Fighting Games Symposium 2013

With a silver tongue and an iron fist, fighting game luminaries share their thoughts on the current state of the genre and where it's heading.

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The fighting game symposium is back with a brand new lineup of developers, fans, sponsors, and tournament organizers all chiming in on some of the big issues facing the genre today. As always, I would like to extend a sincere 'Thank you!' to all ten respondents for their insights and feedback.

Ken Lobb, Creative Director, Microsoft Studios

Why do people enjoy fighting games?

I believe fighting games, when balanced well, offer possibly the purest form of competitive play.

They tend to be focused around relatively simple rule sets, and when balanced well, offer near endless opportunities for strategic variety. If you are a fighting game fan, there is not much better than getting a new fighting game, getting together with your fighting game friends, and learning via "winner stays." One thing that always impressed me with Street Fighter II when it was new, was how many people would say that they were the best player from their arcade, neighborhood, some competition, etc. And yet, they could find someone who was way better than they were, and that person could find someone way better, and so on.

The best analogy I can think of is the Elo rating system, and chess. Unless you are literally the best player, there is always someone better than you, and there are always many people who are playing at your level. And I grew up playing SF2 at Sunnyvale Golfland, where many of the best were playing.

How have fighting game mechanics grown in the past 20 years, and what impact have longer, deadlier combos and memorization had on their design?

In speaking of mechanics, there's what's been added and there's what's been refined, and both are equally important. I'd like to believe we added a few things to the lexicon with Killer Instinct: top (overhead) attacks, combo breakers, ultra combos, auto doubles, etc., and we refined and borrowed a lot from those that came before: super meters, input conventions, etc. This is what has been going on with fighting games pretty consistently over the years. Build, add, refine, tweak, and play, play, play!

"Longer, more damaging combos are in my opinion a problem for any fighting game that doesn't allow players a way out of them."

Longer, more damaging combos are in my opinion a problem for any fighting game that doesn't allow players a way out of them. I am not sure about all of you, but for me, once a combo reaches over 8 hits and all I can do is watch myself get pummeled…I feel like I have been taken out of the action; 'oh, great, here comes that exact same 21-hit combo, again!' If I can see, and know exactly what you are going to do in a fight, I should be able to react, break it, counter it--something!

That was the point of combo breakers in KI--to allow longer combos and keep the game engaging for both attacker and defender--and we continue to refine that for the new KI. When do you break? Are they going to bait me with an auto and bluff? How do I fish a lockout out of them? Do I risk going to max knockdown value to cash in all my potential damage, or end it early? I believe that everyone loves long combos and doing a lot of damage, but when you are on the receiving end of that, you should be able to read, react, counter, or combo break. There should always be options.

Where do you see the fighting genre heading in the next five years, and do you agree with that trajectory? If not, where would you like to see the genre go instead?

I see it continuing to be refined and improved. I love the genre and I hope it goes forever. I hope that KI can once again introduce a few things that other designers will refine and react to. I want the genre to reward variety in technique. No player should be able to learn one long, high damage combo, and win. I want the genre to reward innovation, through unique character design, cool new fight styles, new mods. I want it to continue to improve online play. Look forward to what KI is doing online--with our use of the forward matching capability, winner stays should mean that the winner’s next fight starts up in a few seconds. There are a lot of ways that the genre can continue to grow, and all I really hope for to be honest is that the genre can remain relevant. I really do love fighting games!

What impact will the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have on future fighting games, and what needs to happen in order for fighting games to succeed on mobile and tablet?

For Xbox One, online will continue to play a huge role. Again, we haven’t announced much here yet, but you should expect us to do the stuff you want from online fighting games. Of course, the addition of Twitch (Ustream for Sony), and other ways of seeing how the great players win is a huge benefit that I am looking forward to seeing the impact from. 'Stay tuned' is the best answer I can make here today.

How would you compare the experience of playing a fighting game online versus locally, and what do these games need in order to improve their online modes?

Online is a sync problem, and a physics problem. We are opening up the [connectivity] limitations for Xbox One pretty dramatically, and latency has been improved for the controller, and for Live. I expect that we will feel one step closer to that dream of “feels just like it used to at Golfland!” For in-room multiplayer, we have a lot of cool stuff for free from the platform. One of my subtle favorites is controller mapping tied to profile, linked to identity. In other words: when I pick up a stick, I play on the outside 6 buttons (I know, old guy) but I only have to set that up once.

For controller players this is even more important, as some like fierce attacks on the bumpers (SNES style) or on the RT/RB side, with 3 punches on LB and 3 kicks on LT. Anyway, point is set it up once, have everyone sign in, and when you pass the controller around playing multiplayer the configuration is always perfect. We also care deeply about the fighting game community. I want KI to be perfect for friends getting together to play tournaments, from casual to more structured. This means a lot of things that we haven’t talked about yet. But please expect to be impressed at launch. For in-room, online, or a combination of the two.

What will it take for fighting games to reach the runaway popularity enjoyed by StarCraft II, League of Legends, and Call of Duty--and is this something fighting games need to strive towards?

I believe that there were far more players in the SNES/Genesis early fighting game times. I know that there are millions of players in this genre, but many have lapsed. They say that the games are too hard to learn, or that they always lose online, or that they don’t want to pay $60 for a game where they will only use one or two characters. We are trying to address this with KI. I really want everyone with an Xbox One to try KI. It’s super fun. Easy to learn if you are familiar with the genre; and super deep if you want to dig in. By giving Jago away, and letting those players play against anyone, I hope that we can welcome more players back into the community. They can learn by playing, by watching Twitch, by looking at the Upload GameDVR clips. And of course, through getting together with friends for a few rounds of 'winner stays.'

I look forward to you playing more, to playing online with all of you, and it really is great to be helping on a fighting game once again!

"There are a lot of ways that the genre can continue to grow, and all I really hope for is that the genre can remain relevant. I really do love fighting games!"

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Toshimichi Mori, Producer, Arc System Works

Why do people enjoy fighting games?

There’s probably a myriad of answers to that question, but the number one reason must be how fun it is to win. Winning as a result of predicting your opponent’s next moves brings the ultimate sense of satisfaction. Sure, you’d be required to practice your moves in order to win, but because of all the effort you would put into polishing your fighting game prowess, winning would be that much more fulfilling. I think the fact you can simulate fighting in battle through fighting games is also part of the fun.

How have fighting game mechanics grown in the past 20 years, and what impact have longer, deadlier combos and memorization had on their design?

To be honest, I don’t feel that the fighting mechanics have grown all that much over the years. For example, character controls haven’t been improved significantly since Street Fighter. Nonetheless, I’m afraid doing something slightly different with it would not be well received anyway. Just like driving a car, a sudden change in the control method would only throw off the players and for that reason, I suspect the fighting mechanics will not change much in the future either. That said, because people constantly seek excitement and improvement in things in general, I think combos will grow even more complicated. No matter how complicated things may get, the fans would get used to them fairly quickly, which must have played a part in making the techniques and combos more challenging over the past years, and increasing the number of gauges you see on the screen.

Where do you see the fighting genre heading in the next five years, and do you agree with that trajectory? If not, where would you like to see the genre go instead?

It might not change much over the next five years, but like I said earlier I think it will try and incorporate more excitement, which I think will bring more complexity to it. I personally would not want to see the mechanics and gauges getting more complicated as a result of that, but as long as the fans continue seeking more excitement, I’m afraid it can’t be avoided. Take BlazBlue for instance, "Drives" are one of the great examples; there are powerful “Drives”, but there are even more exciting upgraded drives called "Overdrives." One other thing I foresee happening is more uniqueness in the characters themselves.

