How Street Fighter IV SAVED 2D Fighting Games (Ft. Maximilian Dood)

After Street Fighter II released in in 1991, it caused a fighting game explosion, both in arcades and in home consoles. But, as the decade ended, and arcades were failing, so too were 2D Fighting games. This is how Street Fighter IV completely revitalized the genre.

After SF2, fighting games were booming. From Fatal Fury, to King of Fighters, Mortal Kombat, and more. But then, in 1993, came Virtua Fighter – which brought about a new wave of 2D fighting games, including Tekken and Soulcalibur. This revolution, combined with the eventual death of arcades, brought about a slow and eventual demise to 2D fighting games.

SNK would eventually go bankrupt (though not entirely due to their arcade or fighting game business), and while 3D fighters will still popping off, after the versus craze of the early 2000s, 2D fighters became relegated to the annual releases of King of Fighters and ArcSys games like Guilty Gear. While Guilty Gear was certainly popular within its niche, it was failing to hid a broad appeal. It would take Street Fighter IV to revitalize the genre, and show companies that fighting games could sell.

Join Dave Klein and Maximilian Dood as they work together to tell the story of How Street Fighter IV saved 2D Fighting Games.

0:00 – Intro
0:09 – Let’s talk about Fighting games
0:46 – Maximilian Dood Intro
1:03 – Pre Street Fighter II
1:21 – Street Fighter II’s Release
1:45 – The Rise of Fighting Games
2:32 – Virtua Fighter and 3D Fighting Games
3:59 – Street Fighter III
6:36 – The Death of Arcades
7:36 – SNK’s Bankruptcy
8:28 – Early 2000s in Fighting Games
8:57 – Smash Brothers
9:21 – A Clarification
9:56 – Competitive Issues
11:09 – The FGC Dark Age
12:13 – Online Play
13:16 – Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting
14:28 – Production on Street Fighter IV
15:49 – The Release of Street Fighter IV
16:40 – Marketing on Street Fighter IV
17:21 – SFIV Hype
19:50 – Street Fighter IV Online Play
21:52 – Twitch and YouTube’s Impact
23:12 – EVO’s post Street Fighter IV Era
25:06 – What about Mortal Kombat 9?
27:14 – How Street Fighter IV Saved 2D Fighting Games
28:03 – Outro

#StreetFighter #streetfighteriv #sf4


  1. Anyone remember Sf4 on mobile? It kinda had a version of "modern" controls, with 1 tap supers. Playing online worked surprisingly well, AND it actually looked good on my iphone 4s

  2. Played Street Fighter 3 2nd impact in the hospital.

  3. Seeing Max mention Family Fun arcade is awesome. That was my after school spot for years.

  4. For mk 9 brought me back to fgs ingeneral.

  5. Street Fighter 4 was nearly perfect!! I just wish they hadn't changed all of the theme songs for everyone. Or added so much extra instrumentalization to the songs that you lose the clarity to their themes like we had in Street Fighter 2. Same thing happened in Street Fighter 5. You can't tell anyone's theme except for Rashid's. And that's only because you hear them singing "RAAAHH-SHEEEE-DOOOOHHHHHHHH!!" through the whole thing! It's truly a shame because I would have loved to have a cool CViper theme song that sounds like a spy theme or hear what Manon's or Kimberly's theme is.

  6. Not only the 2D but the entire FGC world

  7. Arc System Works saved the fighting game genre not SF4

  8. Me hearing about the "dark ages" of fighting games. …how? It's a term i don't like. I was playing a bunch of fighting games at that time. It was oddly the time a lot of people I knew were playing them. I'm glad Max points that out that there were big games out. Also the Streetfighter collections were out

  9. Nobody remembers when Xbox One was launch and KI was announced how Max praise about the game on the internet just to get hired a few months later by Iron Galaxy Studios to work in the Game just doing Videos and PR for the FGC… He was full of bs then and he is now. He is full of "knowledge" on Street Fighter yes but… he is just a "react hype influencer" for Game Devs. Again never trust what Maximilian Dood says about a game bc his only bias is make more money

  10. I have some great memories playing this on 360

  11. naw naw max misses the point capcom golden era = the FGC highkey like not anymore but if capcom released a really good marvel game to go along with this pretty good sf6 IT WOULD BE OVER for most maybe all fighters in terms of numbers
    maybe im just hyping it up but capcom used to make the best games lowkey in terms of IP and mechanics. either way dark age was real

  12. I always love getting a chance to see Max as a subject matter expert, "out of character" from his streaming persona. Great video.

  13. Also, SF4 was the first high profile game to come out to PC after a long, LONG time.
    I remember everyone was playing SF4 on PC back in the day. Me included.
    Steam saved PC gaming and SF4 brought back fighting games to PC.

