Street Fighter Producer/Capcom Veteran Yoshinori Ono Departs From Company
The Street Fighter series has been through many hands over the years, remaining as one of Capcom's longest-running franchises to date. One of its more recent producers, Yoshinori Ono, is credited for revitalizing and reviving the series as a whole. In between the releases of Street Fighter III and IV, the general thought surrounding Street Fighter was that things were stalling, so much so that Capcom was losing interest in keeping the series alive. It was around 2008 that Ono swept in alongside the release of Street Fighter IV, taking over as a producer and bringing back interest in Street Fighter all over again. After a long, colorful history at Capcom, Ono has announced that he's leaving the company.
He took to his personal Twitter account to convey the news, talking at length about the challenges COVID-19 has brought to the Fighting Game Community, the legacy of Street Fighter, and how thankful he is to the fans and friends he's made along the way. "I've been with the Street Fighter brand for a long time, experiencing good times, bad times, and even non-existent times," Ono writes. "My heart is filled with appreciation to those players who've been giving warm and kind support on the brand especially little over the past decade or so as all the activities on the Street Fighter brand regained sunshine and grew its liveliness." Ono's decision to depart thankfully isn't due to any controversy, drama, or issues. Rather, he's simply retiring from the role he's been in.
Ono joined Capcom in the early 90s as a sound producer/manager for multiple titles, such as Mega Man, Muscle Bomber, and Breath of Fire. He went on to help out with other prolific Capcom games in higher-up positions, such as with Devil May Cry, Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams, and Capcom Fighting Jam, among others. Following his new role with Street Fighter and the release of Street Fighter IV, Ono was a frequent presence at many Capcom and FGC-related events/tournaments. He also played an equally big role in the production of Street Fighter V. Throughout the past decade, Ono has built up a popular fanbase who celebrates the work he's done for Street Fighter as a whole. The FGC scene and Street Fighter won't be quite the same without him, but the legacy he's left in his wake will be felt for the rest of Street Fighter's existence.
"Capcom staff in the new generation will continue taking care of the Street Fighter brand and leading the World Warriors," Ono concludes in his post. "And I do believe that they will continue making Street Fighter extraordinary. I will look forward to seeing the new Street Fighter brand and how it's going to be expanded, as just one of regular gamers next time around." In true Ono fashion, he ends the post by expressing regrets he couldn't finish things off with a Shoryuken in person (due to COVID), instead of putting one in right above his signature. In the weird year that is 2020, I couldn't think of a better sendoff. It's not yet known who will fill his role after he's gone, but it likely won't take Capcom long to figure that out.