One of the major turnabout for Capcom's Street Fighter franchise was the Zero series, which re-introduced the game to more casual players and even to Neo Geo fans.
In a recent interview on Capcom's site, one of its core developer Hideaki Itsuno talks about how the game came about under an initial title "Street Fighter Classic", a name that was coined with the same abbreviation as Nintendo's Super Famicom (SFC) since the project was originally slated for the platform.
A synopsis of the long interview has been translated thanks to Iggy of the MMCafe BBS. Check out a sample excerpt below, and hit the link for the full post.
* Itsuno is one of the creators of SF Zero, and also the experienced director of JUSTICE GAKUEN, and also Dragon Dogman and DMC.
* When he joined the company, new employees had to arrive 30 minutes earlier to clean up. And if they were finished before the start of work time, they would play on the office Neo-*** (1). They played a lot of KoF94. They were working at Capcom, and playing Capcom games were part of their work, so outside of worktime they were playing non-Capcom games. There was no debug department, so they were doing it themselves, testplaying their games to death.
(1) the console of the 100 Mega Shock.
* After a year of doing that, Funamizu arrived and asked him "would you want to work on Street Fighter Classic?"
- What's Street Fighter Classic?
* Well, we were right at the boom of the Super Famicon, so the project started with the aim of being adapted to SFC after the arcade version was released. BENGUS had drawn some characters of SF1, and they thought about doing a game on this period. One experienced employee created the story, Funamizu over-watched the whole project... but they needed a planner. So they came to me, a random guy who had been there for 1 year, and offered me the position.
I knew nothing! I was just a guy who liked to play fighting games, not how to make them! So of course I said "yes". The game became Street Fighter Zero.
* SF3 was already being worked on by the "real" ace team, so they didn't have enough people experienced for the cheap spin-off and they ended up hiring inexperienced newcomers. The CPS2 had been released, but there was still a stock of CPS1. So we were told to create that game to get rid of that stock. Wait, you can't write that!
- Too late, I already wrote that in Akiman's interview.
* In the end, SFZ was such a hit it was moved to CPS2, and then used to sell the stocks of CPS2 (because of the way the rentals of CPS2 boards worked). As the game was created with the SFC in mind, the port was not too difficult, but they had to create a hybrid program to work on both CPS1 and 2. And since the game ended up a success, they created a rental version, which postponed the "cleaning the stock of CPS2" task (and thus created the need for a Zero 2).