The iPhone version of Street Fighter IV drew inspiration not from the console, but from arcades, the game’s producer told Kotaku in an interview.
Takeshi Tezuka got his start at Capcom working on arcade titles, he told me. Street Fighter II, the seminal fighting and Capcom game, hit right after he started and he later went on to help create 1995’s Marvel Super Heroes arcade game.
When Capcom noticed the success of the iPhone (There are users in 80 different countries, Tezuka pointed out to me.), they decided to pair that up with their incredibly successful fighting title Street Fighter IV. And Tezuka said he looked to his arcade, not his console experience in making the game.
“I tried my best to implement everything I could from the console and arcade versions to the iPhone version,” he said. “I guarantee that the people who play our game in arcades will also enjoy the iPhone version.”
The iPhone version of the game does have some substantial changes to play, despite looking surprisingly like the console version of Street Fighter IV. There are, for instance, only two attack buttons, instead of six. One each for kicking and punching. Instead of the gamer deciding the power of their attack or which attack is thrown, something that is influenced by button selection on the console, the game decides which is the best sort of attack based on movement controls and the situation.
While this streamlines the play, it doesn’t seem to impact the tactics of a match, which was the point.
The game includes local Bluetooth multiplayer support, but no online gameplay, something that Tezuka told me was “impossible” to implement.
“This is a fighting game,” he said. “We don’t want any latencies or delays, so we didn’t want to implement online because of that.”
Flipping over his iPhone, Tezuka reveals the device’s cover, a hand-painted image of Ken and Ryu on a background of fire with the words “Waiting For a New Challenger.” He tells me that he still expects most people to spend their time on the game playing against one another, not practising in the single-player matches.
That’s because, Tezuka says, his experience working on arcade titles led to a realisation that iPhone gamers and arcade gamers are very similar.
“We think that gamers that play at game centres on the arcade machines and gamers who play on the iPhone are very similar,” he said. “It is very easy to access the Street Fighter IV iPhone game, and very similar to arcade game.”
While the Street Fighter IV just hit the iPhone last week, and has already landed on the top ten charts for gaming, Capcom is already considering future plans for both the game and, potentially, other fighting titles for the iPhone.
He told me that Capcom already have plans for downloadable content for Street Fighter IV iPhone, but nothing is yet set in stone. He also said that if this game sells well enough it’s possible that the publisher could start looking at their popular Versus series of games for the next title they might bring to the iPhone.
And why, I asked, didn’t’ they bring Super Street Fighter IV to the iPhone instead of Street Fighter IV?
“We couldn’t release Super Street Fighter IV before the console version because (Super Street Fighter IV Producer Yoshinori) Ono is going to get annoyed,” he said. “At some point, though, it would be very interesting if we could release the console version and the iPhone version at the same time.”
Could that happen soon, I asked.
“If we work hard it could happen” Tezuka said. “It could happen.”