June 22, 2024

How Street Fighter 6 Was Shaped By A Social Media User’s Love For Ed

The final character of Street Fighter 6’s Year 1 DLC plans, Akuma, finally hit the game earlier this week. I had the chance to catch up with director Takayuki Nakayama about the importance of the Great Demon. However, in February, I sat down with Nakayama and producer Shuhei Matsumoto to discuss the addition of Ed to Street Fighter 6. During that conversation, Nakayama shared an intriguing anecdote about how important Ed was to the development of Street Fighter 6.

When the team sits down to decide on the characters, they think of balancing out the roster not only in style, but through the regions and countries the characters represent. However, the story of the game –in Street Fighter 6’s case, World Tour – also plays a big role.

“From an outsider’s perspective, when you see the characters themselves, you might think, ‘What’s the significance of them? What’s their connection?'” Nakayama says. “But as you play World Tour and Arcade mode, those become more evident and clear in some way.”

When Ed was initially announced as the third of four characters arriving via DLC during Year 1, some wondered about his significance to the broader Street Fighter 6 game. After all, he was merely a background character in Street Fighter IV before making his playable debut in Street Fighter V. But, according to Nakayama, Ed was actually one of the most important characters in terms of influencing the development of Street Fighter 6.

“From my perspective, Ed is actually a very important character in the series now,” Nakayama says. “He was actually the reason why we have Modern Controls in Street Fighter 6, because in Street Fighter V, that was the character we tested out with simplified commands for specials, and that eventually evolved, and we learned from implementing him in Street Fighter V, and we took those learnings to create Modern Controls in Street Fighter 6.” 

While Ed was instrumental in developing Modern Controls, a fan on social media’s love for him sent the development team down the path of developing Street Fighter 6’s most substantial mode.

“He’s also the reason why we have World Tour,” Nakayama says. “When we were working on Street Fighter V, and Ed was released, I was looking at my feed on social media, and I took note of someone who said they’re a really big fan of Ed, and they love how he looks, they love how he plays. ‘I feel like I could actually play a fighting game! It’s my first fighting game, and it’s so much fun!'”

However, because of Street Fighter V’s limited mode offerings, even after years of post-launch development, it inspired Nakayama to create a new experience for players such as this social media user. “Street Fighter V doesn’t have a large-scope, single-player mode like World Tour,” he says. “And so they didn’t like seeing Ed get bodied by other players. And because he or she loved him so much, I felt the responsibility of creating a new mode that shines the different characters in this master spotlight and doesn’t show them really getting hurt too much by other masters and characters. That was one of the big reasons we decided to make World Tour for 6.”

Street Fighter 6 arrived on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, and PC on June 2, 2023. To learn why we consider it one of the best modern Street Fighter games, read our review here. For more on the making of Street Fighter 6, read our full cover story here. To read our history of the Street Fighter franchise in the lead-up to 6, head here.

The final character of Street Fighter 6’s Year 1 DLC plans, Akuma, finally hit the game earlier this week. I had the chance to catch up with director Takayuki Nakayama about the importance of the Great Demon. However, in February, I sat down with Nakayama and producer Shuhei Matsumoto to discuss the addition of Ed to Street Fighter 6. During that conversation, Nakayama shared an intriguing anecdote about how important Ed was to the development of Street Fighter 6.

When the team sits down to decide on the characters, they think of balancing out the roster not only in style, but through the regions and countries the characters represent. However, the story of the game –in Street Fighter 6’s case, World Tour – also plays a big role.

“From an outsider’s perspective, when you see the characters themselves, you might think, ‘What’s the significance of them? What’s their connection?'” Nakayama says. “But as you play World Tour and Arcade mode, those become more evident and clear in some way.”

When Ed was initially announced as the third of four characters arriving via DLC during Year 1, some wondered about his significance to the broader Street Fighter 6 game. After all, he was merely a background character in Street Fighter IV before making his playable debut in Street Fighter V. But, according to Nakayama, Ed was actually one of the most important characters in terms of influencing the development of Street Fighter 6.

“From my perspective, Ed is actually a very important character in the series now,” Nakayama says. “He was actually the reason why we have Modern Controls in Street Fighter 6, because in Street Fighter V, that was the character we tested out with simplified commands for specials, and that eventually evolved, and we learned from implementing him in Street Fighter V, and we took those learnings to create Modern Controls in Street Fighter 6.” 

While Ed was instrumental in developing Modern Controls, a fan on social media’s love for him sent the development team down the path of developing Street Fighter 6’s most substantial mode.

“He’s also the reason why we have World Tour,” Nakayama says. “When we were working on Street Fighter V, and Ed was released, I was looking at my feed on social media, and I took note of someone who said they’re a really big fan of Ed, and they love how he looks, they love how he plays. ‘I feel like I could actually play a fighting game! It’s my first fighting game, and it’s so much fun!'”

However, because of Street Fighter V’s limited mode offerings, even after years of post-launch development, it inspired Nakayama to create a new experience for players such as this social media user. “Street Fighter V doesn’t have a large-scope, single-player mode like World Tour,” he says. “And so they didn’t like seeing Ed get bodied by other players. And because he or she loved him so much, I felt the responsibility of creating a new mode that shines the different characters in this master spotlight and doesn’t show them really getting hurt too much by other masters and characters. That was one of the big reasons we decided to make World Tour for 6.”

Street Fighter 6 arrived on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, and PC on June 2, 2023. To learn why we consider it one of the best modern Street Fighter games, read our review here. For more on the making of Street Fighter 6, read our full cover story here. To read our history of the Street Fighter franchise in the lead-up to 6, head here.Read MoreGame Informer

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