The Struggle of the Fighting Game Genre

Media by Minh La.

When it comes to video games, many people immediately think of MOBA games, such as Dota 2 and League of Legends. If not, they will think of the first-person shooter genre, which includes Counter-Strike, Apex Legends, and Overwatch. However, for some reason, no one seems to bring up games in the fighting genre.

The fighting game genre has been around for a long time, dating back as far as 1976, but it was only with the arrival of Karate Champ that the genre was popularized. At this time, the popularity of fighting games is not as high as it used to be. This genre is currently overshadowed by other genres for not being able to draw in as many new players as before. Why do fighting games get mentioned less than other games? The main culprit is that fighting games are “too hard.” This caused the fighting game genre to drop in popularity as they failed to attract new blood for the community.

When they say that fighting games are hard, do they mean that it is hard to win? If so, then allow me to present this video of two players who are brand new to the game with the video below:

Media by xXMrJacksonXx.

As the video demonstrates, it is not hard to win against another human player. This proves that winning in a fighting game is not hard at all since these players barely understood the game they were playing yet they were able to win against one another. Not only that, but both of those players are complete strangers, so it further solidifies that winning against another player is not hard.

Perhaps the hard part is not achieving victory against another person. Maybe what they truly meant is that it is hard to get to the point where they can enjoy the game with their skill. In other words, the entry barrier is too high for them to enjoy the game. Unfortunately, learning and enjoying the fighting game is not simple because the player has to learn the game by getting out of their comfort zone and trying to face new opponents. No casual player wants to lose constantly, and the amount of time needed to get better is not something to which a casual gamer would want to dedicate himself.

Media by Netherrealm studios.

When asked about the state of fighting games, Antwon Knight, a dedicated esports competitor, stated, “Fighting games have a hard time keeping the casual fanbase interested due to gaming companies listening to pro players that play the game competitively versus those that just play the game for fun. So when a patch/update comes along, it’s mainly due to tournament standards and not solo/party standards.”

In conclusion, fighting games are struggling with new blood problems. Even though they can attract some new players, they are unable to keep theses players long enough to where they dedicate their time to playing the game. The game developers should create a better tutorial to introduce the new players to the scene while also creating a better matchmaking system to help newer players not get frustrated and rage quit the game. By helping the players learn how to play the game in a less threatening way, the fighting game genre may be able to find new blood and survive.

Media by Minh La.


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