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Ono directly stated that Super Street Fighter 4 would be the game's final version, but we're ultimately glad he wasn't quite telling the truth

'I have no intention of carrying on SF4 into Hyper Ultra SF4... Super Street Fighter IV should be the distinctive end'

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • June 25, 2020 at 8 p.m. PDT • Comments: 45

To this day I still find myself confusing unique aspects of the numerous editions of Street Fighter 2, and indeed the fact that Capcom likes to traditionally roll out a plethora of versions of each Street Fighter game seems to have been quite a significant hindrance for them in the past.

When the franchise finally exited the darkest part of its timeline with the flourishing success of Street Fighter 4, Producer Yoshinori Ono was wary not to make the same mistake the company had in the past... at least that's what his words to Official Xbox Magazine said in a 2010 interview. Here in 2020, we all know SF4's ultimate story would not be all that different from the entries before it.

In his latest historical fighting game research project Top Hat Gaming Man takes an in-depth look at the title most often associated with kicking off the latest boom in the genre: Street Fighter 4. Though he does delve into the game's various updates, his focus lands most heavily on the version Ono claimed would be the last: Super.

Those of us who played through the exciting days of Street Fighter 4 and its evolution can't be too upset with the fact that development continued heavily down the line beyond Super, but it's good to look back at the way Ono's statements and communication practices shaped the overall picture at the time lest we miss the lesson to take the producer's words with a grain of salt (albeit that's a lesson we've learned many, many times at this point).

We actually posted about this back in 2010, and were able to find the full quote as Ono claimed SSF4 would, more or less, be the end of the line for SF4's development.

"I have no intention of carrying on Street Fighter 4 into Hyper Street Fighter 4 or Ultra Street Fighter 4 because I’m aware of the mistakes Capcom has made in the past," he said referencing the somewhat excessive previous practices.

"So whether it would be a different IP or another Street Fighter, we’d like to keep options open. But in terms of Street Fighter 4, this is definitive… Super Street Fighter 4 should be the distinctive end. Obviously there can be updates via DLC so perhaps in 2011, we could upload a patch for Super Street Fighter 4 2011 edition that would have tuning and balancing. But as a packaged product, I think this is the last."

Many of us distinctly recall purchasing yet another disc once the game saw its Arcade Edition update, and even one more once Ultra rolled out in 2014. One has to assume that the continued success of SF4 is what ultimately led to Capcom taking on these major updates, and Ultra has been widely accepted by fans as the game's best version.

Still this issue of potential over-saturation continues to be an issue Capcom can't quite seem to get away from. Developers clearly stated during the days leading up to Street Fighter 5 that the inital version would be the only one players would ever need to own, but here we stand now with Champion Edition, having gone through the Arcade Edition update a few years ago.

The Street Fighter 5 example isn't exactly an apples to apples comparison as Capcom changed their DLC approaches with their "as a service" plan featuring seasonal DLC. While players have been able to get their hands on both Arcade and Champion Edition updates (and their mechanical and single-player mode additions) for free, the extra characters added in each all come with extra price tags.

At this point, the community widely looks back over SF5's history with chapters defined by these updates and so it's hard to say that Capcom has ever really gotten away from this style. That said, it doesn't seem to be the worst sin the Street Fighter franchise has ever committed... at least not in the eyes of hardcore followers.

Check out Top Hat's full video on Super Street Fighter 4's history and the technical lie it was sold on below. Feel free to fill out the comment section with your thoughts and reactions once you're done.

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