We’ll forgive you if you’ve already given up on all hope of seeing Tekken X Street Fighter ever see the light of day. After all, it’s been more than a decade since we first heard that Tekken and Street Fighter characters would meet each other in two different games, and we’re approaching nine years since the release of Street Fighter X Tekken. That game took the three-dimensional characters of Tekken and placed them in the two dimensions of Street Fighter. It was always likely to be the easiest of the two games to make. Unfortunately, taking the Street Fighter gang and putting them in the world of Tekken has turned out to be a much harder job.
For eight years since the release of Street Fighter X Tekken, Capcom refused to confirm that the game had been canceled. Even without any footage of the game and no development images save for proof-of-concept picture of Ryu, they insisted that work was ongoing. It’s just that they always had something else to do in the meantime. New standalone versions of both Tekken and Street Fighter have been released since Street Fighter X Tekken. New consoles have been and gone. The world of gaming has changed, and Tekken X Street Fighter failed to appear.
Anyone with any degree of knowledge about game development would already know that the game would be unlikely to be delivered after such a long wait. Even if there had been work ongoing on the title in 2012, that work would be mostly useless now. Developers would have coded it for the PS3 and Xbox 360. Both are dead formats. The entire project would have to be ripped up, given a graphical overhaul, and then redeveloped for the PS5 and Xbox Series X. In other words, Capcom might as well start again from scratch. A few weeks ago, we were told for the first time that they had no intention of doing so. Katsuhiro Harada – the person who’s personally responsible for the development of Tekken games – finally admitted that the game was no longer on the company’s release schedule. He appeared to confirm that Tekken X Street Fighter was dead.
By this point, the announcement wasn’t news to anybody. It barely even generated headlines on gaming websites. He might as well have told us that the Nintendo Wii 2 was a failed format, or that Cyberpunk 2077 was a little bit broken. To tell us a game isn’t coming when it’s approaching a decade overdue isn’t news, and wasn’t treated as news. Most people – even hardcore fans of both games – probably skipped over the reports without reading them. One person didn’t skip over those reports, though. Bizarrely, that person was Katsuhiro Harada. Less than a week after apparently telling us to give up on any hope of seeing the game, he issued a clarification to say that we might still get it one day after all.
It seems that something got lost in translation when Harada made his first set of comments. This is a common problem when Japanese is translated into English crudely, and then the badly translated statement is sent around the world before the speaker has a chance to validate it. However, there’s a subtlety in Harada’s original Japanese comments that’s lost when the comments are translated into English.
Initially, Harada was quoted as saying that Tekken X Street Fighter was abandoned in a state of around thirty percent completion. He said character models looked good, the presence of Akuma in a later Tekken game was down to the creation of Akuma for Tekken X Street Fighter, and that his development team felt ready to start showing off more of the product to fans. He goes on to say that Capcom had other ideas, seemed to lose interest in the project and that without them, “the project died.” It’s that last, crucial statement that Harada takes issue within his clarification. He doesn’t deny making any of the other comments, but he specifically denies saying that. Instead, he says the Japanese word he used was more akin to “paused” or “pended.”
The difference is important, but it still doesn’t leave much room for hope. A game that was thirty percent complete more than five years ago is neither use nor ornament today for the reasons we’ve described above, and if Capcom is no longer on board, then it’ll never get the go-ahead anyway. Harada says that he’s “waiting for the correct opportunity” to proceed with the game. In reality, the right opportunity is unlikely to arrive. There might be some significance to the fact that he felt the need to point out that Tekken X Street Fighter isn’t definitively dead, but nor is the project alive in terms of being actively worked on. This is the video game equivalent of Schrodinger’s cat.
To us, it looks like one or both parties are leaving money on the table. It’s almost impossible to fail to make money with a Street Fighter game. Street Fighter V is more than five years old and still makes money from players today. The game has become a sensation on online slot websites. Whereas online slots based on video games were once a niche genre, Street Fighter has changed that. An officially licensed online slots game based specifically on Street Fighter II has become one of the all-time most-played games at Rose Slots Canada. That isn’t the only online slots website where it’s been a success. Wherever people see the famous logo, they play the game. That’s true of physical stores, online slots websites, game streaming platforms, and anywhere else. Street Fighter is money, and Tekken X Street Fighter could be huge money if it was handled correctly.
If there’s an upside to this sudden confusion about the status of the game, it’s the fact that it’s got more people talking about it than having talked about Tekken X Street Fighter for years. The sudden surge of interest might remind all of the parties involved that there’s a large audience out there interested in spending money on this game. Even if the work done to date is obsolete, it would still be worth starting again and giving us what was promised. It would be hard work, but the developers would be laughing all the way to the bank at the end of it.