What impact will the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have on future fighting games, and what needs to happen in order for fighting games to succeed on mobile and tablet?

I expect the network and cloud features available in Xbox One and PlayStation 4 would make a newer form of worldwide battle a possibility. Of course, the infrastructure in each country will need to be enhanced, but I can see fighting games increasingly becoming a type of communication tool in the future. As for compatibility between fighting games and mobile and tablet devices, I feel they are not the most suitable devices for fighting games as one’s intuition plays the most important role in the genre.

By mobile or tablet devices, I mean touch-screen style devices here. Such devices would pose several problems for fighting games to work on them; for instance the current interface would make complex button inputs extremely difficult and a player's hand covering part of the screen can easily hide the characters on screen, making them visually inaccessible from the player at times, due to which reasons they may not be the most suitable devices for fighting games in general. Of course, there is a way to control those devices using arcade controllers through USB, but that would defeat the purpose of using tablet devices in the first place. In order for fighting games to work well on tablet devices, I think building the appropriate user interface would be a must.

How would you compare the experience of playing a fighting game online versus locally, and what do these games need in order to improve their online modes?

"A sudden change in the control method would only throw off players, and for that reason I suspect fighting mechanics will not change much in the future."

While playing a fighting game online is a type of communication tool that allows you to connect with others most of the time, playing locally is a tool for training yourself. I feel it’s easier to express your identity online. In order to improve their online modes, first and foremost, the infrastructure will need to be improved; I’m sure it would make it a lot easier to play fighting games online if network speed improves. There are lots of ideas I’ve wanted to try for online play, so I’d very much like to start putting them into motion. Please look forward to our announcements in the future.

What will it take for fighting games to reach the runaway popularity enjoyed by StarCraft II, League of Legends, and Call of Duty--and is this something fighting games need to strive towards?

Take StarCraft II for example, I think its popularity is attributed to the fact it works well with the current network environment. For instance, how long does it take for the button inputs to get the characters to move as intended is the most crucial aspect in fighting games and the current network environment is not the most ideal for that particular purpose. If the network speed improves to be several times faster in the future as a result of the advanced infrastructure, it would allow more and more players to engage in battles, stress-free. I have no doubt that the advancement in network capabilities will help fighting games in general to evolve further, but I still feel that opportunities for players to fight against one another in person, such as tournaments, will need to be sustained. Take the World Cup, or the Olympics, for example; players from all over the world gather in one place to compete with each other. Just as with those, I’d like to continue pursuing the “live” aspect of it.

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Mark Julio, Community Manager, Mad Catz

Why do people enjoy fighting games?

Virtual violence just puts you into a comfort zone. There’s no right or wrong answer, really. Some people enjoy the competition. Some people love the knowledge attained through hard work and grinding. Some enjoy the drama and the rivalries. Others take a more traditional approach and just want to be the best at what they do. It’s human nature, people love to win.

How have fighting game mechanics grown in the past 20 years, and what impact have longer, deadlier combos and memorization had on their design?

I've always thought that the base mechanics for any fighting game have been just the bare minimum. An entryway, if you will. The competitive gaming community has always been the one to push the boundaries and create something that the developers never had in mind. Whether through manipulation of the core systems or using glitches, fighting game scientists break down these games and create new ‘technology’ that helps make or break the game into [something new].

Where do you see the fighting genre heading in the next five years, and do you agree with that trajectory? If not, where would you like to see the genre go instead?

One of the things that we've already started seeing from game developers is a way to monetize different aspects of the fighting game. Whether it’s through gems, outfits, modes, or characters--[developers] have all started to recognize that additional content can help the longevity of their game between both the casual and hardcore gamer. We’ve even started seeing the free-to-play model implemented with games like Tekken Revolution and the upcoming Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate.

It’s going to be very interesting to see how players embrace this, and whether or not it is a viable model moving forward. Regardless of the outcome, it’s good to see that the companies making the games are thinking of adapting to the times and trying new things to help reach a broader audience. Why do I care about this? I really want to see fighting games grow in all aspects--namely competitively and install base wise.

What impact will the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have on future fighting games, and what needs to happen in order for fighting games to succeed on mobile and tablet?

It’s that time again: the passing of the torch from one set of consoles to the next, and while I think that the current gen has many more years of great fighting gaming life left, it’s undeniable that the shift has already begun. If next gen titles like Killer Instict, Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN- are any indication of hype and excitement I can only imagine what kind of joy the new iterations of our favorite Namco, NetherRealm and Capcom fighting game titles will bring!

From the Mad Catz hardware and accessory side, I’d have to say it’s an exciting time. We’re definitely focused on fighting games still and with our recent announcement of the Tournament Edition 2 FightStick for Xbox One, you’ll see that we’re not taking next gen lightly. We are here to support and play!

How would you compare the experience of playing a fighting game online versus locally, and what do these games need in order to improve their online modes?

I think it’s getting better now. Games like Persona 4 Arena and Tekken Tag Tournament 2 have amazing net code and the overall online experience has been improving drastically for both casual and hardcore fans.

What will it take for fighting games to reach the runaway popularity enjoyed by StarCraft II, League of Legends, and Call of Duty--and is this something fighting games need to strive towards?

I really think more direct support from publishers, developers and first parties are necessary for that growth. If you look at League of Legends, StarCraft 2, and Dota 2 one key factor in all of their successes is the fact that the developers and publishers are so involved with the competitive aspect, and in some cases making it drive content and increasing its overall visibility to veterans and new fans.

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Alex Jebailey, Founder and Tournament Organizer, Community Effort Orlando

Why do people enjoy fighting games?

Human interaction is a powerful drug. The competition, the fun, and networking among peers with a similar hobby for the love of the game is what has created such an amazing community of fighting game fans. Like most people that are from the earlier generation of fighting games, we don’t have the time to play single-player RPG experiences or action games, and the beauty of a fighting game is you can have fun for a handful of matches or keep on playing to your heart’s content. With the age of online being a huge factor now, it’s great to come home after a long day and play a couple matches online then call it a day on a personal level, but nothing will ever beat the feeling of playing live with friends with some smack talk and straight up fun.

How have fighting game mechanics grown in the past 20 years, and what impact have longer, deadlier combos and memorization had on their design?

This is a very tricky question because I feel fighting games are bigger than ever, with the majority of them returning back to the basics that made us all fall in love with them in the first place. The success of Street Fighter 4 created another great generation of fighting games by making them fun and easy to play but also difficult to master. I do love the depth of single player modes such as story mode in MK and Injustice making it also a great experience for those that care about character development and story. Seems every new game adds something new into the mix and I hope that trend continues.

Personally speaking, I was never very good at Marvel games because of the long, drawn out combos and prefer a game like SF4 where once you master down a few combos you’re set and then you take it from there in terms of punishing and movement. A new game such as Divekick proves that you can strip away all the fancy combos and still create a great fighting game experience with an easy entry level, so there is room for advance fighters and basic fighters so to speak because variety is great and people will always play the kind of game they enjoy the most. I just feel the continued success of games like Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, or Tekken are because players are still very familiar with the characters themselves. In comparison to other genres, I do feel fighting games are really striving with new things unlike FPS games that just end up having more things happening on screen at once.

Where do you see the fighting genre heading in the next five years, and do you agree with that trajectory? If not, where would you like to see the genre go instead?

It seems a lot of games are trying out the free-to-play approach, and while I’m not a huge fan of the idea for fighting games, it doesn't hurt to try and mimic the success of such games as League of Legends and let the consumers decide the future of fighting games and how they should be played. Obviously, fighting games are still a very profitable genre with over 10+ fighting games alone that have come out within the last 2 years. It’s also great to see a historic franchise like Killer Instinct kick things off on launch day with the next generation of consoles and I hope we don’t have to wait too long until we see a plethora of fighters on next-gen.

