The recently-announced Ultra Street Fighter 4 update is meant to keep the content fresh amid the lack of new series entries, which historically have increasingly longer development times, Capcom producer Tomoaki Ayamo told VG247.
The Ultra update will improve Street Fighter 4's balancing and add new tournament potential to each featured fighter. According to Ayano, Capcom also hopes to renew and keep steady interest in Street Fighter 4 since building a new core Street Fighter game from scratch requires a more lengthy development cycle.
"Game development is a long and arduous process," he said. "If you look at the history of the series, it took six years to go from Street Fighter 2 to Street Fighter 3, and nine years to go from Street Fighter 3 to Street Fighter 4. Purely based on that it would probably take us until the year 2018 before Street Fighter 5 comes out. So I hope everyone will play Ultra Street Fighter 4 for a long time."
Ayano also added that the Street Fighter X Tekken characters being added to Ultra Street Fighter 4 — Elena, Hugo, Poison, Rolento and a fifth unannounced fighter — are not simply copies of their original versions. This is because the development team has had to tweak the characters to fit the different combat mechanics in Street Fighter 4.
"Users do not need to worry, because the new characters will definitely not just be copy and pasted from Street Fighter X Tekken," he said. "If we did that, they would undoubtedly be the strongest characters in the game.
"The reason for this is down to the difference in gameplay systems, most notably Boost Combos," he added. "Boost Combos formed the basis of the battle system in Street Fighter X Tekken and do not exist in Street Fighter 4. Besides adjusting the characters for a game engine without Boost Combos, each will need to have many moves added as well, such as Ultra Combos and Super Combos. A simple rip wouldn't allow us to make the necessary changes, so a lot of work is going on behind the scenes."