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Street Fighter 5 interview: The making of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation charity DLC

Shacknews chats with members of the Street Fighter team and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation to discuss the making of this collaborative charity DLC.


Over its lengthy development cycle, Street Fighter 5 has featured numerous DLC costumes for its array of characters. They've ranged from cool, to silly, to creative. There have also been a few that have helped contribute to a good cause. Most recently, Capcom and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation banded together in order to create two new DLC costumes for Ryu and Chun-Li. These pink duds not only change up their look, but 100 percent of the proceeds for their purchase go towards the BCRF.

We recently spoke to a couple of parties about this new DLC. First, there's the Street Fighter 5 leadership duo of Producer Shuhei Matsumoto and Director Takayuki Nakayama. They discussed this collaboration and what it has meant for Capcom. We followed that up by checking in with Lisa De Luca, Managing Director of Corporate Research over at the BCRF. We asked her about how this collaboration came about and also how the BCRF can further their mission through video games. Plus, be on the lookout for some behind-the-scenes images below, as we included some concept art, courtesy of Capcom.

Shacknews: Ryu and Chun-Li almost always seem to be at the forefront of new costume endeavors. What made them the right choice for this collaboration?

Shuhei Matsumoto, Street Fighter 5 Producer: Chun-Li and Ryu are two of the most iconic and recognizable characters from Street Fighter. Chun-Li was the first female playable character to ever appear in the series. She has since become an emblem of strength and resilience, making her the perfect fit for our collaboration with the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF). Ryu has also remained a legendary and recognizable character throughout the history of Street Fighter. Because of this, our team felt that both Chun-Li and Ryu would be great fits for this collaboration.

Shacknews: How did you go about designing these new costumes? Was there anything new to your approach in designing these new outfits?

Takayuki Nakayama, Street Fighter 5 Director: Our designer, Chisato Mita, spearheaded the design of these new costumes. This was her first time designing costumes for Street Fighter V, though she has worked on designs for other significant projects such as Capcom’s E.X. Troopers. When considering the design of these costumes, we wanted to base the color scheme around the iconic pink ribbons that support breast cancer awareness. Our hope was to create costumes that delighted our players, while also honoring the mission of the BCRF.

Shacknews: Did the team ever consider creating additional BCRF costumes for any of the game's other characters, especially given the vast number of women on the roster?

Nakayama: The Street Fighter team and the BCRF worked together to consider various designs for these charity costumes. We wanted not one, but two costume options for this collaboration, so we eventually landed on Chun-Li and Ryu as great fits for this project, especially because they are such iconic characters in the Street Fighter universe.

Shacknews: Capcom typically goes a step beyond with some of its collaborations, so will these designs ever find their way onto a T-shirt or a collectible figure in the future?

Matsumoto: No announcements have been made regarding merchandise featuring these costumes.

Shacknews: Are there plans for any future collaborations with BCRF?

Matsumoto: It has been a great pleasure to work with the BCRF on our first-ever charity costumes. Though we have not announced any future collaborations, the Street Fighter V team is always open to partnerships that will excite our fans and fit with our brand. We greatly admire the work of BCRF and hope we can continue to support them and their work in the future.

Shacknews: How long has BCRF been around and how did your charity first get its start?

Lisa De Luca, BCRF Managing Director of Corporate Research: BCRF has been dedicated to ending breast cancer by advancing the world’s most promising research since 1993. BCRF Founder Evelyn H. Lauder saw a need to create an engine designed exclusively to propel research. In partnership with Dr. Larry Norton of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, she launched the Foundation that stands today as the world’s largest private funder of breast cancer research.

Shacknews: What made you want to specifically partner with Capcom for this endeavor?

De Luca: For nearly 30 years BCRF has been at the vanguard of cause marketing. Capcom’s long-standing legacy, desire to make an impact, and global reach provides a unique opportunity to raise awareness for the critical need for research. It was only natural for two leaders in their respective sectors to work together for one shared goal: fuel research to save lives.

Shacknews: Is this the first gaming collaboration for BCRF?

De Luca: In May 2018, BCRF partnered with Blizzard Entertainment, Inc., for our very first gaming partnership. It was a two-week activation during which players could purchase a custom skin for the player Mercy in the game Overwatch. That experience helped us create a unique and innovative fundraising model that served as a powerful example for the industry: we can drive change — together.

Shacknews: Would you ever consider going beyond game publishers and work directly with content creators on Twitch or YouTube to help further your mission?

De Luca: BCRF has been very fortunate to work with content creators on Twitch who have worked independently to fundraise for research: TeamKitty, Lucas Bytnar, and Street Fighter’s livestreaming fundraisers that ran on Twitch this month alone.

Shacknews: Are there any other gaming collaborations that you have your eye on for the future?

De Luca: We hope that our gaming partnerships inspire future collaborations that provide a much-needed platform to reach a wide, diverse population to highlight the critical need for research. The reality is that breast cancer is one of the most urgent, global public health issues facing us today—it is now the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the world. More people than ever before are relying on us to fuel lifesaving science. By partnering with the world’s largest private funder of breast cancer research, Capcom is making a truly meaningful impact on saving lives. For companies whose values align with ours—to improve women’s health and save lives—our collective strength has the power to change the course of breast cancer.

The Ryu and Chun-Li BCRF costumes are available now, but won't be for much longer. Those interested in picking them up only have until November 12. The full bundle is selling for $9.99 USD with all proceeds going to BCRF.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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