Yeah...post-launch, at 'some point'. It also doesn't address everything else I said. So, yeah, 16 characters at launch doesn't inspire a huge amount of hype in me, when a game 14 years earlier managed to have 21, just from the SF franchise, at launch. That's the problem. If at some point SFV has 21 characters, we can readdress this subject, at which point, I'll still point out that I just don't find the engine to be in the spirit of the franchise.
You don't understand how the development of games like Capcom vs SNK work.
Capcom RE-USED sprites from their old games (SF Alpha, Darkstalkers...etc) which led to criticims that older sprites looked lik shit compared to newer ones.
For example, Morrigan's sprite in CvS2 is from 1997's Darkstalkers 3, that'sa 4 year old sprite.
Just compare Morrigan to Terry Bogard here:
This isn't something odd in fighting game development. Why do you think King of Fighters XII had the lowest amount of characters in the series? (20 if you're wondering). It's because SNK threw out all the old sprites that they've just been retouching since King of Fighters '99 (So they've been using them for over 10 years).
Game graphics have been getting more and more detailed and the work and cost involved in creating these HD 3D models and HD 2D sprites continues to rise and rise.
For example, check these three sprites of Kyo Kusangi:
They're from games developed a total of 6 years apart. KOF'99, KOF 2003 and Neo Geo Battle Coliseum . And they're all at their native resolutions.
Then you have these two:
As you can see, the HD 2D sprites are much larger and more detailed than their predeccessors and with more frames of animation.
Not to mention.....these two HD sprites? They're not alternate costumes of one another....the one on the left is Kyo from KOF 12. The one on the right is from KOF 13.
Yes, they still use this method today.
But that's not what capcom is doing with SFV. They're throwing out all the old models and animations and starting anew, hence the lower number of characters.
And besides, what's the problem with having 16 characters at launch? Because ALL POST LAUNCH CHARACTERS WILL BE FREE DLC, NOT PAID!