It’s hard to ignore the big Street Fighter 6 leak that surfaced earlier this month, which apparently unveiled the game’s launch slate shortly after the first gameplay trailer was released. While not everyone knows if what we’ve seen is the real deal, the artwork depicting what looks like the full cast on day one certainly looks compelling.
Now, we don’t want to delve into the details of the leak so much, but rather talk about a possible ripple effect we might see post-launch. The potentially leaked Street Fighter 6 slate is heavy on newcomers, and that – along with a few other potential signs – could indicate that post-launch expansions will be released as exclusively Street Fighter 2-themed packages, Street Fighter 3, etc a way to bring veterans back.
Naturally, this is pure speculation as we don’t currently know how Capcom intends to handle the DLC for Street Fighter 6. It also goes without saying that the leaked listing could still be a fake, even if it really does seem real, not only based on the quality of the content itself, but also because of Capcom apparently addressing them.
To quickly recap, Street Fighter 6’s rumored launch slate features 14 returning characters and 8 newcomers (including Luke). That’s double the number of new fighters we saw in the initial Street Fighter 5 cast and double the number of Street Fighter 4 launch newcomers – although you can unlock new bosses Seth and Gouken by playing the game. .
We haven’t seen that many original fighters on a Street Fighter’s base roster since Street Fighter 3: Next Generation, which only included two legacy contenders (Ryu and Ken) and 9 newcomers. So why is all of this important?
Well, looking at Capcom’s most recent Street Fighter venture for potential clues, we find that Street Fighter 5 had minimal newcomers up front and then added more in their post-launch seasons. Also, some seasons have been heavy on the original fighters – like Season 2 which only saw one legacy character, Akuma, lined up among 5 new warriors – and it seemed like only a small handful of them. them ended up being a big hit with the fighting game community.
Newcomers Luke and Jamie in Street Fighter 5.
Capcom is clearly making efforts to right the wrongs of Street Fighter 5 here with Street Fighter 6, as the company immediately focused on netcode, the amount of content we’ll see in the game, and the ability for players to speak out – all the major fan complaints about SF5. In a similar vein, we could see Street Fighter 6 change the way expansions are released, focusing primarily on bringing back fan-favorite fighters like the ones we pay for instead of a lot of newcomers that end up being more of a bet.
One thing the community has quickly noticed about Street Fighter 6 is the desire to not only revamp some of the tried and true gameplay mechanics from previous games, but also pay homage to previous games in the franchise. We see this not only in the attacks, but even in various character poses that have been confirmed to be taken straight from games like Street Fighter 2.
Drive Impact seems to have been heavily inspired by Street Fighter 4’s Focus Attack, while the parries are clearly borrowed from the Street Fighter 3 (and Street Fighter 5) series. There’s also flavors of Street Fighter Alpha 3 in the game, and even a bit of Capcom vs. SNK 2. It really feels like Capcom is taking bits and pieces of fan-favorite classic titles, improving them, and using them as tools to build an all-new identity with Street Fighter 6 while celebrating the franchise as a whole.
And yet, the game’s potential launch slate doesn’t seem to be following suit. The returning fighters consist mostly of representatives from Street Fighter 2, with only four of them being outliers.
Dee Jay is said to be back and hasn’t been in a game since Super Street Fighter 4 – although he too is technically a representative of Street Fighter 2, despite being from one of the later expansions. The other three are Juri (Street Fighter 4), and Ed and Rashid, both original fighters from Street Fighter 5.
This cast seems oddly composed, especially since such popular characters as Ibuki (Street Fighter 3) and Sakura (Street Fighter Alpha) are absent. No contestant from Street Fighter 3 and Street Fighter Alpha looks very odd, and even then we only have two characters included from Street Fighter 5 and one from Street Fighter 4.
Legacy character Chun-Li returns with a new look.
It looks like that leaves a bit of room to dive into these iconic games for future content, and based on some of the things we’re already seeing with Street Fighter 6, it’s possible we’ll get expansions that blatantly revisit the games that make up the franchise’s legacy.
2022 also happens to be the 35th anniversary of the Street Fighter series, and that could also be a potential hint for themed character expansions, as the company no doubt wants to honor its legacy. It would be pretty nifty to see an announcement later this year revealing a roadmap that shows character passes for Street Fighter 3, Street Fighter 4, Street Fighter 5, a Street Fighter Alpha, and maybe some silhouettes of fighter for the first pack that will be available after launch.
Street Fighter 6 is slated for release in 2023. Capcom has been quiet on the new information front for now, but we suspect we’ll see more around Evo or later this year.