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Street Fighter 5 sales grind to a halt as community calls for revamp

Ring of destiny?

Capcom updated its sales figures for its video games overnight and it doesn't look good for Street Fighter 5.

In fact, it looks pretty terrible for Street Fighter 5.

Capcom said it's shipped 1.4m copies of Street Fighter 5 since it came out in February 2016. That's the exact same number it posted back in May.

This means fewer than 100,000 copies were shipped from May to 30th September.

Sales of Street Fighter 5 were already below Capcom's expectations. It had hoped to shift 2m copies by the end of March.

So, what's going on? As a fan of the fighting game and the competitive scene, I've watched pretty much every Capcom Pro Tour tournament since the game came out, and they've all been enjoyable and well attended. Evo was a blast, and I'm looking forward to the end of the season finals.

But it seems Street Fighter 5 has struggled to appeal to, well, anyone who isn't hardcore about fighting games.

There are many reasons for this. First off, the game suffered a terrible launch, with missing features and a horrible online experience. It took Capcom months to add a story mode. When you think about the effort NetherRealm puts into the single-player side of its fighting games Mortal Kombat and Injustice, Street Fighter 5 is an embarrassment.

But there are more issues. Capcom has made some questionable decisions when it comes to DLC that I'm sure have put off plenty of potential newcomers. Take, for example, the Capcom Pro Tour DLC that came out around Evo time. Sure, the money spent in part went to the tournament scene, but when you broke down the cost, Capcom was charging an eye-watering $10 for a fighting game stage.

Then there's the kerfuffle over the PC version, which Capcom updated to install rootkits. It subsequently rolled that back, but the damage was done, the negative narrative reinforced. Capcom hasn't been particularly communicative, either.

The controversial CPT DLC included a $10 stage.

It's not all doom and gloom for Capcom. I'm sure Street Fighter 5 DLC does okay, especially with the likes of fan favourites Guile, Balrog, Ibuki, Urien, Juri and Alex released post launch and some cool costumes available to buy. But I can't see the game generating a huge amount of digital revenue, because it's only the hardcore fighting game players who are interested.

In the hours after Capcom revealed the sad state of Street Fighter 5 sales, the community has had its say on what the company could do to jump-start the game.

One of the ideas put forward is that Capcom should re-release Street Fighter 5 as a Super, Ultra or whatever version. Or perhaps even a Street Fighter 5: Season 2. This would be a big update that's free for existing players, but tackles many of the issues the hardcore have with the game, such as character balance, while adding promised content that should have been in the game from the start, particularly on the single-player side.

This would, effectively, be a re-branding of Street Fighter 5, an attempt to turn the established negative perception of the game around.

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Is it too late for Street Fighter 5? Perhaps. After this year's Capcom Pro Tour ends, it'll be interesting to see if Capcom invests in a second in quite the same way. How it handles this, I imagine, will reveal just how well - or bad - things are going for the game.

It's a shame, really. As I've said before, Street Fighter 5 is an incredible fighting game. It's up there with the best the genre has to offer. I, for one, hope Capcom can make Street Fighter 5 the game it always had the potential to be.

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