Leaks can be debilitating, but Capcom made sure it wasn’t.

A recent leak involving Street Fighter V almost ruined Capcom’s Evo 2019 weekend. Instead, the company embraced the buzz and turned it into a positive public relations move. In fighting game terms: Capcom just hit the perfect parry.

As it turns out, Capcom planned to unveil Poison, Lucia and longtime fighter E. Honda during Evo 2019. Based on the characters’ planned release date of August 4th—the same day as the Evo SFV finals—they were likely going to be announced that day and made immediately available. Combining announcements with relevant events is a move that works for many companies, so it makes sense that Capcom chose Evo instead of E3.

The early reveal slip up happened on Steam well before Street Fighter V took the stage at Evo. A listing went up containing a bundle of the three characters alongside screenshots and videos. Once they started generating attention, the assets were quickly removed.

Combining announcements with relevant events is a move that works for many companies so it makes sense that Capcom chose Evo instead of E3.

Luckily, Capcom responded to the leak in the best way possible. Rather than blaming someone for the mistake, the company simply owned it.

Capcom stepped in and delivered gameplay trailers for each character, confirming their existence rather than attempting to ignore the leak. It generates buzz for the game and makes Capcom look great for responding so positively. Whoever is behind the company’s social media deserves a nod, too:

seperator

Cody's Take

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Capcom really gets it. The company has turned things around after a long period of being less popular among hardcore gamers. Capcom’s releases of Monster Hunter: World and Resident Evil 2 show that it really understands its fans again. The recent Street Fighter V leak is more proof of that. Heck, we even discussed how Capcom is back earlier in the year.

It’s easy to blame someone for the mistake and attempt to sweep it under the rug. That doesn’t work out very well usually, though. Capcom gets how the internet works, and it knows Street Fighter V at Evo 2019 is a big deal. Instead of suppressing the info, Capcom jumped on the chance to advertise it while it was hot. We figured there was a good chance SFV DLC would be announced at Evo, anyway.

Capcom’s releases of Monster Hunter: World and Resident Evil 2 show that it really understands its fans again.

The result? A cute tweet, excitement over new Street Fighter V characters, and yet another reason to tune into Evo 2019. If that’s not as big a win as possible in a messy situation, I must be missing something.

It’s a reminder that, although leaks are often perceived as negatives in the gaming community, they don’t always have to be. Obviously I sympathize with the staff that worked hard to keep something a secret for so long only to have it slip out at the last moment. That can’t be fun—but what happens after can be.

What’s done is done, and Capcom proved that it can still be spun into a positive. I’m extremely impressed with the way the Street Fighter V leak is being handled. Capcom understands its fans and, by celebrating with them rather than ignoring them for another few days, its fans likely understand Capcom a little better, too.

Also, it’s E. Honda! I fondly remember absolutely demolishing my neighbours with him during high school sleepovers. I wonder if they’re up for another round online?