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Capcom reveals who the most difficult returning character and newcomer were to design in Street Fighter 6

Posted by Steven 'Dreamking23' Chavez • May 19, 2023 at 7:58 p.m. PDT • Comments: 15

Street Fighter 6's big launch is a little over two weeks away now, and fans are clamoring for every bit of information they can get before its release. Capcom, recognizing this, recently held a Q&A live stream in which they addressed numerous questions from the people about the upcoming title.

These pre-selected questions ranged from asking if Capcom would include a jukebox mode in Street Fighter 6 to who the developers' mains are, and during the session, the game's director Takayuki Nakayama and producer Shuhei Matsumoto also discussed the development process. One question asked who the most difficult character was to design, and fortunately, they provided an answer for both the returning fighters and newcomers.

As far as the newcomers go, Street Fighter 6 has some pretty intricate characters on its roster. A fighter like JP harnesses Psycho Power and fights with a cane, using abilities such as a full-screen command grab, spikes that appear from the ground, and voids that can be placed on screen and not only act as projectiles, but allow him to teleport to their position.

Despite JP's existence, it seems that the development team actually struggled with a different and unexpected character instead.

"Of the new characters, Kimberly was especially difficult to design," the developers said through a translator. "The concept was there from a really early stage, but it was hard to land on a specific direction [for her]. This concept of an American ninja-style character, and [we] even thought about a cyber ninja for the direction would work, but ultimately ended up with the Kimberly we have now."

Now, returning world warriors include a fighter like Dee Jay who still has several of his trademark tools at his disposal, but almost has an entirely new playstyle and set of things he can do in Street Fighter 6. You'd think he would have been the toughest to design, right? Nope. The actual answer to that question is classic Street Fighter contender Chun-Li.

"In terms of the legacy characters, Chun-Li was probably the most difficult because so many people love her and everyone's ideal Chun-Li is slightly different from one another," said the developers. "Multiple designers had their own ideas, but it was hard to come to an agreement for Chun-Li."

This iteration of Street Fighter sees Chun-Li with a new approach added to her playstyle. Though she can still hit Spinning Bird Kicks and shoot Kikokens, in Street Fighter 6 Chun is now a stance character who has a steeper learning curve than players are generally used to with her.

Chun-Li being the hardest of the returning characters to design is certainly surprising, but we did actually hear something similar from Street Fighter 6's art director Kaname Fujioka back in December. In an interview with GameInformer, Fujioka noted that creating Chun's new look was particularly tough because one of her original creators was one of his mentors — likely referring to legendary Capcom artist Akira "Akiman" Yasuda.

"She was probably one of the hardest characters to design with this title, especially since one of the original creators of Chun-Li is one of my mentors," said Fujioka via Game Informer. "I definitely want to respect that and make a version of Chun-Li that is appropriate for Street Fighter 6."

Capcom shared other interesting tidbits about the game's design process during the Q&A stream, such as how Jamie was originally going to be a very different character than he ended up being. In the early stages, Jamie could have been a fighter that much more closely resembled Tekken's Lei Wulong or Jackie Chan, but he ended up being a young drunken boxer / break dancer who wants to keep the streets safe.

Street Fighter 6 is gearing up for launch on June 2, 2023. It will be available on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

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