Wednesday, March 30, 2011
This month marks the 20th anniversary of the most important, influential, and innovative fighting game of all time: Capcom's Street Fighter II: The World Warrior. We don't have an exact date for the game's debut beyond "March 1991," though; the arcade industry of the early '90s was a different creature than the games retail machine of today. Precise launch dates didn't really exist for arcade cabinets; the bulky machines were piled onto trucks as they rolled off the assembly line and dispatched to distributors, who sent them across the country via freight. When operators finally received their freshly minted machines, they set them up as they had the opportunity. It was a looser, more casual approach to games, one that made visiting the local Tilt, Putt-Putt, or Chuckie Cheese each weekend into a lottery: You never knew what exciting new game would have been installed, eager to suck down your hard-earned quarters.