What impact will the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have on future fighting games, and what needs to happen in order for fighting games to succeed on mobile and tablet?

The same impact every new console generation has, and I don’t see anything happening differently moving into the next generation other than having to sort of start over with arcade sticks to enjoy that full-on arcade feeling. Fortunately, Mad Catz is already established as the premiere fighting game accessory maker so it won’t be too long before we’re playing fighting games again the way we were always intended to play them at home. As an organizer, I feel PS4 is doing everything right to be a dedicated console with ease of use and unless the Xbox One takes away the Kinect-always-connected requirement, it’ll be a hard sell to host major events on Xbox One.

I’m a huge fan of gaming on iOS devices and mobile, but in recent years the quality of games have been more or less ports of great console counterparts, but I don’t see fighting games ever being seriously played on mobile devices. Touch screen interface is just not very intuitive playing fighters without a tactile feeling so I really don’t see at least for another decade or so fighting games ever dominating a non-dedicated PC or console as the system of choice.

How would you compare the experience of playing a fighting game online versus locally, and what do these games need in order to improve their online modes?

"We don’t need to strive towards anything other than being welcoming to new players and fans that enjoy the characters from fighting games we've all grown up loving."

Online play has definitely advanced well over the past few years, but there’s still no better feeling than learning something playing with others locally as it is very tough to level up just by watching matches via YouTube, online, and staying at home practicing. It’s not until players travel to events and tournaments that they really get to learn and level up in their respective games. Some people do not have the luxury of being able to travel though, but finding people to play with online and help you step up your game is easier than ever with social media outreach, so both will always be beneficial to the fighting game experience.

What will it take for fighting games to reach the runaway popularity enjoyed by StarCraft II, League of Legends, and Call of Duty--and is this something fighting games need to strive towards?

I’m pretty sure fighting games are popular on their own. Look at Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat: still extremely popular franchises that influence pop culture all the time. While it seems PC gaming will always have a bigger draw for events, fighting games have such an amazing community on their own that’s still growing, we don’t need to strive towards anything other than being welcoming to new players and fans that enjoy the characters from fighting games we've all grown up loving. It’s also great thanks to social media a lot of the companies behind the games have become much more interactive with their respective communities, and when you have great support like that it’ll only help everything get bigger.

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A lot has happened since we last checked-in with MANE6. Their previous game, Fighting is Magic, was hit with a cease-and-desist order from Hasbro. The team started over on a new project with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic developer and writer Lauren Faust, and they acquired use of Skullgirls' Z-Engine to build their new game. Crazy times, indeed.

Omari "Nappy" Smith, Developer, MANE6

Why do people enjoy fighting games?

I’m not sure I can speak for everyone, but what I personally enjoy about fighting games is the sense of control, intensity, and very real progression of skill. The one-on-one or two-on-two aspect of fighting games make for a very direct and personal form of competition that is highly appealing to anyone with even a mildly competitive nature and willingness to learn. There are oceans of depth waiting for players to dive into with each new release, and the personal progression is tangible to a level that you can almost taste.

When learning a fighting game, there are little goals a player can set for themselves. The first few steps would involve learning how to move and do basic attacks, then moving on to specials and any unique systems/techniques in the game. The rest of the steps would transcend simply learning the game itself and would involve learning how the opponent will play this game to beat you. Each of theses steps build upon each other, and you can really feel these improvements as you finally manage to take off a few rounds (or even bits of health) from that one guy you believed was completely untouchable.

Apart from just playing the game and learning the techniques behind it on your own, the ever-growing community surrounding it is really what helps keep things exciting and the competition fresh. There is a level of camaraderie among these players that simultaneously drives them to constantly one-up each other in competition with surprising new techniques but also train with those very opponents, teaching them how to defeat these techniques. This help-me-help-you mentality actually comes as a surprise to many new players, who are usually more prone to dismiss or disconnect, where all it would really take to embark on this journey is a simple question to whoever just beat you: “How?”

How have fighting game mechanics grown in the past 20 years, and what impact have longer, deadlier combos and memorization had on their design?

"The trend towards longer, deadlier combos has led to explorations of systems to limit these combos while still rewarding creativity."

Thanks to the wonder of the internet and an increasingly competitive scene, fighting games get ‘figured out’ at an alarming rate, and this constant arms race of tactics and overall broken stuff has pushed for certain mechanics to be refined/re-imagined over time. Even the most broken of the newer games tend to be a bit more balanced and actually well thought-out compared to their older counterparts (and if they are not, they are able to be fixed a lot quicker than in the past), due to a more active and connected playerbase.

The trend towards longer, deadlier combos has led to explorations of systems to limit these combos while still rewarding creativity. Combos have gotten flashier over time, but that sweet spot of flashiness and actual length is a battle developers will be fighting for a long while yet. Players have a wide range of tastes in terms of combo length and difficulty, and to stand out, developers can push towards certain extremes if they want.

Where do you see the fighting genre heading in the next five years, and do you agree with that trajectory? If not, where would you like to see the genre go instead?

In the next five years, I see fighting games finally picking up better netcode, and having gradually lower levels of entry. A sweet spot of character roster size is also being honed in on. I completely agree with the trajectory, especially with the sheer amount of fighters coming out nowadays. The genre is niche enough as is, and with so much competition, having many difficult fighters with massive casts just stretches all the scenes very thin as players literally cannot devote as much time getting into so many fighters. Having fighters with more compact casts, and this emerging trend of free-to-play games with great netcode will allow more players to get into these games with lowered execution and match-up barriers--and a lower price!

What impact will the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have on future fighting games, and what needs to happen in order for fighting games to succeed on mobile and tablet?

Until recently, I was not sure what Microsoft would have been able to do with the Killer Instinct guys to get around the online check-up thing on Xbox One. I simply could not imagine the Xbox One to have a favorable launch for fighting games. The PlayStation 4 seems to be more of the same. They greet developers and players with wide open arms, and with the growing indie market, more experiments within the genre are sure to follow.

"In the end, nothing will ever replace the joys of local gaming, where execution is perfect, everyone can share their pizza and banter, and routers failing will do nothing to the fun times."

I’m unfortunately very unaware of mobile and tablet gaming as I've never been able to afford the devices. I’d imagine devices with touchscreens would be perpetually difficult to do fighters on, as even the simplest fighter’s controls would still require a certain level of finesse or re-imagining to get around. Mobile devices with gamepads, however are perfectly fine. Just make the game fun, ignore touch screen gimmicks, and make online friend lists easy to manage. Ideally, the mobile fighter is something completely original that builds its own identity and isn't just a severely downgraded port of an older console game.

How would you compare the experience of playing a fighting game online versus locally, and what do these games need in order to improve their online modes?

The experience of playing online vs. locally grows more massive the deeper you are in the tournament scene. Currently most fighters use a style of netcode that causes inputs and [performance] to lag in horrible ways that hinder players who are becoming more and more frame perfect. There is a very particular style of netcode that’s finally starting to gain traction (GGPO) that all but removes these hurdles, bringing online and local play more in line with each other. In the end, nothing will ever replace the joys of local gaming, where execution is perfect, everyone can share their pizza and banter, and routers failing will do nothing to the fun times.

What will it take for fighting games to reach the runaway popularity enjoyed by StarCraft II, League of Legends, and Call of Duty--and is this something fighting games need to strive towards?

