Street Fighter 6’s leaked list makes me think that we will see character extensions with a theme exclusively around previous entries in the series

It’s hard to ignore the big Street Fighter 6 leak that appeared earlier this month that apparently unveiled the game’s launch list shortly after the first gameplay trailer dropped. While everyone is unsure whether what we saw is the real deal, the artwork that shows what looks like the entire cast on day one seems absolutely convincing.

Now we do not want to delve so much into the details of the leak, but instead want to talk about a possible ripple effect we can see after launch. Street Fighter 6’s potential leaked list is hitting newcomers hard, and this – along with a few other potential characters – may point to post-launch expansions that are released as themed packages exclusively like Street Fighter 2, Street Fighter 3, and so on. a means of bringing back ancient warriors.

Of course, this is pure speculation as we do not yet know how Capcom intends to handle the DLC for Street Fighter 6. It also goes without saying that the leaked list may still be fake, although it definitely looks like it’s real not only based on the quality of the content itself, but also due to Capcom is apparently addressing.

As a quick summary, Street Fighter 6’s rumored launch list includes 14 recurring characters and as many as 8 newcomers (including Luke). These are twice as many brand new fighter jets as we saw in Street Fighter 5’s first cast, and double Street Fighter 4’s launching newcomers – although you can unlock the recently added bosses Seth and Gouken by playing the game.

We have not seen so many original fighters on a Street Fighters base list since Street Fighter 3: New Generation, which only included two older challengers (Ryu and Ken) and 9 newcomers. So why is all this important?

Well, looking at Capcom’s last released Street Fighter commitment for potential clues, we find that Street Fighter 5 had minimal newcomers up front, and then added more in the seasons after launch. In addition, some seasons went heavily on the original fighter jets – like season 2 which only saw an old character, Akuma, in line with 5 brand new warriors – and it felt like only a small handful of them ended up being big hits with fighting game community.

Newcomers Luke and Jamie in Street Fighter 5.

Capcom is clearly making an effort to correct the mistakes of Street Fighter 5 here with Street Fighter 6, as the company has come straight out of the gate and emphasizes online code, the amount of content we want to see in the game, and the ability for players to express themselves – all the big complaints the fans had on SF5. Similarly, we can see Street Fighter 6 change the way expansions are released, mainly with a focus on having fan-favorite returning fighters like the ones we pay for instead of many newcomers who end up being more of a gamble.

One thing society quickly noticed with Street Fighter 6, is the pressure not only to renew some of the proven game mechanics from previous games, but to pay tribute to the previous games in the franchise. We see this in not only attacks, but even various character positions that have been confirmed to be drawn directly from games like Street Fighter 2.

Drive Impact looks like it was heavily inspired by Street Fighter 4’s Focus Attack, while pairings are clearly borrowed from the Street Fighter 3 series (and Street Fighter 5). There are flavors of Street Fighter Alpha 3 in the game as well, and even a bit of Capcom vs. SNK 2. It really feels like Capcom is taking fan-favorite pieces of classic titles, enhancing them and using them as tools to build a whole new identity with Street Fighter 6 while celebrating the franchise as a whole.

And yet, it does not appear that the game’s potential launch list will follow. The returning fighters consist mainly of Street Fighter 2 representatives, with only four of them being outsiders.

Dee Jay will reportedly return and has not been in a game since Super Street Fighter 4 – although he is also technically a Street Fighter 2 representative, albeit from one of the later expansions. The other three are Juri (Street Fighter 4), and Ed and Rashid, both Street Fighter 5 original fighters.

This cast seems suspiciously dialed, especially considering that popular characters like Ibuki (Street Fighter 3) and Sakura (Street Fighter Alpha) are absent. No Street Fighter 3 and Street Fighter Alpha challenger seems very strange, and even then we only have two characters included from Street Fighter 5 and one from Street Fighter 4.

The old character Chun-Li returns with a new look.

It feels like this leaves quite a bit of room to dive into these iconic games for future content, and based on some of the things we already see with Street Fighter 6, it’s possible we get expansions that obviously relive the games that make up the franchise’s legacy.

Coincidentally, 2022 is also the 35th anniversary of the Street Fighter series, and this could also be a potential hint of thematic expansions of characters, as the company undoubtedly wants to honor their legacy. It would be quite nice to see an announcement towards the end of this year revealing a roadmap showing character passes for Street Fighter 3, Street Fighter 4, Street Fighter 5, a Street Fighter Alpha, and maybe some fighter jet silhouettes for the first pack that will be available after launch.

Street Fighter 6 is scheduled for release sometime in 2023. Capcom has been quiet on the new information front so far, but we suspect we will see more around the Evo era or later this year.