No Ultra, No Turbo: Street Fighter V Is The Only SFV


For years, Capcom have iterated upon each major Street Fighter game with Turbo, Ultra, Championship, and Goodness Knows What Other Editions, tweaking the balance and adding new characters and stages. That’s all good and well when you need to physically release new cartridges, but that hasn’t been the case for years. So, finally, they’re sticking with one game. Street Fighter V [official site] will be it – no Ultra, no Turbo.

All “balance and system adjustments” will come free. A steady flow of new content like characters is planned, for players to buy either with a virtuacash earned by playing or real money. Speaking of characters, Capcom announced a new one too, that guy with the locks.

Capcom announced all this at the EVO fighting game championships over the weekend. Explaining the change in a blog post, Capcom reflect on what happened with Street Fighter IV, Super SF4, and Ultra SF4:

“While these one-time updates did revive interest in the series every few years, it was difficult to keep players engaged for long periods of time unless they were competitive. This also punished players who took a break from playing the game, because if they wanted to start again in a few years, they would be forced to purchase an upgrade to join the existing player pool who had already moved on to a new version. On top of that, this old method also forced players to purchase all of the new content, even if only a few characters may have appealed to them.”

Yep, that sounds garbage all right. So they’re changing it. Capcom plan to update balance and tweak systems for free and release new content “on a regular basis”, all on the same base game. No fragmenting the playerbase, and no having to buy essentially the same game all over again. It’ll be smiles all round – if the content updates are handled well.

Capcom plan to let folks unlock the new bits of content with either a ‘Fight Money’ currency earned simply by playing, or the ‘Zenny’ microtransaction cash that’ll cost real money. Hmm. I realise they’re trying to come up with a way to not entirely lose out on the extra cash from selling new versions, but this could be a mighty nuisance if they’re try to charge silly amounts of Fight Money to push folks into whipping out their credit card.

Anyway! That chap with the hair! His name is Necalli. Capcom say, “Players who enjoy a straight forward, hard hitting character will feel right at home with Necalli, as he possesses a wide variety of savage, close range attacks, as well as a command grab, all with the goal of demolishing his foes.” Have a look at him in action:

So anyway, how about that EVO this weekend, eh?


  1. LogicalDash says:

    DLC for a fighting game is just obvious. Like, you were buying incremental upgrades every year already, right? Now you get them more frequently, in smaller chunks, at lower cost.

    Shit, I’m surprised I haven’t seen anyone try to take a fighting game F2P. Exactly like feeding quarters into a machine, eh?

    • Steven Hutton says:

      Killer Instinct is F2P. They release characters for a one time cost. It’s very, very similar to this model.

      Also, if Capcom don’t let me wager my Fight Money against people in grudge matches then they’re crazy.

    • shinygerbil says:

      There’s also Tekken Revolution and Soul Calibur: Lost Swords, neither of which really worked very well at all. TR was a blast to play, though.

    • malkav11 says:

      The “lower cost” part isn’t actually guaranteed. In my experience, things that get sold as piecemeal DLC are often more expensive if you want all of them than an expansion would have been previously. Say they release those new characters at $7 each (and it could easily be higher). By the time there’s 5 new characters you’re already over $40.

      • eggy toast says:

        Not sure how you multiplied 7 and 5 and got a result over 40, guy giving advice on smart buying.

      • ffordesoon says:

        Sure, but you’re assuming the player wants to use all of those characters, which isn’t necessarily the case. If I always use Akuma, for example, I may not want to buy the four other characters.

        • pepperfez says:

          Because matchups are so important in SF (and all fighters, for that matter), if you play with even a little seriousness you’ll want to understand at least basic properties of every character, so the individual pricing is only a bonus for the very most casual of players.

          • MisterFurious says:

            The most causal, the slightly casual, the regular player that’s not obsessive compulsive, the player that doesn’t have a lot of money to throw around, the active player that doesn’t feel the need to own every single character. I think the number of people that think they have to own every character is going to be a very small percentage of people. The vast majority of players, even professionals, only play a handful of characters. The difference between this model and the previous one is that the players get to pick and choose what they want to buy instead of being forced to buy every single edition if you want to keep playing online multiplayer. My version of SF IV is out-of-date so I can’t play it online and I’ll be damned if I’m going to buy the upgrade for it. I waited years for them to say SF IV was ‘done’ to buy it and then after I bought they said ‘Hey, let’s milk it one more time!’. Bastards. The only way I would even consider getting SF V was if they did exactly what they are doing with it: free updates and OPTIONAL additional characters. They’re even making it so that you can unlock the characters for free.

