Tekken 8 starting roster may be bigger than that of Street Fighter 6

When asked about Tekken 8's launch roster, franchise director Katsuhiro Harada stated that the number of characters will be 'a lot more than Capcom-san.'

Image via Bandai Namco

Tekken has always had a ton of characters, and apparently, we may see quite a few of them in action when Tekken 8 first comes out. Franchise director Katsuhiro Harada took to Twitter to answer questions about Tekken 8 over the weekend, and when asked about the roster, Harada claimed that he believes it will be larger than Capcom’s game, heavily implied to be Street Fighter 6.

Harada answered said question during a somewhat impromptu AMA from his personal Twitter on April 9, 2023. It was there that Harada was asked by one Twitter user, “how many characters should we expect for Tekken 8 at launch?” To this Harada responded that he expects Tekken 8’s roster will likely outnumber that of the Street Fighter 6 starting roster.

“I think it's a lot more than Capcom-san,” Harada wrote. “Of course, character modeling, rigging, and costume design are all new assets, so it's hard work. That's why we're trying to increase the number of launches.”

Katsuhiro Harada's response to a question about Tekken 8's starting roster.
According to Harada, Tekken 8's roster will likely be bigger than that of 'Capcom-san', which is likely referring to Street Fighter 6's 18-character starting roster.
Source: Twitter

Street Fighter 6’s starting roster is complete as of the reveal of Zangief, Cammy, and Lily, rounding out the roster with about 18 characters for launch in June 2023. Meanwhile, Tekken 8 has 12 characters revealed already. It’s also worth noting that Tekken 7 released with around 36 playable characters when it first came to home consoles in 2017. That said, it’s not the first time Harada has brought up how hard it is to prepare characters for the game. During our previous interview with Harada-san and lead producer Michael Murray, the duo shared that Tekken 8 has particular difficulties attached to it since the team is building the game from the ground up in the new Unreal Engine 5.

Nonetheless, Tekken 8 also has the benefit of a 2024 release window. With the game already having felt incredibly good in our recent preview, we’ll look forward to seeing more characters fill out the cast as Bandai Namco reveals them. Look for more updates on Tekken 8 here as they happen.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at tj.denzer@shacknews.com and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    April 10, 2023 7:24 AM

    TJ Denzer posted a new article, Tekken 8 starting roster may be bigger than that of Street Fighter 6

    • reply
      April 10, 2023 11:48 AM

      TJ what's your best guess on the size of the launch roster? I'm thinking 28 to 30, with just three brand new characters given that legacy characters had to be rebuilt from scratch.

      I'm not expecting guest characters anytime soon which is fine by me (...although I'd happily accept one Tifa Lockhart, she's just too good of a fit.) They'll be making DLC for years.

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      April 10, 2023 12:21 PM

      A smaller roster with better balance will always be preferrable.

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        April 10, 2023 12:46 PM

        Well sure, but in long running franchises people have favorite characters

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          April 10, 2023 12:52 PM

          If the game is an unbalanced mess, but I get to play my favourite character, I'm not sure that's a good place to be.

          I've really liked SF5's approach of starting small and building a balanced roster over time. It's probably the most balanced fighting game of all time, at this point. I'm hoping SF6 will continue that approach.

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        April 10, 2023 1:58 PM

        While I agree in principal, balance concerns are largely overstated by the fighting game community and don't really matter (within reason) until you reach high ranks. If the game is successful, the overwhelming majority of players aren't going to know that counter-hit launcher "X" has low startup frames, is safe on block and has tracking for sidestepping.

        What I do think is important is that each character earns their spot by offering unique gameplay elements. Some of that was lost in Tekken 7, but they're working really hard to fix that.

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          April 10, 2023 3:23 PM

          I think it's a little more complicated than balance doesn't matter until really high levels. It's also that balance is different for different skill levels. Some characters that are more mash friendly/high damage may seem really strong at low levels of gameplay where people aren't maximizing movement/spacing or all the options available to them or don't have the dexterity/muscle memory to actually fully utilize the characters.

          As users spend more time with the game and grow, the relationships between the character interactions change as well. It's the difficult job for the devs to try and maximize the fun for as many skill levels as possible. I think that's why there's been a consistent shift to try and simplify controls and mechanics to maybe compress some of those skill levels (but sometimes that comes at a cost of freedom/expression and can start to reduce some of the fun at the middle/experience levels of gameplay).

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            April 10, 2023 6:17 PM

            Have you seen the breakdown of the beginner/casual friendly combo system? They're making huge strides towards any player being able to pick up any character and throw down. It only gets you so far, but I think a match between two newcomers in Tekken 8 might look different than it did in previous entries. (I do agree with your points though.)

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              April 10, 2023 8:47 PM

              Yeah I've been keeping up with combo stuff and enabling some of that stuff on the fly, and watched/read a few of the discussions how that stuff might actually end up being used by pros for guaranteed punishes on stuff where before they might go a safer route instead of the optimal one in tourney settings. It'll be really interesting.

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              April 11, 2023 12:29 AM

              They added that when they put Eddy in Tekken 3. Just mash the kick buttons.

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      April 10, 2023 4:18 PM

      All that matters is Eddie Gordo and Eddie Gordo with cat ears.

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      April 10, 2023 6:54 PM

      Hwoarang and Bryan appear to be in, so I'm good.
      Back to learning Fast Sagat (Fuhkumram).

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        April 10, 2023 8:13 PM

        I heard somewhere that his character model was literally going to be Sagat, but they bailed on Tekken vs Street Fighter after Tag 2 was received so poorly. Fahk is cool, hope he makes the main roster like Leroy did!

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          April 10, 2023 10:37 PM

          I mean.... yeah I can see that.
          I thought they bailed because SFxT bounced twice after landing then expired.
          Those gems.

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            April 11, 2023 5:03 AM

            Haha, I'm sure that played into it. I need to find what I was reading, but essentially they viewed it as too risky to the series' health to potentially bomb twice in a row.

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