Capcom announced Ultra Street Fighter IV at EVO 2013 a few weeks ago, but with the Xbox One and PlayStation nearing release fighting game fans are wondering when a next-gen Street Fighter V is coming. In an interview with 4Gamer (translated by Siliconera), Street Fighter producer Yoshinori Ono said he'd love to do another game, but the money's not there yet.
"Personally, I don't want to stop Street Fighter's main numbered series at IV," said Ono. "Realistically speaking, developing a title for next-gen consoles requires a huge amount of staff members, and a large sum of money. The issue of money also applies to everyone else, as it'll be required to invest in a new console, game, and arcade stick."
4Gamer also asked Ono about rise of free-to-play fighting games, with Tekken Revolution, Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate, and Killer Instinct all coming soon to various platforms. He admitted that Capcom toyed with the concept in Street Fighter x Tekken's Gems system.
"If you look at fighting games as a competitive sport, one might say the more players, the better. Going F2P lowers the hurdle of needing money to start, which I believe is one the ideal parts about it," Ono said.
"There's a lot of things to think about when it comes to the billing model. For example, in trading card games, you can become stronger by paying money and acquiring new cards. For arcade fighter games, you don't get anything from your money. The motivation of 'wanting to become stronger' is what they pay for."
"For Fighting games, we're always thinking about finding 'something' which can be acquired by paying money," he added. "If can find that, I believe things would go smoothly."
Part of the issue of trying a free-to-play Street Fighter is knowing if the game would actually recoup its development costs.
"Knowing whether a company can guarantee [recovering] the development cost is something to which I don't currently see an answer," Ono said. "So, I'd like to think about it a little more after seeing how well Harada (Tekken series producer) and Hayashi (Dead or Alive series producer) handle it."
"When thinking about games as a product, it boils down to how much the company intends to spend in order to make it, and how much the players will likely spend on it, and the balance between the two is very important. For example, back in Street Fighter II, one play was 100, 200 yen, which was enough to cover the development cost; however, those costs are now much higher than what players would imagine. At the moment, I don't have a clear vision of how we can balance the two."