This genre is built off of such levels of direct (and very, very quick) one-on-one competition that I can’t see it ever reaching such a wide appeal. Starcraft is a huge, intricate mind game with several years of refinement and highly involved matches with great commentary; League of Legends is a heavily involved team building (and destroying) experience; and Call of Duty is gun porn taken to the extreme, where many players can enjoy it at once and everything kills with ease.

Fighting games have a consistently small player count (even with certain games trying a two-on-two or three-on-three approach) compared to all of the above. Getting groups of players together to play (and wait) in line for this kind of game has always been tough, and making the waiting game more fun--or eliminating the waiting game entirely--is something developers are starting to look into. As for whether fighting games should aim to be the next CoD, I wouldn't know where to even begin and honestly feel it’s fine for fighting games to remain its own thing. For those who get into the genre, the games are already touching on interesting things to make the waiting game more involved such as the king of the hill mode in the latest Mortal Kombat that allowed players to interact with the fighters and each other with emotes, signs, and even tomatoes!

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Tomoaki Ayano, Street Fighter Series Producer, Capcom

Why do people enjoy fighting games?

When compared to other types of games, fighting games have more to do with raising the individual skill level of players and the competition, rather than focusing on leveling up your characters or acquiring stronger items and weapons. In order for players to really improve at these games, they need to put in a certain amount of time and practice. This dedication and practice leads to improved results against other players. The more players practice, the more they are able to challenge and defeat not only their friends, but online users as well. Seeing improvement and overcoming strong opponents gives players a real sense of accomplishment--and I think this is one of the best feelings you can get from games!

Also, more advanced players who participate in tournaments not only have to practice long and hard, but they also need to take care of their health for those grueling brackets. Sometimes players need a little luck to win as well. The amount of emotion that is generated from those heated battles is incredible, and it spreads from the players to the fans watching too. In this way, fighting games can be enjoyed much like sports--they are both fun to play and watch!

How have fighting game mechanics grown in the past 20 years, and what impact have longer, deadlier combos and memorization had on their design?

The explosive popularity of Street Fighter II was really the catalyst for the entire fighting game genre as we know it. While the genre has evolved over time, I believe it was important for each new title to somehow differentiate itself from what Street Fighter was. This goes for Capcom titles, as well as titles from other companies. Longer and more exhilarating combos, as well as more difficult and powerful special moves, were all ideas that spawned from that evolution. In order for the genre to truly develop and broaden to the next level of popularity, all of these mechanisms were necessary. Each game creator develops their titles while keeping in mind the end user experience. Street Fighter design has always been based on the pillars of complex mind games and key battle moments, and I believe this will never change.

Where do you see the fighting genre heading in the next five years, and do you agree with that trajectory? If not, where would you like to see the genre go instead?

How the genre will evolve and grow in the next five years is a huge, important topic of discussion. Just by looking at this year’s E3, you can already see proof that different developers are starting to experiment with other business models, such as free-to-play. Free-to-play will certainly be an important scheme moving forward, and has the potential to bring in a great deal of new players. A larger player base will increase the total number of high level and professional players as well, and players and spectators alike will be able to enjoy even more compelling tournaments and matches. I want even more players to experience and enjoy fighting games, so I agree with this general direction. There is a lot of untapped potential in the market that we have yet to discover.

What impact will the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have on future fighting games, and what needs to happen in order for fighting games to succeed on mobile and tablet?

With next-generation consoles, players will be able to experience a level of graphical quality which has never been seen before. The PlayStation 4 in particular, with its share button feature, is the perfect match for fighting games, I believe. Being able to easily share your match videos with friends or trade matches of famous players is something that really benefits the genre as a whole.

With regards to mobile and tablet devices, touch functionality is obviously the main component of any gameplay. When developing for these platforms, there needs to be a solution to deal with control issues. It’s not possible to input difficult commands using only touch, and the more players touch the screen, the more difficult it is to control what is actually going on as there is a lack of precision with each input. However, we definitely need to take advantage of these devices that can be enjoyed anytime, anywhere and by anyone. It is up to each game creator to navigate these challenges and take chances in order to be successful.

How would you compare the experience of playing a fighting game online versus locally, and what do these games need in order to improve their online modes?

"Free-to-play will certainly be an important scheme moving forward, and has the potential to bring in a great deal of new players."

Japan still possesses a robust arcade scene where players can get together for local games. Many Japanese users share the sentiment that “while online play is a good thing, offline play is still better.” The reason for this is that people are able to see each other’s faces and truly meet locally. However, this isn’t something that can just be solved by adding webcam features to online games. The arcade is a place where direct communication takes place between people and where bonds are deepened through the interactions during the battles.

Players go from being mere acquaintances, to becoming the best of friends. It may seem like I’m making this up, but I actually met some of my closest friends at the arcades. I want online play to try to replicate this same arcade environment as much as possible. Making friends through games and competition is a wonderful thing. Fighting games have their roots in the arcade scene, which makes all of this possible.

What will it take for fighting games to reach the runaway popularity enjoyed by StarCraft II, League of Legends, and Call of Duty--and is this something fighting games need to strive towards?

Those titles have much in common with fighting games. They can be enjoyed as eSports viewing experiences, and have extremely active player communities. It’s very easy to go watch their content at anytime and anyplace. So, I believe that fighting games have the potential to achieve the same level of success. Bringing the offline arcade experience into the online realm is one key to accomplishing this, in my mind.

++

In addition to his work at Microsoft, James Goddard has also worked for Capcom as apprentice designer and balance adviser on Street Fighter II Championship Edition (coin-op) and co-lead and master balancer for Street Fighter II Hyper Fighting (coin-op). He also created the weapons-based, Super Nintendo fighting game WeaponLord.

James "DJAMES" Goddard, Senior Designer and Combat Adviser, Microsoft Studios

Why do people enjoy fighting games?

People love competing against each other, especially in a format where the conflict is deep and your skill and knowledge gives you the edge.

The thing fighting games deliver beyond this is the personal connection to your characters and the ability to express your play style through playing them in ways that give you an in-game persona, something that lets others know who you are beyond winning or losing. When I think back to all the fighting games I've played, it's less about the games and more about the characters--like Zangief, Chun Li, Scorpion, Korr, Bane, Fulgore, Alex and countless others that instantly come to mind, the way they played--across all the versions--and two decades worth of 'war stories' I get to debate with friends on who-kicked-who’s ass! "Remember, back in October '93, when I had no health and you tried to chip me out--but I SPD'ed you through your sonic boom for the win?"

Only a fighting game can bring that level of personal connection to your character, which is why ultimately this genre is not going away despite the ups and downs over the years.

How have fighting game mechanics grown in the past 20 years, and what impact have longer, deadlier combos and memorization had on their design?

Growth has been smaller than many realize, with most of the mechanics being introduced during the rush of the early 90’s with small advances up through 1999. We are currently seeing lots of adjustments and polish, but things are really not that much different than in the predecessors and that is not a bad thing.

The thing that has grown exponentially is the community awareness of these mechanics and how they are communicated now universally with others around the globe. Players now have access online to incredible details that used to be secret, word-of-mouth tactics, like 2-in-1’s and now even important technique based 'byproducts' of the systems like option-selects, which are not an actual system, are widely known and are a critical part of the player’s arsenal.

This is the greatest area of growth in fighting games, and that is a good thing because for the longest time fighting games had depth and details well beyond their time.

With all that knowledge and passion for the systems, it has pushed some of the new games to focus harder on being technical and things again are going more towards the hardcore, especially combo systems. Players at any skill level want to be able to do cool combos; unfortunately the current trend has been to put more 1-frame links in the middle of common combos, and while that is great for the 1% who can hit them naturally and the 5% that can 'plink,' this is not fun for the broader fighting game audience, especially new players.

