Longtime Street Fighter Producer Yoshinori Ono Is Leaving Capcom

Illustration for article titled Longtime iStreet Fighter/i Producer Yoshinori Ono Is Leaving Capcom
Photo: EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP (Getty Images)

Today, Street Fighter producer Yoshinori Ono announced via a message on Twitter that he is leaving the franchise and Capcom after nearly 30 years. The message also contained his thoughts on the criticism to the changes made to the Capcom Pro Tour, which in the wake of COVID-19 has moved entirely online.

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In his statement, he first acknowledged criticism leveled at the Capcom Pro Tour and the move to online matches. “It took a long time for us to decide the format for this year, but we believe that conducting the event itself would repay those who has (sic) been supporting the CPT, regardless of what format it is.”

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After that, he announced his plans to leave Capcom. “And now, after serving almost 30 years at Capcom, I am leaving the company in (sic) this summer. This means that I will resign my position as the brand manager for Capcom’s various titles including Street Fighter.

Ono originally joined Capcom back in the 90s and worked on various franchises including Mega Man, Dead Rising, and Devil May Cry. But most know him for his work with the Street Fighter franchise, where he helped revitalize the fighting game series with 2008's Street Fighter 4.

Ono ended his Twitter statement with hope and excitement for the future of Street Fighter saying “I will look forward to seeing the new Street Fighter brand and how it’s going to be expanded, as just one of the regular gamers next time around.”

Kotaku Weekend Editor | Zack Zwiezen is a writer living in Kansas. He has written for GameCritics, USgamer, Kill Screen & Entertainment Fuse.

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DISCUSSION

I am seeing a lot of rose colored comments in this article. While Ono did a lot of things right, he did a lot of things wrong under his watch.

There is a reason he got demoted twice. There is a report that says SFVI was originally supposed to be released next year. However, under Ono’s direction, internal and external testing for SFVI ended up being a total disaster. The report indicates that they hired another director to start from scratch. This bumped production to additional 2-3 years. We will not see SFVI until 2022-2023 at the earliest.

He is also responsible for Street Fighter X Tekken. It had a lot of promise that ended up being a huge disappointment. Budgets were not allocated properly and the mechanics in the game were very gimmicky. Capcom lost a lot of money in the game from marketing which going forward led to working with a very limited budget for the fighting game department. If you’re wondering why MVCI bombed, that was one of the reasons.

More importantly, let us not forget the launch of SFV. This game was still under his authority. It was a fucking disaster. It was a half-assed game that was only available for online play. There were no story or arcade mode. It was a miracle that they recovered because if they didn’t, Capcom would have set their fighting games back to the dark ages when they didn’t release a fighting game for over 9 years.

Ono’s resignation was overdue. I’m surprised that it took this long. We may not see him for a very long time.