(this mainly concerns the US fighting game scene, Japan and other scenes have their own things that are big)
From there…we don’t really know what else we want or what’s coming or why it will come. Stream monster numbers are a factor, but what it really comes down to is whatever game the stream monsters know has heads coming out to in double digits at locals and deep into the triple digits at majors.
Yeah there’s been similar topics like this, but I think a lot of them try to address too much or don’t really look at other aspects that I think are important. There’s a ton of factors as to why a game brings out numbers for tournaments and the fans feed off of that especially now when it comes to hyping a game up.
I think the only thing we can say for certain involves a couple things.
1. SFIV still brings big numbers at majors (ground based footsies fighter).
2. UMVC3 still brings big numbers at majors (aerial/multi character footsies fighter).
This has to do with some things. Mainly being that the 2d fighting game base was looking for a new version of their SF. They got it. Rocky road here and there with some of the gameplay and feature decisions…but it made it through to being a credible game for the scene. My local scene had the most dramatic year or so with the game first releasing but finally buckled down and started playing it.
Same thing with MVC3/UMVC3. People wanted their combo game with Marvel and Capcom heads going at it 3 on 3 again and they got in. Really shaky road with top players and casuals alike commenting on twitter and making videos about how the game was the craziest pile of shit they had ever seen make it into a fighting game. People literally getting burnt out on just how ridiculous the game is. Which is basically what the developers were trying to do (one up MVC2’s craziness). Game revision and patches later the game still brings big numbers to majors despite continuing controversy about the game. It’s so uniquely crazy people end up appreciating it.
From there we have to pause…because honestly after these 2 games that’s all the 2d fighting game community really needs. Back during the B3 days it was Alpha 3 as the SF game and MVC2 as the Marvel combo game (back then reports of up to 700 people showing up for the big major). Then later on it was SF3 as the big SF game and Guilty Gear as the big anime combo game (300+ people at Evo for both games for a couple to more years).
Pretty much once you get those 2 roles filled for 2d fighters it starts to get split up. The other games would bring numbers but not as big as whatever the big 2 were. We’re pretty much at that state now where tournament players have their 2 go to tournament games for each specific 2d fighter niche and now everything else is just trying to buy attention. KOF13 is getting some, SFxT is getting some, Skullgirls is getting some, P4A is getting some, BB is getting some…and then down from there. Then there’s the 3d fighters also.
Long story short it’s going to be a long hard road to get the other games to bring numbers simply because they will have to pull a “3rd Strike” or a “Guilty Gear” and pull their weight over time into big communities that people will come to like and support. SFIV and UMVC3 are a bit out of the norm in that they are riding on pretty much the hype of nothing of their type being released for 10 years and everyone jumping the gun on. Neither are necessarily what people majorly agree on as the best fighting games ever made (least not yet) but, they have stood the test of time and filled those couple roles needed in the 2d fighting game tournament base.
**The scene is not going to get much bigger at this point since all the nostalgia and razzle dazzle from a new version of a 10 year retired franchise is no longer the big deal. We have our new ground footsie fighter and our new Marvel combo fighter. That’s really all that the general populace really initially wanted from Capcom. Now the problem is Capcom, the other fighting game companies and the fighting game tournament base have to sell people on shit they don’t know or don’t think they want. **
The next 2d fighter Capcom will possibly bring out is Darkstalkers 4 and it will be interesting to see how that competes with everything else trying to get numbers for tournaments. Capcom knows just like the people know that they’ve been wanting a new one for a long time and they won’t hesitate to get it out there despite their faults with SFxT.
Oh and then there’s having the game show up at Evo. Hah.