A Case for the Casual Player


#1

I just read an articlefor Injustice that starts off by saying

It’s a good point but, to play devil’s advocate, I think it’s pretty easy to argue against it. Just look at Marvel 3, it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread in the fgc and sold about two million copies. On the other hand, MK vs DC had noooo fgc support and sold (deep breath) about two million copies.

Now the idea out there is that MK vs DC sold well because of its novelty. Anecdote: some guy in his basement in the middle of sessions of Madden and CoD goes to his local GameStop and says “Sub-Zero vs Batman?! Awesome!” and picks it up. I’m not saying that’s not what happened. It’s probably pretty accurate, actually. What I’m saying is, where do you think those people were when Marvel 3 came out? The same people went to their local GameStop and said, “Wolverine vs Ryu?! Awesome!” My point is, the people that bought MK vs DC, also bought Marvel. If all 43k people that “like” Shoryuken on Facebook didn’t buy a game, the publishers wouldn’t notice. Even if the fgc is ten times that 43k figure, that wouldn’t even make up 25% of the sales for a game like Marvel or Street Fighter.

The bulk of the people who buy fighting games are the people that the fgc know as “casual players”. That’s a dangerous way to think of them because it implies or leads to the idea that they are also casual GAMERS. These are the people that have Assassin’s Creed 3 already pre-ordered. That spent hours collecting all of the Riddler trophies in Arkham City. They only have one or two fighting games on their shelves, along with one or two racing games, and a couple platformers. The average gamer and the casual fighting game player are the SAME person. They’re not dumb, they’re not 11-years-old. They know about games. They’re just not that into the scene. And THEY buy these games.

The fgc needs to realize, if we don’t want to slip into another Dead Area, we have to keep these casual players, aka most players, in mind. Without them, there will be no fighting games FOR a fighting game community.


#2

Hmm… "Social Media, Live Streaming, Tourney Scene, How big that audience is “GETTING,” =/= Success of a modern [S]FPS; RTS; Monopoly; Dice; Chess; The Hunger Games[/S] fighting game…
Hmm… Yes, the success of ANY games is justified by it’s appeal to the general public BUT it is that small group of advocates that petition, beg, and plead for the product that companies make. It’s the casual market that recognizes it and squares it against their other choices.
What you’re afraid of is just the way the media market works. If people don’t watch your favorite show, it’s gonna get cancelled. If no one reads your favorite book, the author will probably bow out.
Fighting games have to compete with EA and Bioware and it’s shocking how well they do. Just shows you that the market is still growing and with the lackluster quality of FPS’s and lack of ingenuity and uniqueness out there in the market place, the FGC and FG’s in general are a welcoming experience where you’re not subject to playing alone but playing w/ your friends.
Eh… 0.02…


#3

It’s not a dangerous idea to call casual players casual. If you are going to jump into a DP six times in a row then yes you are a casual player. It’s not about how many games you own, it’s about how you play said games.


#4

Why keep them in mind? Casual players enjoy deep fighting games. I know a lot of game fans who don’t even know how to DP who love CvS2, one of the most hardcore fighting games of all time.

Make a fun, deep game. It will appeal to casual people too. If they lose heart when they lose to a player who knows what they’re doing, then too bad. That’s not the game’s fault, it’s their problem.


#5

We need more fighting games like Skull Girls made by actual fighting game players like the lack basic shit in SFxT that even the noobiest of noobs would include wasn’t there (straight rematch in endless, a rank lobby, time would be double for two characters?) just simple shit like that. Skull girls personally wasn’t my style but I like the direction it is heading in.


#6

As the scene grows and more people become aware of EVO and other tournaments, then the more that it becomes an important tool for marketing games.


#7

This isn’t an argument against the fighting game community or the competitive scene. Without Evo, the leaders of the community or sites like this the genre wouldn’t have survived and flourished like it has. They’re important, but so are the average gamers that buy the games. Casual players are one piece of the puzzle, but they’re a much bigger piece than some parts of the community would like to admit. That’s all I’m trying to say :slight_smile:


#8

Every reasonable person knows that sales to the casual player matter because they make up a huge majority of the player base. The problem occurs when concessions are made in the gameplay to cater to these players that don’t care to get good at fighters at the expense of the competitive viability, and often even the fun, of the game.

Casual players will buy the game as long as their favorite characters are in it. It’s why Capcom fighters are the most popular in the US, because Street Fighter and Marvel comics are huge parts of American popular culture and have a lot of easily recognizable characters. I firmly believe that SF4 would have sold just as many copies whether they made the game with hundreds of mechanics aimed at artificially closing the skill gap between low and high level players or if they made it a solid game that better rewarded the more skilled and knowledgeable player, just as long as the visuals looked good and it had all of SF2WW characters.

Casual players need the realize that they aren’t despised by the competitive community, competitive players just hate how some fighting game companies try to cater to them by making concessions in the gameplay rather than give them what casual players really want, and that is more single player content and story modes with their favorite character archetypes.


