"User summary, some from It would take Capcom many years after Street Fighter II to finally develop Street Fighter III, which saw three different games: Street Fighter III, Street Fighter III Second Impact and Street Fighter III Third Strike. They are next to exactly the same game, but as the revisions were made saw changes in the game play, they are, as fighter games, regarded as quite different.
Street Fighter III got a lukewarm welcome at first as it had a next to all-new character cast (they threw in Ken and Ryu in the last minute) and several balance issues. 2nd impact corrected most bugs, added EX special attacks, guard against throwing etc and added Hugo, Yulian and Goki to the character mix. The remake didn't do much for popularity.
For 3rd Strike, Capcom overhauled the game almost to remake it totally, and added guard blocking. Five new characters, Chun Li, Remy, Makoto, Twelve and Q were added. By limiting the controls that were "typical to the SFIII series" and gearing the game more towards a "typical Capcom fighting game", the success of 3rd was bigger than the previous two versions, but while it took time for the popularity to sink in, enthusiastic fans held the game alive in tournaments and alike, and 3rd was gradually regarded higher and higher.
After the release of 3rd, Capcom withdrew from the arcade market."
Source: Wikipedia, "ストリートファイターIII", available under the CC-BY-SA License.