Ah, Capcom. Like many, you and I have had a long running and complicated relationship. I love Street fighter. I love the characters, I love the feeling of improvement, I love the tactics, hell, I even love the carpel tunnel it’s undoubtedly caused me. I straight up love it. And no one knows this better than Capcom themselves. However, testing my ingrained childhood loyalty through forcing me to purchase edition after edition of the same base game- you know, for balancing and crafty on disc DLC- was the straw that broke the camels back. They were now CashCom. And I didn’t want to be party to that.
Now, what was the point of that ‘Dear Dairy’ moment? Well, over the weekend at the EVO Fighting Game Championships- it’s kinda a big deal if your into digital fist-to-face action- Capcom made an announcement that gave me hope for the future of Street Fighter. The newest iteration would have FREE updates and a steady stream of additional combatants that could be unlocked through- now, brace yourself- a long forgotten means, gameplay.
While these one-time updates did revive interest in the series every few years, it was difficult to keep players engaged for long periods of time unless they were competitive. This also punished players who took a break from playing the game, because if they wanted to start again in a few years, they would be forced to purchase an upgrade to join the existing player pool who had already moved on to a new version. On top of that, this old method also forced players to purchase all of the new content, even if only a few characters may have appealed to them.
Capcom say the player can pick and choose who they unlock through the use of ‘Fight Money’, which is earned through the course of playing the game, or ‘Zenny’ which is the equivalent of Capcom dollars purchased with real-world money. Now, I don’t want to piss on the parade here, I really don’t but this in-game currency split is the same utilized in some of the most exploitative free-to-play games out there right now. That said, Capcom will be the deciders of how well this is implemented, with a spokesperson saying that they will be testing the in-game economy during the beta to “ensure it works in a fair way for everyone.”
Street Fighter V is slated for a March 2015 release, exclusively for the PlayStation 4 and PC.