Where do you see the fighting genre heading in the next five years, and do you agree with that trajectory? If not, where would you like to see the genre go instead?

Fighting games are currently walking the edge between breaking it wide open to mass appeal or repeating history and narrowing our player base instead of growing it.

We as designers still need to figure out how to refine our games so they are deep but also very appealing and accessible to new players while introducing mechanics, either new or with a clever twist, that challenge players to evolve their in-game interactions and mental game.

Rather than continue down the road of making this system that much more hardcore--with way more of this or that--I would love to see more games take a step back the way Street Fighter IV did and refine the core mechanics while opening things up for the masses. We need to have great games that push competitive boundaries, but we need to do a better job of teaching new players--some who don’t even know how to block initially--and help them get comfortable and want to become 'black belts' at the games.

Thinking about this in terms of marital art belts, a true martial art instructor would never ask a white belt student to break a large stack of bricks right away. Yet in fighting games, 3-4 lessons or challenges in, players are asked to do a 10+ hit super combo that involves 1-frame links and 2-in-1’s that are very technically challenging, both mentally and control wise. Unless you are already good, this is not appealing and it sure does not promote learning.

On the upcoming Killer Instinct, this is an example of where there are plenty of easy-to-do moves and long, fun combos anyone can do right from the beginning, while keeping both sides engaged with an equally easy combo breaker system. The black belt depth is there in all systems by design, but players achieve that skill naturally, not via the 'Cobra Kai' method of beating you bloody until you are awesome!

That said, fighting games have to remain deep and focused, tournament level play has to be embraced so there is a goal to achieve for those who want level of completion and the community to see broadcasted amazing things that inspire more players to join the community like the legendary Diago 3rd Strike ultimate parry Evo moment. Seriously, how many 3rd strike players did that create alone!?

What impact will the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have on future fighting games, and what needs to happen in order for fighting games to succeed on mobile and tablet?

The next-generation consoles will bring better stability to networking and push the limits of the visual presentation which will help draw more new players in.

As for tablets and mobile, the experience of beating someone based on your skill and timing has to be translated differently than with a stick and four, or six, buttons. Divekick, while currently not appearing to be slated for mobile or tablet, could be the best example of this. It’s a whole different control scheme and rule set, yet the ability to get totally into the characters and even salty over your own performance is genius. I can’t wait to see more translations and thinking like that happen rather than struggling to make a stick and six buttons work on touch screen.

How would you compare the experience of playing a fighting game online versus locally, and what do these games need in order to improve their online modes?

Locally fighting games are at their purest--the only lag is TV lag and it’s all about you, them, and not lag-based shenanigans! Online as we know, at its best, you are still playing 0.25 seconds behind and even with roll back and other amazing tech, tactics simply work online because with lag, they are harder to read or get out of than in-person.

So to improve this, games need to factor heavily in the design of moves and strategies for offline and online play. Systems need to be built into the games to help with this beyond what GGPO and other amazing asynchronous networking tricks can do.

On WeaponLord, we did exactly this on some features knowing how it would play on XBAND. It made the game online play with minimal shenanigans that worked only online. 18 years later, networking is way better but the same challenge exists because, at 60 frames-per-second, it is pretty tough to get much room to build in slop for online without making things feel unresponsive. There are plenty of easy things that can be done on just the design side to help, such as loosening up critical timing on execution--say three frames instead of one so you don’t have to 'plink'--and leave it to the setup being the higher skill factor when online or offline. This only helps everyone.

We also have to consider designing things like better cross-up protection on wake-up, making sure the balance on things that are not meant to be powerful offline are not complete brainless nightmares online and require triple the intended skill to get out of.

The biggest thing that needs to happen is continued growth in online matchmaking and tiers, so that players can be better matched within their true skill level and new players have somewhere to play that is fun and helps them get more into the game. There will always be trolls mangling noobs that will work around these systems, but more people being able to have fun equals a win for the overall community.

In the end, I would say to really improve online play I think it is a 30 percent technical and 70 percent design challenge.

What will it take for fighting games to reach the runaway popularity enjoyed by StarCraft II, League of Legends, and Call of Duty--and is this something fighting games need to strive towards?

Something that that will really help the fighting game community grow is increasing our presence to the outside world. YouTube, social sites and tournament streaming with professional, easy-to-understand commentary has already done wonders and looks like it is still growing. Now we need to get into more professional eSport leagues and continue to make the fighting game community something that inspires all types of people to join. We have come a long way, and the FGC deserves the credit for making fighting games what they are today.

As for the industry, I think it is critical fighting games not chase CoD's popularity as the driving force, but focus on continuing to present compelling and deep quality experiences that can reach more players both old and new. Just one example of something the Call of Duty series does right is it makes anyone feel like they are good at FPSs and can kick ass, both in single or multiplayer. What’s crazy is it does not matter that the same 13-year-old kid on CoD would not even be able to kill you once in Quake III Arena; from a breakout popularity standpoint, that is what is brilliant about that genre of FPS.

Tekken 3 did exactly this with Eddy Gordo--an instant I’m-awesome-at-this-game character--and brought a whole bunch of new players to the genre.

That said, making a bunch of over-powered, noob-friendly characters is not the solution--the last thing we need is a game full of Eddy Gordo's! Call of Duty took a once insular hardcore genre that was languishing--first-person shooters--and exploded it into one of the most successful genres ever while transforming what hardcore means. Another example of that is the UFC, specifically the sport, not the game, as it took forever for it to grow the audience. But they kept at it and continued to refine its rules and presentation for over a decade until it exploded, bringing the UFC and many other longtime mixed-martial art competitions into the mainstream, somehow overshadowing pro boxing!

When fighting games figure this out, we will once again be number one.

"I think it is critical fighting games not chase CoD's popularity as the driving force, but focus on continuing to present compelling and deep quality experiences that can reach more players both old and new."

++

Adam Heart, Developer, Iron Galaxy

Why do people enjoy fighting games?

Different people enjoy different things, or sometimes the same things, for different reasons. Accepting this is the first step to a much more welcoming fighting game community, but we still seem to spend a lot of time trying to cut down other people's favorite games instead of working together.

There are many aspects to fighting games, and different tiles tend to lean more heavily toward one aspect or another. Some are fast, some are slow. Some are movement heavy, others are footsie heavy. Some have high damage, some have low damage. Some have short combos, some have long combos. Some offer meter management on time of space/life management, others do not.

I just hope that as developers continue to make fighting games that they continue to release a very diverse selection of titles, instead of trying to make everything like the most popular game of the current time period.

Personally, I like very movement-heavy games with high damage and short combos. My favorite fighting games are World Heroes Perfect, Super Street Fighter II Turbo, and Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.

How have fighting game mechanics grown in the past 20 years, and what impact have longer, deadlier combos and memorization had on their design?

I don't think mechanics have grown much, if at all, in the last 15 years. The last real innovation in the genre, arguably, was Smash Bros. for N64. A lot of games that we overlook do try new things, to varying degrees of success, but the fact that they go largely ignored means we never see those ideas evolve. The FGC tends to reject anything really different, which is too bad.

Where do you see the fighting genre heading in the next five years, and do you agree with that trajectory? If not, where would you like to see the genre go instead?

Loaded question. Forcing the genre to go one direction is a bad idea. I hope it continues to go in many directions, so that many types of players can continue to enjoy fighting games. I hope more entry level software appears to help show people why we love fighting games so much.

What impact will the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have on future fighting games, and what needs to happen in order for fighting games to succeed on mobile and tablet?

