Fighting Games - A Genre that Keeps Struggling -- vid by Curse Entertainment

Came across this on YouTube. I thought it was interesting as it addresses some of the issues the FGC has with expanding the player base. However, what made me share this is that the vid is very complimentary to Killer Instinct, even if it is mentioned briefly. So I wanted to share to show the KI community that the game is well-liked by people that aren’t usually in our circle.


I liked how they talked about KI. Wow, when I see all of those other fighters I can come back to my game and say “this is the one I still enjoy”.
I left every other fighter, looks like I can’t find them appealing. It’s not about the difficulty tho, I proved myself before I could be quite good in other fighters if I was compromised enough. But at this stage of my life I only care for how entertaining a game is to me, not just the challenge.


It was a pretty good video, although I was hoping for less of an historical review (I know the history already) and more of a recommendation for the future.


That’s a large request - basically asking a Youtube channel to solve all the problems that so many companies can’t…

Oh man, it was pretty surprised to get an email notification for this!

I’m not asking him to solve anything. But if you are going to comment on fighting games as a genre and their commercial success or lack therof it helps if you have something to say about it other than “this happened.”

That’s all he needs to say because its common sense. Harder games that involve putting in continued work and effort are going to be less popular than games that are easier that involve no work and effort. He shouldn’t have to say anything else because a game developer should be able to realize that making a game take effort means less sales and retention. The other lesson being loyal to people that didn’t have lives back then and mastered video games makes little business sense.

It reminds me how my grandmother used to brag with pride that she used to have to get water the old fashioned way: ie drawing water from a well by hand. And everyone else looked at her like she was an absolute idiot and rightfully so. It’s not something to be proud about when you can just go to a faucet and get water nowadays. It’s not relevant anymore that you had to do extra work.

How fighting game players act about fighting games is very similar to how my grandmother viewed about drawing water from a well. Like its something to be proud of when the rest of the industry is like wtf your nothing but a small fish in the pond.


…like what specifically then? I want to know because I made this video. …also, who does it ‘help’ exactly?

It helps me be interested in the video instead of feeling like I wasted my time listening to things I know.

Would you like me to script it for you? Like I said, say something about it. Should developers do it differently? Is this just the way it will always be because fighting games will always struggle?

I watched the video and made the comment five months ago.

Yeah I really like what they said about KI in that video. :slight_smile: I really hope MS sees just how much DH, IG and the people at MS working on this game did right and did well and maybe, just maybe look at putting out a sequel.

As for the rest of the video, I think fighting games, like many other genres, peaked in popularity and then declined. We can go over the particulars of why the first or second part happened, but genres come and go and some come back a little again and what not. It’s really just more or less what people are in to, what they play with their friends and what not.

Fighting games were new in the 90’s and they had big, awesome characters on the screen and it was fun to figure out how to do the moves and it was cool to see the graphics and gameplay get better and better and then we hit full market saturation and people decided that after doing a thing for a little bit or even a long while they’d try these other awesome games that people are talking about like JRPGs, music genre games or shooters or whatever.

I think it’s much more of a natural ebb and flow than some want to believe. I don’t think the genre’s stagnating because Chun Li’s face was messed up in MvCi or Capcom likes to milk its customers wallets, or because conrols are too difficult or because of FGC snobbery or whatever. Some games looked terrible in the 90’s, Capcom loved milking their customers back then and the FGC was just as snobby back then as they are now.

If you didn’t grow up playing this genre, if you and your friends grew up playing Call of Duty or League of Legends or Fortnite or Skyrim or Overwatch or whatever else is popular these days, then you’re much less inclined to care that the seventh iteration of a fighting series that started in the 90’s that you don’t really know much about just came out. Same goes with the people you game with.

It seems like people in the FGC sometimes have a tendency to look back on the glory days of the genre like we all did something wrong to ruin it or that it’s currently not as good or as big or as popular as it once was because of this issue or that issue and I really don’t think it’s that complicated. It’s not a massively popular genre because not as many people play these games as they used to. Time passed. Other stuff came along.

