Available now … not quite
The clock is ticking ever closer to the impending countdown reaching zero tommorrow night with all signs seemingly pointing to that being the time to see Street Fighter 6 debut to the world, but when will we actually get to play it?
Through our research leading up to the end of the Capcom Pro Tour 2021 Season Final, there are 3 pretty concrete reasons why Street Fighter 6 should release within a very particular 2-month window.
So to have a release date, you need to have obviously a year … and well a date in mind, which all 3 reasons fully support each other on narrowing that all down to at most like a period of 60 days.
The first of them is of course the next Street Fighter’s connection to the Capcom Pro Tour while the other 2 tie back to how Capcom has preferred to announce and release their games over the past 5+ years.
We’ll kick things off with the eSports talk, but for those who are just waiting for the answer … what are you looking for is January — February 2023.
The Capcom Pro Tour is the longest-running and arguably most prestigious professional fighting game circuit in the entire genre, and the company is showing no signs of stopping or slowing down anytime soon.
Pretty much every investor publication out of Capcom the past few years reaffirms their stance to put even more stock into eSports, and that’ll be doubly true with a hot new game on the horizon.
The way the CPT ties back into narrowing the release window is the consistent time period the events officially begin.
For all of Street Fighter 5’s life, the CPT has kicked off in either March or April, which would of course make SF6’s launch take place sometime before that if they want to keep it going as normal.
If Street Fighter 6 were to reach the hands of players later into the year, it’d push that entire competitive season back or force Capcom to split the year between the old and new games – which I doubt anybody would want.
Although offline events and fighting game majors are still a question mark in 2022, Capcom is likely going to be banking quite a bit on their full return in 2023 to help push their new game and return to more than just online CPT tournaments.
Missing out on the early events like the Final Rounds of the world would also give the spotlight more to their competitors like Bandai Namco, Arc System Works and SNK, and I’m sure they’re looking to avoid all of the potential issues mentioned up above by trying to make sure SF6 is ready to roll shortly after the new year.
We recently looked more into how Capcom’s game reveals actually appear, but what about when they’re chosen to be shown?
To get an accurate release date, you need a year to go with it, so how did we conclude that 2023 is pretty much the only option?
If you look back at Capcom’s big hits of the last 4–5 years like Resident Evil Village, Devil May Cry 5, Monster Hunter Rise, Resident Evil 2 Remake, they’ve all launched less than 1 year after they were first unveiled to the world.
Other companies may have a problem of announcing their games years too early, but that’s not something Capcom’s faced in recent history except for the now-delayed Pragmata.
Working under the continued presumption that Street Fighter 6 is getting revealed tomorrow then, we should expect to see it release sometime before February 20, 2023.
It’s just kinda as simple as that.
Except for Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, the first 3 months of the year became known for the time for new Capcom fighting games, but that’s expanded to apply for much more of the company now too.
In a similar way to the last reason (but for a different result), a vast majority of Capcom’s newer AAA titles (including the aforementioned DMC5, RE2, MHR and also Monster Hunter: World) have all been released before the end of March in their respective years.
That’s because it’s all part of the first quarter of the year, but more importantly, January — March is the fourth and final quarter of the fiscal year for Capcom.
The simplest reason as to why that’s so important to them is because those big games make their end of year financials look even better than they would otherwise.
This theoretically drives profits and stocks higher as a result, which in turn gives Capcom more money to work with on their next projects.
It just makes business sense that Street Fighter 6, like Street Fighter 5 before it, will be aiming heavily for that fourth fiscal quarter because the series is still Capcom’s third best-seller of all time.
The aforementioned reasons though likely preclude SF6 from a March release window, so January or February it is.
Developing large video games is a volatile process, especially right now, so there is still the off chance that Street Fighter will need to be pushed back beyond their goal though delays out of Capcom have been fairly rare in recent years too.
We may not be left waiting to know much longer to know when the next Street Fighter will be in our hands, considering the countdown is set to end more hours from now.