Street Fighter 6 Preview – Director Takayuki Nakayama discusses Akuma’s arrival

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    Street Fighter 6 is set to wrap up its Year 1 character offerings with one of the franchise’s most iconic fighters. Akuma brings his Satsui no Hado skills to the prestigious title this week. Introduced in 1994’s Super Street Fighter II Turbo, Akuma, Rashid (Street Fighter V), AKI (Street Fighter 6), and Ed were added to Street Fighter 6 during the first year of post-launch content. Represents the most classic post-launch character. (Street Fighter IV/V).

    In preparation for Akuma’s arrival, we interviewed Street Fighter 6 director Takayuki Nakayama about bringing the great demon to the game. You can check out our full interview below ahead of Akuma’s release on May 22nd.


    Akuma’s introduction has traditionally been a tricky one for the Street Fighter series, as he’s often not very balanced. Can you talk about the challenges of balancing Akuma and how you worked to overcome those challenges within Street Fighter 6?
    Akuma is a powerful character with many moves in his arsenal, with many different ways to try against his opponent. At the same time, players will need to be skilled with it to get consistent results. As with past iterations, we’ve decided to strike a balance by giving him a lot of powerful techniques, while keeping his power on the low end.

    Many of the additions in Year 1 are new characters to the series. What does having a character like Akuma, who hails from the Street Fighter II series, do to round out the SF6 roster?
    New characters, and characters that have appeared in recent titles, are more difficult for people to become familiar with. The addition of a popular character like Akuma helps bring harmony to the lineup. We want Street Fighter 6 to be accessible to everyone, from players who have been playing for a long time, to those who have only played recent titles and those who are new to the series.

    Given Akuma’s extreme cosmic power, is there ever a struggle to fit him into the story in believable ways?
    Like Ryu, he’s a bit of a mystery, but we thought it would be a good opportunity for people to get to know his feelings and thoughts, especially through the World Tour. I didn’t find it too difficult to incorporate it into the story.

    In February, you told me a funny story about Ed’s importance to the development of Street Fighter 6. Does Akuma hold a special place in the hearts of developers other than being a very popular and long-running character?
    Yes, we consider it a special role. He was the first stealth character to appear in the Street Fighter II series, and his techniques and settings were shrouded in mystery. We believe its appearance will make the game more complete.

    When designing an updated look for Akuma, how do you ensure longtime fans will enjoy its visual aesthetic while showcasing the visual evolution you hope to portray?
    In Street Fighter III, the previous title in the series’ chronological order, his characteristic red hair had some white. It was a great way to express that a character like Akuma was also aging and reaching a higher level of skill. Also, Akuma’s example of selling fruit to children, which was shown in the Street Fighter Alpha series, highlighted the unpredictable side of his life. As we consider how Akuma grew older and more powerful, and went on his own life path, this leads us to more Ashura or Buddha statue-like designs. Our intention was to design him to be a fighter with the fearsome presence of a beast, transcending human existence.

    Speaking of evolution from game to game, what differences should players expect from the way Akuma plays in Street Fighter 6?
    Most of the techniques used in past titles have been implemented. An aggressive fighting style is great for this, so take advantage of your opponent’s openings and take them down. The match should end soon.

    Akuma has been acting as the last character from the year 1 pass, how did the character selection process go for year 2? I know you can’t possibly go into specifics, but has the team identified any holes in the current roster that need to be addressed or filled with the next batch of playable characters?
    Of course, I can’t make any specific comments right now, but I think you’ll find some unexpected characters. Sorry, but the method of selection is also a mystery (no luck or guesswork involved). We hope you are looking forward to it.


    Street Fighter 6 arrives on June 2, 2023, meaning its one-year anniversary is right around the corner. We don’t know when we’ll find out what Capcom has in store for the game’s second year, but with the anniversary and Summer Games Fest, we may soon learn about the next batch of characters. . Meanwhile, Akuma joins the Street Fighter 6 roster as the final Year 1 character on May 22.

    For more information on Street Fighter 6, read our review here.

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