Capcom’s numbering scheme for the Street Fighter franchise has become something of a running joke. It started back in 1991, when Street Fighter II: The World Warrior took arcades and consoles by storm. The game was immensely popular, sucking up millions of quarters and hours upon hours of players’ time, and Capcom wanted to keep the momentum going. Instead of creating a direct sequel, the studio decided to simply reiterate on the Street Fighter II brand, making incremental changes over the course of many years.
That’s how the world got not just Street Fighter II, but Street Fighter II: Champion Edition, Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting, Super Street Fighter II, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, and finally Hyper Street Fighter II. Whew. With the last entry in the series, Street Fighter 4, things didn’t get quite as ridiculous, but Capcom still managed to pump out four different versions of the game (not counting spin-offs and mobile ports).
All of this is to say that, when Capcom decides to release a totally brand new entry in the Street Fighter series, it’s a big deal. That’s why gamers were so excited to learn about Street Fighter 5, which was unveiled last December. Less thrilling was the fact that the game will be a PlayStation 4 and PC exclusive (although that doesn’t rule out other iterations – Super Street Fighter 5, for example – hitting the Xbox One), or the information that the game was only 20% complete.
Well, Capcom must be making fairly quick progress on Street Fighter 5, as the company recently – and perhaps accidentally – announced that the game will hit the PlayStation 4 and PC in spring 2016, just over a year from now. The “announcement” comes in the form of a blog post detailing the Capcom-related swag available to buy at this weekend’s PAX East convention. At the bottom of the post, Capcom shills the official Street Fighter 5 t-shirt, as well as a bag. Originally, the product descriptions lead with the phrase, “Everyone is fired up for Street Fighter V coming to the PS4 and PC next spring” (emphasis added).
Of course, the blog post has been changed since then, and the release date’s been removed. Further, Capcom representatives are now denying the date, saying that it was only a placeholder. That leaves two options. Either Capcom’s copywriters made an (incorrect) assumption about the game’s release date, or somebody spilled the beans too early.
If the latter case is true, it wouldn’t be the first time that major Street Fighter V information got out before Capcom was ready. The game’s existence was confirmed not during a controlled press event, but instead via a leaked trailer. Capcom might be great at making fighting games, but keeping secrets? Not so much.