First and foremost, I found this very cool link that shows off the number of characters through the years. If you just want to view the content here, I have embedded some videos below as well.
So the initial Street Fighter IV had 25 characters. Not a bad amount at all.
Next we had Super Street Fighter IV, which rang in with 35 characters - quite the jump!
Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition had 39 characters (and a whole lot of words in the title).
Last, but certainly not least, we have the much more tidily named Ultra Street Fighter IV, ringing in with a variety of balance tweaks, mode changes and oh yeah - 44 total characters. Wow.
A couple of press items state:
About the Roster Evolution of the Street Fighter IV Series
After the release of 2009’s highly-anticipated Street Fighter IV, the world was introduced to six all-new characters and re-introduced to 19 classic and beloved Street Fighter characters. Following that, April 2010’s Super Street Fighter IV added ten new characters, and then December 2010’s Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition, expanded the roster with four additional characters. With the recent release of Ultra Street Fighter IV, five more fighters have joined the fray, bringing the roster count to an impressive 44 characters.
About Ultra Street Fighter IV
In Ultra Street Fighter IV, Poison, Hugo, Elena, Rolento and Decapre join the fight, complete with new animations and their own unique play styles, bringing the final roster count to a massive 44 characters. Six new battle environments (including Pitstop 109, Cosmic Elevator, Half Pipe and more) provide a thrilling and colorful backdrop to the action. Direct fan feedback was gathered on all of Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition’s original 39 characters and core system mechanics in order to achieve the most balanced Street Fighter ever. In addition to the action-packed new content and the finely-tuned rebalanced gameplay, the new version features a host of new features and modes that are sure to test even the most well-traveled world warrior.
All in all, hard to believe that five years has nearly come and gone on this game, but it has made plenty of notable strides in that time!
Article by Nick