While Yoshinori Ono has become something of a divisive figure in the fighting game community, for many years he has been revered as the man who revived Street Fighter with his great personality and even bigger ideas.
Longtime Tekken CEO Katsuhiro Harada and Evo Business Development Director MarkMan Julio recently discussed their first impressions after meeting with former Street Fighter producer and how some of his ideas turned FGC into what it is today.
In the latest episode of Harad’s Bar, Ono’s friendly rival asks Markman what he thought of meeting the developers when Street Fighter 4 came out and shared his witty dating story.
“I’ve met [Ono] a few times before, but when I first talked to him, I literally thought he was a **** or something, “Harada said.” Some time later I noticed that he doesn’t drink alcohol at all … We say 3 major vices they are drinking, enjoying and seducing, but he does nothing. “
Apparently, Harada seems to mention drug use in the censored part, but he doesn’t want to put it on his friend, even if it’s just a joke.
MarkMan, however, talks a little differently about his early time with Ono while working at Mad Catz on developing their arcade sticks and other hardware.
“I guess my initial impressions of Ono-san were that he had a lot of wild ideas in terms of developing the Street Fighter brand,” MarkMan said. “A lot of what we did at Mad Catz in terms of supporting community ideas came from Ono-san.
So, he was the one who recommended us to sponsor a player like Daigo Umehara-san. He was the first player to be sponsored by Mad Catz, and I think that made great news and somewhat changed the mentality of professional players in Japan and the way it was perceived globally. ”
It is fascinating to hear that Ono is at least partly credited with bringing greater and player-specific sponsorships to FGC more than a decade ago, which of course has spread over the years to many / most professional players receiving support from eSports teams of all sizes.
How you feel about the current FGC competition scene is up to you, but that change has allowed more players to travel around the world often and give them a chance to chase fighting games as a career that didn’t actually exist on the industry side before.
It has been highly regarded among fans for years not only for what his team has achieved with Street Fighter 4, but also for Capcom’s initial attempt to return to fighting games with Marvel against Capcom and Darkstalkers.
Unfortunately, his public perception would begin to change over time, as Capcom began making big wrong strides with each of its major fighter releases starting with Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Street Fighter X Tekken, which continued through the rough start of Street Fighter 5 and Marvel vs. Capcom: Endless failure to make a splash.
How many of those decisions actually fall on the lap of what was going on behind the scenes will probably never be known.
It would announce its departure from Capcom in August 2020 amid rumors that Street Fighter 6 is facing internal development problems after 27 years at the company.
However, he returned almost immediately and became the president of what is now Lasengle Inc., so he is probably fine anyway.
Below you can watch the entire episode of Haradina Bar, and discussions about Ono begin about 16 minutes after the video.
Image source: GameSpot.
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