Because FGs are mostly made in Japan, and Japanese devs are still getting used to the concept of middleware, every game reinvents wheels and does it badly. I mean, can anyone explain to me why they think the button-check-round-required style of button map UI is acceptable, when we have the press-to-map UIs already in several games as an example of best practice?
Really, if you think about it, 80% of a 2D FG is identical to every other FG. Menus, netcode, control mapping, replays, matchmaking, sprite rendering, backgrounds maps, etc. And its not like 2D FGs are really pushing the envelope in graphics performance.
In FPS land, we’ve seen how games like Unreal Tournament and Quake 3 are partly technology demos to show off their engine, which is licensed to other game devs. Companies only roll their own engine if they need some cutting edge feature or are too cheap/poor to buy middleware.
There’s no reason this cant happen with FGs too. Imagine a FG engine that ticks all the boxes - cross platform compatible, GGPO/Supercade netcode, good button mapping UI, proper lobbies and matchmaking, replays, easy scripting language, etc etc. Heck, GGPO/Supercade themselves are halfway there already - just bolt on a modern 2D game engine instead of an emulator.
Every time a western developer makes a FG, be it SF2HD Remix, MK, or Skullgirls, and fails to create such an engine for their game (and then sell it to others), its a terrible crime against, I dunno, engineering.
I hope one day a FG developer would wake up and see the light.
Or maybe I’ll write it myself. But first I’m doing an RTS
(oh, and inb4 mugen comparison.)