Why is Street Fighter V exclusive?

4 min read


Street Fighter V’s announcement – and its PlayStation 4 console exclusivity – were announced a little prematurely on Friday. Later on the weekend, at Sony’s PlayStation Experience event, Capcom confirmed the game’s console exclusivity. Unlike the wishy-washy terminology used when Microsoft announced the next Tomb Raider as an exclusive to the Xbox One, this time it seems rather certain; exclusivity may be set in stone. Why? Why is Street Fighter Five not going to grace the Xbox One?

First up, let’s taker a look at the gameplay trailer.

I know many of you will be dismissive here, saying that it looks just like Street Fighter IV (it doesn’t) or that you’ll wait for Mega Ultra Glorious Leader Street Fighter Five Deluxe Alpha Strawberry Pancake Edition (SFIV got 4 paid content updates, keeping the game going for 8 years already), but this exclusivity is a big deal. Street Fighter IV has sold through over 8 million copies, which when you bundle it with the updated version and the expanded content makes it quite a bit more lucrative than Tomb Raider. The fact that it’s exclusive, on consoles at least, top the PlayStation 4 is a big deal. There may be two principal reasons for the exclusivity.

It seems like Sony is in part, bankrolling the game. We know that Capcom, as a whole, isn’t the most financially sound of game developers. Though it’s doing a little better now, last year, Capcom had just $150 million as a cash reserve – which meant making any potentially risky games a potentially crippling prospect. In fact, Capcom’s terribly overworked Street Fighter producer Yoshinoro Ono said at the time that the reason there were no plans for a port of Ultra Street Fighter IV  – and by inference, Street Fighter V – on the PS4 or Xbox One was a lack of resources – both human and financial.

With Sony paying, in part, for the game to be made, its exclusivity makes sense. At the PlayStation Experience, Capcom also announced that a port of Ultra Street Fighter IV would be coming to the PS4. Also exclusive, it’s actually being ported by Sony’s Third Party Production Group.

Capcom also announced that the game would have full cross platform multiplayer between the PlayStation 4 and PC versions of the game. Yes, those on PC will be able to play against those playing on consoles. This unifies the whole thing, making it not really matter which platform you get the game on. Microsoft has always been hesitant to let this sort of thing happen on its very closed Xbox Live network. Sony’s let it happen before; Portal 2 allowed cross platform co-operative play between PS3 players and PC gamers. If there’s been a conscientious decision by Capcom to ensure cross platform play, this could be another reason the game won’t be hitting the Xbox One.

As for the game itself, I’m excited. It looks darker than SFIV, with the cast seeming a little older. The Art style seems to be more influenced by Street Fighter 3 than 2 – and judging by previous entries, should have some new sort of mechanic that’ll wholly differentiate it from previous numbered entries – at least where mid to high level play is concerned. For most, it’ll just seem like more Street Fighter. We’ll see more of the game, including demo from a playable build at Capcom’s own Capcom Cup event this weekend.

While third party exclusivity sucks, in some cases it helps games get made. I’d rather have Street Fighter 5 on PS4, than no Street Fighter Five at all.

Last Updated: December 8, 2014

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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