How to get more people playing KI

With the release of shadow lords, we can be sure season 3 is coming to an end. Since the rebirth of KI 3 years ago, Microsoft, and Iron Galaxy have been constantly working on new content (both single and multiplayer content) to keep the game alive and to get more players into the game.

Not only new content has been released, but also the game is now available on PC, which has certainly helped getting new people playing. And last but not least, KI is possibly the best game to actually learn how to play fighting games, due to the comprehensive Dojo and thanks to combo assist.

However, at a more competitive level the game appears to be struggling; at every major tournament KI always has the least amount of entrants (in some tournaments KI doesn’t even hit 100 players), losing to games like Pokken Tournament or Smash, both being WiiU exclusives, a console that has half the user base compared to the xbox one, and that’s not even considering the PC players. Price pots have also being reduced as a result. Playing ranked matches is not very different; it’s quite common to run into the same players over and over again, which ultimately makes the whole experience less than ideal.

So, the questions are quite simple, Why people are not playing KI? and what would you suggest to encourage people to try and stick to the game?.

In my opinion, I think people don’t like what they don’t understand, and with season 3, there’s possibly too much going on in the screen, maybe too much craziness with all the flipout, stagger, recapture and whatnot. The game looks more complicated than it actually is, and that possibly discourages other players to try it. Additionally, when you describe to other players in the FGC how KI works, it sounds a little bit ridiculous. For example, a friend of mine plays SFV, so to make things “simple” I started by explaining how Jago works, when I told him he hits like a truck, that he can get health back while on instinct, that he can be plus most of the time, get meter pretty much always, and all the stuff we know, the first thing he said was “WHY?!, is that game even balanced?!”. I think there’re also other reasons, but my post is too long already jaja.

So, what you guys think? Why our game is not getting the attention it deserves?

1 Like

You seem to be forgetting that those games are incredibly popular to begin with - Smash has been around since the N64 and Pokken is, well, Pokemon. Killer Instinct is relatively new to most, since it’s been gone for so long. We’re still growing, and the amount of posts on the forums here over the past few days is proof enough for me that we’re not slowing down.


I do agree that it’s hard to compete with well known, stablished IPs, but those games are not being played just because of their pedigree, both are competitive games on their own right, you may or may not like them (I personally don’t like them), but there’s some depth in their core game mechanics that cannot be denied.

Additionally, that doesn’t negates the fact that KI has been doing poorly at a competitive lvl, even other fighting games considered “niche”, such as 3rd Revelator or even koF have more presence in tournaments. You also don’t have to forget that new games are coming soon, such as Tekken 7 and Injustice 2, and IMO, they both look really good and might hurt even more the KI user base.

About the forum posts, you have to consider there’s still some activity mostly because we’ve been receiving constant patches and content, almost on a monthly basis, basically there’s something to talk about.

There may be some momentum now, but that can be easily lost if nothing is done; too many good fighting games out there…

1 Like

Yes, for the love of god, yes!
I thought I was one of the few who see that the KI competetive scene isn’t very good. Now I know the difference between “Good” and “Strong” Competetive scenes, and my god does Killer Instinct have some work to do.

Another Thing you said that i have to mention is:

“less than ideal.” is an understatement. I learn to play characters on the ranked ladder rather than the Exhibition mode because I would like to see how my progress is with the new character, ya know. How I’m stacking up against people genuinely trying. That being said, I have MANY hours in Ranked alone. At one point in Season 2 & in (Roughly) bi-weekly long bursts in the current Season 3, I am able to RECOGNIZE the player and REMEMBER their specific rhythms and habits. No god damn joke man. In Season 2 it was sooo bad!!! I could tell my friends who were sitting next to me what my opponent would do on wakeup, and be 100% accurate at time.
So as you can see, that clearly shows the small numbers on the Ranked Ladder.

Another issue is the Ranked System itself. Jeeze. But that’s for another thread, another time.

Be enthusiastic about it, talk about it, show it to people etc.

When you talk about something with a true sense of enthusiasm and passion, you can bet people will be interested when they can tell somebody genuinely likes something that much. It can be contagious.


You made a good point: “Pedigree”.

Games such Pokken, SFV, and MKX have a HUGE playerb…i mean history of FG.
Besides this, Cool games are coming throught, like KoF14 and Tekken 7 (I’ll not talking about Injustice because i consider it like a MKX clone).

