Photo : EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP ( Getty Images )

Today, Street Fighter producer Yoshinori Ono announced via a message on Twitter that he is leaving the franchise and Capcom after nearly 30 years. The message also contained his thoughts on the criticism to the changes made to the Capcom Pro Tour, which in the wake of COVID-19 has moved entirely online.

While his description of the announcement sounds like revenge, Ono is surely concerned with his job security. As a producer for the series he has reigned over a stable series, and while he deserves credit for working around the game's technical shortcomings, the game's hardware and industry have evolved throughout his tenure in charge. Street Fighter 4 might have been the most powerful game Capcom has ever produced, but it retained poor performance on PS3 and 360, easily qualifying for the oldest selling PlayStation games list of all time with arguably mediocre (unknowing this) combat systems and one of the lowest skill ceilings in the series. Street Fighter 3, a mishmash of completely different mechanics, had the third lowest skill ceiling in the series, with the check list counting 5 general moves and 5 specials. By contrast, Street Fighter 4 took almost a decade (and still has not gone to make any form of an overhaul since the original Capcom Vs. SNK 2) and made a change to almost its entire roster of characters, and just in the few short years after the game's original launch had undergone multiple balance and code updates.

As a producer for a business in which leaking stakes with indication of having invested heavily in client's projects is common practice, it is likely that Capcom, who once proudly released regular historical and real-time quarter financials, saw their top-line just steady, and against declining PC sales, endured a series of red tape and constrictions from various departments across the company. The accessibility of fighting games has not produced more sales. For a game used to streaming at high rates of play, that doesn't exactly back up Cranking Up Street Fighter IV.

Taken in context, however, this retrenchment is best understood on a business level. There's a working definition of an "80-20 rule," and it's an extremely lax interpretation. These days, too many fighting games have microtransactions and casual hoards like to discuss how impossible it would be to justify a price tag for an entry-level fighting game. It's not that more games offer more options would provide more of an incentive to buy. The problem is that new games like Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus R / Guilty Gear Xrd REV 2 -published in 2015 and Ace Attorney 6 missing 6 students in their cast, show the limitations of these policies. And this may prove to be the same short-term benefit, as the best data from this generation suggests that there doesn't seem to be a, moment for