There’s a place for both types of games really.
Personally, I don’t really bother with shallow fighting games anymore.
It’s not fun for me if there isn’t a lot of depth to the engine.
It’s like playing chess when you’re only allowed to use the pawns to move. Might be fun for the guy starting out, but it’s lame to someone who wants to be able to outthink their opponent.
Although, I’m sure other people would much prefer something easy to pick up where skill isn’t as much of a factor. Like Powerstone 2, or DBZ: Budokai.
But seriously, what do you mean by not fun right away? All the fighting games to come out in the past couple years have been pretty fun from the start if you ask me.
Is Street Fighter 3 not fun?
Is Tekken 5 not fun?
Is Soul Calibur 3 not fun?
Is Marvel VS Capcom 2 not fun?
The only fighting game I can think of that’s really not very accessible is Virtual Fighter 4.
I seriously don’t know what fighting games you’re talking about here, and if you really have to ask the question of why fighting games are mostly geared towards people who already know how to play. Seriously take a look at how many North American gamers actually give a damn about 2D fighting games. There is no audience for them in the mainstream anymore, just like the 2D platformer. So companies are going to cater to the people who’re actually going to buy their games, and that’s the established ‘hardcore’ audience.
People complain that fighting games aren’t accessible because you play for the first time and get your ass kicked by someone who’s been playing them for 10 years. Well, no shit, they’ve been playing it 10 years, of course they know it better than you.
It’s the exact same situtation when it comes to FPS and RTS games, but I don’t hear anyone bitching about those genres.