While at TGS, I spoke with Capcom’s Matt Dahlgren, who is producing Street Fighter V. One of the most interesting bits of information to come out was that this game will not be getting multiple versions. In the past, many Street Fighter games would come out and then get a “Super” re-release with changes, and then maybe a further-enhanced “Ultra” version, and so on. I’ve noticed many fans anticipating this same pattern with Street Fighter V, but Capcom says that’s not the case. Dahlgren told me:
“One flaw with [that business model] is there’s a lot of time to wait till there’s (enough) new content, so there’s nothing to look forward to in the short term. You only get an update like once every year or two. It also doesn’t give players a lot of freedom, because they can either purchase all of the content or none of the content, because it’s all bundled together.
“What you end up doing is you end up segmenting your community over time, not allowing it to grow but actually shrinking it.
“So we’ve done away with that model in favor of a completely new approach for Street Fighter V, which works a lot more in the players’ best interests. Moving forward, Street Fighter V is the only disc-based product you’re gonna need to own. From this core, you’ll be able to upgrade to all content throughout its lifespan. All adjustments will be made available free of charge to all players. That way, if you take a break and wanna come back two years down the line, all you have to do is download the latest patch, you’ll be able to play with the latest balance in the largest player pool, and still with the characters that you own.”
It should be noted that he meant all gameplay modifications and balance tweaks, not necessarily all DLC such as characters and stages and outfits and stuff. Some of those, as I understand it, will have fees. He mentioned that they can be purchased or bought with in-game money that people earn through playing. I asked how realistic it was to expect to be able to purchase a character with in-game money, and he replied:
“We’re still trying to find the right balance for that. We do want that to be an achievable goal, make it a realistic goal that if players are continuously playing the game, they can get the character when it drops.“
Last, he informed me that there will not be any on-disc DLC in Street Fighter V. Those are the consumerism-based highlights of the interview. For the full thing, in which we discuss those topics in a little more details, plus the increased accessibility and balance in Street Fighter V, as evaluate e-sports as “sports,” check out the whole interview here.