We can talk all we want about what can be done to fix that, whether it’s better tutorials, better netcode, an easier learning curve, more intuitive controls, etc but at the end of the day, people aren’t going to be thrilled by the same thing forever.

People aren’t thrilled by seeing big characters on the screen anymore. Graphics are amazing everywhere, in all genres. People expect to have all the moves given to them; they don’t find some thrill in figuring them out. Arcades, which really helped the genre along back in the day barely exist.

Fads grow and evolve and die out. The fighting game craze of the 90’s was never going to last at full steam as new systems brought about new technology and new abilities to create and innovate across all genres. But there are still people that enjoy playing these games and they fluctuate over time and with the release of certain games. I don’t see anything wrong with that.

But I do think that anyone waiting for that perfect fighting game that gets everything right AND somehow manages to create a new fighting game craze? I think that’s a long wait for a ship that’s not coming in. The sooner we, as genre fans, realize that and allow ourselves to be okay with that, the better off we’ll be. We can like what we like and have tournaments and buy the games we want and that’s enough. It was enough in the 90’s, it was enough after the boom fizzled and it’s enough now when fighters seem to be coming back a bit.

TL/DR: Everything’s fine. :slight_smile:

Of course, that doesn’t mean that all of these games that 5, 6, 10 games in shouldn’t continue to try and innovate and come up with more ideas to lure fans in to their ecosystems and keep them there for as long as possible.

In that vein, I am curious… If some gaming company were to make something that you’d consider the perfect fighting game to draw fans in and take the genre to a new level, how would you make it? What would you evolve? What should be there? What shouldn’t?

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Is it possible to craft a video that dismisses everything that everyone knows or are you being hypercritical? You do not need to script it for me obviously as the video exists. You surely can script one you would like to see made and then make it if you would like. I can then enjoy the fruits of your labor and better understand what you would have liked to have seen instead. If you take this opportunity, do you have a timeframe as to when we can expect it? I will be happy to check it out.

In regards to your question ‘should developers do it differently’ is there even an option to answer that question with a ‘no?’ If not, why does the question exist?

If there are options and solutions, how much extra money would a development house need from a publisher to implement it? Are there any additional development tools needed and what would they cost? A person would need to validate the changes with the marketing and sales to see if in the end the extra effort would be worth it, which goes beyond pleasing the standard fighting game fan.

I’m sorry that you asked for feedback on your video and then didn’t like the feedback that you got. But I can’t bring myself to have much sympathy for you over it. If you are this touchy then probably life as a content creator is not something you are suited for. Edit: my bad. I read “hypercritical” as “hypocritical.” So I have edited accordingly. But just as a point of clarity I didn’t tell you to “dismiss” everything people already know. I just commented that the video doesn’t offer much of anything beyond a dry reading of the history. Theirs no analysis or thoughtful consideration of why things happened the way they did and whether it could be different.

For your second paragraph - yes there is an option to say “no.” The final paragraph is more interesting than the video - maybe you could talk about those things. Or not. I don’t give a ■■■■. Make whatever videos you want. You have successfully convinced me not to watch them.

I didn’t though, I asked what you would liked to have seen instead - I never asked for a critique. Feel free and review my posts if you wish. Use the wayback machine site to verify I have not edited any of them if you would like.

Your reply is to have items in the video that you would not be aware of. You honestly expect someone who you have never met until now to know what you know in your head and create something that reveals your personal ignorance. You then expected a Youtube video to have solutions for the genre that multiple companies employing hundreds of people each couldn’t come up with.

If I entered an analysis on why things were done the way they were, I’d risk losing the audience due to doubling if not tripling the length of the presentation. The analysis could be the basis of your own video on its own and I encourage you to link it when you feel it is ready.

I’m curious what your response would be if someone actually said ‘no’ to that question ‘should developers do it differently?’

I am not sure why you are getting so defensive and hostile. You seem to be attempting to make this a personal thing for some reason.

