Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition has finally received new characters after months of no news about Season 4 content. Capcom did warn fans that Season 4 would be different from the previous seasons. However, in the time since Season 4 was announced and was started with the release of Kage, Mortal Kombat 11 and Samurai Shodown have been released. Capcom's competition has been making strides in making sure that their games were going to be supported heavily after launch. Furthermore, BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle and Dragon Ball FighterZ have been releasing DLC, keeping their respective names in the conversation. Aside from a Capcom Pro Tour costume bundle in February, though, Capcom has been completely silent since December.
The result has been noticeable. Street Fighter V used to be the main event at Evo. It would have the highest sign up rate, and the most viewers of any game at the tournament, except for maybe Super Smash Bros. Melee. This year, it wasn't the main event or even the lead-in to the main event. It was a third place title that had its big announcement revealed early, meaning any excitement that could have been was deflated before it ever had a chance. It was second place in terms of entrants, but it was a distant second. Super Smash Bros Ultimate beat it by over 1500 contestants. Half of the other games in Evo 2019 didn't even have that many sign up in total. The popularity of Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition has clearly taken a hit in the Fighting Game Community (FGC).
Street Fighter V: Season 4-ish
Whether or not there will be more DLC is unknown, but Season 4 is out now. So what did fans get? Released so far have been three new characters and one new stage; well, two new stages if you count the annual Evo stage. The three characters are E. Honda, a veteran of the series; Lucia, the newest character to be revived from the Final Fight series; and Poison, a fan favorite. Each character has a total of five costumes, except for Honda, who has four. Finally, fans can get the characters and two of their outfits in a bundle costing $14.99. The bundle doesn't include the new stages or three of Lucia and Poison's outfits, nor does it contain two of Honda's outfits.
Overall, the content is lackluster but not as bad as it initially looks. E. Honda has exhibited interesting new abilities, while Lucia has been compared to a female Ken, but with some Jill Valentine from Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and King from The King of Fighters mixed in. Poison looks fun, if a bit complicated. However, while the pack looks fun, as long as players waited, there's not a lot here.
Street Fighter V's New Pack Is Good, But Not Enough
To be fair, the amount of content is decent when you look at other games. Dead or Alive 6 simply dumps outfits for outrageous prices and two characters from other games. SoulCalibur VI's season pass consists of four characters and some customization gear. However, Street Fighter V released a lot of content in its seasons. Season passes may not have included all of that season's content, and that's a persisting issue, but updates were there. Each season consisted of six characters, dozens of costumes, several new stages, and even some new modes and features. Therefore, the SFV community is used to getting a bit more than this, and in a more timely fashion.
Unfortunately, this may be indicative of the mainstream audience of Street Fighter V. Since the game's launch in 2016, Street Fighter V's popularity has been relegated to just the FGC. Street Fighter V launched with bare bones features and little in terms of content, and it was rightfully lambasted as a result. Since then, that bad first impression has followed the game and this small DLC will do that perception no favors. The game has plenty of features now (the quality of which is another discussion), but many of those who would have played when it first came out are unaware of that, and packs like this will reinforce that initial impression.
Capcom Should Start Fresh
If anything, this pack feels uninspired, feeling more like a safe release. One wonders if Street Fighter V was even supposed to have a Season 4. Capcom released Marvel vs Capcom Infinite two years ago, and it's a safe bet that the company counted on it being successful enough to sunset Street Fighter V after Season 3. However, after that game bombed, Capcom was stuck with trying to increase Street Fighter V's lifespan. The fact that Season 4 was not announced at last year's Evo, and that it was saved until the end of Capcom's Pro Tour in 2018, indicates that supposition. The fact that there was an eight month gap between the current pack and the initial start of Season 4 with Kage tells us that they were not ready to do a Season 4.
It remains unknown whether Street Fighter V will get anymore content, and it may depend on how long development is on Street Fighter 6. As for this Summer 2019 pack, only the hardcore SFV fans may care about these characters. Street Fighter V had its time in the FGC, despite the mainstream mostly turning its back. It's time for Capcom to start anew and push a better, more feature-rich Street Fighter 6 that will invite both hardcore FGC players, new players and those who remember Street Fighter from their childhood. This DLC pack is meant more to placate than to invigorate, and it shows.