Street Fighter IV Launch Transforms MOCA Into Arty Arcade

An over-capacity crowd turned out for the Street Fighter IV launch, where the emphasis was on the series' connection to the art world—and testing of the new game was encouraged at 60 stations.

By Shilpa Gopinath February 16, 2009, 9:00 AM EST

Guests testing Street Fighter IV

Photo: Dale Wilcox for BizBash

Hordes of Street Fighter fans waited in line for hours in the Los Angeles winter cold to get a sneak peek at the newest version of the video game Thursday at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. Some in the crowd got turned away after the venue reached capacity, but the guests who made it inside found an arcade-meets-art-gallery theme. Game developer Capcom’s Emily Anadu oversaw the event and turned to Kathy Lee-Fung of KLF Events for production.

“We picked MOCA because it’s a museum venue [where] we could really showcase the history of Street Fighter art in the space. Street Fighter not only has a following from a video game standpoint, but it’s also launched a huge following in artwork, art books, and anime,” Fung said. Displays included large canvases that were decorated by members of the Street Fighter art community, a vintage arcade setup showing the history of the series, original sketches by its producer, and a room showcasing licensed products.

Other elements included a game competition where players vied to win a trophy, an area where guests could meet the producer of Street Fighter, an artist available to sketch portraits of guests, and a station where guests could have a Street Fighter character etched into their phones. Additionally, 60 kiosks in the space allowed guests to experience the game.

Entertainment included a short dance sequence by Supreme Soul (known for its stint on MTV’s America’s Best Dance Crew), and a performance by hip-hop duo the Knux. Also on site to introduce the game were the stars of the upcoming movie Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li. The game hits retail outlets on February 17, and the movie hits theaters on February 22.

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