Capcom continues to release more back to back to back hits than basically any time in their history, but not every new game they put out can smash all the previous records across the board.
In its most recent quarterly earning report, Capcom pretty much admitted that Street Fighter 6 just doesn’t have the selling power that their other biggest franchises like Resident Evil and Monster Hunter have, but that’s okay.
Their Q&A portion of the financial presentation poses the question as to how Capcom currently evaluates SF6’s performance since launch as well as how they plan to grow its sales in the future.
“The game has received critical acclaim and surpassed 2.47 million units in sales globally by introducing fresh features and modes that appeal to a broader range of users, such as new Modern Type control inputs,” reads Capcom’s official response.
“However, given the relative size of the versus fighting game market, it is unlikely that the title will immediately achieve results on par with those of titles in the Monster Hunter or Resident Evil series. We look to continue expanding sales for this title over the long term, promoting it in our esports activities in order to grow the fighting game fanbase.”
This was also the same report where Capcom stated they still have a major game releasing soon that they haven’t announced yet.
Being on the inside with the fighting game community, this isn’t exactly a massive revelation that Street Fighter isn’t Capcom’s biggest dog on the block anymore like it was in the early ’90s.
It is quite interesting, though, to see Capcom fully admit that to their investors and the public that SF6 is not going to jump out and do RE or MonHun numbers.
The pessimistic way to look at this would be that the new Street Fighter did not end up setting the world on fire despite the rave reviews and initial hype from competitive and casual players alike.
If you were to flip that perspective around a bit, however, it feels like Capcom knows what they have with Street Fighter 6 and what it can be.
They aren’t putting ridiculous sales target goals on the game like they would have less than a decade ago and aren’t immediately labeling it a failure when it didn’t meet those unrealistic expectations.
Capcom spent basically seven years building up Street Fighter 5 from a fairly disastrous launch in 2016 to their 10th best-selling single release ever with 7.3 million copies sold.
Sure, that’s still behind basically every recent Resident Evil and Monster Hunter game (or technically the combined sales of Street Fighter 2 or 4), but not everything needs that to be a success.
Street Fighter 6 is already outpacing SF6 in terms of sales when it reached 2 million in a month when the last game struggled to hit 1.4 million in its initial three months.
Sales seem to have slowed down notably since the launch window considering its only sold around an additional 470,000 more units since July, but it did remain on the best selling games ranked by the NPD Group in the United States until August.
Capcom’s response is telling that they aren’t viewing SF6 as underperforming or a failure.
Instead, this is a game they’re going to be into for the long haul, and that’s going to be more of an extended “slow” burn to be supported for probably / hopefully the next five years or beyond.
Capcom’s president did previously state he hopes to see SF6 reach 10 million units in its lifetime, and it’s already a quarter of the way there after like five months.
If they continue to support the game through its eSports initiatives for the competitive side and new content that can be appealing enough to the more casual base, 10 million seems like a very realistic number for the game to eventually achieve.
That’s not to say they have no room to improve either, especially with how Capcom has been monetizing SF6 so far with a focus on expensive custom avatar costumes instead of the core gameplay / roster.
We’re still sitting here with just 2 DLC characters, no new costumes, no new stages and no real major updates to note, which is moving at a slower pace than SF5’s initial content.
Most of these complaints and shortcomings will hopefully be addressed and alleviated with time through continued support and development.
Season one is only about halfway done, so there’s still more on the horizon that we know about and probably a whole lot more than we don’t.
Street Fighter 6 does not need to sell 19 million copies like Monster Hunter: World for Capcom to make a profit and be happy with the game, and hopefully the company continues to see it that way.