The world's most popular and recognizable fighting game series is now officially 30 years old.
The first Street Fighter was released on August 30, 1987 as a coin-op arcade game. The title featured the protagonist, Ryu, as he faced off against several opponents in hand-to-hand combat, with Ken available for a second player to join in the fray. It introduced his signature moves like the "Hadouken" and "Shoryuken." Though popular at the time, it was the next installment in the core series that would shoot Street Fighter up to new heights.
Street Fighter II: The World Warrior took the initial game to the next level. It was the first 1-versus-1 fighting game to introduce multiple characters with a slew of unique moves and combat style. The large selection and variety that came with it instantly brought the series mainstream success and could be found in arcades spanning the globe. Following its popularity among casual gamers, it also sparked the creation of the game's competitive community and set the precedent for the genre in years to come.
The series' esports scene has now grown to international heights. Top players can compete on a worldwide stage in tournaments such as the Capcom World Cup, where the most recent champion walked away with a quarter-million dollars.
In the past three decades, Street Fighter has had five core games made, with the third installment released in 1997, the fourth in 2008 and the most recent, Street Fighter V, in 2016. In between, several spin-offs and influences in other media have been made that have kept the relevance of the series alive. As Capcom's third best selling franchise to date, it remains as one of the top games in the world, with new content continuing to be pushed out. With that, it looks like Street Fighter is far from stopping anytime soon.
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