Okay, technically, I got long-time Street Fighter producer Yoshinori Ono onto Playboy’s website. My interview from PlayStation Experience with Ono-san is live and I feel like it is one of my best stories to date.
It isn’t often a games journalist gets to interview a game developer they admire, let alone one from Japan. I may never get to interview luminaries like Hideo Kojima or Shigeru Miyamoto. But I did get to talk with one of my favorite personalities again, this time in an official capacity.
I had 30 minutes to talk to Ono-san through an interpreter, which essentially cuts the interview time in half. I knew going in I needed to make my questions count. I feel like I hit on exactly what I wanted and got the best responses I hoped to get. In all of the other interviews and profiles that other sites published from PSX, I don’t recall anyone touching on some of the tactics he’s tried with games like Darkstalkers. I’m very happy I got to work that in because I think it shows the lengths he was willing to go to in order to get a sequel to a game made. It didn’t work out and I wanted his honest take on why it didn’t and if he’d do it differently.
Speaking about his approach to getting a Darkstalkers sequel made, Ono wanted to gauge the sense of interest in a new game. Capcom released a teaser trailer at New York Comic-Con 2012 that ended with the quote “Darkstalkers Are Not Dead”. That led to Darkstalkers Resurrection. What he realized was the same people asking for a new Darkstalkers game were the same people who bought the re-release and that, as it turned out, wasn’t enough to push interest “over the tip of the iceberg”.
“Secretly, we believed that a silent majority wanted a Darkstalkers sequel,” Ono said.
Be sure to check out the full interview here at the 100% safe for work Playboy.com (I’m totally serious) and please share the story with anyone interested in fighting games and Street Fighter.