Street Fighter 6 will no doubt have a huge emphasis on player vs. player gameplay as a fighting game, but it will apparently also come packaged with a single player World Tour mode. According to the Street Fighter 6 official website, the “World Tour immersive single player story mode” that will “defy genre labels.”
We actually haven’t seen anything of Street Fighter 6’s World Tour mode outside of trailers, but it seems that some have observed similarities to Sega’s Shenmue series. During an interview IGN Japan with Takayuki Nakayama and Shuhei Matsumoto, the respective Director and Producer for Street Fighter 6, the topic about Shenmue inspirations in Street Fighter 6 came up. As always, translations have been handled by our very own Nicholas ‘Majin Tenshinhan’ Taylor.
“There are lots of inexperienced players or casual players who enjoy fighting games, but there are also those who enjoy the world and characters of the franchise,” said Matsumoto. “Trying to find something for them to enjoy as well was something we wanted to visualize with this game.”
Upon hearing this, the interviewer felt excitement as the World Tour mode reminded him of his favorite game, Shenmue. The interviewer apparently contemplated asking if Street Fighter 6’s World Tour mode was somehow inspired by Shenmue, but felt like it potentially could’ve been seen as being rude to trivialize the the developers’ innovation in this way.
However, it was Nakayama who sort of brought up the topic. As Nakayama is apparently aware of the interviewer’s passion for the Shenmue series. The Street Fighter 6 Director is apparently looking forward to having Kurabe, the interviewer of IGN Japan, try out the World Tour mode “since [he] really like[s] Shenmue.” This ended up prompting the question to the developers.
Inspirations we’ve taken from Shenmue? Well, maybe we should’ve included those capsule toys, huh?” joked Nakayama.
As oddly specific as this is, it’s actually kind of surprising to hear that there won’t be capsule toys in Street Fighter 6’s World Tour mode considering the emphasis placed on the “Blanka-chan” plush and the “Saikyo-boy” doll seen in the Blanka and Dan Hibiki story prologues for Street Fighter 5.
“Shenmue had a big impact on me, too. Walking around in a world like that, and even having fighting game elements as part of the game too,” continued Nakayama. “I wouldn’t say it’s been huge in influencing our thoughts on this game, but it’s quite possible it was in the back of my mind all along.”
“We’re not making a fighting game, we’re making Street Fighter itself,” Nakayama emphasized regarding Street Fighter 6’s World Tour mode.
What’s interesting about this is that Shenmue originally started as an RPG based on Sega’s Virtua Fighter series. As development continued, the connection to Virtua Fighter ended up being dropped altogether.
This is somewhat similar to the story of how Final Fight was developed as the game was originally intended to be a sequel to the first Street Fighter. Capcom eventually decided to make Final Fight its own series since the gameplay was so different from Street Fighter’s, but Final Fight has since been integrated into the world of Street Fighter, canonically.
While it may appear that Street Fighter 6’s developers didn’t directly intend for the World Tour mode to be the next Shenmue, it really does sound like it’s an evolution of the concept of Shenmue’s original intention — an RPG within a fighting game world. We’ll have to wait for more information regarding the World Tour mode to see if this really is the case.