Part of Harada’s fan-facing popularity comes with his collaboration with Street Fighter director Yoshinori Ono, another prominent character on the fighting game circuit. At events the two appear to be the best of friends, so we asked Harada if this image accurately represents reality.
“We have known each other from more than ten years ago. We had a near miss at game shows and there were many opportunities to see each other for Japanese game magazines. However, it was only four or five years ago that we became friendly and started talking. Until then, we had never exchanged words.
“As Ono viewed it, he said I looked like a ‘Very grumpy and abrupt person indeed’. The first time we spoke to each other was at a stage event within a game show somewhere. Publicly, we are said to be similar types, but Ono and I are actually completely opposite of each other.
“What’s interesting is even if both of our answers is ‘A’, when we talk about the process of concluding to the answer ‘A’, we completely differ with one another. Despite his looks, Ono is what I’d call an ‘overwhelming back calculation type’ whereas I am more of an ‘instinct type’”.
Seeing the captains of two of the world’s greatest franchises – and thereby direct competitors collaborating in such a manner has given both developers a chance to bounce ideas off each other and of course to combine their respective games in Capcom’s Street Fighter x Tekken, which Harada revealed was conceptualised over dinner.
“It was fast. Doing the collaboration itself was decided within the two hour meal we had together. Everything is in an instant. There was almost no discussion or fuss. We both respect the good part of the others’ company.”
Speaking of respect, Harada applauded the way his creations were treated by Capcom in the crossover, and he never had any doubt that Ono would mistreat the Tekken roster “I do like Capcom’s games. I especially like Street Fighter. As for how they treated the Tekken characters, I believed in them from the beginning and I like how they are being treated this time. It’s really interesting when another company is using your character.”
We ask Harada for his approach to Ono’s Street Fighter roster when developing the next cross-over between both franchises Tekken x Street Fighter. But as predicted he was careful not to reveal too much, “The progress of Tekken x Street Fighter is a secret. The philosophy behind involving the Street Fighter characters? It’s simple, we are huge fans of Street Fighter in the first place. Thus, we only need to polish it so that the fans will be satisfied and happy.”