I’ve been thinking about this a little bit lately, and it seems like this might be a real possibility.
First off, if you’ll notice, not many games besides SF4 have been doing that well lately. I don’t even just mean tournament attendance…the amount of people playing regularly outside of tournaments has been flagging as well.
To put it bluntly, by the criteria used in previous years, there will absolutely not be 6 Evo-worthy games next year. In my opinion, only 3 or 4 will likely meet that standard: SSF4, Tekken 6, HD Remix, and maybe Marvel. SSF4 is obvious, Tekken has always been the biggest 3-D game in the US, and HD Remix will always do OK for itself since it has good online play. Once you get past those, everything else available has major problems of some sort:
Guilty Gear/3rd Strike - These games are done with a capital D. They had the least hype finals this year, and Evo seems fully intent on phasing out the PS2 and Dreamcast altogether.
Melty Blood - Dedicated but small community for an import-only PS2 game. Yeah, not happening.
Arcana Heart 2 - PS2 port is worthless, nobody plays anymore.
KOF12 - This shit was dead from the beginning.
SC4 - Made a surprisingly good showing this year, but the # of tournaments and general community interest seem to have fallen off since Nationals.
Marvel - I think Evo really wants to keep this for at least one more year, but there are just too many issues with the next-gen ports right now. And again, this is a game that gets very little play outside of tournaments anymore, although that didn’t hurt it this year. If Backbone successfully patches this like they promised, then I’d say it will and should remain in the lineup.
Blazblue: Man, I can’t think of the last time a game started out so big and died so quickly. At Evo it outdrew SC4 and GG as a side tournament, and now it pulls 5 people and gets canceled at east coast events. Right now the community is just waiting for the update (which won’t come out in time for Evo), and the #blazblue IRC channel has turned into #dungeonfighteronline.
- TvC: Capcom is doing so many good things for the US release, but none of it will matter because it’s still on the Wii and tournament players generally don’t own Wiis. Maybe the Smash kids will run to this and fatten the tournament numbers enough to make it worth Evo’s while, but I wouldn’t depend on that alone.
Another important factor to keep in mind: Evo’s overall turnout will likely increase next year. Between all the exposure they received from the live stream and IGN, and the fact that SSF4 will still be fairly new, I could easily see that game alone reaching 1500 people. If something like that is expected, they may very well have to remove other games in order to finish the event on time…
Any thoughts, SRK?