Apart from the EX series’ Saudi representative Pullum Purna, the overall Street Fighter franchise has had a dearth of Middle Eastern characters since it hit the scene decades ago. Fortunately, the next installment will work to correct that by featuring Rashid, a newcomer who was revealed earlier this morning during a presentation at GAMES15 in the United Arab Emirates.
While it would be easy to slap a character together based on regional assumptions, Capcom took a smarter route akin to Bandai Namco’s inclusion of Shaheen in Tekken 7 and got involved with those intimately familiar with the culture.
According to IGN Middle East, Rashid’s creation was a collaborative effort between the developers in Japan, their counterparts at Sony, and Pluto Games, who works as Capcom’s distributor throughout the area. Combine this with their commitment to provide the region with a complete Arabic localization, and it’s pretty clear Capcom is doing all they can to give back to the local communities who have supported them.
“It’s always been great for me to see all the events and fighting game community stuff that goes on in the Middle East and of course I’ve had lots of you invite me to come play with you over the years,” Capcom’s Yoshinori Ono said in his message to IGN readers. “With Street Fighter V, we’ve added this brand new character [Rashid] who [hails] from the Middle East. I really hope you enjoy playing as him and try and make him the best Street Fighter character out there.”
With the huge rise in Middle Eastern fighting game tournaments, it’s hard to deny Capcom made a smart decision when creating Rashid for Street Fighter V. Diversity is rarely a bad thing, and it’s great to see inclusivity spread to such a fantastic group of fans.
Street Fighter V is scheduled to launch for PlayStation 4 and PC sometime in March 2016. Our previous Rashid coverage can be found here.
Source: IGN Middle East