Fighting games aren’t exactly known for their cerebral decision-making: in my experience a heady mix of instinct, panic and button-mashing marks the path to victory (or, more often, failure). According to Street Fighter IV producer Yoshinori Ono, however, his fighting game nearly went in a very different direction.
Speaking at last week's EGX (via Eventhubs), Ono said that one of his ideas for Street Fighter IV involved a turn-based system in which attacks were chosen in advance and then unleashed: “I did have an idea though that I thought may be revolutionary: to turn the game into a turn-based simulation, so you would take the moves you wanted to do and put them together like blocks.”
Once you’d queued up your moves, they’d play out automatically, although quite how that might have worked in practice is anyone’s guess. Clearly Capcom eventually made the decision to opt for a more traditional fighting game experience, but ideas similar to Ono’s eventually showed up in mobile fighters so perhaps he was simply ahead of his time. I’m not sure turn-based combat would ever fly in a mainline Street Fighter, though.