th anniversary to speak to all the relevant rights holders and the actor himself to bring back Street Fighter: The Movie’s Captain Sawada!! Thanks for all your support over these 30 years, and going into the 31st year and onwards!