Thursday, July 13, 2017

Let's Talk ~ The Toxic Fighting Game Community

Contrary to what console creators like Sony want you to believe the problem that is player toxicity within online gaming, in general, is so bad it has left many games in ruin. When it comes to fighting games, in particular, the toxicity I speak of goes well beyond the often times joked about saltiness, and poor sportsmanship. In fact the biggest problem facing fighting games to this day is the sought after casual gamers' unwillingness to properly learn the games as they were originally intended to be learned. By this I mean they want to look good without earning it. Like a thrown boxing fight they'll play dirty. Only in this case with lagswitches, mods, and mapped controllers to make it appear that they are legit pros. Purely for bragging rights, because that's what's popular with the CoD crowd. This is an absolute facade, and is used more, and more frequently by the worst side of the FGC because of two things. Those two things being a lack of moderation from console service providers, and secondly the development studios' intentional push to make "competitive" games accessible to a "casual" audience.

The developers forsake the competitive side of the genre just to make more money with a bigger more casual (thank you Call of Duty) crowd for more sales on day one. This itself also does two things. In one way it runs off those who made the franchises what they are, and in another it leaves the games to the locust feast that is the casual crowd. A crowd that migrates from game to game leaving the previous game's experience to be a corrupted shell of it's original self. Not only that, but games', series', and developers' reputations are hurt in the process. One would think the developers, and console creators would more than willingly combat something that hurts them financially, but they seem to have it in their heads that the modders, hackers, and cheaters are their cash cow. Most of these types of gamers pirate the games, and mod the consoles to support said pirated games. What happens when fans of a genre are run off by this type of gamer is that the cash will quit flowing for the console creators, and game developers. It will also potentially ruin the genre when it's all said, and done.

Beyond the cheating, modding, and hacking new-gen fighting game experiences are also plagued by troll culture. Again, this coincides with the crowd of gamers that fighting game developers are now focused on seeking. These types of gamers aren't in it to win, play by the rules, or get to pro status, but are instead in it to purely grief online service subscribers. They get a laugh out of it, and through outlets like Youtube they shine, because that's where trolling spawned from.

In closing ...

The only way for the developers of fighting games to keep the genre relevant is to do away with eSports hype focus, ban the mischief makers, and make the games like they once were. Don't cave in, and make a fighting game easy for the sake of making some money from a crowd that does not care about the integrity of your offered gaming experience. You pour years into making your game. Why let it fall to the wayside as a bad memory to gamers who actually paid to play it hoping that it was as good as it was hyped to be?

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