Capcom 'underestimated' popularity of Street Fighter 5's single-player features

In a recent interview, SF5 producer Yoshinori Ono apologizes for game's current state, and promises more to come.


Street Fighter 5? More like Street Fighter 4.5, am I right?

For everything SF5's gameplay nails, the game is likely to go down in infamy for what can most kindly be described as a disappointing launch: threadbare single-player modes, server snafus, and barely there A.I.—and that's just for starters. Producer Yoshinori Ono is aware of the game's paucity of content, and admits he and the team didn't quite plan on the absence of Street Fighter staples like Arcade Mode ruffling so many feathers.

Speaking to Game Informer (via Gamespot), Ono admitted "that we underestimated the popularity of some of the single-player features. That said, we are excited about the two all-new single-player modes--character story and survival--and we have plans to continue to refine and expand onto those experiences."

Not that Capcom will be resting on its laurels until then. "As we've stated in the past, Street Fighter V is an evolving platform that will continue to get more refined and built upon over time," Ono said. "For us, this is a marathon and not a sprint, and we appreciate all of the words of support as we embark on this journey together."

Sorry, Mr. Ono. You won't be getting much in the way of "words of support" from me. Speaking as a fan of the Street Fighter franchise since being gob smacked by the colorful characters and fluid animations of SF2 the first time I laid eyes (and quarters) on its sleek arcade cabinet, I'm pretty bummed at how cobbled-together SFV has felt. Ono 'fessed up in the interview that Capcom all but pushed the game out of the nest before it could fly to get it in front of pro players in time for Capcom Pro Tour in February.

But for players like me, who don't play much multiplayer online or with friends (note: I'm not as sad and lonely as that clause implies), Arcade Mode was the bread-and-butter of Street Fighter 2, 3, and 4. I can even overlook the absence of Story Mode. This is Street Fighter: Ken's a goof, Ryu wants new and better challengers, Guile combs his hair. Who cares about backgrounds for these two-dimensional toons? I wanted a ladder-based, traditional arcade game mode with A.I. that toed the line between cheap and dumb.

Will I ever get that? Maybe later.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

From The Chatty
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    April 6, 2016 1:20 PM

    David Craddock posted a new article, Capcom 'underestimated' popularity of Street Fighter 5's single-player features

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      April 6, 2016 1:22 PM

      He mentions survival as a new mode, but it's already in there, albeit in terrible form. So are they going tor revamp it?

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      April 6, 2016 1:26 PM

      Lack of arcade mode is why I haven't picked it up.

      I don't have a collection of friends who are into video games, let alone the niche corner of video games that is fighting games. I played these games doing my best to master everyone against the CPU and they offered a ton of replayability for the single player.

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      April 6, 2016 1:51 PM

      I'm still pissed about this.

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      April 6, 2016 1:54 PM

      I'm surprised people like beating up on A.I. that much. It doesn't do much for me, but different strokes for different folks!

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        April 6, 2016 2:04 PM

        I don't quite understand it, either. Fighting game AI has always been dumb. Either not challenging in the slightest, or input reading cheap with very little middle ground. Even when it appears to be balanced, the victories feel hollow and pointless. The only thing it's good for these days is telling a dumb story like MK9.

        If I'm not playing real people online or offline, I have little reason to play a fighting game at all these days. But if a fighting game came out with a Forza-like drivatard system that turned AI opponents into realistic human amalgams based on their behaviors, that could be interesting.

        Like if you could "play" anyone on the leaderboards, friends who aren't online, the best players in the world for fun, anyone around your rank when the matchmaking is taking forever and not finding anyone, etc.

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          April 6, 2016 9:07 PM

          I'm pretty sure what you just described is the Shadow Lab feature in the new Killer Instinct game.

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        April 6, 2016 2:07 PM

        It's not about whether or not I like it. It's about rounding out a sequel by including a feature that's been there since the franchise's beginning, and shouldn't be that difficult to implement.

        More to the point, the absence of more single-player content speaks to Capcom rushing a product and trying to cash in on it.

