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What's going to be the first true large-scale next gen fighting game on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X?

Posted by Dakota 'DarkHorse' Hills • January 29, 2021 at 8:39 p.m. PST • Comments: 44

The next generation of gaming consoles have technically been available for over two months now, even though no one can find a PlayStation5 or Xbox Series X, which means the next age of fighting games will soon be upon us.

Problem is, it doesn't look like there have been any big next gen-only fighters announced yet, but we can probably figure out who the most likely candidates for the first step into the new frontier are.

Before going any further, we do need to point out that yes, Guilty Gear Strive is currently in development for the PS5, but it's also a cross-generation title on PS4. It doesn't really fit the criteria of the subject today.

There's also Coreupt that is a next-gen fighter. The game is also being created by a very small team who don't have the resources needed to create something on the level of Street Fighter or Tekken.

Two upcoming games are still up in the air with where they're going to land release-wise. The King of Fighters 15 and Dungeon Fighter Duel currently do not have platforms announced, but I'd wager big money that they'll both end up cross-generation as well.

Let's start breaking things down by the big publishers / developers still in the game and what they're most likely to launch next.

Capcom

Last game released: Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite

Though it hasn't been publicly announced, we do know that Street Fighter 6 is currently in development due to the massive hack Capcom got hit by last year.

They could certainly unveil it to the world next month during the Capcom Pro Tour 2020 Season Final event, but even then, SF6 almost assuredly won't release until 2022 at the earliest.

Street Fighter 5 is rapidly approaching its fifth anniversary since launch. Many video game sequels enter at least pre-production a short time after the current release, so in theory, Street Fighter 6 has been gestating for three or four years.

What can throw that timeline way off course, however, are the rumors the project was facing internal turmoil after getting a poor reception from play testers.

The former head of Capcom's fighting game division, Yoshinori Ono, announced he was leaving the company after 27 years only a few days later.

A move like that could put a big question mark on when it'll see the light of day, but one sign that points to SF6 being sooner rather than later is the fact that Street Fighter 5 wasn't originally planned to receive a fifth season of content before COVID-19 hit.

Despite all of the unknowns, Street Fighter 6 is still one of the best candidates to make it out the door first.

Bandai Namco

Last game released: Soul Calibur 6

Bandai Namco also have a strong case for beating their competition to the punch considering Tekken 7 first hit arcades back in 2015.

Their flagship fighter is still seeing support right now, but Season 4 is by far the smallest one yet with only two characters in total — the first of which is already out.

This suggests that a large portion of their development team are almost entirely focused on the their next big project.

Dragon Ball FighterZ and Soul Calibur 6 were also big hits for Bamco this past generation though they're unlikely to receive sequels at the moment for different reasons.

The Tekken team's new game is probably similarly far along as Street Fighter 6 if not farther though we don't know what it's going to be.

NetherRealm Studios

Last game released: Mortal Kombat 11

Considering they just released PS5 and XSX versions of Mortal Kombat 11, the game is probably going to be their primary push for the time being.

Ed Boon previously said they were going to support MK11 longer than any of their previous games which means it still has another year in the tank in all likelihood.

Arc System Works

Last game released: Granblue Fantasy: Versus (developed), Guilty Gear Strive and DNF Duel upcoming

We don't know how many fighting game teams ArcSys has now, but they do appear to be stretched thin already with most of their work focusing on Guilty Gear until it releases in April.

DNF Duel is an option as mentioned above though it's hard to imagine the companies not trying to maximize their playerbase as much as they can with the PS4 at least.

Koei Tecmo

Last game released: Dead or Alive 6

Nope.

Microsoft

Last game released: Killer Instinct

Killer Instinct has had the longest gap in between releases of the major publishers here since the base game released in 2013.

That doesn't mean much though when the game never seemed to be a big priority to Microsoft, and probably even less so now after picking up massive studios like Bethesda and Obsidian.

Iron Galaxy have also claimed that their next game is not Killer Instinct.

Riot

Last game released: Project L (upcoming)

Project L was first revealed as a League of Legends fighting game back at EVO 2019, but Riot hasn't shown off the game since.

Considering they were still hiring for important development roles well into last year, the wait to see more is probably going to go on for quite some time.

Sega

Last game released: Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown

Sega did tease something regarding Virtua Fighter during the Tokyo Game Show last year, but we still don't know if it's a brand new project in the works or something else.

The company hasn't shown too much interest in the first major 3D fighting game franchise for nearly a decade now though outside of making the games playable inside of Yakuza titles or putting VF characters in other games

SNK

Last game released: Samurai Shodown, King of Fighters 15 upcoming

The King of Fighters 15 is still a big question mark, but similarly to ArcSys, SNK probably needs to tap into the PS4 and Xbox One again unless they get a big exclusivity deal going on.

That's all of the major players who seem to be in rotation at this point, so what do you think? Who is going to show us what a next gen fighting game looks like?

Personally if I were a betting man, Street Fighter 6 and Tekken should be the furthest along despite that we'll still be waiting a year or two before we can actually play them.

The real answer here is Konami comes out of nowhere and revives Bloody Roar for the hell of it.

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