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


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.

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