What's your favorite game in the series so far? Favorite character?
I’ve spent so much time playing all of the games it’s hard for me to decide! Street Fighter II is the first one I ever played, and much of my youth was spent in the arcades at those machines. Street Fighter III introduced a technical battle system that is praised to this day by fans. Street Fighter IV brought back the game to its roots and helped create a new fighting game boom, which we are still enjoying today. Each game has its merits, but I would have to go with Street Fighter III if we are just talking about which game I enjoy playing the most.
As for characters, I would definitely say Ryu! He has been in the series since the beginning and his way of life is an inspiration to me. Without Ryu, I might not have joined Capcom in the first place.
Street Fighter IV introduced new moves like Focus and Ultra Attacks. Were there any additions or changes that you had to leave out? Could they be included in future games?
There were a few ideas that didn’t make it into the final version of Street Fighter IV. Just to give an example of one idea, we came up with something called “Waving.” This was a universal gameplay mechanic which allowed characters to shift their upper body during dashes in order to avoid projectile attacks. However, Focus Attacks also fulfilled this role in some ways, so we scrapped the idea as a whole. There were several other ones, but I won’t get into any more details here [laugh].
It’s tough to say if those ideas could make it into future games however, since we’re still discussing what we will be making in the future. If there is a good chance to do so, I’d like to take the opportunity though!
There's a massive series of global tournaments this year as part of the 25th anniversary. Do you think Street Fighter will continue to be a staple in arcades and tournaments? Why?
Of course I think Street Fighter will continue to be one of the most popular games in arcades and tournaments. The series has always resonated with fans in ways that other franchises couldn’t match and as developers, we want to keep that Street Fighter “flavor” going strong far into the future. There was a 10 year gap between Street Fighter III and IV, and we certainly don’t want that to happen again, so we will continue to grow the series and communicate with fans in order to build more and more communities worldwide.
Are there more cross-over titles in the future? What other franchises or universes would you like to cross Street Fighter with?
Right now, we are just focusing on Street Fighter X Tekken for the PS VITA which releases in October, so we can’t say anything about other future cross-over titles.
In terms of other franchises to do crossovers with…Street Fighter has already done quite a number of them so it’s hard to say what would be fresh and exciting! Oh! How about “Street Fighter vs. Complex”? That would be something absolutely new that no one ever saw coming [laugh].
We're looking forward to that. Thanks Ayano-san!