He is getting defensive because I will admit it gets tiring seeing the same videos over and over saying pretty much the same thing every year. Fighting games dying because they don’t dumb themselves down for people that “work jobs and have a life”. I’m sorry but it does get annoying seeing that every year. Can we have one genre that doesn’t bow down to the masses that are too lazy to put in effort in games?

FGC of course are going to be rude and defensive when every year videos comes out saying the same thing. Fighting games are dying cuz casuals ain’t being appeased. We all know deep down what the solution to the problem is. The question is are we willing to sacrifice the blood, sweat, and tears as the fps communities had too decades past? I remember how the Quake and UT communities just fell apart when easier shooters came along.

Interesting topic on its own - clearly that isn’t universal. Sure, Quake Champions and Lawbreakers are/were tough, and surely easier ones flourish, yet Counter Strike was/is still popular.

Is it tiring because companies are unable/refuse to innovate resulting in videos like this being made? If so, at least we’ve discovered misdirected hostility.

It’s tiring because casuals shouldn’t have to be catered to in the first place to make sales. Casuals should accept the fact that before you win in games you should have to work and earn the privilege to win. It’s not the companies not able to innovate is the problem. The problem is that “innovate” is a more nicer way of saying streamline so people too lazy to put work into games can play and videos like yours encourage that.

And we the fgc don’t want to see fighting games become like shooters where they sold out to people who think that working a job means that they don’t have to put effort into anything else.

At least that’s what the fgc people would like to say if they actually had the balls to say it. They know expressing this kind of opinion would likely not be very popular.

No, if anything, the video encourages changes that would assist hooking the player into getting better. Make it desirable and rewarding earlier to want to work at it.

I didn’t think I’d be back here. But this is an interesting, common lament in the FGC that I think I has no merit - both from the point of view of sales and from the point of view that catering to “casuals” makes games “easier.”

  1. People have to want to buy games in order for those games to be successful. That’s always been true and it will never NOT be true. “Casuals” outnumber hardcore competitive fighting game players by about a million to one. Saying they shouldn’t have to cater to casuals to make money is like saying you should be able to market your product only to left handed men under five feet tall named Fred and make money.

  2. I don’t really know what you mean by “easier.” Typically this is associated with the FGC’s fixation that a game should have very difficult execution, and very mysterious/opaque systems. Thus requiring “insider” knowledge to perform well. This typically allows mediocre players to lay waste to newcomers and pretend that they are “competitive,” but it’s actuallt a huge detriment to making a game and it’s community more competitive. Many of the most popular games in the world are hugely competitive but incredibly simple. Think Goh, or Chess. You can teach 7 year olds to play these games in 30 minutes or less and they know literally all of the rules and can make all of the moves. But these games are not “easy” or “dumbed down” or “catering to scrubs.” No one wins at chess at random despite a low execution barrier. No one claims Chess caters to casuals and should have more mysterious subsystems.

The model of a truly competitive game (the competitive ideal) would be one that attracts the largest possible audience, gives the highest percentage of that audience as possible access to all of the available tools for the game, but still rewards dedication to improvement and experience so that the results reliably differentiate experienced players from inexperienced ones. Unnecessarily difficult execution sacrifices two of those things in order to provide an illusion that the third is being satisfied.

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■■■■ Andy, you’re at it again :joy:

Seriously though I wholeheartedly agree with your sentiment here. If I had to reference an exact moment of the damaging thought-process of “catering to the casual”, I’d pick our very own Combo Assist. One of the arguments that resulted from its implementation was that it would be damaging towards casual players, as it promoted not learning the functionality of the game. Though, from experience (which may very well not be a valid argument), I’ve noticed that more casual players are inclined to learn the mechanics when given a proper platform. This being what they are limited to do under the CAM versus what they see seasoned players do, naturally sparking some interest. Thus, leading them here to our website ready to embrace discussion of characters, mechanics, tips, etc.

This is why games like Blazblue are devoid of your average casual players and instead riddled with the elite fan of hardcore mechanics… and anime.

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