It’s hard to ignore the major Street Fighter 6 leak that surfaced earlier this month, revealing the game’s launch roster seemingly shortly after the release of the first gameplay trailer. While everyone isn’t sure if what we’ve seen is real, the artwork depicting the full cast on day one certainly seems compelling.
For now, we don’t want to go into the details of the leak so much, instead talking about a possible ripple effect we might see post-launch. Street Fighter 6’s potential leaked list is tough on newcomers, and this – along with a few other potential signs – could indicate that post-launch expansions will be released as packs themed solely as Street Fighter 2, Street Fighter 3, and so on become a means of bringing back old fighters.
Of course, this is pure speculation as we currently don’t know how Capcom intends to handle DLC for Street Fighter 6. It also goes without saying that the leaked roster could still be fake, although it definitely looks based not only on the DLC but also on the quality of the content itself Capcom appears to be addressing them.
As a quick recap, Street Fighter 6’s rumored starting roster features 14 returning characters and a whopping 8 newcomers (including Luke). That’s twice the amount of brand new fighters we saw in Street Fighter 5’s first cast, and double the number of Street Fighter 4 launch newcomers – although you could unlock newly added bosses Seth and Gouken by playing the game .
We haven’t seen that many original fighters on a Street Fighter’s base roster since Street Fighter 3: New Generation, which only featured 2 old competitors (Ryu and Ken) and 9 newcomers. So why is all this important?
Well, if we scan Capcom’s recently released Street Fighter project for possible clues, we find that Street Fighter 5 had minimal newcomers up front, and then more were added in the post-launch seasons. Additionally, some seasons have been tough for the original fighters – like Season 2, which had just one legacy character, Akuma, making up the lineup among 5 brand new warriors – and it felt like only a small handful of them were going to be big hits with them the fighting game community.
Newcomers Luke and Jamie in Street Fighter 5.
Capcom is clearly making an effort to right Street Fighter 5’s wrongs here with Street Fighter 6, as the company came right out of the gate and put the emphasis on netcode, the amount of content we’ll see in the game and that has a way for players to express themselves – all the major complaints fans have had about SF5. Along the same lines, we could see Street Fighter 6 changing the way expansions are released, with a major focus on having recurring fighters that are popular with fans rather than the ones we pay for, rather than many new arrivals, which end up being more of a gamble.
One thing the community quickly noticed about Street Fighter 6 is the push to not only revamp some of the tried and tested game mechanics from previous games, but also to pay tribute to the previous games in the series. Not only do we see this in attacks, but even in various character poses, proven to be straight out of games like Street Fighter 2.
Drive Impact appears to be heavily inspired by Street Fighter 4’s Focus Attack, while Parries are clearly drawn from the Street Fighter 3 (and Street Fighter 5) series. There are also flavors of Street Fighter Alpha 3 in the game, and even a bit of Capcom vs. SNK 2. It really feels like Capcom is taking fan-favorite parts of classic titles, improving them, and using them as building tools to create with Street Fighter 6 a whole new identity while celebrating the franchise as a whole.
And yet the game’s potential starting lineup doesn’t seem to follow suit. The returning fighters are mostly Street Fighter 2 representatives, with only four of them being runaways.
Dee Jay is reportedly returning and hasn’t been in a game since Super Street Fighter 4 – though technically he’s also a representative of Street Fighter 2, albeit from one of the later expansions. The other three are Juri (Street Fighter 4) and Ed and Rashid, both Street Fighter 5 original fighters.
This cast seems suspiciously dialed in, especially considering the absence of widely popular characters like Ibuki (Street Fighter 3) and Sakura (Street Fighter Alpha). No Street Fighter 3 and Street Fighter Alpha contender seems very odd, and even then we only have two characters from Street Fighter 5 and one from Street Fighter 4.
The old character Chun-Li returns with a new look.
It feels like this leaves quite a bit of room to delve into these iconic games for future content, and based on some of the things we’re already seeing with Street Fighter 6, it’s possible we’ll get expansions that the games that make them up blatantly rework the legacy of the franchise.
2022 is also the 35th anniversary of the Street Fighter series and this could also be a potential hint at themed character expansions as the company no doubt wants to honor their legacy. It would be pretty smart to see an announcement later this year revealing a roadmap that will show character passes for Street Fighter 3, Street Fighter 4, Street Fighter 5, a Street Fighter Alpha and maybe some fighter silhouettes for the first pack be available after launch.
Street Fighter 6 is set to release sometime in 2023. Capcom has calmed down on the new information front for now, but we suspect we’ll see more around Evo or later this year.