I’ll take as a comparaison SFV and MKX (they have the same bad/good points atm), comparing to KI:

Good Points:
-They have a HUGE playerbase, and a big history of games behind them.
-They have big tournaments/prizepool.

Bad Points:
-Producers/Dev’s seems pretty bad on them, rerolling the same fighting style at each title.
-Netcode (I’ll not talk about it).

What’s KI makes, it’s an good and unique FG:
-Unique gameplay/combo system.
-Good playerbase happiness.
-Dev’s who reminds me Digital Extremes (Warframe), who’re both extremely aware of their players.
-Xbox/Win10 exclusive.
===> This one is both a good and a bad thing because:
1°) It enforce the anti-piracy.
2°) Others who owns (for example) a MAC or doesn’t have win10, will get forced to buy win10 OR an XboxOne to play, when the others FG got released for at least most of platforms.

Talking around isn’t enough.
But the recents failures on some recents FG helped KI to rise.

Edit: Too bad, KI is pretty old, and it isn’t really helped for being famous, but the actual state of the game helped already.
(Good playerbase, nice netcode, monthly updates/balances).
Imo, let’s give some time. Players see KI like an E.T but later, they’ll give it a try…and will never leave it^^.

IMO we should not blame ourselves all the time. We paid for game, we actively play it and enjoy, and do anything we can to support it.

Microsoft also should get up their butt and do something for promotion, they seem to not g.a.f. a lot these days.

I mean most people who bought definitive edition are people who already have bought some (or all) content, non KI people barely heard about it, that is not what it was meant for, for the sake of fack.

I still wait for the DE to get released for win10. probably a few people from the PC community will join the game then but most of the PC gaming world doesn’t even care about the windows store so don’t expect too much there.

Unfortunately i think this game has developed skullgirls syndrome. It’s a super loyal, supportive, and active community, but lol ain’t nobody got time for tournaments!

1 Like

I agree, KI is starting to look a lot like Skullgirls; great game with the best netcode and constant dev support (for now), but just a handful of people are playing it.

Fighting games with a rather niche user base can be very discouraging for new players; when you’re learning the basics and the MUs you want to face people who are in a similar position, not pro players who have been playing for a while. It’s like trying to learn Marvel 3 now, there’re quite a few people still playing the game, but I’m pretty sure I’d get wrecked over and over again jaja.

People can say what they will about SFV, but the times I’ve played the game, I’ve never ever faced a player who was way above my level. In KI, it’s not uncommon to see bronze players who just got into the game playing against Killers with pro stars, I mean WTF. All my friends in xbox live are giving KI a chance because of me and they all complain about the same thing, they get to face players above their lvl way too often.

1 Like

If a FG has been out for any real length of time, you will ALWAYS find it harder to break into the game as a new player. That’s a simple, and unavoidable, truth.

It is that very reason why I often encourage experienced players to put on a more friendly face instead of a competitive or obnoxious one - give them a warm greeting, make a new friend, and show them the ropes. In doing so you not only curb the tide a small amount, but you create a new fan who, some day, may even force you to up your game. A community that beats down the little guy ultimately will fail, I think, whereas a community that embraces the little guy with open arms will continue to flourish and pay it forward, and in the end, be far more skilled overall to boot.

1 Like

Just to chime in here. I think our KI scene will continue to grow. Period. (of course, I could be wrong, time will tell.) And, I’ll continue to enjoy the game either way. The rest may be a bit rant-y and unorganized, but … oh well! :slight_smile:

I also think people should try to limit comparing KI to games that’ve had a chance to grow a loyal offline scene. Franchises including Tekken and KoF have had the past 20 years to consistently grow an offline scene in a time when the netcode for fighting games was umm … not very good. Unless AI is your thing, u kind of had to be offline to compete and have matches with human beings. Fast forward to present day KI and … uhhh … it makes sense for KI to be like Skull Girls. They are indeed the only 2 FG franchises that weren’t around in the past 20 years (the golden age of offline, so to speak) and happen to have revolutionary netcode.

We can’t ignore this fact.

As far as KI’s online. Well, I play SFV too, and whenever I’m in their ranked, I often get the same people as well.

I definitely think microsoft should be doing more marketing, but I gotta feeling now that the single player content is out, maybe they’ll do that. The game is just starting to be a “complete” fighter with all the characters, great balance, and an incredibly robust single player mode, hence the actual disc release of the game. I’m sure getting Rash, Raam, and Arbiter in the game are also ways of getting attention to KI. MS has been doing KI merchandise stuff on twitter … hmmm … maybe they’re trying to do more for the game! :slight_smile: Time will tell.

