The Success of Ultra Street Fighter II

Despite concerns from gamers and reviewers that Ultra Street Fighter II was overpriced relative to similar ports on other platforms, Capcom has announced that the game is a “smash hit”. Having sold 450,000 units physically, this game appears to be performing well above Capcom’s expectations. So much so that they’ve committed to bringing more of their software to the Nintendo Switch.

This news has me a bit torn. I’m one hand, I’m really glad to see a third party succeed on the Nintendo Switch. Third party support has been Nintendo’s Achilles’ Heel for decades, so to see at least initial success and further investment from a third party is great news.

However, the means in which Capcom and other third parties are testing the waters feels a bit disingenuous for the players. Ultra Street Fighter II is an overpriced port of a very old game, yet Capcom admitted that this was going to be their litmus test for future Nintendo Switch support. Other big third party releases, such as the upcoming port of Skyrim, is a clear indication that third parties aren’t putting their best foot forward, which could lead to a self-fulfilling prophecy of third party games not selling because third parties aren’t putting out games that Nintendo Switch owners want to buy. Going the other way around, it having games like Ultra Street Fighter II could send Capcom the wrong message, possibly making them believe that Switch owners will take sub-par products.

Luckily for Capcom, its gamble paid off and we’ll get the windfall of hopefully good third party support from them. I hate that I was the guinea pig that bought a good game with a questionable price tag in order to help usher in future third party support, but maybe the investment will bear out with great games in the future.

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