Even street fighting champions need to take a rest. Street Fighter series producer Yoshinori Ono announced on Thursday that he’s going to take a break from game development on Twitter. “I’ll refrain from work [at my] current job for a while,” said Ono. “Another person [will be] in charge of the SF series for a while. Of course, I’ll constant[ly] support it. I’ll be thinking about the new future of fighting games after this.”
The announcement came just three days after Ono collapsed during a tour across Asia promoting the newly released Street Fighter X Tekken. Capcom’s official Japanese blog issued a statement that Ono’s condition “rapidly and heavily deteriorated” before being rushed to a hospital.
Ono has been on a relentless production and promotion schedule over the past four years. Since announcing Street Fighter IV in 2007, Ono has overseen the development and release of eight fighting games, including four versions of Street Fighter IV, three versions of Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and Street Fighter X Tekken not to mention the digital releases of games like Street Fighter II HD Remix, Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition, and Marvel vs. Capcom 2. It’s small wonder that the man succumbed to exhaustion.
What this means for Capcom’s revitalized fighting game business is unclear. A Mar. 3 report at Venture Beat claimed that Ono was hard at work on Darkstalkers 4, a resurrection of Capcom’s ‘90s monster fighting game series. Ono was passionate about the series in interviews and insisted that if there was enough clamoring for it from fans, a new Darkstalkers would get made. Since the game was never officially announced though, and its champion is on sabbatical, Darkstalkers 4’s future is in doubt.