            I don’t care how long it takes or how much it costs to unlock them because I know that I don’t NEED to do so. I don’t need 50 damn characters on a roster, most of which I’ll never play. 16 characters is just fine for me and it’ll be fine for most people. Hell, my favorite character is amongst the 16 that comes with the game, which is fantastic. If a character comes along down the line that I’m interested in, then I may unlock it, but that’s the great thing about it: I won’t HAVE to unlock it. It’ll be my choice. My game will never get outdated. The online player base won’t get divided time and again each time they put out a new edition. I won’t be forced to buy the same game over and over again if I want to play it online. If some OCD brats feel compulsed to buy every single character and every single costume and spend a fortune, well, that’s their problem, not mine. I have no sympathy for idiots.

          • pepperfez says:

            Well, the definitive version of SFIV is out right now, so you can buy with confidence.

          • sextonblake says:

            15 bucks every two years isn’t a massive outlay, is it? And it’s nice to have every character available if you have friends over. Or are friends just for ” OCD brats” and “idiots”?

          • ffordesoon says:

            Yes, you do, but any good character-based F2P game will have some system of letting players try before they buy. LoL, for instance, lets you choose from an ever-shifting roster of free characters in order to entice you to try different ones and purchase the ones you like the most, and there are regular sales on older characters. You can eventually learn the basics of every character without buying the ones you don’t want.

            The a la carte model malkav11 presumed is, of course, only one way to do F2P. Dota 2 offers up its entire roster at no cost, only charging for cosmetic items. But if the model of our hypothetical F2P fighter is indeed a la carte, there are still ways to give players a solid handle on all characters without forcing them to pay in time or money.

          • jrodman says:

            Indeed, friendly only cost money so they are a problem for fools!!!

  2. RaveTurned says:

    Long flowing locks and a floaty loincloth. “Look at the 3D physics!” screams Capcom. “LOOK AT IT!”

    Speaking from a layperson’s perspective, isn’t that character going to be pretty annoying to fight against? How are you supposed to know what move they’re executing with all that visual noise going on?

    • shaydeeadi says:

      I’m sure after playing against him a couple times the visual cues will become apparent.

  3. mashkeyboardgetusername says:

    Mind if I say something completely off-topic? Anyone on AMD, don’t do the express install when updating your drivers, it installs some extra shit by default including a video capture thingy that autoruns when you start a game and (for me) causes serious FPS issues.

    I stupidly wasn’t paying attention when letting it update, so thought I’d let y’all know in case it saves anyone else annoyance. (Think I’ve got rid of it now, but we’ll see…)

    • Fiatil says:

      This happened to my roommate when we were building his PC. I was convinced that it was spyware for weeks until discovering that it’s very sneakily installed by the AMD drivers. For shame.

  4. Evil Pancakes says:

    “Capcom plan to let folks unlock the new bits of content with either a ‘Fight Money’ currency earned simply by playing, or the ‘Zenny’ microtransaction cash that’ll cost real money. […] but this could be a mighty nuisance if they’re try to charge silly amounts of Fight Money to push folks into whipping out their credit card.”

    I’m honestly not that bothered with them chargin money for characters. Hell, I was expecting that. The fact that you can unlock them with in game currency is the real surprise here. What I am more worried about is them doing the f2p thing where they sell strange amounts of premium currency. Say you can buy it in packs of 500. So 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, etc. And then a character costs something silly like 350-400-450. So no matter what, you will be left with some random currency that you will never use. No, I’d rather just pay a flat fee in euros directly, thank you very much. I’ll just keep hope that that will still be possible.

    • CrazyPaladin says:

      So this game would be almost exactly like a F2P game, except it’s not free?

  5. Spacewalk says:

    “Gyaaargh! Split ends again!

    • Premium User Badge

      Serrit says:

      Hehe. yeah that alt text did cause a few well deserved chuckles

  6. Zankman says:

    So they finally got into the modern era, eh? Realized that releasing these “expansions” is confusing and not consumer friendly.

    Either way, I can’t say I care. SF is just so boring and unappealing to me.

    Come on Harada, just bring Tekken to PC already.

  7. Lionmaruu says:

    If it helps push fighting games to their rightfully deserved spot on e-spots it will have to come from capcom that owns the best franshise.
    I love street fighter and hate moba, but they have a point on using moba system on street fighter, if they want the game to stay current and keep fresh and competitive like it deserves this looks like a good way to do it, hopefully the game will already contain a big rooster and then moderate prices for new ones and costumes. hopefully….

    BTW the evo this year was AWESOME the last 3 fights were so fucking intense I tought I was there fighting myself!

