In addition to Capcom’s consultation of Middle Eastern distributor Pluto Games while developing Street Fighter V’s Rashid, fans of this underrepresented region apparently had another heavy-hitter in their corner: Bandai Namco Entertainment’s Katsuhiro Harada.
Capcom executive Yoshinori Ono mentioned this detail (through a translator) when asked about Rashid’s creation during a recent interview with VGStations at GAMES15. Due to his close friendship with Harada, Ono consulted him on the possibility of including a Middle Eastern character in Street Fighter V, to which the Tekken producer responded that it would probably be a good idea.
At the time, Bandai Namco was also working closely with folks in the region to create Tekken 7’s Shaheen, who hails from Saudi Arabia.
Another interesting tidbit arose when Ono was asked about Rashid’s gameplay. Apparently, the newcomer was designed in such way so that he would be included with characters like Ryu and Ken as a good choice for beginners. “We’re hoping [Rashid’s] very appealing to the gamers over here,” Ono’s relayed, again through a translator. “When they pick it up for the first time, because they haven’t really played the game before, and they take a look and see these characters, that they can just go straight towards him and he’ll be someone they can get into without a problem.”
For more quick details on Street Fighter V’s story and Ono’s inspiring answer to a request for a Street Fighter roleplaying game in the vein of Shenmue, check out VGStation’s video below.