Hi everybody, this is my first post and first thread on this board ever so I’d like to introduce myself first and give you an idea how my views came together before touching the actual subject of this topic:
I’m a 32 year old gamer from Germany with a love for video games.
I’ve played a couple of fighting games in my time including Street Fighter II - World Warrior, Killer Instinct, Mortal Kombat 1-3, Tekken 3 and Soul Edge/Calibur.
I considered myself good at all of these games and I have to note that I only ever played the home console ports of these games, since there has never been an Arcade culture in Germany, since our laws see every machine you throw money into and play with, as gambling and since gambling is restricted to people of 18+ years of age over here, arcade cabinets were only bought in very small numbers and totally failed to reach their target audience (which were kids before/in/after puberty at that time).
So basically I considered myself good at these games because I completely destroyed every single one of my friends/neighbours/aquaintances in these games until they quit playing with me since they saw it as pointless to contest me.
Was always dreaming of competing with the best kids of the world in tournaments but that kind of stuff, not even local tournaments, existed at that time and so when I got like 20 or 21 years old I quit fighting games altogether since there’s really no point for me in cheesing out an ai all day. I wanted to fucking beat myself and my shitty habits during practice, in order to best other people who do the same.
Went over to pc gaming and started playing Warcraft III and ultimately DotA after the WCIII scene went downhill and was really impressed with the huge world wide communities of online players in these games with the rise of the internet.
When Valve recently took over DotA and produced Dota 2 I immediately got into the beta and played the game ever since.
Couple of month ago fighting games sparked my interest when a crazy ex-girlfriend of mine posted me a youtube link that left me breathless. Guess you know what it was: Daigo Umehara on Ken vs Justin Wong on Chun Li in the EVO SFIII finals.
Holy fucking shitballs, I didn’t even know that people still played Street Fighter and I couldn’t even imagine that someone could execute in this game on that level.
So I watched the latest EVO, got myself SSF4:AE on Steam at the latest summer sale and I only have one thing to say:
I’m fucking disappointed.
Not by the game itself.
It’s amazing and one of the best fighting games ever made. The gameplay is fantastic and it has a similarity with my 2 other favorite games ever made which are Dota and Chess: Right when you pick them up, they spit in your face and tell you that you suck shitballs and that you will suck for a long time even if you put a lot of work into them and that you’ll never be able to truly play them perfectly since they have a skill cap that is almost unreachable (in Dota that’s more the teamwork part but that’s beside the point) but holy shit they’re fun and suck you in.
What disappointed me was the small player base and the horrible online play.
Like what in the actual fuck? It’s 2013 and Capcom seriously releases an amazing game with the shittiest online play I’ve witnessed since the year 2000. Peer to peer? In a competitive fighting game? They don’t even have the decency to offer dedicated servers to prevent cheating and offer a more or less lag free experience for users on both ends?
Everytime I play Starcraft 2 and Dota 2 online I really can’t believe that SSF4 is supposed to be in the same generation of games.
Now finally to my point and the purpose of this thread:
Dota 2 and LoL have a huge playerbase and are highly competitive (LoL is a game for braindead retards though and is to Dota 2 what Dive Kick is to SSF4). The reason why those games blow Starcraft 2 completely out of the water in terms of prize money, event size and overall sponsorship money is pretty simple. It’s not because they require more skill or strategic thinking or are overall the better games compared to Starcraft 2, it’s just the business model.
Starcraft 2 is a standard pay to play game. It gets a huge influx of people when it gets released and smaller waves of new users on every expansion/addon they release.
The problem is that there’s actually more people quitting the game than joining. Since the game gets older and flashier games get released the influx of new players cannot make up for the loss of old players until the point where only a very small hardcore community exists and sponsors withdraw their funding until very little to no tournaments exist which erradicates the professional scene in that specific game.
The same holds true for fighting games.
Through the accessibility of Dota 2 which solely finances itself through selling cosmetic upgrades that have no influence on the gameplay and is available for everybody, we see the opposite effect:
For every player that leaves the game, we see 5 people picking it up and the game thrives and prospers for probably 10 years to come.
Now what I want to ask you guys is do you think this model would work for Super Street Fighter 4 or fighting games in general?
I myself would drop serious bucks on new fighter costumes and new visual effects on special moves and I feel like the game would be perfect for that model and the community could only grow and benefit from it through more competition and exposure.
I feel like the only thing that’s holding the game back is Capcom with it’s foolproof method of bringing out a decent game every 7 years and then crapping carbon copies of the same game with minimal differences onto the market in the hope that people keep buying it.