“Until very recently fighting games have been a niche,” Ono tells the Guardian. “In order to play you needed to understand all the rules, you had to know exactly what to do in every situation.” In turn, this has isolated Street Fighter from non-hardcore players. What Ono wants is Street Fighter to be a tool, like playing cards or a chessboard.
“You just need the pieces and everyone can play, not just the elite,” he says. But Ono believe it will take a few generation, but the 3DS version of Super Street Fighter IV is a step in the right direction.
How will the game keep from alienating those hardcore fans, though? According to Ono:
A quick metaphor: think of the Premier League. When Manchester United play Chelsea, you have the most professional, skillful players taking part, so any kid just out of school can’t join that team. However, just because not everyone can play for Manchester United doesn’t mean no one plays football. Until recently, we only ever aimed Street Fighter at the high end, we’ve been neglecting people who want to play at their own level. So what we’ve done with Super Street Fighter IV 3D is, we’ve retained the hardcore elements, but we’ve lowered the entry barrier, so people can play in the way they want to play, rather than having to aspire to be hardcore. We’ve established a very important milestone here.
Manchester United sucks, and everybody hates it. Ono’s analogy is pretty good, however.
Yoshi Ono: why Street Fighter has to be more like football [The Guardian]