With over three decades of experience and a place in the hearts of the fighting game community, Capcom Executive Producer Yoshinori Ono, stalwart representative of the Street Fighter franchise, is planning to exit the stage. In a lengthy English post on Twitter, Ono announced that he will leave Capcom later this summer, yet another high profile vacancy for Capcom in the year of our pandemic, 2020. Ono leaves behind a complicated legacy with the Street Fighter franchise, as he was front and center for the literal revival of the genre with the Street Fighter IV series and its iterations, but also saw Capcom lose the title of flag bearer for fighting games in the past few years, thanks in part to a sub-stellar reception to 2016’s Street Fighter V.
— Yoshinori Ono (@Yoshi_OnoChin) August 9, 2020
“My heart is filled with appreciation to those players who’ve been giving warm and kind support on the brand especially little over the past decade or so as all the activities on the Street Fighter brand regained sunshine and grew its liveliness,” Ono said. “And now, after serving almost 30 years at Capcom, I am leaving the company in this summer. This means that I will resign my position as the brand manager for Capcom’s various titles including Street Fighter.”
The news comes on the heels of Capcom announcing that Street Fighter V will live on through the end of 2021 with another slate of new characters and DLC. The timing of his departure is both fortuitous and interesting, with multiple reasons and rumors swirling around Ono’s beloved franchise. Poor internal reception to what was supposedly the start of Street Fighter 6 could play a factor, as could the fact that League of Legends creator Riot is looking to make moves into the world of fighting games with Project L, its new startup based off the company’s purchase of the Radiant Entertainment-produced Rising Thunder back in 2015.
While those are nothing more than suggestions for Ono’s departure, the more likely reason is that 27 years is a long time to be in one place and he has suffered health issues along the way. Regardless, Ono’s impact and sheer love of fighting games is one that has been felt for the past decade as Capcom’s FGC scene representative and one that will be sorely missed.