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          April 6, 2016 7:28 PM

          I hold it as a smart move. The reason the game released in the state it did was to coincide with the SFV championship. That will be a far bigger draw for sells in the long run, than delaying the game 3 months to complete features that most of the core aren't interested in.

          Just having things in there for the sake of having them in there leads to versus modes in adventure games because "you've got to round out the product".

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          April 6, 2016 9:33 PM

          and shouldn't be that difficult to implement is rarely true when you didn't plan to code that in from the beginning. but hopefully you are right.

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        April 6, 2016 2:16 PM

        Well anytime I jump right into a fighting game online I get straight up stomped... So it's nice to just play the AI while learning the game/moves first

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          April 6, 2016 2:33 PM

          You can do that in training mode and also the crummy survival modes in SFV.

          Training mode is probably best for learning in the way you want, because you can set the CPU level with no waiting between rounds for casual sparring and testing of moves, or just beat on the stationary training dummy and alter settings (like block after first hit for combo practice, if he blocks successive hits your timing is off, incredibly useful for learning). They also added a challenge mode with trials that teach you some basic and advanced combos for each character.

          While survival mode is basically this game's arcade style mode. You go from round to round to character to character, but it's just real crappy how it's done. The AI doesn't even try for the first 3/4 of the ladder. A huge waste of time all around.

          But even with some basic knowledge, the best way to learn and improve is to play real people. Getting stomped is part of it, you'll keep picking up new things you can then try to integrate into your repertoire. Arcade mode can only teach you so much, and like survival in this game also corrupts you with some bad habits that will only serve to get you crushed online, because the AI never fights like real people, so you in turn don't play or counter them like a real person would.

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            April 6, 2016 2:47 PM

            btw I'm not excusing them for not including an arcade mode, it's a series staple, a no-brainer inclusion and should always be there. Just saying there are far better ways to learn than slogging through standard arcade mode AI matches. Training mode gives you options to go at your own pace with the dummy options, and also adjust CPU difficulty on demand.

            Personally, arcade mode was always a chore for me, something you had to do to access locked or hidden characters or whatever. So I wasn't upset that it was gone, but I was really bummed they tied the unlockables to the horrible survival mode instead. Getting new character & costume colors is such a fucking chore in this game. It's unbelievable, straight up waste of time grind. Unlocking Gouken in vanilla SF4 was far less of a hassle.

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            April 6, 2016 6:54 PM

            Training mode seems to advance for some people.
            I think they just wanna pick their guy and it takes them through a ladder of people from easy to hard.
            Like how when you'd just pop in a quarter, pick Ken and then bam you were playing a fun game.

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          April 6, 2016 9:42 PM

          but there is a learning mode AI in training. you can fight it without programming in the moves. also, you can program in moves for the AI to do so you can figure out how to counter it

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        April 6, 2016 2:41 PM

        Because it's a known quantity. You can build and adjust and develop based upon whatever limited time you may or may not have. Love playing against AI, can't stand playing against humans for that very reason.

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          April 6, 2016 7:34 PM

          If all you want is to beat up on A.I. guys it's there in the game. So I guess the only complaint is that people don't like the trimmings (how it's presented)? Hopefully the update will make them happy.

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            April 6, 2016 8:13 PM

            My comment was a generalised statement based on your saying you didn't understand why people liked playing against an A.I. Some of the most memorable games for me were with Q1/2 and HL1 bots.

            For some of us, the draw is SP and offline botplay. It saddens me that people think it's less valid than going up against an opponent that would potentially always be better than you because of their physiology (age, neural response, reflexes). Bots are a known quantity, but at the same time, some of the most advanced Quake bots exhibited amazingly adaptive behaviour, and they were fun, so much fun.

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              April 6, 2016 9:49 PM

              you compared Quake bots to SF arcade ai. statement invalid.

              quake bots are way more like the SFV training mode in that you download bots or got specific bot maps for a specific skill training. whereas sfv arcade mode was just like playing quake 3 single player 'campaign'.

              all that said, I do understand that a large enough amount of people do want arcade mode that I was surprised that it didn't ship on release.