  14. I didn’t like sf4. mk9 was so much better.

  15. I remember making a Street Fighter 4 slideshow music video to “We Will Rock You” for a class back then. I was pretty proud of it. Wish I could find it.

  16. MK9 revolutionized the standard/expectations in content for a fighting game, which was why SFV faltered so badly. Ironically SF6 feels like it's doing that again while MK1 this time is the one lagging behind.

  17. I’d say that both this and BlazBlue Calamity Trigger were the ones that saved this genre.

    Shame the latter tends to get overlooked.

  18. "Street Fighter 4 saving 2D fighting games"

    Even though Street Fighter 4 is a 3D fighting game

  19. Can you do how Guilty Gear inspired many Arc System Fighting games?

  20. Imo street fighter 2 hyper fighting on the xbla arcade and umk3 did really well. Sf4 solidified the market ,with the previous year of HD remix. Sf4 did really well on casual audience. With the growth of other games as well releasing like tekken 6 and mk9. Before that time was iteration of anime games like guilty gear x2 revisions, arcana hearts melts blood…fighting game genre was lacking main stream games before 2008.. besides tekken 5 holding on its own with its great package.

  21. SF4 might have "saved" 2-D fighting games, but i greatly prefer SF3 to it. SF4 has never been one of my favorites in the series, i respect it for what it did for the genre, but i have always felt like it was overrated. The SF3 series and the Alpha series were the peak of SF in my opinion, tho SF6 is amazing and has already become one of my favorite games in the series as well.

  22. It is important to note that SNK was still releasing titles such as KOF, Samurai Showdown and Fatal Fury, and these games were still very popular in Asia and Latin America when Capcom's 2D fighting games were on hiatus.

    SF4 saved 2D fighting games only from the North American (except Mexico) and European perspective.

  23. Xbox live was huge on original Xbox. People couldn’t wait for 360 to drop.

  24. Gonna have to disagree with you there buddy , marvel vs cap 2 was absolute perfection. If they kept the sprites for the 3rd mvsc would have been great but I would say that shellshaded 3d models ruined fighting games for me completely

  25. street fighter 4 was AMAZING when it first came out.. it was the first online game i ever played.. it exceeded my expectations.. i bought it in march 2009.. it was so good… i remember buying it and thinking it was just like street fighter 2 champion edition that i had on genesis in the 90s.. but SF4 had enough new stuff to have it still be fresh.. it had the perfect feel of old and new

  26. Really enjoying these deep dive videos into on game/topic. Nice work guys

  27. Thanks for reaffirming that, indeed, the FGC truly does only care about the big name franchises. And given the reemergence of the Golden Age sentiment surrounding "SF6", that's still the case to this day.

  28. And Capcom is doing it again with SF6. Can't believe they rise again on fighting scene this year after the failed launch of SF5.
    Great video by the way

  29. This is for me the very best game I've ever played, I'm so glad that people recognize to this day that this game was one of the greatest episodes in gaming history.

  30. I always play Super SF4 in ~ 2013, back when I was grade 5. Now I'm in college and having blast with SF6 and met many friends . We will have so much more <3.

  31. 3rd strike is still very much an iconic game. But Justin Wong said it best… basically SF3rd Strike just doesn't feel like a Street Fighter game. I partially agree on that. Also 3rd Strike is a game for SF veterans as stated by Capcom staff.

  32. ɴᴏᴛʜɪɴɢ ᴛᴏ sᴇᴇ ʜᴇʀᴇ says:

    Nice to see DOOD was featured on this

  33. How are you gonna talk consoles catching up in power to arcades, in a video about fighting games…and mention everybody/thing BUT the Dreamcast port of Soul Calibur being the first console game to outdo it's arcade version

  34. Funny, I almost quit FG's because of SF4. I hated everything about that game, but you couldn't get anyone to play anything else for the whole PS360 gen. Other games had their flourishes, MK, Tekken, SC, ect, but it was all about SF4 and UMVC3. These same kids doing all these TAC combos, etc in MVC3, turn around claiming MVC2 was "too hard" I mean you couldn't mash L into confirm death combo, but c'mon. LOL.

    I'm glad for it, I discovered many games that I love now, due to my hiatus; Mass Effect, Fallout, Elder Scrolls, ect.

  35. You should not have said you prefer kids…. oof

  36. I still remember how shocked I was when I saw SF Alpha at the arcade. The comic-ish art style and smooth frame rate blew ny mind in a way no other change of visuals in the series had done. IV felt like a nice comeback after a long hiatus, but Alpha for me was they tried something really different (I mean, Ken had a long ponytail hair 😂)

  37. The fact that people keep mining Maximillian, instead of the many people that were actually a part of the FGC during these historical periods that are still around today, blows my mind. Surely, there's less popular people that deserve some of the spotlight here.

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