Fantasy Strike enters Steam Early Access at 3 p.m. Pacific today. The fighting game comes from David Sirlin, who was the lead designer on Capcom‘s Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD. It is also planning to come out for PlayStation 4 at some point in 2018.
Early Access gives developers a way to charge people to start playing their game without committing to a final release. It’s like a beta test that people pay to be a part of. But despite the “unfinished” status of these games, Early Access titles can still become big hits. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has sold over 10 million copies in Early Access.
Fantasy Strike is similar to recent Street Fighter games in that it uses 3D character models but limits them to a 2D plane. Fighting games often have a difficult barrier to entry, since players need to practice a ton just to understand basic mechanics and moves. Sirlin is hoping that his game can be more accessible. For example, you only need to press one button to perform special and super moves.
“Whether you’re an expert at fighting games or new to the genre, there’s a big hump you have to get over in any new fighting game before you can ‘play for real,’” Sirlin said in a press release sent to GamesBeat. “Before you get to the juicy part where it’s all about your decisions, you have to be able to actually do all the moves, do the basic combos, know your entire move list, and so on. From its inception, Fantasy Strike has been about launching experts and new players past the usual training mode drudgery as fast as possible. We want you enjoying the intricate dance of fighting games in minutes, not in weeks or months.”