Capcom was the undisputed king of fighting game crossovers 2 decades ago with series like Marvel vs. Capcom and Capcom vs. SNK keeping the attention of players, but they’ve essentially always kept the main Street Fighter titles separate from all of that.
With the shift in the fighting game industry over the past generation to add more guest characters from other franchises and companies, will Capcom finally push the idea for Street Fighter 6?
Most of us here can probably remember the pop off and extra interest garnered by Tekken 7 announcing Akuma and Geese Howard as crossover fighters, so on paper it would seem like a no-brainer that Capcom would want to capture that level of excitement within their next big flagship fighter.
If only things were that simple, however.
Street Fighter 5 went 6 years without giving into the popular fad although moves made within the game and company during that time seemingly opened the door to bigger possibilities in the future.
There are also other occurrences pointing to Capcom wanting to keep everything in house too, but let’s look at the positives first.
While Capcom didn’t go full out to grab a guest character for SF5, we did witness the developers experiment and explore more than we ever have in the past with how far they could push the game and still keep it feeling like Street Fighter.
The biggest indicator of that shift was found within the crossover costumes added throughout SF5’s lifespan from other fighting games and popular Capcom franchises like Devil May Cry.
They went through the trouble of remaking old fighters that haven’t been seen in over 20 years and were never in 3D including Jin Saotome and Leo to name a few, and Capcom also brought in more from outside of fighting games like Nergigante.
Said costumes didn’t change how the characters themselves played, but they added in ideas we normally wouldn’t ever see in a standard Street Fighter game with things like Nero’s phantom Devil Trigger on Ed for example.
These began to push the boundaries of what Street Fighter is and could be, but there’s a few others who make the case for crossover characters even better.
Among the last crossover costumes added to SF5 were actually a bunch crossovers from technically outside of Capcom with Skullomania, Hokuto, Kairi, Garuda and Blair Dame.
While they had appeared in the Street Fighter EX series, those characters are still (at least mostly) owned by Arika who put out Fighting EX Layer.
That does prove that Capcom is willing to work with outside developers for Street Fighter content, and they’ve also clearly shown they’re willing to go the other direction too.
Alongside Akuma in Tekken, Capcom gave their blessing to add Ryu and Ken as playable characters in Super Smash Bros. for fighting games as well as world warriors appearing in completely different genres like Fortnite.
Capcom may not be as eager as SNK or Bandai Namco to push their characters for rival fighting games, but the door is open.
It also helps that the company appears to be on pretty friendly terms right now with its Japanese competition, especially in the case of SNK.
Over the past few years, we’ve seen the developers work together to release a handful of old SNK vs. Capcom NeoGeo Pocket Color titles for the Nintendo Switch, which was helped along by Street Fighter 5’s Director being a big fan of old SNK games.
It doesn’t sound too crazy to think that they’d want to scratch each other’s backs now to help support their latest releases too, but there’s more baggage that could hold them back.
While it’s certainly one thing for Capcom to appear more chummy with other developers, that doesn’t erase the company’s past failures from souring the taste of potential new ideas.
Capcom’s had a pretty rough time with their past handful of crossover fighting games spanning back well over a decade now.
Of course there was Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 and Marvel vs. Capcom Origins being delisted and pulled from stores due to losing the license, and while UMvC3 eventually returned, the others haven’t (on console at least).
Then there was Street Fighter X Tekken underperforming in sales and also causing one of the largest PR nightmares in Capcom’s history with the on-disc DLC (and other issues) that led to the game being effectively dropped after like only 16 months.
Finally, there was their most recent venture with Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, which was barely supported for 6 months, if that, with Disney / Marvel apparently pulling the plug shortly after release.
You can’t exactly go out and buy a new copy of Tatsunoko vs. Capcom either.
So it would be no surprise to us that Capcom’s blood would run cold right now if the words “crossover” and “fighting game” to be put in the same sentence.
No matter how much the developers themselves would potentially want to push for such a thing, it would only take a couple of higher-ups to shut the idea down immediately.
The good thing is, however, that getting a single guest fighter and making an entire crossover game are 2 very different scopes and sizes, and we’ve seen the company experiment with such things in other series recently.
Monster Hunter World is Capcom’s biggest home release of all time, which received a number of big collaboration events from other publishers / developers around the world including The Witcher 3, Final Fantasy 14, Assassin’s Creed and Horizon Zero Dawn.
Those go to show that Capcom as a whole isn’t afraid of pushing crossovers in their big modern titles, so perhaps it’s time they gave the fighting game team another shot (so long as they promise not to shoot themselves in the foot again).
Recent history hasn’t been too kind to Capcom crossover fighters, but between the FEXL costumes, SvC re-releases and Monster Hunter collaborations, we are getting the feeling that the developers could definitely get a guest character into Street Fighter 6 if they really wish to.
We obviously can’t say for certain that the guys and gals over at Capcom want to attempt doing that for the first time in Street Fighter 6, but knowing some of who is on that team, there’s a good shot that they do.
It it probably 10-times more likely that more Final Fight or even Darkstalkers characters would potentially join the SF6 roster, but chances are looking higher than they ever have in the series’ past.
That also opens the door to the question of “should they add guests to Street Fighter 6?” but that’s a discussion for another day.