A new update for Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition has been announced at PAX East. At this time, we don’t know the totality of the update, nor its release date, but we do know it will contain character balance issues. People are urged to post their thoughts on the character balance changes in their specific forum on Capcom-Unity.
Street Fighter 4 has followed a standard Capcom pattern of updates to fighting games. So far, not counting Super Street Fighter 4 3D Edition, we’ve had:
- Street Fighter 4 (2009)
- Super Street Fighter 4 (2010)
- Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition (2011)
- Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition 2012 (2012) (This was a free patch)
Whether or not this new update will be free will depend on if said update will contain new characters or other new content. However, it’s both remarkable and refreshing to see Capcom continue to update Street Fighter 4. Even though Capcom released a major update to their more recent title Street Fighter X Tekken, which has done much to salvage the game in the eyes of top players, Street Fighter 4 is still the main event at many tournaments. It was the final game played at Finals Day at Evo from 2009 through 2012, and will likely cap off Evo 2013 as well. The announcement of this update is Capcom’s acknowledgement of this state of affairs. I also like to think that Capcom, like Valve or Riot Games, is starting to see games as a service. Constant updates are required to keep a game fresh and its audience engaged.
Personally, I don’t expect any new characters in this update. The game already has 39 characters, with a large number being viable in tournaments. I’d rather they smooth out what they have already, although they did a great job fixing the horribly broken Super Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition with the 2012 patch. There’s not as much to fix this time, although I’d like to see the removal of unblockable moves. I also imagine that Akuma will see some nerfs, along with Cammy.
I will be watching this update and will report back with any additional news that comes out.