STREET FIGHTER IV
Developer Capcom, Dimps Publisher Capcom Format Arcade, PS3, X360 Release 2008
In February of 2000, I left SNK to join Dimps. There wasn’t really a sense among those of us in the development teams that SNK was about to close or anything like that. But Takashi Nishiyama had left SNK to found Dimps with Keiji Inafune, who had designed the original Street Fighter. Nishiyma took a lot of the people who had worked on the Fatal Fury series with him, so I went too.
The team at Dimps was making various prototypes for a game and, at some point in that process, the decision was made to turn this into Street Fighter IV. There was a lot of discussion about how the game could work in 3D. We came up with various ideas, and slowly we started to zero in on the style and mechanics. While there were later iterations – Super and Ultra and so on – I am so proud of how the first game came out; it remains, I think, a truly wonderful game.
While Fatal Fury was a direct competitor to Street Fighter right from the beginning, I had always liked both series. In fact, when I was a student I would mainly play Street Fighter II, so it was fantastic to have the chance to work for
“WE WERE ALL EAGER TO MOVE ON TO PLAYSTATION FROM QUITE AN EARLY STAGE”
the other side, as it were. Besides, for me, the two series are quite distinct. With
Street Fighter, each character represents a different fighting style, and so he or she must be designed to present the true embodiment of that fighting style. In Fatal Fury, by contrast, the characters do not have to embody a martial arts style; they are characters in and of themselves, with backstories and so on. There is more freedom.
There were differences in the working environment too. I would say that I had more freedom at SNK. At Capcom, the higher-ups had a tighter degree of control and input over what was happening with the game, and what they wanted it to be. I worked closely with Yoshinori Ono from Capcom, who was producer on the game. In the early months Ono led everything. The development period for the game was so long that there were times we lost our way a little. Ono was very good at helping us cleave to his vision. He was a good leader.