“We have never made any comments of this nature”
For roughly the past week, Street Fighter fans were met with mass confusion as to whether or not Fei Long would return to the series. But it seems as if this saga has come to an end.
The whole affair began when Daniel Lindholm, a composer for the Street Fighter series, made a comment that Fei Long would never return to the franchise on a YouTube Q&A session (which is now defunct/taken down, but was logged by several outlets). Here’s what they claimed:
“A character that I know we won’t see at all — there’s been a lot of discussion about it — I mentioned earlier a character I would like to rewrite the music for would be Fei Long. I do have other sources — not only Capcom, but friends of mine in the U.S., who are very close friends with the Lee family — and they have basically said that any kind of resemblance to Mr. Bruce Lee is now omitted for comedic effect, comic stuff. It needs to be honourable. That’s why we won’t see Fei Long again. Ever.”
As a follow-up, Lindholm claimed that he was “speaking on a hypothetical level,” and had “sources close to the Lee family” but “not from Capcom.” Much of this rubs up against Bruce Lee’s semi-recent controversial depiction in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, which the Lee family took umbrage with on multiple occasions.
However, Fei Long is generally accepted as a loving homage to Bruce Lee (definitely not “comedic” like several other Street Fighter characters), and the Lee estate recently put the rumors to rest that they would directly intervene. Responding on Twitter, the official Bruce Lee account (which is run by Shannon Lee, Bruce’s daughter), stated:
“We never made any comments of this nature. We have no idea who @DanielLindholm says his ‘close friends’ of the family are, but his comments are entirely false surrounding the Bruce Lee Family.”
In any case, Capcom can simply choose not to include Fei Long in the “launch roster” of a future game, or any DLC cycle of any future game merely because they want to. I hope they do, though! I’ve been a “Fei Long main” ever since the character was introduced, and would love to see him return to the series whenever possible: to me, he’s a staple member of the crew.
[Update: During Summer Game Fest hands-on sessions for Street Fighter 6, director Takayuki Nakayama confirmed to Eurogamer that, on their end, there is no issue with them using Fei Long: “That whole Bruce Lee estate information they mentioned turned out to not be real I can’t say whether he’s coming or not, but there are definitely no legal issues.”
So to be clear, Fei Long isn’t “officially” revealed either way, but he’s not barred from appearing in Street Fighter 6, or future entries.]