Yoshinori Ono, three weeks out of hospital and thankfully on the mend, has revealed how nobody at Capcom but him believed in Street Fighter IV, recalling how it was something of an "unwanted child" right up until the day of release...whereupon it promptly delivered 6.4 million sales across all platforms to date.
This is why we love Ono-san.
"I was working on Onimusha 4 and during that time I repeatedly submitted my proposal for a new Street Fighter," he told Eurogamer's Simon Parkin in an incredibly honest and revealing interview. "The company kept telling me: 'It's a dead franchise. It doesn't make any money. We have series that make money like Resident Evil and Onimusha. Why bother with a dead franchise?'"
"Eventually I was given a small budget to create a prototype. That wasn't really down to me pestering my superiors so much as all of the journalists and fans started making a lot of noise and pressuring Capcom. This was a strategic plot on my part. I had been asking all the journalists to make noise about the series when out and about. I would always tell them that it was their responsibility to tell Capcom, not me as I don't have the power. Journalists and fans have the power to move Capcom - not producers. With so many voices crying out for a Street Fighter game Capcom could no longer ignore it any more and so they gave the green light for a prototype and they asked me to create it. It's a miracle that happened after a decade..."
But it was a grudging green light, according to Ono, with opposition and scepticism on his heels right up until the day of release.
"Until the day of release, Street Fighter 4 was an unwanted child," he continued. "Everyone in the company kept telling me: 'Ono-san, seriously why are you persisting with this? You are using so much money, budget and resources. Why don't we use it on something else, something that will make money?' No-one had the intention of selling it, so I had virtually no help from other departments - they were all reluctant, right up to the day of release."
"Calling it a baby seems a little over-dramatic perhaps. It might be better to describe Street Fighter 4 as the crystallisation of all of my tears, blood and effort. I'd call that passion and so yes, Street Fighter is my passion. That's all I'd say."