Pokemon is huge, so of course Pokken will stand out. Same with Smash (as @GalacticGeek) said.

If someone who hasnt actually played the game does not want to play bc he’s worried about game balance, well, you’ve led them to the water, they have to decide to drink or not. I got a friend that gave it like 5 minutes and said he didn’t like combo breakers. But to be honest, this bud of mine is very stubborn. And so am I to an extent, we just like different things. It’s … ok. :slight_smile:

If KI offline numbers scare you, make sure you’re there to support your game, yourself, and maybe other KI or non-KI players will come with you. I’m in Texas, and although I’m obsessed with KI, and have started going to all of the Texas tournaments, I’m no where near where I’d like to be competitively with this game, but I’m there at the offlines, to help with the “low” numbers.

To answer the OP’s question directly. KI (and Skull Girls) are not getting the attention they deserve because they are truly new franchises in today’s FGC. And it takes time to get comparable numbers.

Look, if they brought back and remade Eternal Champions or Clayfighter, no matter how great these games were, I doubt that they could compete (numbers-wise) with SF, MK, Marvel, KOF, Smash, PK, GG. Being conservative, people have had at a minimum over a decade of consistent game releases from these franchises, which is at least 3 times the amount of time that we’ve had with the new KI. Competitive KI is doing amazing considering:

  • it’s first 2 years of rebirth existed as a digital download
  • it’s being developed at a time when multiple new games from the OG franchises were/are being released
  • til this day (9-23-16) the PC version hadn’t even been out for 6 months!
  • the PC version is on the windows store instead of Steam (which basically is the PC platform)

Despite all of this, KI had either the strongest or amongst the strongest growth numbers at EVO.

1 - just like some folks dont care for SFV, some folks dont care for KI. Plain and simple. It’s OK! :slight_smile:
2 - Please understand KI’s place/context among the entire FGC (consistently available franchises, available platform, etc)
3 - Since offline seems to be the judge, jury, executioner (although are game’s netcode is worthy enough to host online tourney’s with international players free), try to support or make up your offline tourney’s, at least in your region.
3 - Know that if you look around, there’s proof of KI’s growth and there will be more growth to come!
4 - Keep calm, play KI, and continue to speak positively about the game you want others to play!



I like your optimism and you make some valid points, but like you said, only time will if KI becomes an actual franchise that people will actively support. For the time being I’ve been doing my homework trying to get my friends into KI, I’d love to go to tournaments and spend more time in the game, but I have other responsibilities, pretty much like anyone else. Hopefully Microsoft will also do their homework and start advertising the game a little bit more. I also expect them to keep supporting the game, I’d love to get more stages, accessories and new skins for some characters. I don’t know if I want more characters (it took a while but with 3.4 the game finally looks and feels balanced), but if IG decides to do so, I hope they do it without fundamentally changing the game again, but that’s just me.

I also want to point out something that some people might not want to hear/read, KI was an xbox one exclusive for quite a while and in my opinion, that also hurt the game quite a bit, since we all know xbox has been the underdog this generation. FGs are niche by nature, most players in the FGC only play a couple of FGs and nothing else, since it takes a lot of time and effort to master such games. As a result, it is silly to ask them to buy a console just to play ONE game, since pretty much all the other FGs are being released on PS4 or PC. Finally Microsoft decided to release the game on PC, but being a Win10 exclusive discourages PC gamers (something I don’t really understand as a console gamer), so hopefully they will also release the game on Steam soon as well.

Now that I think about it, I don’t know if MS has ever revealed sale numbers for KI, I really hope the game is being profitable, because at the end of the day if the game is not profitable, why MS would want to release a sequel?

There’s no IF here - it IS already a franchise and it IS already being supported by a happily growing and active fanbase. :wink:

Is it though? Not to prod at you, but do you have actualy proof such as numbers or statistics?

The rising EVO numbers?

Can you link me the numbers and statistics?
I’m curious to know how my favorite game is growing. :grin:

Just pulled some numbers from Eventhubs. Evo 2015 had 397 players for KI, and Evo 2016 had 540.


While I’m happy to hear those numbers, I just want to remind everyone that the tournament scene doesn’t make up the entire community, much less any real significant portion of it…


SO TRUE! lol