‘Street Fighter IV’ Producer Perplexed By America’s Choice For Favorite New Character

There are four new characters in “Street Fighter IV” — Crimson Viper, Abel, El Fuerte, Rufus — but America is playing one more than any other: Abel.

That surprised the game’s producer, Yoshinori Ono, while watching fighting fans play the game at Comic-Con 2008 last week. He told me he expected them to gravitate elsewhere.

“With all due to respect to him, he’s a great character, but honestly we thought Crimson Viper would be a big hit here,” said Ono. “We got a lot of marketing data and a lot of advice from our US branch in creating that character. She was kind of custom tailored for the States and we thought people would like her.”

Ono watched “Street Fighter” fans over the four days of Comic-Con and intends to take their feedback — Abel and Crimson Viper included — back to Japan. “What we need to do now is find out what his [Abel’s] deal is, why they like him and use that information going forward,” he said.

Which new “Street Fighter IV” character are you a fan of, readers? What is it about Abel?