EVO 2019 happened this weekend, and there was a ton of fighting game news in and around it. Let’s work through it.
Before the event, trailers for E. Honda, Poison, and Lucia were released for Street Fighter V, there was a trailer for Nightwolf in Mortal Kombat 11, and the Hero was released in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. There was also a huge number of fighting game sales and free periods over the weekend. All of those can be found in their own articles.
During the first day, Tom Cannon let it be known that Riot Games and Radiant Entertainment were working on a fighting game. Not much more is known right now, aside from the fact that Radiant co-founder Seth Killian (a huge name in the fighting game community) has jumped ship to Epic Games, and the project is still a while off.
During the Granblue Extra Fes 2019 livestream that took place between the first and second days of EVO, big news came out for Arc System Works’ Granblue Fantasy Versus: it’s singleplayer would be a side-scrolling, mission-based RPG beat-’em-up, and it will be released on February 6th in Japan. That type of singleplayer mode is bizarrely rare in fighting games, with this particular instance calling to mind the Subspace Emissary from Super Smash Bros. Brawl. I’m extremely excited for this, as I view singleplayer content as a frequent low point in fighting games, and the fact that this offers local and online co-op just makes the deal all the sweeter.
Capcom didn’t have anything else to show at this event, saying that there would be more Street Fighter news in November and December. That left the other big fighting game publishers to pick up the slack, and boy did they. Arc System Works came out swinging with a Janemba DLC trailer for Dragon Ball FighterZ, and followed it up with a crowd-pleasing BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle Version 2.0 trailer, featuring a fan favourite RWBY villain, a Senran Kagura character, the protagonist and an actual, literal tank from the cult classic Akatsuki Blitzkampf, and the promise of even more before it’s out.
The Arc Sys-published developer French Bread revealed Under Night In-Birth EXE: Late[cl-r], a new revision to Under Night In Birth with one new character currently revealed. There’s also a new Guilty Gear game coming from Arc itself in 2020, which we have an article on - an article I urge you to read just for another chance to watch the trailer, as it is the best looking video game I’ve ever seen.
SNK only had one game at EVO 2019, but they had a fair bit of news to show for it. We got brief glimpses at Samurai Shodown's entire first season of characters during a trailer. In addition, Shizumaru Hisame will be coming as a surprise free addition in September. A second season for Samurai Shodown was also shown, with the first character to join being Mina Majikina. Finally, we also got to see the official reveal and new logo for The King of Fighters 15. No release date was provided.
Cassandra and a second season for Soul Calibur VI were revealed, which came as a surprise given Bandai Namco’s treatment of the game at launch. The game’s producer, Motohiro Okubo, even revealed that the second season was only possible because of fan support. At some point during said second season, Haohmaru from Samurai Shodown will be added.
The vocal appearance by Solid Snake during Tekken 7 finals turned out to be a joke in poor taste by the EVO staff, but the ensuing character reveals were very real. Zafina and newcomer Leroy Smith are coming to Tekken 7 as part of the third season. Late this year and early next, we’ll be getting two more characters, a new “feature”, and a new stage. Stages usually come with guest characters, and I’ve got some hopes for this one - that I really need to dash before I’m disappointed.
While that’s all the game announcements at EVO, the last piece of news from it is the third coming of EVO Japan in January. The three main stage games announced so far are Tekken 7, BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle, and Soul Calibur VI. Street Fighter V and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate have not been announced yet, which is rather odd, though we can probably expect Street Fighter to show up as usual.
The final piece of fighting game news from the past week came yesterday with a trailer for Lord Zedd as the final season 1 character in Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid. Zedd has a bunch of attacks that extend across the screen, and can summon Puttys to harass his opponents.
And that’s everything! EVO 2019 was a hype-filled weekend full of awesome matches and reveals, and we encourage you to hop on YouTube or Twitch and look up recordings of the various tournaments. Things are looking up in the world of fighting games, and we’ll be bringing you more news on all these games when it pops up.