Street Fighter 6 is designed to be a fighter ‘that everyone can play’
street fighter has been around since 1987, starting out as an arcade phenomenon before eventually selling an estimated 47 million copies across various iterations and platforms. Still, Takayuki Nakayama believes it can reach a much wider audience. “I want a street fighter game that anyone can play, not just the core fans,” he says. “I want to share the love I have for street fighter with the widest possible audience.”
Nakayama is the game director of Street Fighter 6, which will start next year. It’s a game that looks incredible in motion, but also one that makes some significant changes to the series’ formula in an effort to broaden the audience, not just for street fighter but for fighting games in general.
I spoke with Nakayama at Summer Game Fest in Los Angeles earlier this month, where I also had the chance to spend about 30 minutes playing the game in development. For the director, it was a chance to finally see real players experience the game he’s been working on since 2018. “I see fighting games as a form of communication between people,” he explains. “Playing online is great, but seeing people playing against each other in real life and being excited and competitive was great.”
The most obvious addition to Street Fighter 6 is a new control scheme. In addition to the traditional – and relatively complicated – control layout, there is a new option called ‘modern’, in which many special attacks are reduced to a single button. The idea is to make it so that players can still do cool things in the game, like throw a fireball, without memorizing tricky button combinations. It was incredibly easy to pick up during my short time with the game, even though I’ve never had one SF game seriously since third trick† That said, it’s been hard to say whether players will have an advantage over each other depending on the control scheme they’re using.
But even with simpler controls, fighting games are still full of hidden depths, which is why Nakayama and his team developed a new kind of structure with the intention of giving new players easier access to the street fighter universe. While the developers aren’t divulging too many details just yet, one of the more intriguing modes is described as an “immersive single-player story mode” dubbed World Tour. Nakayama calls it “a journey that will help players feel familiar and comfortable with” street fighter†
“We can’t dive into the details in terms of what you can actually do in World Tour, but what we can say is that there will be a story, and if you go through that story, the player can learn how to do different things. do.” he explains. “In addition, there will be times when players can really learn who these legacy characters are, be it Ryu or Chun-Li.”
Outside of the single player section of Street Fighter 6the game will also include a mode called Fighting Ground (which will contain “all the modes found in” Street Fighter V“, according to Capcom, including mainstays such as arcade and practice) and the equally mysterious Battle Hub, which the developer says “will allow players to look for friendly rivalries.”
While many details about these modes are yet to be revealed, Nakayama says the idea is for different types of players to be able to use them in different ways. For example, a new player may be introduced to street fighter through the campaign before moving on to eventually play online with friends, eventually leading to competitive multiplayer. “These modes are meant to connect the player’s journey in multiple ways,” explains Nakayama.
Even some seemingly smaller features, like the recently announced comment option, are in part intended to help newbies. Street Fighter 6 gives the players an option to enable real-time commentary from well-known fighting game community figures; the two announced commentators so far are Jeremy “Vicious” Lopez (English) and Aru (Japanese). In practice, it’s like playing a sports match, with relevant feedback about what’s happening in the match. It’s designed to be approachable – so don’t expect a lot of jargon in fighting games – and Nakayama says it came about primarily because he was a fan. “The idea was to give that same feeling to people who might not be competing in tournaments,” he explains. “I wanted to share that excitement.”
A big challenge was the scope. Nakayama says he treats each of the game modes almost like it’s a whole game, but there’s only one team that makes all the modes Street Fighter 6† That’s probably one of the reasons it’s not expected to launch until 2023, five years after development began. “It was a huge challenge,” he says of designing all the different components, “but they all serve their own individual purpose.”
Street Fighter 6 launches in 2023 for the PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC.