What happened to SRK/the FGC?


That google graph makes perfect sense but geez, I guess I hadn’t realized how much the site had REALLY fallen off. Funny given the increased production value of the front page, and all the other new bullshit, is obviously aimed at being more mainstream, and attracting new people. It has definitely seemed like a total ghost town, but yeah, still surprising to see it laid out like that. You can see how this happened to dustloop more quickly, and severely: the degeneration from useful ggxx info, to bb weeb lore central, to absolute ghost town. It is REALLY amazing to see how in that graph, the release of SFV did basically NOTHING in comparison to the releases of sf4, daigo moment, etc. Sad to see really, this was the first place I came to when I started to play third strike, and I would have never found my local arcade scene (which was far weaker when I found it than it was in 2000-2006), or gone to norcal regionals. We still had like 30-40 people show up for every new arcade release of sf4, but now if you aren’t playing in someone’s fucking bedroom or at a tournament, there is basically no way for a random to get in and find people. Going to a tournament as a newcomer is pretty daunting, but now it is pretty much the only way to “show up.”


Basically SRK has reverted back to its pre 09 days. And seeing how you joined during 09 or thereabouts you wouldn’t know how dead the scene was back then, how a “major” tournament had only 50-100 people showing up. Only difference is that now there is far more competition. SRK doesn’t have the presence it used to have, and it no longer serves the same purpose.


Going to echo d3v here, it’s social media. Discord is a million times better for character specific stuff, Twitter makes sharing tech simpler, and Facebook enables organization


It’s much easier to join in on social media. Just about everyone has some sort of social media account these days, so there’s not need to join in on an exclusive forum to participate in a community.

The problem right now though is that of impermanence. Unlike with a forum, where stuff can be stickied and kept alive, most stuff on social media lasts only so long before it’s buried. Even Reddit, which has forum features, suffers from the same problem since it’s formatting makes keeping a lot of stickies, or old discussions alive, difficult.


Eh, discord is pretty good about that; just have a resources channel that serves a similar role


is it possible to see that graph even earlier on? I think its interesting that the graph gets lower after 2004. For “srk” drama specifically around that time and a bit earlier(2k2-2k4) and some own personally bitterness stories for people that are to new to remember SRK was doing this conceptually cool thing called APEX at the time a year before or something. Where basically SRK was gonna be thing big tournament hub thing, where they were going to start seeding people for all the big tournaments especially what was going to become EVO(Which they had possibly the only cool video game clothing item ive ever seen this super cool hockey jersey that even I would wear, it was super sleek looking at they never sold it again. And they refuse to even comment on why they stopped selling them which is bizarre. It was much cooler than the EVO logo and clothing items now sold). So you would like put in a tournament that happened the placings etc on SRK and then you would get so many points for winning and it would go to EVO etc…

Sounds cool right? And aesthetically speaking the website here looked really slick at the time for the whole thing… Well problem is apparently people were making up fake tournaments to get better placings for other tournaments. So then they put in some rule that they had to be able to call the arcade or wherever this tournament was to make sure it was legit. Well problem was then they decided that well maybe even if the tournament did count we just dont trust how it was run. So basically they started only counting california, texas, nyc, chicago tournaments. Something with very big cliche hot spots because well obviously if anyone has ever made money in video games at this time ive said it before but tournaments were not fucking fair back in the day and people would do anything to make sure someone in their clique won. I can tell you as a kid I have gone to tournaments was beating “top players” and they would shake the machine and moved it back and forth while I was comboing them so I wouldnt beat them and do you think any tournament organizer cared about that shit? Ya games were different back then. So they wanted for the grand stage to show off videos obviously to have their friends all be placed. And started not counting tournaments of people they didnt like basically. I can tell you I remember by tournaments I won, placed in etc for games like ST, cvs etc… They just didnt count my wins. The tournaments just didnt matter. They wouldnt accept it when they were put into SRK.

So APEX idea hyped up SRK For awhile, but then people saw ok well APEX is flawed… you have people making up fake tournaments, and you have other tournaments not being counted, so basically its same old, unless you live in california or something, you dont matter for SF etc. So apex died with in a couple years if it even lasted that long.

Then you get around the 2k3, the 2k4. EVO had started getting a little popular and now other games were gonna be had. Anime games if you will, tekken, SC etc. So other places like gamecombos became more popular, other sites for these other games started taking some of crowd from SRK because SRK you could say did not treat people who played these the same. And I mean drama with that I can remember, things like GGXX reload was a game that had been out a year. Everyone was playing it, but SRK refused to put reload at EVO because it was not out in america yet. Although that made no sense because they had VF whatever version of it it was that was only in japan at the time etc. They started coming up with dumb excuses that just divided the community or rather people were like fuck SRK we can just go to gamecombos, some other site that actually cares about “our” game. Instead of just doing whatever they decided at the time.

THere was also shady stuff behind the scenes to say with how things were working which probably gave srk a bit of a bad rap…

Although judging from the graph how much of that was behind the scenes perhaps is questionable because indeed it does look like the site started to go down hill…

Whatever the case yea now a days with this whole ESPORTS things etc a lot of shady stuff just would not be possible with how regularly things are filmed. Things that happened before would just not fly. I mean I dont know how many people even remember them forcing me to play at evo on a projection movie theater screen for matchs telling me it wouldnt lag me. When I was like dude wtf i dont want to play on this, wouldnt even let me play on a TV. Can you imagine that kinda stuff happening at a world tournament now a days with all these things with moniters etc talking about lag specifically where as back then as a kid they tried to call me a cry baby and said to play on a projection screen or else and that there was no lag? Imagine that happening now… ya… never would happen. Imagine me in tournament going around beating all these top players from other states, them saying none of my matchs counted, and i had to vs all the japanese instead(even though i was supposed to be seeded)then i finally lose… then that match counts. HA. Ya. thats the kinda stuff that happened in tournaments back then. But games are hella diff now. I think I got off target as usual but hey im old and bitter now what can I say~


Everyone put all their eggs in one basket, then after a while the basket failed to get even semi-respectable sales.


Yup: Bang the Machine. At NCR3 (IIRC) I remember Potter and DJ-b13 playing and they were just smashing the fuck out of the cabinet when the other person had caught them in a combo. It was just part of the game.

APEX was an interesting system but imploded due to the fake tournaments people posted up. And if you were out of a populated region, you were pretty much fucked.


Seems to be multiple factors, but things are a lot more spread out when it comes to where one wants to go online if one’s interested in anything FGC-related. That and you don’t see much of anything SRK-related pushed out these days.


FWIW I think the useful question is - what can we do to make the things we care about better?

I don’t think SRK is required. If people find a place to party together, awesome. In theory any place can serve as a place for people to come together and learn to beat each other up better. Facebook has proven pretty shitty for it, imho. (It gets carried by its user base, not by it being good at community building/organization/knowledge-sharing.) Reddit is kind of interesting as a kitchen sink approach, but also shitty. Discord/slack/etc has seemed divisive to me - there’s a variety of secret squirrel servers out there, knowledge maintenance and discoverability sucks imho, blah blah. Wikis are pretty good as long as you maintain and build the fuck out of them. That’s less fun than playing games so it doesn’t happen. IRC is actually still pretty good, and oddly to me has about the same discoverability as discord. Sooooo I like SRK. Even as broken as Vanilla is. rip vbulletin days.

I think the last huge joint effort I can think of was the wiki. It is really easy to enjoy the fruits of other’s labor. It’s hard to put stuff out there yourself, to help others. I know I’ve slacked pretty hard: I went to an MvC2 tournament Tuesday night and didn’t tape it, for example. Just a small thing I could have done, but I didn’t do it and that particular community is a little less due to my lack of effort. Blarg.

Ask not what your community can do for you, but what you can do for your community.


Has the entire FGC not declined sharply in the same timeframe? Definitely seems like it has.


If anything it seems like the FGC is more visible than it’s ever been; SF5 being on ESPN is something that would have been unthinkable even 2-5 years ago. But it also seems like Smash is the game that’s bringing the most people and so maybe smash boards are seeing the activity that srk used to get.

I know for me, I don’t really play SF much anymore since Samurai Shodown 5 Special has become my game of choice, and unfortunately, there aren’t more than a couple people on here who are interested in that game. So I spend the time that I used to spend browsing the Third Strike and (sigh) SF4 boards in a discord now because that’s where the players and information all are, and just come here for GD mainly. We have a small community that include a few top players (a couple of whom are members here) but it’s actually kind of surprising that more of the members there don’t have srk accounts at all. I feel like for a time anyway, if you played any fighting games at all, you’d at least have an srk account, but maybe I just made that up.


SF4, MVC3, SFXT, SFV and MVCI happened
Also, what we have left on this site is anything but hardcores, they were the 1st to leave once the stupid became predominant.

Add the rise of Reddit, Youtube, local Facebook groups, discord and alternative sites like eventscrubs.


Pretty much this.

Traditional forums like these are becoming more a thing of the past with every passing year.


I was definitely under the impression that EVO viewership was up, not declining. I haven’t looked into the numbers but it definitely feels that way as a spectator.


Guess we’re about to see how that works out. :rofl:





Evo viewership doesn’t really have anything to do with forum traffic sadly. The decline has been consistent over a long enough period of time and given all the new ways people share information this place appears to be at it’s end.


Thanks for sharing actually, on topic or not. That was very interesting to read! I’m from the arcade era but I couldn’t afford to travel to majors or go to evo until 09


Oh well if people want stories from those arcade times I could deff tell them, But I feel like a lot of them are just kinda the vibe, lots of inside jokes etc. I was just more so thinking about related potential SRK drama etc durning that specific time frame.