I have no idea here. I just hope the new console generation is tournament friendly. As for mobile, fighting isn't a genre I want to enjoy on mobile, personally, so I have very little to say on the topic.

How would you compare the experience of playing a fighting game online versus locally, and what do these games need in order to improve their online modes?

Local is so much more fun. UI flow between matches is much shorter, interactions with your opponent are invaluable, etc. Online is so impersonal, and while fun when the netcode is good and great for training, it hurts the social aspect of play in most cases. To improve online play, better netcode is needed. On top of that, things need to be made more social somehow. I'm not sure how, though.

What will it take for fighting games to reach the runaway popularity enjoyed by StarCraft II, League of Legends, and Call of Duty--and is this something fighting games need to strive towards?

Do we actually want this? My goal as a fighting game player and developer is to have a great time competing with other fighters. My goal has never been "to reach the runaway popularity of" some other game. Let's just do what we do and be confident about why it is cool, instead of trying to be something else.

++

Yatagarasu is an independently-developed fighting game from a three-person team of SNK (The King of Fighters) veterans. The game is available now digitally through the UK site Rice Digital, but the development team has an expanded, and fully-localized, version in the works on indiegogo.

Umezono, Developer, Yatagarasu Attack on Cataclysm

Why do people enjoy fighting games?

I think that people enjoy fighting games for several reasons. First, the rules are easy to understand, the fundamental one being: The player who beats their opponent’s life bar to zero is the winner. Anyone can understand that, and it also happens to be well-suited to streaming. Second, the time required for matches is relatively short. You can jump in and play a match in a small amount of time, but the content of the play itself is quite dense.

Third, you can easily feel yourself improving. The more you play and practice, the better you get, and it’s easy to feel your own development, such as being able to pull off special moves, learning combos, etc. Fourth, there is a variety of characters to choose from, each with their own characteristics. Fighting games offer a huge amount of playable characters, and each character fights differently depending on the player using them. This way, you never know how a match will go and there are always new surprises.

And finally, the fighting game community is the most interesting point about fighting games as you get to fight and interact with other people which adds various levels of drama.

How have fighting game mechanics grown in the past 20 years, and what impact have longer, deadlier combos and memorization had on their design?

There came a point where fighting games had become laden with super technical combos and strict game mechanics. This had the effect of creating a core of really passionate players, but at the same time more casual players moved on from fighting games. Nowadays, we see a trend of casual and new players being drawn in by flashy presentation, simple combos, the use of famous voice actors, etc.

I’m not saying that one approach is better than the other. In the future we’ll probably see wonderful games that combine these two approaches.

Where do you see the fighting genre heading in the next five years, and do you agree with that trajectory? If not, where would you like to see the genre go instead?

Graphics will continue to evolve, but this means higher development costs and almost all fighting games will become 3D. I’m a fan of 2D pixel graphics, so it’s somewhat sad, but inevitable. As for the game contents, the fighting game scene has moved from the arcade to consoles, even in Japan now, and I think we’ll see new games that make use of the freedom of the constraints of arcades, such as unlimited time limits.

What impact will the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have on future fighting games, and what needs to happen in order for fighting games to succeed on mobile and tablet?

I don’t believe there’s any necessity for current fighting games to appear on the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 because beautiful graphics are not the essence of what makes fighting games fun. Also, it would be extremely costly to create games that make the most of the hardware specs. I think photo-realistic fighting games that really take advantage of the new hardware could be popular, such as boxing games using historical boxers, etc.

Really great user interface is the key to success on smartphones. Fighting games are suited to smartphones in the sense that they can be played ‘lightly’ and ‘easily’, but it’s difficult to carry out complex control operations on smartphones. I think the key there is how to support controlling the games on the software side.

How would you compare the experience of playing a fighting game online versus locally, and what do these games need in order to improve their online modes?

I don’t believe there’s any necessity for current fighting games to appear on the Xbox One or PlayStation 4 because beautiful graphics are not the essence of what makes fighting games fun.

Japan’s network infrastructure is extremely good, and online and offline play compare favorably for some games. But then other games are easily affected by lag, and in these cases it throws off the game balancing. This can’t be helped, so rather than trying to improve online modes, it’s important to design the game with online matches in mind. For example:

Don’t use systems that require strict timing for special moves and combos. Don’t use vague motions that depend on visual confirmation. Don't have 15-frame mid-level attacks. They can just about be guarded in offline play, but not online. Do have 10-frame mid-level attacks. They can’t be blocked on sight, either online or offline. 30-frame mid-level attacks are okay as well as they can be guarded on sight either online or offline. This applies not only to attacks, but also to jumps, dashes, etc.

What will it take for fighting games to reach the runaway popularity enjoyed by StarCraft II, League of Legends, and Call of Duty--and is this something fighting games need to strive towards?

It’s certainly a possibility and I think that it’s worth striving for, but there is a problem: Fighting game fans don’t want updates--they want new games. There are many attractive fighting games available and the player base is fragmented across them. I don’t know how we can resolve this. It might possible if there was 'one fighting game to rule them all,' but then I myself am one of those players who always want to play new games.

++

Yuki Nishikawa, Producer and Director of Production, CyberConnect2

Why do people enjoy fighting games?

I think it is because fans want to reproduce what attracts them to the original source, like Naruto, in their own hands. With the character action games we develop, fans are able to experience their favorite anime or manga in a totally interactive way.

Almost all of the players for these types of games are already fans of the original source work, so we develop the game to focus on providing fans with an interactive way to play with their favorite character or reproduce a famous scene on their own interactively.

How have fighting game mechanics grown in the past 20 years, and what impact have longer, deadlier combos and memorization had on their design?

When there is a versus mode in a character action game such as the Ultimate Ninja series, players want to see cool and stylish fights with their favorite characters. But if the combo commands are too complicated it becomes difficult to portray what’s cool or charming about a certain character and the player may be discouraged.

Therefore, we adjust the commands of our character games to be simple enough for anyone to trigger cool and flashy attacks with simple controls. With this in mind, strategy becomes more important in order to win matches in versus mode. We aim to design our games with easy commands for everyone but with deep and complex battle strategies for those who wish to delve deeper into the game’s systems.

Where do you see the fighting genre heading in the next five years, and do you agree with that trajectory? If not, where would you like to see the genre go instead?

Until now, the biggest selling points for character games have been how close they look to original manga or anime. But because of technology this kind of selling point will just become a standard expectation. I think this is a good direction for these character games to be going.

In order to create a true high-quality character game, I think how to fuse both the graphics and atmosphere of the original work with gameplay is essential. If the game is only about reading a story or watching a video, it’s easier to just watch the anime or read the manga. So creating a game design to provide new and fun experiences only available through the game for fans will be key.

What impact will the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 have on future fighting games, and what needs to happen in order for fighting games to succeed on mobile and tablet?

It’s a great pleasure for the developers to have such powerful consoles to work with. We will have more possibilities; however, the difficulty of development will rise at the same time. To make the best environment for the cost and the efficiency will be necessary for the future of game development.

In addition, the power of cellular phones and tablet-type devices are increasing very quickly. We need to keep a close eye on that market as well and consider the possibility of multi-platform development with consoles.

How would you compare the experience of playing a fighting game online versus locally, and what do these games need in order to improve their online modes?

Our Naruto Ultimate Ninja series has an offline story mode that lets players take control of a character like Naruto and re-experience the original story. They can also enjoy fighting against tough enemies and take part of cinematic boss battles. We also provide an online VS mode to fight against other players from around the world.