    • Merlin the tuna says:

      I flipped on a few minutes of Infiltration vs. … Gamersbee, I think the name was? Was that the SF4 final? I was kind of surprised to hear the announcers basically saying that Elena is a terribly designed character. (I think they were aiming more for general hype, but it mostly came out as “This is annoying and unfair and basically dumb.”)

      Also, SF4 is still butt ugly.

  8. pepperfez says:

    As long as it’s possible for me to buy the whole game — the whole game, not the game minus some costumes and voices and — for a sensible amount of money, I won’t scream too much. “Game as service” still fills me with despair, but I guess marketing departments won that war some time ago.

    • Steven Hutton says:

      Yeah, I hate it when my games get updated and improved over time.

      • pepperfez says:

        The Witcher 3 and Skullgirls, off the top of my head, have received significant continuing support and no real-money currency or microtransactions. Street Fighter IV did too, for that matter, just in the form of large, discrete expansions. The options aren’t “endless microtransactions” and “abandonment.”

  9. ffordesoon says:

    I’m cautiously optimistic about this. On one hand, it strikes me as an eminently sensible business model for all Capcom fighting games, one they really should have adopted ages ago. On the other hand, there are many ways to fuck this up, and Capcom’s track record when it comes to responsible monetization is… let’s be generous and call it “spotty.”

    This model works for MOBAs (and, I suppose, Killer Instinct), but those games are F2P. They can get away with forcing you to grind the in-game currency for ages before you earn enough to get the character (or skin or whatever) you want, because there’s no barrier to entry. SFV will presumably be sold only as a full-price retail product, and SF has heretofore been a “pay once, play forever” series (well, theoretically – if done right, this model will actually be fairer than the previous SF business model, but perception is everything in the games business). In light of these facts, Capcom can’t blindly ape something like LoL and expect to get away with it. That might make them more money in the short run, but if they’re serious about growing the player base over time, they need to create the appearance of value for the money already invested by the customer.

    From a practical perspective, that means the game can’t be stingy with the Fight Money awards, and that the “gameplay-related” unlocks must cost precisely the same in Fight Money as they do in Zenny. The amount of time it takes to earn enough Fight Money to purchase a new character should be measurable in hours rather than days or – God forbid – weeks. Also, Zenny should be relatively cheap in real-world currency – you shouldn’t be able to buy more than the total cost of the game in Zenny in a single purchase, and that amount of Zenny had better last the player who ponies up for it a goddamn eternity. And there should be no “power-ups” for sale that give you, say, double the Fight Money for a real-world hour. I could go on, but you see the point – there can be no hint of the F2P “fun pain” philosophy in SFV. To do this right, Capcom needs to appear generous – not “generous for Capcom,” but generous period. Generosity breeds generosity, and stinginess breeds stinginess.

  10. Baines says:

    Braids that look like snakes, and it looks like there are eight of them. Moves that are similar to the various Orochi blood characters (Vice, Mature, Iori) in King of Fighters. Hair changes to bright red color and a wilder style for his powered up form, similar to Leona’s Riot of Blood form.

    So, is this Capcom’s take on SNK’s whole set of Orochi blood characters?

    • aequidens says:

      His moves remind me a lot of Wolverine in Marvel vs Capcom.

  11. sextonblake says:

    This is bad news for small, weekly meet ups like mine. The cost of an extra set up is the loan of a console and a monitor and €30 for a copy of Ultra with every character and stage available. I wonder how much the equivalent will cost in 5?

    • pepperfez says:

      Such are the wages of ESPORTS!!!!! [gootecksemote.jpg]

    • ffordesoon says:

      If the system works as advertised (and that’s one big “if”), it should cost you and your friends the same amount of money or less. Well, maybe something like €10 more if you pay full price on day one, assuming Ultra SFIV is priced as a budget release in your country – it is in the US. But the PC release will likely go on sale relatively soon after release, and PS4-PC cross-platform play means your friends won’t have to own a PS4 to play with you, just the game.

      If it works as advertised, which is what I’m skeptical about. I trust Capcom to do microtransactions well about as much as I’d trust a serial killer to look after my kids. But if Capcom does it right (and you can go a couple of posts up to see what I consider “doing it right”), this is probably a better deal for the consumer than laying down cash for SFIV and then Super and then Ultra.

      • sextonblake says:

        We meet in a pub (with spotty wifi), so having cheap, ready to go hard copies of Ultra that will play in anyone’s Xbox with every character available is just lovely. Life will be a bit more difficult once 5 comes out but I’m sure we’ll manage somehow. :)

        I hope this new model turns out cheaper in the long run for the average player but, as you say, it is Capcom.