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            April 6, 2016 9:44 PM

            I make an airplane "whoosh" and "doot duh doot du dooo" between starting ai fights. it's good enough for me. sometimes I'll do a as well

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      April 6, 2016 2:10 PM

      Will wait for the inevitable Super Street Fighter Ultra Extreme - R Alpha edition. No, I won't. I barely played 4, so I'm cutting my losses.

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      April 6, 2016 2:37 PM

      I'm still mad about that. I love the old arcade mode. I got mad when people would put their quarters in when I was trying to finish the game.

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        April 6, 2016 2:40 PM

        When I was 11 or 12, I walked right up to a guy playing SF2: Hyper Fighting and popped in 50 cents. The guy, who looked to be in his early 20s, blew his top. He settled down and we played. I beat him. He walked away fuming.

        I thought he overreacted. It's an arcade game; you're in a public place, not your living room. Still, I made sure to ask people playing competitive games solo if they'd mind if I played against them from that point forward.

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          April 6, 2016 2:49 PM

          Haha it was the worst when you were at bison and someone beat you and you didn't have the money to finish the fight. :(

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      April 6, 2016 2:50 PM

      Don't see anything in the article about the singleplayer modes that were added in the most recent patch (viewable tutorials as well as character trials, including for the new character released). Was wondering what the casual players thought of those.

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      April 6, 2016 3:05 PM

      Lol, underestimated? How?! Everyone, everywhere knows that a casual fighting game player's introduction to a game is through single player story mode. It's basically the most important thing about getting someone in to the game.

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        April 6, 2016 3:14 PM

        Some other fighting games are trying to teach fundamentals through tutorials with in engine mini games check out this video: (fast forward to like 2 minutes). I'm wondering if that type of stuff actually helps beginners and makes things more accessible.

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        April 6, 2016 9:15 PM

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      April 6, 2016 8:26 PM

      Remember when, ten years ago, single player games were surely going to go away in the next few years?

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        April 6, 2016 9:43 PM

        Nowadays, in my mid-30's, I have much less time to game, and when I do, it's almost exclusively single-player games, as I don't have the skill, nor the time to develop the skill to effectively compete with the teenage and early 20's fuckwits out there in the gamerverse (and my mid-30's friends who game are similarly busy with their own lives, so coordinating collective gaming time is hard, if not impossible).

        Gaming is just a chill thing I like to do when I have the chance, and rich single player experiences have been more rewarding to me as I get older.

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          April 7, 2016 2:13 AM

          That's exactly what a bunch of us were saying 10 years ago :)

          I don't really play online at all anymore. Pretty much just exclusively SP games. I just don't have the time nor the energy to make time to play online.

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        April 6, 2016 9:51 PM

        chatty users were mostly a different demographic, even from their gaming contemporaries, back then. and now we're old and don't have time to train up our quake skills.

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      April 6, 2016 9:52 PM

      craddock, boo, I <3 you and all, but really?

      Street Fighter 5? More like Street Fighter 4.5, am I right?

      I mean, it's spelled amirite

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        April 6, 2016 9:56 PM

        also, I think your sadness would be a good jumping off point to investigate the business value of shipping early and interviews about the FGC tournament business for a longform piece. please do the needful.

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      April 6, 2016 9:55 PM

      they also 'underestimated' popularity of good graphics. visually, sfv is one of the ugliest games ever released. it's not just the hair clipping either, it's much more than that . some of the background characters look like they are ripped straight from a ps2 with how shitty they are animated and modeled. fuck you capcom

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        April 6, 2016 9:57 PM

        the clipping in the between match screens makes me lol. birdie's chain is the one I notice most.

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        April 7, 2016 3:02 AM

        agreed. i can't wait for KOF14 so SFV can finally die away.

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      April 7, 2016 5:49 AM

      They catered to the pro crowd a bit too much.