The offline mode offers the fun of re-experiencing the original story through an interactive setting, while the online mode offers the fun and thrill of competing against other players around the world while using your favorite Naruto characters. The number of players connecting to the online mode is increasing every year, so our objective will be to think of the cycle and system for the players to enjoy the online mode more.

What will it take for fighting games to reach the runaway popularity enjoyed by StarCraft II, League of Legends, and Call of Duty--and is this something fighting games need to strive towards?

The most important condition for a character game to be a success is for fans of the original material to know that the game exists and that we put a lot of effort into making sure the fans’ most requested scenes from the original material are put into the game. We believe that beyond the character game framework we can create games that can find a large audience beyond just the anime or manga fans by really working on improving game design. Please look forward to our next titles!

Discussion

64 comments
arqe
arqe

Dont be an ass and release Fighting games for PC too and you'll see the sales increase ... 

Mortal Kombat is the example porting is not the problem. But have to leave marvel infected games in garbage where they belong. If there was no tournament i dont think marvel vs. capcom's will survive. Even 5 year old kid can make combos by hitting randomly ...

Release Tekken , Injustice ( already coming to PC ) , Naruto , Soul Calibur etc. etc.

chyng85
chyng85

I just hope KOF series can go further~

SereneAndSilent
SereneAndSilent

I think the battle mode of Naruto ninja storm has great potential, I can imagine games like Blazblue with 3D enviroments and celshading like the upcoming Guilty Gear, of course... As a new IP, the most purists gamers wouldn't accept the drastic change in 2D fighting titles... But in naruto the combos are faaaaaar to easy...   Square, square, square arrows! so avoid those!


ashyblood
ashyblood

Fighting games always had a learning curve. Are people just whiny more today or are they more obsessed with shooters? Fighting games were more popular before when FPS games didn't exist. I don't know what the real reason is that people don't seem to enjoy it as much. Even back when we didn't have any online multiplayer you would just get the game and play with your siblings and friends and against the CPU to get the ending for each character. Now that we DO have online multiplayer you would think more people would dig fighting games, but nooo, they still want to whine. If you quit something because "it's too hard", the only thing you can really blame is yourself.

WeWerePirates
WeWerePirates

Persona 4 Arena is pretty special. I was considering getting into it but the amount of time in training drilling combos and getting my execution down seemed more than I should dedicate. I'll never be that good enough to justify that time anyway. Really looking forward to seeing it EVO this year though.

Really not sold on KI, even if I were buying an XBO. I'm not entirely convinced with f2p for fighting games but it could generate a big player base. However KI's starting with just one character, whatever the potential of f2p they've got their model wrong. Also not really convinced, there are a few teams which have a track record of making good fighting games and Microsoft studios don't have one of them.

Cataclysmm
Cataclysmm

i am a always bin a fan of fighting games,KI and SF always bin my fav,i show love to the others too.

deathbeat60
deathbeat60

something tells me that online tournaments are going to be more relevant in the future with this new cloud tech stuff (though nothing can beat playing a live tournament with a bunch of people face to face)

Pete5506
Pete5506

I've always been a fan of fighting games, I grew up playing them, and still find myself going back to them when I have nothing else to play.

I may not be very good at them but I still find large amounts of enjoyment out of them. 

Chr0noid
Chr0noid

Maybe release different fighting games further apart from each other.  Otherwise their communities will just cannibalize each other. 

chechak7
chechak7

Why do people enjoy fighting games?

reveal your monster inside you hhuuuAaaaaHAHAHHAHHAhhahahaha

chechak7
chechak7

werewolf look awesome  .....

Megamoss1984
Megamoss1984

I hate pre set combos in fighting games.  It's more fun and more challenging to work out what flows and works well yourself, instead of just memorising a number of button pushes.

 UFC 2009 (before it was patched) was the last fighting game that got me really excited.  It really did have a feeling of anyone can win at any time regardless of skill level or experience.  And even if you were getting your ass handed to you, all it took was one good hit to turn the tables.

tjoeb123
tjoeb123

One question that I'm surprised isn't asked here, especially to Mori.  Besides BlazBlue, do you think story is important in fighting games?  What about non-gameplay stuff, like the gallery modes?

Wensea10
Wensea10

Fighting games sale decently but they generally deserve more sales in a way. Still, they are popular even if they do not have online features because it is not hard to find a friend to play these kind of games.

YesSheWill
YesSheWill

Kenn Lobb appears to have a sound understanding of why fighting games aren't as popular as other genres.  However, Killer Instinct (KI) on XBox One does not convince me of a bright future for fighting games.  Considering the length of time that has past since a KI title was released, I'm disappointed at this one.  Everything from the animation, character design, to overall appeal have seem to have taken a back steep to its predecessors.  Also, the gameplay in this new entry seem to lack any real innovation.   But this is more so an issue with Rare's track record post Nintendo than the grander scheme of things. 

NoLifeGamin
NoLifeGamin

Although I could be wrong, I just have this feeling that Divekick will be THE breakthrough fighting game that will just explode and bring this genre into the mainstream due to its accessibility and strategic variance. 


Also, who doesn't want to play as, The BAZ!!!!!!

topherlee94
topherlee94

So far this is the sole thing that makes me feel anything close to optimism for the XBO. I wish they had resurrected this back in the Gamecube days. If memory serves MS hadn't bought Rare yet.

KaSeRRoR
KaSeRRoR

I can dig this article! Combos that you can't get out of has ALWAYS been ridiculous to me! You get caught with one move and your devastated with over half your vitality gone after a combo...! So weak... This has been a reason I STAY RETRO! I'll be honest and say that I will always believe Tekken is the GREATEST fighting game EVER made, and it has its 10-hit combos or what-not, but you can block a lot if not most of them! Fighting games need to be saved not just for fighting game fans, but to MAKE fighting game fans again. RPG's and Fighting Games have always reigned supreme in my gaming career throughout the 90's! Both are dying fast... 

>=)

xxYetterxx
xxYetterxx

Controller mapping based on gamer profile.  So simple, but so smart and effective.  Seems like a ton of games could .  For example when I put in the newest installment of the Halo series the xbox already knows how I like my controller layout from the last Halo game I played.  And of course any game where you are actually passing a controller around, people who play with inverted thumbsticks will no longer drive me insane

dladz
dladz

IF i made a fighting game it would be the best game ever made, my imagination is tuned into what makes you smile when you play a game, I have a multitude of ideas but no way to put them on paper, it get's quite infuriating. Shame really as it'd be cool to make a game, fighting games are the best.

syztem
syztem

Online infrastructure will continue to hold back fighting games. 100 ping in League of Legends sucks, but it's not game breaking. Hitting a one frame link at that latency, however... Drop a couple of combos and the round is over.

Four bars on netplay is still a handicap. Even in Japan, with their ridiculous telecommunications structure and overall proximity, they still go and play locally in arcades. Console/home versions of games out there exist for training mode grinding and experimentation, not competition.

