The video game developer Capcom reveals its decision to potentially extend post-launch support for its fighting game Street Fighter 5 well into the year 2020.
Now that Street Fighter 5's first season of DLC releases has concluded, fans of the official fifth installment in the long-running fighting game franchise have been wondering what the future holds for the title. Obviously, support for the release is slated to continue for the duration of 2017 as Capcom prepares to launch the second season, but it seems as if the developer is committed to keeping Street Fighter 5 flush with content for a much longer time than that, as the fighting game could continue to get DLC for the next four years.
According to a recent Famitsu interview with Street Fighter 5 producers Yoshinori Ono and Tomoaki Ayano, Ono said that Capcom is planning far ahead for the fighting game, with post-release content potentially set to last until the year 2020. When asked if the developer would release other titles in the genre from now until then, there was no clear answer given, but Ono did state that the company wanted to "solidify Street Fighter 5 as an eSports title."
"I said in the beginning that we’ve seen a higher number of [tournament] entrants than we had in the Street Fighter 4 era, but we’d like to heighten that even further.
"The more people participate, the bigger tournaments we can host, and the more people are going to watch them, which is directly connected with our sales, and that’s going to decide the future."
As many fans would certainly agree, eSports' popularity continues to rise steadily with each passing day, which has resulted in it having become an incredibly big business as far as the money to be made is concerned. Bearing this in mind, it makes perfect sense as to why Capcom would want to extend Street Fighter 5's post-launch cycle and yoke it to what many consider to be a burgeoning industry all of its own within the gaming world. In fact, EVO 2016's world finals for the game were broadcasted on ESPN2, essentially providing Capcom's title with a huge audience of viewers.
However, while Capcom's business sense could be acute when it comes to tapping into the potential revenue of eSports, there's always the possibility of the company alienating fans who simply want the developer to innovate and move forward with new releases in the fighting game genre and beyond. Sure, Capcom has fresh titles on deck such as Resident Evil 7, but aside from its plans to keep tacking on materials to Street Fighter 5, the company has also openly declared it will be doubling down on existing properties by making HD remasters of triple-A games a priority.
All things considered, no one can fault Capcom for wanting to increase its bottom line. After all, it's a business first and foremost, making the generation of revenue its primary goal, and focusing on making Street Fighter 5 an eSports juggernaut could very well turn out to be a ridiculously lucrative venture. Nevertheless, one could argue that its deviation away from creating new and compelling releases could result in its profits declining even further. As it happens, many gaming fans are of the opinion that Capcom needs to focus on new games in order to stay afloat, but only time will tell if that's the case.
Street Fighter 5 is available now for PC and PlayStation 4.