The Street Fighter series will expand its reach onto mobile thanks to a collaboration between Beeline, a Capcom subsidiary, and Skillz, a mobile esports platform. A new game for mobile platforms was announced, along with an in-client competitive platform for live battles.
They emphasised the competitive experience in a press release, describing “a wholly unique and competitive Street Fighter experience on mobile.” The venture will also have “live broadcast competitions integrated natively within the game, powered by the Skillz platform.”
While it seems Capcom, through Beeline, will be heading the game itself, Skillz lends its claimed background in esports hosting by providing a platform for live battles. While they are vague about their portfolio, Skillz describes its role in these games as not only managing the tournament itself, but assisting with broadcasting and spectating the games. The company claims to manage the esports component of over 3,000 game studios and “more than 30 percent of all esports [sic] awards in 2016” and over 4 million minutes of game footage broadcasted to fans.
“With this partnership, Street Fighter will define the future of competitive mobile gameplay,” said Andrew Paradise, CEO and Founder of Skillz in the release.
This is the convergence of Capcom’s recent ventures into competitive fighting games and mobile games respectively. While Beeline hasn’t produced any smash hits, it’s developed a line of franchised games for names such as Shrek, Ghostbusters and Snoopy the Dog. Capcom may be looking more closely at Capcom Mobile’s Android remaster of Ace Attorney: Dual Destinies, which released late May. (The game was also released for iOS in 2014.)
Meanwhile, Street Fighter as a franchise has exploded in popularity due to its competitive aspect and the release of Street Fighter V in February 2016. The franchise was already an arcade staple, and despite the fifth iteration not having an arcade release, it became an overnight esports hit. The game’s success was further proven by Turner Media’s television series ELeague, an invite series of many of the top players in the game (though it wasn’t part of the Pro Tour).
This will be Capcom’s newest foray in mixing the genre and platform, though its previous game, Street Fighter X Tekken for iOS, didn’t have a similar esports focus. The new project will be met in app stores by the indie fighter hit Skullgirls, which saw its full release this month, plus other franchised apps such as Marvel’s Contest of Champions and DC’s Injustice.
Esports Insider says: This could be a high-risk/high-reward move by Capcom. They have the sheer popularity and charm of their games and brands to last them a few lifetimes. Of course, that’s in a familiar way as, say, Angry Birds. It’s anyone’s guess as to whether the game’s competitive platform will be well-received and viable when push comes to shove. Here’s hoping, if only for the next generation of gamers, who genuinely love their mobile apps.