FarginIcehole
FarginIcehole

@ashyblood I think many people enjoyed fighting games because of the intense competitive action, but after FPS games went main stream and consoles supported online multi-player sessions, that was when fighting games started to decline in popularity. Fighting games will still be more popular for localized multiplayer since you don't have to split the screen for each player.

gaming_binge
gaming_binge

@Megamoss1984 i understand how you feel, but you should really give the latest installment in the mortal kombat franchise a try.  WB did justice to the series and produced a truly amazing fighting game

ashyblood
ashyblood

@tjoeb123 Good point. I think fighting games should have as many extra modes non-fighting modes as possible. Maybe even include the ability to explore arenas. Story focus would help too. Story driven games seem to dominate in today's market so making stories better and character endings more epic should be their focus.

makoreactors
makoreactors

@YesSheWill I feel it looks alot like SF4, and i still prefer 3rd strike feeling but i know they will never make it like that again. But im hoping if it does play like Sf4 at least have the more mature feeling im looking for.

leviathanwing
leviathanwing

@YesSheWill ms bought the name rare and kept very few of the people who made it.  ki is a buy to try game... you have to buy each individual fighter at a time or packs at a time.

devastator1991
devastator1991

@KaSeRRoR I take it you never got deep into Tekken because every character in 3 pretty much had an unbreakable combo that would kill the opponent every time, forget half your life, you'll be dead and you can't block those attacks once the first hit is successful, ironic for you to say what you did. lmao 

xxYetterxx
xxYetterxx

edit - "....of games could take advantage of this feature." 

dman123_1
dman123_1

@syztem add that with a wireless controller, those precious milliseconds can make or break you. I do enjoy fighting games online, but that's just to have fun

kkxtrouble
kkxtrouble

@syztem Yeah it's a real problem. One reason many netcodes end up sucking is because they test only within Japan, so the netcode works for japanese players in a samll area with great internet. When the netcode is tested worldwide it tends to suck.

But anyway, EVOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO is tomorrow

LingeringRegime
LingeringRegime

@syztem Yep, I agree.  In fighting games even minor lag poses a huge problem.  Hence I always play against people at my house in my home. 

tjoeb123
tjoeb123

@ashyblood@tjoeb123And BlazBlue is the only series this generation that does that well.  Tekken's story is shit (in T6, the story mode is really just a few paragraphs and stills followed by 3 fights.  In the PSP version, anyway), KoF's story lacks presentation (NO JAPANESE VOICES?!), and Street Fighter's could be better, as could Guilty Gear's.

Oh, and Persona 4 Arena is just another dungeon and boss fight to me.

I know tourney players don't really give a shit about stories, but most of us do.  Gameplay is important, but it's NOT everything. Capcom can go on and on about all these "amazing" balance and characters updates all they want, but at least give the new characters SOME story (even if it's just 2 anime cutscenes each).

And while I'm talking about SF, I'm sorry, but I HATE the announcer's voice is SSF4AE.  Can't stand it.  I like the original SF4 and the SFxTK one so much better.

KaSeRRoR
KaSeRRoR

@riotinto876 Of course I do. Just saying that Tekken has never been a game that offered UNSTOPPABLE combos with half your life gone just by getting caught; not to the LEVEL that current games do now for flash and to get the most number in your combo... That is what the problem is. Combos are nice, but the combo has been too dominate in games now and that is why it is dying. It wasn't dying when Tekken was dominating. They only partnered with Capcom for the fans. 

>=)

KaSeRRoR
KaSeRRoR

@devastator1991 And it is just NOT TRUE that once you get hit successfully with the first hit that you can't block the others. Visit Tekken Zaibatsu my friend... Or just play the game for more than a week. You will see...

KaSeRRoR
KaSeRRoR

@devastator1991 You must have not truly played Tekken 3; the innovator of combos. Most all of them were all high attacks that can be either blocked or interrupted which I am saying I am a fan of. What I am trying to say is that fighting games are more like MvC 3 where you get caught with one move, you can barely evade the combo and be more less toast with that character. Tekken has never really done that other than JUGGLES which more-less FANS and PLAYERS made. It was never EXCESSIVE like it is now to make a player STOP playing because of the combo system. 

KaSeRRoR
KaSeRRoR

@fgbfdgbfgb The ORIGINAL Tekken line... NAMCO ONLY! That was Capcom trying to get some of Tekken's success... IMO... Not a TRUE Tekken game!

>=)

tjoeb123
tjoeb123

@ashyblood @tjoeb123 All Netherrealms needs to do is add an option to disable gory special moves/fatailties across the board.  I really want to play MK, but those special moves (that involve piercing through body parts, such as the eyes, or the fatalities) give me nightmares...

ashyblood
ashyblood

@tjoeb123Yeah I agree with the announcer's voice for SSF4AE, I don't know what they were thinking but they overdid it majorly with that voice over guy. The one for SF4 was much more exciting and better. The one from MVC2 was even better IMO. Had a ton of fun with SF4 online, they really did well with that transition back into 3d.

I think 3d fighters should go full 3d like SC and Tekken series, allow rotation of camera and character movement around opponent. Stories need to be better. I don't know how much production costs have increased for fighting game devs but they ought to spend more and have some epic cutscenes and invest in people that can write good stories, they really do matter! It's real disappointing when you finish the game and only get a quick slideshow with some text. 

MK series I think is doing their best to make it more engaging and story-driven. They really seemed to have given it their best with Injustice. 

Imagine if a dev like Rockstar got into fighting games. As ambitious as they are I'm sure their game would be really great. 


KaSeRRoR
KaSeRRoR

@devastator1991 OMG. I think you need a reading specialist. Those are most all UNBLOCKABLE moves. I, and the rest of us having this convo, are talking about in fighting games how you get caught with one move THAT IS SMALL, not a long drawn out SCREAMING I'M GOING TO HIT YOU HARD move known as UNBLOCKABLES in the Tekkens. I have played them all since the beginning. Tekken 3 was the most groundbreaking of all three. We are talking about COMBOS and JUGGLES! Not UNBLOCKABLE SLOW AS HELL MOVES MoMo! LoL! Get some glasses or think before you respond and post nonsense. Save you a lot of time! So have you really played Tekken 3 and are a BEACH BALL MASTER LIKE ME!?

>=)

KaSeRRoR
KaSeRRoR

 @devastator1991 The only thing I didn't like about the MK3 Kombo system ( yes, Kombo with a K! ;) ), is that it was very realistic like combos, but fast, wild, mutiple hit combos that happen in the blink of an eye. I was truly a fan of the run thing either. That is why I liked MK II the best; stayed classic. People will always have their favorites, but I think we can both agree that yes, the new fighting games are colorful and flashy and have really cool looking combos, but it is't for me. If developers could get back to being traditional, I think all would be well. I hope this can happen other than giving King of Fighters another X to the third power super edition, but NEW fighting games with NEW ideas. Kinda like what Bloody Roar did... Just something new...

>=)

KaSeRRoR
KaSeRRoR

@ashyblood @gaming_binge @devastator1991 Not trying to say who INVENTED the combo, just who was the largest innovator in my opinion. Tekken 1 and 2 had combos/juggles, but none like the Tekken 3. Yes Killer Instinct had combos too on SNES, but not an innovator like Tekken 3. Tekken has always been the most "realistic" fighting game over the 20+ years I have been playing games. When I say "realistic", I mean true movements most like real life, but in a game. The Tekken series has always stayed relavent and has never broken it's own rules, other than the Capcom partnership for ONE game in which EVERYONE got pissed off at Cpacom, not NAMCO, for (I think we all know what that was) downloadable BS. People will always have their favorite fighting game, but if you notice that the ONLY people TRULY playing these fighting games with OUT OF THIS WORLD COMBO ACTIONS FOR YOUR ENJOYMENT fighting games like MvC3 are the hardcore fighting game fan that can appreciate a new game even if the fighters all chenged clothes, would still buy it!. It bores other  players and especialy OLD SCHOOL fighting gamers. I think this is why RETRO will always be better. Traditional movements and basic fighting needs to come back; not just a bigger combo number counter! :SHEW:!!!!!!!!

>=)

gaming_binge
gaming_binge

@KaSeRRoR @devastator1991 tekken 3 wasnt the original innovator of combos....mortal kombat 3 for snes/genesis was before even the original tekken and that game had a perfectly balanced kombo system