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Street Fighter board game is already fully funded on Kickstarter (update)

Check the fine print before you decide to pledge

Cover image for the beta version of the Street Fighter: The Miniatures Game instruction manual. Jasco Games and Joe “Angry Joe” Vargas/Capcom
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

There’s a wild new project on Kickstarter right now for an official Street fighter board game. It’s co-designed by YouTuber Joe “Angry Joe” Vargas, who first introduced the prototype game system on his channel. The campaign launched with a $400,000 ask and has already exceeded that goal, but if you’re thinking of signing on for this one you’re going to want to read the fine print.

The campaign is for a product called Street Fighter: The Miniatures Game and, as is so common these days for tabletop games on Kickstarter, it’s essentially a pre-order for a nearly-finished game. It’s officially licensed by Capcom and the campaign website includes manufacturer’s samples of the miniatures as well as an early version of the game manual.

The concept originated in a YouTube video that Vargas first posted in November of 2015 which was nominally a review/performance about the original Star Wars Battlefront video game. In that announcement, the product described is actually a lot more exciting than this one. Vargas mashed-up the Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter and Dragon Ball franchises and made all the character’s classic moves compatible through a single ruleset. That means Street Fighter: The Miniatures Game could easily be the first in a series.

The gameplay appears to be pretty straightforward. Players use a hand of cards to trigger classic martial arts moves from the Street Fighter video games. The system allows for multiplayer game modes with up to six human players, as well as a cooperative mode where three players face off against a single player in the role of a boss character. It also includes a healthy assortment of scenery, although whether it’s made of laser-cut plastic, wood, foam or cardstock isn’t quite clear.

The co-developer and publisher is a company called Jasco Games, best known for its Mega Man-themed board game that raked in more than $415,000 back in 2014. While I haven’t had the pleasure of playing that title, what few reviews are available online say that it was well made, with excellent miniatures, but not a whole lot of fun to play. So, consider Vargas’ participation here to be additive and not merely a publicity stunt. The guy knows board games, and I’m interested to see how this game plays once its finished.

What makes the campaign so unusual is that the miniatures are all pre-painted and extraordinarily large. At 65 mm scale, they stand taller than most of Nintendo’s amiibo.

Here’s where things get complicated, however.

First up, the campaign has a big caveat early on stating that “content is a Kickstarter exclusive and these sets will not be available at retail.” It’s unclear what part of this will be a Kickstarter exclusive. It could be that the entire game skips retail, which would fall in line with many high-profile tabletop campaigns on Kickstarter of late, among them Kingdom Death: Monster and The 7th Continent. But a less elaborate version could easily find its way to shelves at Target or Walmart in the future. We’ve reached out to Capcom and Jasco for comment.

Second, you’re not entitled to so-called “stretch goals” if you only purchase the base game.

Traditionally, everyone who signs on to pre-order a game through Kickstarter is eligible for any additional items, like extra miniatures or expansions, that get unlocked during a campaign. The campaign for the reboot of Fireball Island, which launched around the same timeframe, is a great example. It makes no exclusions for stretch goal content. Anyone who backs the base game gets in on the fun, and with that campaign already closing in on $1 million there’s bound to be a lot of content added.

With Street Fighter: The Miniatures Game, the base game will cost you an $80 pledge. But to get any stretch goals you must back the game at the $140 level, which includes the Boss Expansion. There’s a third tier that includes the base game, the Boss Expansion as well as five expansion packs with additional characters. That option, which costs $280, also includes any stretch goals.

So far, the lion’s share of backers — about 1,140 of the 2,300 total — have opted for the most expensive package. That’s unusual, to say the least.

The campaign for Street Fighter: The Miniatures Game runs through May 4.

Update: We heard back from the publisher. Jasco Games said that it’s highly unlikely a version quite like this would ever be available outside of this Kickstarter.

“Currently, there is no way to produce a retail version (the components are all too high quality, the MSRP would be like $250 a game),” CEO and founder Jason Hawronsky told Polygon in an email. “This may be a possibility way down the road or with altered components but we are not looking at that at this time.”