Is Street Fighter V Killing The Fighting Game Community?
Date Published: February 9, 2017
It’s been no secret that Street Fighter V since its launch in February of 2016 has been marketed as a lackadaisical attempt at inviting new players to take part in the new chapter of one of the most historic fighting game franchises ever.
However, with the main focus on simplifying the game and catering to a broader audience, has Capcom neglected the core of the fighting game community?
There are a couple streams of thought when taking in what has happened to the overall state of the FGC in the last year plus. The first, is that with the help of SFV becoming more beginner friendly, as well as riding off the high of Street Fighter IV’s commercial success, the FGC is no longer living in the dark basement of the Esports world.
National TV appearances such as EVO 2016 being broadcasted on ESPN2, and heavy support from emerging sponsors in the Esports realm, have propelled fighting gamers to be taken seriously as they’ve always wished for, right? Well, yes and no.
Great as it is to finally be recognized by the masses, the second stream of thought is simply that the heart of the FGC has never really seemed to resonate with wanting to be big. We all cried Esports this and Esports that whenever we saw some sort of high level production happening, or the use of ads during major streamable events like EVO.
The FGC made fun of the fact that the traditional Esports were more about suited up commentators, and players sitting in isolated booths rather than the raw emotion of a player popping off right next to his opponent after an epic finish to a round.
However, the ultimate factor in regards to why the FGC is hurting is that SFV is simply not up to par. We kept waiting and hoping that Capcom did not forget about us hard core FGC members and that they are only appealing to the masses for business’ sense, they’ll take care of us eventually, right? Well it’s been a year and change and aside from the awfully structured DLC, awkward looking designs, an unpopular cast of characters, and a despised meta to the game, nothing has changed with the outlook of SFV since its launch.
It’s almost fair to say that if not for the huge prize pot Capcom Pro Tour has to offer, many of the professional players would perhaps not be so inclined to keep playing the game. At this point in time, it seems that the majority FGC is stuck playing and watching SFV only because it’s the most recent Street Fighter game out, not because they truly enjoy it.
Ultimately, there is a sense of loss when taking account, the state of the FGC as it currently stands, as FGC members, we know it doesn’t take much for us to riot over something if we don’t like it but, in the end that just showed our care for the community and our games.
It goes without saying that Street Fighter IV had problems, and by no means did it get away without the FGC making fun of those problems. Nevertheless, even with all of the rage and ridicule the community directed towards Street Fighter IV, there was still a sense of passion and comradery within the community. We made fun of the game, but at the end of the day, we still loved it both as players and spectators.
Street Fighter V has seemingly taken only the hate filled rants, ridicule, and mockery that Street Fighter IV got, but without the passion and love for the game itself, and justifiably so, Capcom has not given the hard-core FGC a reason to stop.
As much as the FGC may try to lean on other fighting game titles such as the exceptional Guilty Gear series, and the upcoming release of most promising fighting game in 2017; Tekken 7, the unfortunate truth is that the FGC lives and dies by the strength of Capcom and Street Fighter as it’s the one fighting game franchise that holds the cards for the FGC’s future with its tradition and marketability.
Conclusively, time will tell with what happens with the Fighting Game Community, the ideal situation would be if Capcom finally makes amends and hopefully rights the ship that is Street Fighter V. However, if the ship continues on sailing on its current course, then it will be perhaps up to the casual market to keep it afloat while the hard-core FGC is back to playing other fighting game titles in a basement somewhere at least until Street Fighter VI makes it appearance.