#9

Because if we catered to casuals, all we’d get are shitty fighting games. Look at DOA4, that game was crap because Itagaki actually thought like a casual player and hated getting beat at his own game. So what we got was a shitty mess where any sort of offense was pointless in high level play since you could hold out of everything.


#10

What are people on SRK supposed to do? Write letters to Capcom asking them to vaguely “keep the casuals in mind” ?


#11

I definitely don’t want games stuffed with insane comeback mechanics and other features with the sole purpose of attracting casual players. But games with bare bone menu’s and NO casual consideration is an other extreme. We just need to aim for a happy medium so the game sells enough to warrant sequels without losing what makes them great.


#12

#13

You seem to be confusing causal with something else.
No they aren’t all dumb
No they aren’t all 11
No most of them aren’t into the scene

The major definiting issue of casual player is that they don’t know how to play and don’t really care to know how to play.

I once got into a 15 minute argument with one of my best friends where he was arguing adamantly that Vergil should be in UMVC3 (this is before the cast was confirmed), meanwhile we both know he is absolutely not going to buy UMVC3, he just wants a character he likes to be included in a game he has no intention of buying.

BTW he wasn’t buying MVC3 because he knew hes sucked when XvSF was out, you should also factor in that MKvDC was a new title and casual players hadn’t had the delusions that they were good beaten out of them in that game already.

Edit: just to clarify, I wasn’t arguingthat Vergil shouldn’t be in the game, I was arguing that his opion shouldn’t count since we both knew he wasn’t buying the game, and his argument was that his vote as to what goes into a MVC game should be equal to mine even though he isn’t even going to buy the game.


#14

“Catering to Casuals” is a frankly retarded way to think of the issue and reflects a massive misunderstanding of the accessibility discussion.

Doubly so because people conflate instances of poor implementation (XF or SF4 input shortcuts) with the entire idea being bad.

Of course the real answer isn’t ‘catering’ to anybody, but rather making the best game you can (and that the producers will let you).

PS:

That’s not ‘casual’, that’s ‘bad’. They’re not actually the same.

edit: But lol, touche, Pertho


#15

How else do you expect me to practice safe jumps and learn the distances at which I can jump to make you whiff a dp?


#16

People are missing the larger issue here, which is the shift in accessibility is industry wide.

Remember World Warrior in the arcade? Fun, but you are meant to lose. You give them money to play each time, and either you put a quarter in again or you didn’t. You made money by making people come back but making it hard enough to lose. This was the way for a long time.

So now nerds and video games are mainstream. Bigger audience, and most of the audience is not into challenge (for proof, how many games released now have finite lives and continues? Not many that’s for sure). How do you make the most money? You combine the two obviously, accessible that a person who doesn’t really play or understand the games can fart around and feel like he has a chance and then some deeper mechanics for those who want to explore or get good. Like it or not, the Ono philosophy was bang on even if what changes were done you don’t like.

Besides, most fighter fans are odd… We might play or buy a game on release then stop playing it. It already made money whether you keep playing or not. The only draw with a quality product is word of mouth sales which, while good news, doesn’t always make it or break it. Things can suck and make tons of money afterall.


#17

Developers designing games for this new age player who buys it new and trades it in 2 weeks later to make them feel like they’re good at it is problematic. It leads to terrible ideas like gems instead of Story Mode, Challenge Tower and whatever else NRS did that didn’t take away from gameplay and added tremendously to the “casual” experience.

And I see people making their own fighting games, releasing them for free or going through publishers and etc. Not really worried if big businesses move onto a different fad, we’ll still have the smaller niche companies like ASW and doujin fighters.

FGC does acknowledge the casual player, hence the rising number of streams and events and merchandise and this site and the changes happening to this site.

I think another problem is the increased exposure. Before, it was much harder to see what the top players were doin. Now, you can play a lot more players easily instead of just your cousins or friends and anyone can see what top play looks like and people want their play to look like that high level shit. It easier to see the gap in skill. Needless to say, there’s a sizable chunk that want to do top player stuff without putting in the work, so developers are doing things to shrink the gap or make everyone look like their doing high level stuff.


#18

Casual Players are player who play games to kill time…not doing stuff like finding all the Riddler Trophies and such but just doing a single play through the game and returning it afterwards.


#19

See honestly, that’s the part I actually question. Everyone always treats this like its self-evident, but I’d argue that in general people want to be able to play the game and feel that they’re making progress.

It’s not so much that people want to do combo video combos from the start, its that they want to see themselves able to do constantly more.

I guess closer is the idea that people don’t want to feel helpless… That’s why we get both burst/breaker mechanics and comeback mechanics.

Edit: With the painful irony that most of the comebacks right now tend to favor the winning player as much as they favor the one losing.


#20

inb4 hurr durr make a difference

You want to convince the casual players? Convince them it’s a frame not an applet. Then they’ll be like, WHAT THE FUCK IS THE MATRIX?! And why can I see numbers everywhere I go now!?!?!?!