Yoshinori Ono is best known for his role in resurrecting Capcom’s most famous fighting game series in Street Fighter IV. It wasn’t easy getting the green light for the project either, but because of persistency on Ono’s part, telling Capcom that it’s something fans really want, we fighting fans got our wish. For me personally, SF4 coming out was actually a dream come true, because for years prior, I’d always talk with my friend Taki Enomoto from Capcom about whether or not we’ll ever get the game and how much I want it. He said that they listen to what passionate fans say and thankfully they picked the right man to lead the project.

Yoshinori Ono on Paul Gale Network
Street Fighter IV Launch Party 2009: Yoshinori Ono and Paul Gale

I first met Mr. Ono at the Street Fighter IV Launch Party in Los Angeles in the VIP section. Capcom invited me to the event after winning the “Be Made Into a Character in Street Fighter IV” contest and needless to say, the event was an absolute blast. It was especially cool when Yoshinori actually recognized and knew who I was, because Capcom had digitized my face into the game. He ws more than happy to congratulate me, take a few pictures, and talk about Street Fighter.

Yoshinori Ono from Capcom on Paul Gale Network
Street Fighter IV Launch Party 2009: Yoshinori Ono and Paul Gale (Hadouken!)

Anytime, anyone in the industry takes a moment out of their busy schedule to talk with me, I’m appreciative, but even moreso when it’s someone responsible for creating so much goodness! Ono is definitely a man of passion and precision when it comes to Street Fighter and I really admire and respect those qualities. It makes me happy to know that one of my favorite franchises is in good hans.

Super Street Fighter IV's Yoshinori Ono on Paul Gale Network
Super Street Fighter IV Launch Party 2010: Yoshinori Ono and Paul Gale

Yoshinori is also always willing to listen to me too…which can be an earful at times. The best example is in December, 2010 when I pitched the idea to him and Capcom of having a Street Fighter Fit game. I proposed having Ryu and/or Ken as the sensei(s), teaching the gamer real Shotokan Karate. Think Wii Fit, but add in real punching, kicking, blocking, and kata tutorial. Ono was intersted in the idea which we first dicussed via e-mail, then over the phone (I’m always mindful of the California to Japan time zone difference, I promise), and eventually in person at the Super Street Fighter IV Launch Party.

Though grately appreciative of my idea, Ono and Capcom considered it, but eventually went on to developing Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition as their next SF related project. I’ll always be thankful to Mr. Ono for his time whenever we meet up and for continuing to create such awesome games. Here’s to Street Fighter X Tekken and whatever else my fighting game friend has in store. Who knows…if he gets his wish again, we might get a new DarkStalkers title one day and hopefully an eventual Street Fighter V as well! Thank you Yoshinori for being a good friend and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

Update: E3 2011

Yoshinori Ono at E3 2011 on Paul Gale Network
E3 2011: Paul Gale and Yoshinori Ono

Thank you once again to Mr. Ono for being truly kind and excited to talk!

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