Is a 40-character roster a good stopping point for Street Fighter 5? We compare other fighting game rosters to help find an answer

Are we content with content?

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • February 21, 2020 at 7:20 p.m. PST

For most all of Street Fighter 5's life thus far, fans have consistently discussed the potential and prospect of "what's next?" as we have constantly had our eyes on the future in terms of DLC content, specifically characters more often than not.

This makes total sense as Capcom billed the game as a service from the start, and promised regular content development for at least four years. The game celebrated its fortieth character on Friday and its fourth birthday on Sunday, and so we have to question whether or not we're finally at a good ending point.

Street Fighter 5 started with a 16 character base roster but has more than doubled that number by adding a respectable 24 additional fighters over four seasons of competitive play.

We've compiled some character count statistics for 16 other fighting game titles for the sake of reference. The era in which a game is released, the fighting format (1v1 vs. 3v3, for example), whether or not a title is of AAA status, and other variables clearly make comparisons not quite of an "apples to apples" nature, but we can still garner a more refined reference point by looking over the numbers.

All of these, with the exceptions of Street Fighter 3 and Street Fighter 4, launched within the last 10 years, but not all are of AAA fighting game status.

Selected Fighting Game Rosters and DLC Character Additions

• Street Fighter 4 - 44 - 25 base, 19 after launch

• Street Fighter 3 - 20 (Including Gill) - 10 base, 10 after launch

• Mortal Kombat X - 33 - 24 base, 9 after launch

• Mortal Kombat 2011 - 32 (Including PlayStation-exclusive Kratos) - 28 base, 4 after launch

• Super Smash Bros. for Wii-U - 58 - 51 base, 7 after launch

• Injustice 2 - 38 - 28 base, 10 after launch

• Injustice: Gods Among Us - 30 - 24 base, 6 after launch

• Killer Instinct (2013) - 29 - 8 base, 21 after launch

• Marvel vs. Capcom 3 - 50 - 36 base, 14 after launch

The following titles either have additional DLC production scheduled or have reasonable potential for further roster expansion

• Tekken 7 - 49 - 36 base, 13 after launch (Base roster refers to console release, 12 of 13 DLC characters available as of writing of this article)

• Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - 80 - 74 base, 6 after launch (Total includes echo fighters as individuals, Pokemon Trainer as one character)

• Dragon Ball FighterZ - 45 - 24 base, 21 after launch (16 of 21 DLC characters available as of the writing of this article)

• Mortal Kombat 11 - 31 - 25 base, 6 after launch (5 of 6 DLC characters available as of the writing of this article)

• Soul Calibur 6 - 27 - 21 base, 6 after launch

• Samurai Shodown - 25 - 16 base, 9 after launch (5 of 9 DLC characters available as of the writing of this article)

• BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle - 53 - 20 base, 33 after launch

While SF5 boasts fewer characters than team fighters, the Smash titles, and Street Fighter 4, a 40-count roster does appear to be a relatively fair stopping point.

As per Yoshinori Ono's words with Eurogamer, we know that Capcom still has plans to update SF5 with a new online tournament mode, but that we shouldn't expect much beyond that until perhaps after the Intel World Open has concluded.

"One slightly different approach for the Intel World Open - in the past when the Capcom tour was running, we'd have the freedom to add a character while people are practicing, or make a change or adjustment to the balancing," said Ono. "We want to create a level playing field, as it's such a large audience - anyone can take part. As I've mentioned recently, there are some things coming in November and December. Once that's out, we're going to lock the game down for a while, so people aren't being caught out by balance changes when the qualifiers open up around February / March time."

The Intel World Open will conclude in July, implying that the earliest we'd be seeing any new character action would be about five months from now. We haven't heard much in the way of cries for new characters in recent days, and so one would imagine that front will be even quieter five months from now.

It's been a somewhat tumultuous four years of wrestling with Capcom's often frustrating communication practices, but we've now seen Street Fighter 5's roster size more than double and it does feel as though expectations in this avenue have widely been met.

More and more we're seeing fans speculate about how characters may appear in a Street Fighter 6 rather than if more newcomers will be added to SF5, and so perhaps we're at a point where we can play out the rest of SF5's days (however long that might be) with a sense of contentment? We'd love to hear your thoughts and reasonings in the comments below.

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