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Capcom's Yoshinori Ono on the mistakes made with Street Fighter X Tekken; the truth behind Street Fighter 5's 'pay-to-win' misquote

Posted by Cheng Kai 'KarbyP' Sim • September 26, 2014 at 5:19 p.m. PDT • Comments: 60

Back in June this year, Sponichi Annex, the online portal for the Sports Nippon Japanese newspaper, published an article in which Capcom's president and COO Haruhiro Tsujimoto was misquoted to have suggested that Street Fighter 5 might implement some kind of pay-to-win system.

EventHubs was the first to break that story, and over the following day, news of Tsujimoto's alleged comments made its way to the gaming press at large, prompting Capcom corporate officer Yoshinori Ono to clarify the misquotes on Twitter. The very next day, Capcom Japan also issued a press release refuting the alleged comments published in Sponichi Annex's report.

But just exactly what did the Capcom president and COO say to the Japanese media to have led to such an errorneous report?

In a new interview with popular TV and online gaming personality Ayana Tsubaki published today on, Ono spoke about the misquotes for the very first time -- and explained what was actually said.
Yoshinori Ono: The other time, our company president was quoted in an article as saying that we might explore some kind of pay-for-advantage billing system for Street Fighter 5. [Although he simply could not rule out the possibility of doing so,] his words were treated as if it were an official announcement that we're implementing pay-to-win, and that led to a great deal of confusion for everyone.

After the incident, I went through every word on the tape recording for the media recording. What was actually said was just the keyword "next-generation", mixed in together with the "Street Fighter" IP in the same sentence... and that was really all our president said.

Ayana Tsubaki: In other words, in the interview "Street Fighter 5" was never actually alluded to, and on top of that, the news agency threw in the part about Street Fighter 5 implementing a pay-to-win system all on their own?

So the entire conversation wasn't even about Street Fighter 5 to begin with. It could very well have been about Ultra Street Fighter 4 Dash *laughs*.

Ono: That's right! It could also have been about Ultra Street Fighter 4 Plus Alpha EX Edition. No, wait, it didn't even have to pertain to the Street Fighter 4 series. So for instance, the conversation could have been about a Street Fighter 3 4th Special Edition for the PlayStation 4... or something like that *laughs*.

Tsubaki: ...That sounds within the realm of possibility if the announcement is coming from you *laughs*.

In the interview, Ono also spoke about the lessons they've learnt with Street Fighter X Tekken, on how poorly received the gem system in the game was.

Tsubaki: In Street Fighter X Tekken, it seemed to me that gems were introduced as a means to better engage beginning players.

Ono: With regards to that... to reflect on it now, we feel like we should have implemented it in a way that would let players play with the gems differently. At the time, we thought of it as a means to aid beginning players [in leveling the playing field between them and advanced players], but in the end it might have turned out to be a little too close to a pay-to-win mechanic for comfort.

It was a double-edged sword, and we knew that. In the end we suffered greatly for our implementation, but at the same time it was a lesson for us.

We learned what the ideal to strive for should be, that would please both beginning players as well as the advanced ones.

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