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Why do traditional Fighting Games still struggle with popularity?

Gamingtodaynews1g - Why do traditional Fighting Games still struggle with popularity?
Loading... provides the clearest data. Sometimes PS4 releases are more popular, but I doubt that it is more than maybe 30%. The most popular fighting game on Steam is Tekken 7 with 3257 average players per day, closely followed by SFV, MK11 and DBFZ at round 2000. That's extremely low compared to the top games of other pvp genres on Steam. Civilization 6 is at over 37081, Dota 2 at 426037, Counter Strike at 625247, Rocket League at over 41000, etc. By the standards of those genres, all fighting games are "dead". Racing games struggle as well with F1 2020 at 9086, but that's still three times the size of Tekken 7.

Fighters had this discussion many times, however I'm under the impression that we're off the track there, maybe because most of us are already knee-deep in fighting games. First, let me dissect some flawed answers that came up frequently before:

Fighting games are too hard for most people

Some fighting games are, yes. Many of the older titles especially. However developers recognized this years ago and released multiple games with lower execution requirements over time, the most recent being GranblueVs. (here a vague ex. difficulty chart). Of course, fighting games also require knowledge about matchups and gameplay strategies, but that's the foundation of most pvp games.

It is 1v1, so you have nobody but yourself to blame for a loss

A very subjective argument. Many probably consider the lack of randomized advantages and random player teams an upside of fighting games. I doubt that this is the main reason, if at all.

Fighting games have bad online


Also only applies to some of them. Especially now in 2020, there was a huge push for better netcode. Titles like Mortal Kombat 11, Killer Instinct, Fantasy Strike, Fighting Ex Layer, Skullgirls and Power Rangers gained a lot of recognition for their excellent online netcode. Other developers jumped on the bandwagon or gave in to the flood of demand, like when Arcsystemworks changed their mind about the upcoming Guilty Gear title's online netcode system. The bar has been raised.

Poor ingame tutorials

True for some of them, especially older titles, although Tekken 7 has no tutorial at all, yet it is still the most popular. Tutorials help, but don't seem to be the critical component (probably because people find them boring).

Lack of social features

Also not the deciding factor I think. Other genres with pvp focus tend to lack that as well. Newer Arcsystemworks games use lobby hubs where players

to interact, but that doesn't seem to be a selling point either.

Maybe it is just the low amount of marketing or advertisement, so people aren't aware of fighting games and what each of them offers?

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