The future of fighting game tournaments. Everyone wants numbers for locals/majors that's for sure


(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.


I hope Capcom never releases another fighting game.


It seems the difference between a confirm fighter and a footsie fighter is not clear. A footsie fighter is a game like Street Fighter II Hyper Fighting, Fatal Fury Special and Samurai Shodown II. It is pretty clear that games like Street Fighter IV and Marvel v Capcom 3 revolve around mix-ups and damage confirmation, not footsies. There is some importance in distance control and reactions in pretty much every game, but it should be clear that high-level HF does not get decided by who lands a CPS-1 chain first, just like high-level 3rd Strike does not revolve around who lands more sweeps on rection.

It is a pretty safe bet that the number of people interested in Darkstalkers’ weird storyline is vastly superior to the number of people who play - or even has played - those games competitively. They will certainly not judge the gameplay for they are absolutely incapable of it: they have never played the series “for real”, in terms of what competitive play is concerned.

(GF is annoying me to death, so I will reply to other aspecs later. Damn GFs…)


I always preferred the term ‘traditional fighter’ for titles like SF and KOF


Yeah there’s a lot of ground based fighters that don’t revolve around long term footsies, but despite you still have to have a strong basis for how they work to compete at the highest levels of play with most of the characters presented in those games. Just because you get more reward for a successful footsie doesn’t mean the game isn’t based around them.

It’s like saying Super Turbo Claw kills footsies in ST because he’s just looking for a knockdown to go HAM on you with Hyoubal wall dive 50/50’s. Regardless you’ll still want to be up on your footsies to get the most out of Claw in that game.

As for Darkstalkers…well there are quite a few fighting games (even ones just released now like P4A) where one of the main drives to play or compete in it is the story.


Do both of these games make up a sizable amount of entrants at tourneys? Absolutely. But is that all the FGC needs for tourneys? Absolutely not. What the 2D scene needs is for people to actually go to tournaments (instead of just playing online) to go out and support these games. KOF has been doing that and that’s why they got an EVO spot this year. ST has been doing that as well and although it wasn’t an “official” EVO game, that side tournament was arguably one of the most epic things about EVO 2012. . A honda vs a claw in the grand finals that went down to the very last round about as hype as you can get … especially since it was kusumondo honda. You saying that the 2D scene doesn’t need anything else besides the big 2 is pretty irresponsible. Do you honestly want every tournament you see streamed to be just SF4 2012 and UMvC3?

This is just wrong. Every year EVO gets more attendants than they did last year. The scene isn’t to the point where you can make a living off of it yet, but if more people continue to go to tournaments, that could change.

If you want to talk about the future of fighting game tournaments, you should start by looking at the problem of there being more fighting games being put out than there are spots at EVO, and the influence EVO has on what kinds of games people will pick up. You should also consider how after EVO 2011, most people thought MK9 was a “dead” game, and how the MK community pooled together to show the rest of the FGC that “no it is not.” Rather than just doom fighting game tourneys into being “SF4 and UMvC3,” you should point out that the “future” of fighting games, especially at EVO, is contingent on the number of entrants that games get at major tourneys, and how consistent those numbers are., and if fighting game communities really want to influence the future of fighting game tourneys, then each respective community needs to make sure that their game is represented at all the major tourneys, just like MK, KOF, and ST have been doing , because if each community actually does that, then EVO is going to have to expand to a 5 day event, and 5 days of EVO would be a pretty good future in my opinion.


Well just on a primal notion…the scene could pretty much survive on just SFIV and UMVC3. Evo would still bring big numbers if those were the only 2 games featured. That’s kind of obvious. Especially if they did multiple events off those 2 games.

I mean you say what the scene needs is more people going out into tournaments instead of just playing online…but then you say things like “do you honestly want every tourney streamed to just be SFIV and UMVC3?” I mean…if we’re talking about tournament numbers that shouldn’t matter right? If you’re worried about what’s being streamed you’re pretty much defeating the purpose of this thread to begin with. You can’t get more numbers at tournaments being worried about what’s being streamed. You have to go out and make those big numbers. Sure I’ll watch some streams sometimes and I haven’t been to Evo in pretty much 3 years now…but I’ve been to enough local and major tournaments across the east coast still to add to tournament numbers and see that the 2d fighting game scene isn’t just about people sitting by computers.

If you get more tournament numbers for your game…it’s PROBABLY going to get streamed more often. Probably.

**I’m not necessarily dooming any of the games under SFIV or UMVC3 in tourney numbers…I’m simply asking what it will take to bring that next big game (other than those two) that will drive those types of numbers to locals and majors? **Could a 3rd game get alongside with SFIV and UMVC3 and bring those numbers or will it be the more typical case where one of those games will have to fall in popularity and have something else supersede it?

The only way the scene will get bigger for sure is if a 3rd game comes out that brings those types of numbers alongside SFIV and UMVC3. Which I find rather difficult to happen at this immediate point in time but we’ll see.

