Capcom Hopes to Expand Fighting Game Audience
Posted by Mike Mason
Training the next generation
The fighting genre has always been one of the harshest tests of gaming prowess; bruising tests of hand-to-eye co-ordination and memory as you try to remember all those combos and special moves. Just as that's appealing to the initiated, however, the necessary dedication can be a barrier to entry for newcomers. Capcom is hoping to improve the way it teaches basic techniques to fresh brawlers.
Responding to a topic expressing concern at the lack of effective tutorials on the Capcom Unity forums, Capcom USA senior vice-president Christian Svensson agreed that Capcom wants to improve how it approaches beginners to expand the audience and appeal of the genre.
We try to take into account non-competitive level players so that they can enjoy these games too. I'd say we have varying levels of success in making sure there's enough content and fun in the mechanics even if you don't know how to plink, FADC or DHC. Street Fighter X Tekken was intended to be a bit more casual friendly and frankly, I think with the introduction of so many new systems (gems, pandora, etc.), I think we probably overcomplicated things and it worked against that objective.
[...] I strongly agree that we have not done a good job of truly teaching new players about the basics of fighting game strategy in our current crop of titles. This has been a hot button conversation with the producers in the past and some have embraced it. In the case of Street Fighter 3: Online Edition, we tried to put in challenges and trials that would have explained a bit more of the "why" as opposed to just the "how" in traditional training modes but we probably didn't go as far as we could have.
In future titles, this is an area that I hope that our teams will take more time with as I view them as critical to the expansion of the fighting game audience. I know some competitive players will scoff, but the vitality of the scene is linked to how successful we all are (I say all because the community needs to be accepting of new players too) in these efforts. [...]
We need to provide the right tools for new players to learn enough that they're motivated to take the "next steps" in their developing love for fighting games. I'd like to think we can do better in the future.
How do you feel about this? If you were a newcomer to fighters, what sort of modes or systems would encourage and help you to embrace the genre?