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Street Fighter a PS4 exclusive - is this is just the start of the third-party bidding war?

Matt Gardner
Fighting Games, PC games, PS4 games, Street Fighter V, Trailers

UPDATE: Sony have commented, saying "we're not commenting". Guess that was to be expected.


Capcom have unveiled a teaser trailer for Street Fighter V ahead of tonight Game Awards,with the company announcing that the latest game in the beat-em-up series will be heading exclusively to PlayStation 4 and PC.

Street Fighter V marks the latest third-party title exclusive by one new-gen console platform or another, and yet there seems to be little sign of the massive backlash that accompanied Microsoft's Tomb Raider exclusivity announcement at Gamescom, nor the outrage that met the news that Bayonetta 2 would only be available on Wii U.

One of Capcom's most bankable franchises, Street Fighter has been a multiplatform series for years, but with this latest news suggesting that the next Street Fighter game will be a PS4 console exclusive, one wonders what's been at play behind the scenes.

Is this a sign of a change in strategy at Sony? Microsoft have been gathering momentum under Phil Spencer, and the Tomb Raider news would have been a wake up call for the Japanese company. With Sony effectively doubling down on PlayStation (being that it's the only profitable department that they have these days), it stands to reason that Sony would look to flash some cash for a big return. Street Fighter would certainly be a big return for them.

It's a good fit for the Playstation brand too, with Street Fighter vs Tekken surely on the cards to come if this exclusivity announcement is an indication of things to come. That's purely speculative, of course, but it would make sense to see that crossover partnership fostered and developed further on the PS4.

It's important to note that we have no idea of the fine details at the time of writing. The trailer itself was pulled moments after it leaked. It's possible that this could be a timed exclusive in the same way that Tomb Raider is a timed exclusive. We're waiting on comment from both Sony and Microsoft at this point.

But signs point towards an all out bidding war for choice third-party titles. Street Fighter makes a little more sense to public eyes than Tomb Raider perhaps simply because the Xbox brand has never really been too closely associated with the fighting genre they way PlayStation has. I don't really count Killer Instinct in that respect, as that wasn't an Xbox brand to begin with in the same way that Tekken, for example, is inextricably tied to Sony's consoles. Let's not forgot either, that Tomb Raider was a PlayStation console exclusive long before Microsoft got their paws on it.

So where do we go next? Well, to the Game Awards for starters. But if this announcement is anything to go by, it's both an exciting and worrying time to be a console partisan. Exciting because both companies appear to be willing to throw large amounts of money around to secure exclusives for their respective systems, but worrying because, at the end of the day, taking third-party titles off of the market like this ultimately means that a large chunk of consumers don't get to play games that one might otherwise expect to be multiplatform.

What do you make of the situation dear reader? Hit us up with your comments in the poll above and the comment box below.

Add a comment9 comments
chieftex  Dec. 5, 2014 at 15:05

I couldn't find an option in the poll to pick "It's on PS4 and PC so it's not exclusive, rendering the original question moot".

MattGardner  Dec. 5, 2014 at 15:18

I couldn't find an option in the poll to pick "It's on PS4 and PC so it's not exclusive, rendering the original question moot".

That's covered by the last option :D

Ilium  Dec. 5, 2014 at 15:24


...for third-party games, anyway.

Interesting point about the backlash. I have both consoles, so I'm not bothered in this respect, but interesting to note the relative calm, unlike the rabid hysteria of Sony fans after the Tomb Raider announcement.

BlueBits  Dec. 5, 2014 at 16:24

Jim Ryan (CEO at SCEE) have previously said that they don't feel a need to buy exclusives. Street Fighter is only a console exclusive so maybe they didn't buy it.
They may have agreed to promote the game but I don't think they said "here is 20 million dollar, don't release it on Xbox".

Rileyfreeman  Dec. 5, 2014 at 18:37

i dont think street fighter is as big as it once way so people likely wont care.

bettergetdave  Dec. 6, 2014 at 06:52

This isn't about console manufactures bidding to get exclusive content on their system to knock out the competition. This is about developers and the new business model. You can now outsource the cost of development and marketing for your game to a 3rd party in exchange for exclusivity. Your profits are now more secure and you have considerably lowered the risk if your game doesn't do well in sales. This has been a trend in the movie industry for a long time now and the gaming industry is just following suit.

GiovanniRosso  Dec. 6, 2014 at 10:03

Loving the $0N¥ PauperStation hypocrisy in the polls. When Rise of the Tomb Raider was announced, death threats were made because it was not on the PlayStation. This is hilarious, the hypocrisy, proving that PS loser can't afford anything else. The fun fact is that there will be at least three more iterations of the same game coming out after the original and that's surely not remaing PS exclusive. Poor paupers.

DPart  Dec. 6, 2014 at 15:59

Looking at the poll, it's okay what MS did with Rise of the TR and they should do many more thir party exclusive deals then too. Glad to see the Sony fantard hypocrites show their true light when push comes to shove. It's true what many authors around have said, Sony fans are the worst of them all and they lie and spin everything to their own agenda.

Cavorttacks  Dec. 10, 2014 at 16:13

I’ve been giving this a bit of thought and if you really think about it, I believe this may be the most significant Gaming related thing that PlayStation has done this generation. (well aside from E3 2013)

Consider the fighting game community. While not as big as the something like the FPS community, it has an incredibly dedicated fanbase and brings in people who will typically play for years and years. These are exactly the type of people you want on your console, people who will be constantly using it.

By getting Street Fighter V as a console exclusive, Sony has essentially ensured the entire current generation fighting game community will be gaming on PlayStation. Not only have the ensured that this game will sell on their console only, they have also ensured a constant revenue stream of people who will pay for PS+ and hundreds on pieces of content but most importantly, they have ensured that all mutiplat fighting games for the rest of the generation will always sell better on PlayStation, mark my words, Every. Single. One. Effectively about 2 million people will likely buy a PS4 simply over this title and Sony has essentially gauraenteed them to be customers for the rest of the generation.

What this comes down to, is that I would argue that this might be the single most important maneuver made this generation so far, even more than something like TitanFall being exclusive to Xbox and PC.

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