I tend to be a little long winded, but I’ll try to be concise. The other day in my scenes local facebook page, some members were talking about the dwindling AE scene in my local community. One member said that AE doesn’t really bring the hype, and as such has pretty much died down. I made an argument against hype there which doesn’t seem to be a shared opinion amongst many. What is hype? And does hype actually destroy games than it actually builds games?
My personal opinion is that hype is what is attractive to the eyes. This is why Marvel has always been a great spectator game (and anime games as well)… There is always something going on even when there is nothing going on. Combos are a lot longer, you’re likely to see stuff you’ve never seen lebefore, and generally things move in a faster pace. As a result these games are usually more hype, but does this really mean what’s happening on screen is actually solid? A lot of the times, especially the case in Marvel there isn’t. While I dropped Marvel 3 long ago, i’m not here to bash the game. However there are tons of things that happen in that game that are sheer luck, or due to someone just pressing buttons. While this can make a stream explode, is this really what we should judge a game by?
So this begs the question, are games really being destroyed due to their lack of hype? I think they are, as is the most recent example SFXT. Evaluating this game, there isn’t much wrong with it besides balance issues. Sure some glitches have been introduced, but this game was DOA long before the introduction of infinites or glitches. This game was NEVER a hype spectator gameti. With all of the timeouts, the overall slower gameplay, etc, stream monsters abandoned this game in fleets. Stream view counts go down almost half when this game is on stream. This just mean the game may be boring to look at, but is taht really a crime? No, but this makes the game unhype, and its what the game is judged on. This is a big effect down the road for the games lifespan, since games exposure really rely on streams. And new members getting into a game really get introduced to high level play on stream now days. As a result, this game was killed mostly because of streams.
We can find other examples like Tekken 6, which is often ran on a seperate stream than the “main” stream. Tekken is often considered a boring spectator game. And while this game has a very established competitive base, one can’t help to wonder if viewer counts would help this game a lot. While Tekken 6 is an aging game, plenty of new comers don’t play it, and find it hard to understand. I can imagine TTT2 will be similarly panned by stream monsters, and if that is the case, it may not enjoy a vibrant compettitive community outside of a few diehards.
Personally I think were in a bad spot when hype and not solid gameplay isn’t used to judge a game. I can’t imagine what would happen if games like CVS2 or Alpha 2 existed in this day and time. I mean tons of legendary matches didn’t have the craziest combos, or involved little to no activiity. Shou vs Kurita in VF4EVo in Evo 2004 was a classic match. While it wasn’t slow, you didn’t see a combo every 5 seconds either. How about Rick Ortiz vs. Kindevu in Evo 2004? Choi vs Valle at B3, Watson vs. Choi in Anniversary Edition in Evo 2007, Daigo vs. Wong in Evo 2009? Almost all of these matches were well played and approached methodically. Where spacing games were more important than hitting a combo. But the average monster these days would call such matches boring, not really understanding the intensity of the footsies war, the zoning, the mind games, and the clever ingenuity. For this reason I believe hype has really killed gaming, and I don’t see it as much of a good thing. Especially when it seems to effecting numbers and entrants in tournaments.