Oh and the 5 day Evo thing is just crazy. I’ve been trying to support a 4 day Evo, but at best it would be like afternoon to night of Thursday then the rest of the weekend. Mr.Wiz isn’t going to turn Evo into Kings Dominion or anything.


More people playing in person
More playing what you like
Less “I’ll play it if a lot of other people play it” because those game would have larger scenes, the larger scenes that they want to play in.
Less people thinking the numbers SF4/UMvC3 pull at events is normal and every other game is “bad/dead” when they don’t.


If tournaments got to the point where it was just SF4 and UMvC3, then I personally would stop traveling to them. I appreciate what those games do in terms of numbers and exposure for the scene, but I do not play them competitively and have no intention to in the future. I went to EVO and it wasn’t for either of those games. I came to play(and get bodied in) KOFXIII and Virtua Fighter. I will go to EVO 2013 if KOF returns and if Persona 4 makes it. If not, I’m certain they will have bitchin’ side tourneys Those are the games I’m interested in and choose to play, so those are the games I will support.

I’m sure there are several more people just like me who don’t really care for those games and would rather play something else. Super Turbo heads could care less about their game’s “popularity” among stream monsters and casuals, and that should be the prevailing attitude of any player-- Is the game fun? Do I want to compete? If you answer “yes” to both of those, then you don’t need to concern yourself with the popularity contests and stream monster culture.

If you love your game, and want your scene to grow, you don’t do it from a keyboard. You travel, you play, you create your own “hype.” Fuck numbers and analysts.


There’s a place for “I’ll play what other people play” though, because it’s always about getting competition.

Nothing is quite so grim as sitting around with the game you love and having at the very best the same 5 people you always play, or sometimes being entirely unable to get a match at all.


But when I hear “I’d play it if other people play it” from 40 different people shit is ridiculous.


If I have 1 person that can learn/teach me and we can challenge each other, I’m happy.

You might need more, but I don’t.


This right here. I really wish more people would stop being so close-minded and standoffish when it comes to fighters. No, not every game is going to appeal to everyone, but I’m certain if more people would at the very least keep an open mind and try other games and speak to people from other scenes they could help each other grow.

I speak from first-hand experience as my local area has always had trouble keeping and cultivating players. The major reason is that people are just lazy and close minded to anything that isn’t there game of choice.
While I may not care for UMvC3 or SF4, that doesn’t keep me from playing them at gatherings. I realize the strength of these games at drawing in new players, so being versed in them slightly allows me to reach out and possibly grow my own scene.

But it is tough. For every one person that might pick up a different game, there are at least 50 that refuse to try anything that doesn’t have 100s of entrants and is streamed on the big stage at EVO. It’s sad, but I hope this thread will lead to something positive.


It’s great if it works for you, but understand that it doesn’t for a lot of folks.

To go college philosophy for a second, which is more important, the game or the comp?

(I at least can have fun playing just about any fighter)


From a spectator’s POV, I think everyone is worried to much about the next fighting game being the “SF4/UMVC3/Capcom killer”. Don’t know how scene feuds were handled or if they ever happened. But it seems like all want to have that power, but not put much effort into it. The only fighter that seems to have momentum of being neck n neck with SF4/UMVC3 is KOF13. MK9 had it for a while,P4 still has its freshness but nothing super serious, SFxT has a ways 2 go(uh oh, touchy subject), SG to me felt like it came and went.


No, I mean people interested or like/enjoy a fighting game but don’t play it because there isn’t “enough people”, meaning there are people playing.

Those are who I’m talking about it.

Why do they care if there isn’t stream exposure or 100+ entries at a major? You might find a few people at your local gathering who play it (probably have 20 or less people in my area) and can find people to play online. Why are those others so important to the choice of the game you play?


The most amusing part of the people that say “I’d play it but others don’t” is that…they don’t leave their room


That’ll never happen considering that Capcom is publicly traded. Capitalism at work.


This part I can get along with.

If you can’t find people yourself, that’s a legitimate issue.
If you won’t play because the game doesn’t get enough tournament/stream play, something’s far wrong.


This puts it perfectly into perspective. The community has come a long ways since EVO first started. Thinking that “this is the biggest it’s going to get” is extremely destructive thinking. Really, if that’s what EVO organizers think, then EVO is never going to grow. From what we’ve all seen, EVO has only been getting bigger so why should we think this is the biggest it’s going to get?

I think that the questions asked in this thread are very important questions because I honestly don’t know where EVO is headed. I didn’t think that 2012 could have been more hype than 2011 but after seeing the results, I was totally blown away. I’m still thoroughly disappointed that we had to buy spectator passes or be in a side room to view a stream of the whole thing. That concept is really weak IMO but if that’s the cost of EVO growing and getting bigger and better then it’s only a small cost that I’m willing to pay.