Capcom discusses Street Fighter 5's roster and selection process, users will only need to own one disc

Posted by Jonathan 'Catalyst' Grey • June 30, 2015 at 7:51 p.m. PDT

We spoke at length with Matt Dahlgren, the Director of Brand Marketing & eSports at Capcom, about the roster size of Street Fighter 5, and future development plans.


I asked Matt how big of a roster they're aiming for at launch, and what fans should expect to see when the game drops in the spring of 2016.

"We're not revealing the total roster count just yet," said Dahlgren. "What we can say is that we're putting a strong focus on making sure that every character put into the game is very unique and has their own individuality.

"We want to start off with a core roster which will be inviting to new players. When you start off with a gigantic roster right off the bat, it can be pretty daunting for new players to figure out where to start."
The roster selection process and future plans

Those familiar with Capcom's history will realize they're very consistent about providing support for their fighting games post-launch, but they still want to keep things tight with the initial character lineup for Street Fighter 5.

"This is a franchise we expect to support for many years to come, but we will start with a very strong core roster," Dahlgren said.

"If you looked at how we handled Street Fighter 4, it was the dominant fighting game of that generation of consoles, we're expecting the same from Street Fighter 5, so we are thinking long term," he stated.

I asked Capcom what their roster selection process was like, and if they had any specific criteria they looked at when they had someone they wanted to include.

"We did a lot of research before choosing our roster, and it was one of the largest debates within our company," mentioned Dahlgren.

"We did a poll that ranked all of the characters in order, and when we put through the roster, we had all of those spots in there so we know where things lined up.

"We did not just follow the poll rankings as law, there's a lot of elements that come into play when creating a roster and gameplay styles, and it's not necessarily our job to give fans exactly what they want — it's our job to be innovative and give fans what they don't even know they want yet," he said.

Capcom talks about SF5's roster and more image #1
Style and tone, fresh takes on old faces, and brand new characters

As part of the roster selection process, Capcom wanted to ensure that every character has their own personality, and that they fit a tone and style as well.

"A good example for our tone is Birdie," said Dahlgren. "I don't think anyone really saw him coming, but we had this really cool character design — he's practically a new character in himself — but he doesn't take up one of the slots we have for brand new fighters.

"The way we're handling our reveals, we started off first with the characters that are mainstays, Ryu and Chun-Li will be in every Street Fighter game.

"Then we went back with Nash and Birdie, to show that we can take these characters that haven't been around for awhile, and we have a vision for them and can bring them to life in a new way," he said.

It won't just be rebooted characters from past Street Fighter games, though. You will see some fresh faces in the mix this time around.

"Very soon in the future, you will see brand new characters for the franchise," noted Dahlgren.

Capcom said fans will know the entire roster before the game is released in the spring of 2016 as well, with a steady amount of reveals along the way.

"We do all of the major event circuits, so we'll make sure, if you're at a key event, there's likely going to be some sort of character reveal, but it will very clear when the whole launch roster is announced," Dahlgren stated.

Capcom talks about SF5's roster and more image #2
Stages and story mode

One of our reader-submitted questions was if Capcom was planning to make unique stages for all of the characters, like they did in Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo.

"Every character won't have a stage based on them, but we will be staying true to the Street Fighter franchise in bringing new locations throughout the globe to the game in the form of new stages, but there won't be parity between characters and stages.

"If we had to do a stage for every single character, our character roster is going to be a lot smaller," said Dahlgren.

With NetherRealm Studios' games often being the gold standard most people hold up for single player experiences in fighting games, I asked Capcom if they had anything similar planned for SF5.

"We are paying attention to how everybody handles story related content, and we will be doing things differently this time around for Street Fighter 5, but we'll be sharing details on that at a later date," said Dahlgren.

As a follow up, I wondered if he could say where in the timeline SF5 takes place, but he said that's something that will revealed when they start talking about story related content.

One disc is all you'll ever need

In terms of how DLC is rolled out for Street Fighter 5, there will be a change from the previous entry in the franchise.

"We have paid attention to the way that we've managed things with Street Fighter 4, and we will be mixing things up this time around," said Dahlgren.

"This is the only disc you're ever going to need to own to get all of the content in the game, but we'll be revealing details of how our post-launch content happens at a later date, but it will be good news," he concluded.

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