Cristo Redentor, the giant statue of Jesus that towers above the city of Rio de Janeiro, is one of the world’s great landmarks. It won’t be appearing in Street Fighter V, though, after Capcom decided to swap it out and replace it with...a monstrous replica of what sure looks like the FIFA World Cup trophy.
Laura, a new character for the fighting game, is Brazilian, and her stage is pretty clearly set on the streets of Rio. You can see in stills taken from a trailer released today that where Cristo Redentor is kinda-supposed to be (this stage is a caricature of Rio, not an exact replica), there’s:
Which sure looks a lot like:
Which, for the unsporting among you, is the trophy handed out to the winner of FIFA’s World Cup. I mean, it’s not a perfect replica—that would have been a licensing issue, since EA owns the video game rights to the World Cup—but being Brazil, and Brazil having won the World Cup five times, the point is pretty clear.
It’s not like it’s some hidden Easter Egg kinda deal, either; you can see it for almost the entire match, as it’s the most prominent feature in the background.
What a weird thing to do! It’s not like the statue hasn’t featured in other games (like Civilization V, where you actively build it for perks). Some might even see it as a slight troll; while Brazil is famous for its football, and held the World Cup on home soil last year, it didn’t exactly go well for the hosts.
Note that in previous games, plenty of big landmarks have remained intact, from Mount Rushmore (SF1) and the Chrysler Building (SF Alpha 2) in the US to the giant Reclining Buddha—a religious icon, much like Cristo Redentor—that’s the star of Sagat’s stage in SF2.