Capcom producer Yoshinori Ono is currently hard at work on Street Fighter X Tekken, but he's also thinking up some new ideas for future fighting games. While SFxT allows players to equip their fighters with stat-altering gems, he suggests his "ultimate goal" is to let players customize their fighters more extensively, or even create their own.
"For future titles I want to keep having this concept of, my character is different than your character," Ono told Eurogamer. "In fighting games, the only difference between me and you is how good I am. But what I want to do with fighting games from now on is add in that element of customization, where I can have a Ryu that's different than your Ryu, so we can compete on a different level than just our execution.
"But really the ultimate goal would be to have the players themselves create their own characters to some degree," he said. "We call it user created content, or user created design." He says that would take it a step beyond tweaks to pre-made characters, and player-created characters could spread throughout the community. He suggests this concept wouldn't necessarily have to wait for the next generation, and could be done on current hardware.
Once the next generation does hit, though, Ono is already thinking of ways to take advantage of the increased horsepower. "Fighting games are great to be spectated. The players enjoy it, but people watching can also enjoy them. With the next generation of hardware we can make things better for the spectator in that sense. So maybe the guy's clothes could get ripped off during the fight. Chun-Li would be like, 'Oh no!' There are a lot of things we could do with the graphics to make it look better. But in terms of the basics, we already have a lot of the power we need."
Street Fighter x Tekken's gem system allows players to customize their characters based on predetermined factors. However, critics fear they will diminish the balance that makes fighting games such a hit on the tourney circuit. A greater degree of customization would probably be met with some resistance, but at least Capcom's top talent is thinking of ways to innovate.