Street Fighter V’s Launch Sure Has Been A Bummer

Street Fighter V’s Launch Sure Has Been A Bummer

On February 16, Street Fighter V came out at a full price of $US60 ($84) on Steam, $100 on PS4. The big problem with that is Street Fighter V is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a fully finished game.

The just-released version of Street Fighter V feels like it was rushed out the door. The Battle Lounge multiplayer lobbies can only host two players at a time, as opposed to the standard eight, when the servers are stable enough for people to log on. If the online component of the game isn’t working, players only have a skimpy set of Story Mode levels and Survival Mode to play with. Street Fighter V doesn’t have an Arcade mode, another feature that tends to be standard with fighting games. And the fun customisation options that have been staples of modern Street Fighter games, like different costumes, aren’t there at launch either.

Yes, updates in March will be bringing some of these features to Street Fighter V. But Capcom’s asking players to wait anywhere from two weeks to a month for features that usually have been part of the bare minimum. In that span of time, people who’ve brought the game can leave in droves and others may decide not to pick it up at all. A release as maladroit as this one begs a big question: who is the priority here?

The most common, though unofficial, answer I’ve seen to that question is that, at launch, Street Fighter V is supposed to feed the franchise’s competitive community. Street Fighter V is going to be the foundation of Capcom’s 2016 pro tour — the first major event starts on March 18, just over a month after the game’s release.

But even if Capcom hustled SFV into the world so that pros and wannabes could start working on their skills, the game they released fails several key aspects of that mission, too. Despite built-in support, older fight sticks aren’t consistently working with the new game, and players have had to figure out workarounds to get the PS3 fight sticks working with the PS4 version of the game. Players have reported that at least one stage creates lag during play, making it cursed ground for competition. I’ve experienced this firsthand, watching the game stutter on M. Bison’s Lair of the Four Kings stage as I played an opponent online. Most surprisingly, Street Fighter V didn’t have a system in place to punish people who rage-quit and disconnect during online play.

The lack of features in the game’s offline mode matter, too. The absence of a traditional Arcade Mode makes it harder to get a feel for characters’ strengths and weaknesses when matched up against different opponents. Survival Mode doesn’t offer the kind of depth that invites long-term engagement. Mortal Kombat X‘s launch last year had its own problems, but that game had a full story mode and regular challenge updates to keep people happy. Deciding to release without a more robust Story Mode and with such paltry single-player options leaves out people who simply want a fun, full-featured game to play and aren’t training to be part of a competitive circuit.

Community reactions to a Capcom post about DLC plans.

Street Fighter V will evolve as the year goes on, with some DLC plans already detailed. Capcom’s made a point of saying that folks only have to pay once for Street Fighter V and that players will be able to earn the content from future updates solely by earning in-game cash. Nevertheless, they’re asking for a full $100 up front for a game that, at launch, doesn’t give players much reason to develop an ongoing relationship with it. Releasing a game in this state doesn’t engender much goodwill with either casual or hardcore fans.


  • Capcom needs money, and they’re willing to put their biggest franchises on the line to get it.

    It’s why the very significant majority of their output is remakes.

    Even the latest billion selling monster hunter was a best of.

  • I remember when Street fighter 2 turbo was 149 dollars on the super nes. Now you get a partially finished game for a 100 so thing haven’t really changed that much!

  • I’m so glad I went to Big W and only paid $64. I knew there would be a feature or two missing, but I was shocked to realise there was no standard arcade mode. Like, y’know, THE MAIN GAME. The “story mode” is a joke. Playing 2-player against other people is as fun as always, but I have no interest in playing online, so for me the game is pretty much already finished and dead, until I have people come around to try 2-player mode. Sheesh. You had one job, Capcom…

    • Pretty much this. Gotta wait months before the new characters I paid for come out and the story mode gets fleshed out

  • When I first looked at the Story Mode screen, I thought the locked parts where extra stories that I could play through after finishing the first one. “4 stories per character. I’m impressed.” I said. Then I realised it was 4 chapters to a story and only 3 of them are fights.

    Another thing I’m disappointed with is the lack of a “vs. CPU” option in Versus Mode. If I want to fight a CPU opponent, I have to go into Training Mode and set the dummy to CPU. The lack of Arcade Mode is also extremely disappointing.

    • “Another thing I’m disappointed with is the lack of a “vs. CPU” option in Versus Mode. If I want to fight a CPU opponent, I have to go into Training Mode and set the dummy to CPU” I feel your pain. It’s pretty awful the state they released this game in. There’s good stuff there don’t get me wrong but there should have been SO MUCH MORE.

  • This is the first game I’ve bought in a long time (and I do mean long) that I have actually considered taking it back for a refund. Only had it for 5 days now and I’m like ‘meh’, echoing everyone’s feelings above.

  • I’m in this one for the long haul. For me Arcade Mode is just something to do while you wait for an online match. I agree story mode is poor. Online is working nicely for me and if I had the choice of waiting for the “complete” SFV with arcade mode and more characters or having a paired down version for online play now I definitely choose the latter. I’m loving the competition!

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