Street Fighter 6 should be free to play


Street Fighter 6 was announced late last night and I can’t stop watching the short trailer that debuted the title. Ryu’s new model looks very impressive, and wow, what a big guy he is. He becomes a fat, square, sweaty muscle. Luke, on the other hand, looks very different from his recent debut in SFV, with a much more realistic haircut and veined arms that would make John Cena jealous. We have almost no information about the game at this point, but that doesn’t stop us from thinking about the possibilities of what might come with SF6 or what we want the next big chapter in the series to be.

Capcom is no stranger to live service games, nor do they lack experience with seasonal content. Street Fighter V had a lot of both, with four seasons featuring new characters, lots of costumes, and new stages. New bundles have been created to sell content for major tournaments like Evo or Capcom Pro Tour that would add even more cosmetics to the game. By all accounts, Street Fighter has been running as a free-to-play game for years, and I’d love to see the series lean more towards that model, at least for this upcoming entry.

In many ways, Street Fighter V felt like a beta test for a future free-to-play system. Capcom has implemented ways for players to buy new characters or cosmetics with real money or choose to earn Fight Money by playing different modes in the game, which can be spent on the same items. Other costumes were handed out in Extra Battles, where you earned “costume pieces” from week to week to build a cool Capcom collaboration costume. This brought me back to SFV several times so I could get Rashid’s awesome Air Man suit or Kage’s Asura’s Wrath gear. Unfortunately, missing a week for a particular piece would leave you with an incomplete cosmetic that could not be earned until the event happened again. It wasn’t a perfect system, with Fight Money a grind to earn, but it did lay the groundwork for what could be possible if SF6 went free-to-play.

What would be revolutionary for SF6 is a battle pass system. I know. Not every game needs a battle pass. But implementing one here would do huge things for the game. First, it would promote player retention, giving people a reason to return to the game over time to climb that personal ladder. Players seem to give up fighting games pretty quickly, but encouraging them to stick with them and give them rewards like customizations, unlockable characters, or new music to play while fighting can be a good way to keep people playing the game . Like Dota 2’s The International, some of the money brought in by the battle passes can and should be put into a pool for the Capcom Pro Tour or to support a variety of local tournaments around the world, giving players a reason to strive to become a player. better warrior.

Street Fighter is a pretty big name in video games, but when you consider the sales figures for its most recent entry (around 6 million copies sold on PS4 and PC), it falls way behind titles like Mortal Kombat 11 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. If successful, a free model backed by cosmetic sales and a battle pass could give Capcom a recurring source of income, allowing for more content and characters to be created, and we all know this will really drive the company to launch the game. support in the future. long-term.

On the other hand, delivering a complete game with a first day arcade mode, immersive story mode, training and functional online with reliable (preferably rollback) net code would also go a long way to surpass SFV’s sales. Games like MK11 prove that fighting games can still be sold as a full-fledged premium product. Perhaps now is the time for Capcom to get around the traditional sales model and innovate in a way that bigger fighting games have rarely done. Whatever route Capcom takes with the new installment of the Street Fighter series, I hope it’s fun to play and will pay more attention to the fighting game scene. I believe we are on the cusp of a very exciting time for fighting games, and like its predecessors, SF6 could easily be the centerpiece of the genre for this new generation.

What do you want from Street Fighter 6? We have a reader discussion for exactly that question. Go there to talk about it with the Gaming Tech Gear community!


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