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Things Street Fighter IV Has Done for Our Community

January 29th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

It’s been nothing short of astonishing to watch Street Fighter 4 revitalize the fighting game community over the past twelve months. We all knew it was going to have an impact, but i don’t think any of us expected this.

Professional-quality tournament streams on a weekly basis? Five thousand people browsing SRK on any given evening? Evo turnout practically doubling over one year? Literally dozens of brand new websites popping up overnight? Seven hundred and fifty thousand views for a Guile combo video?

Most of you probably won’t remember this, but i was one of the founders of a now-defunct website called Video Opera, where we hosted three combo contests for three different games: CvS2, MvC2, and SFA3. Can you guess how many people submitted solutions? Six for CvS2, three of whom were staff members on the website. One for SFA3, by a personal friend of the challenge host. And zero for MvC2! That was not a fun time.

In the post-SF4 world, an MvC2 combo challenge draws fourteen responses in under two weeks! I dare you tell me that’s not amazing. This week’s SF4 damage challenge has already garnered thirty-seven solution videos, some of which contain over three minutes of footage!

Long-standing annual tournaments on the verge of discontinuation are now enjoying record turnout numbers all over the world. New events are being founded by organizers whose names i don’t even recognize. What’s funny is, every single one of them ends up apologizing for having underestimated the number of people who would show up to enter the SF4 tournament and promising to be better prepared next year. Now that’s the kind of problem you don’t mind having.

To close, here’s a list of things that have happened for the first time since SF4 came out:
– someone emailed me asking if i needed help with website design and photoshop
– someone bought me a Street Fighter game as a Christmas gift over the internet
– someone offered to translate an article i’d written into Spanish
– someone posted one of my videos at 1up and someone even torrented it
twelve people helped me name a picture

Honestly, i never expected any of this stuff to happen, let alone all of it. Thanks to everyone who played a part in SF4’s genre revival. It’s been a blast and i can’t wait to see what the future brings.

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  1. Smileymike101
    January 30th, 2010 at 01:41 | #1

    Well,i think this had happened because of the so called user friendlyness of sf4.I mean the game is not easy at all and very hard to learn, but it made a name out of itself as being user friendly.Other great fighter like mvc2 and sf3 were considered pretty hard and looked over by people.Capcom did very good in advertising sf4 and it ,on it’s merits, revived the fighting scene.I think many people just started with it.Like me for example.Last year,while waiting for sf4 to come out i tried like every capcom fighter: versus series,sf2,sf3,sfa, and i know for sure it made me very interested in the fighting scene.

  2. jamheald
    January 30th, 2010 at 01:45 | #2

    Thank you for the article and thank you for the things you’ve did for our community.

  3. kofplayer
    January 30th, 2010 at 05:19 | #3

    I used to visit Video Opera a long time back. It had quite a good news feed at one point in time. Didn’t know you were part of it. I do know now. =P

  4. January 30th, 2010 at 07:52 | #4

    Since SFIV came out, I haven’t felt like a kid again in almost a decade. Back when SF3/CvS2 was all the rage finding videos of combos, tournaments, etc. was arduous since there was no YouTube back then. Having to order DVDs to watch Evo Tournaments seemed more effort than it was worth. I lost a lot of enthusiasm after 2003 since the 2D gaming renaissance wasn’t to be for another 6 years.

    Now that YT is the de-facto hub for all manner of combo vids, plus the ability to play people only with such ease, it was like the alignment of all the planets gave us exactly what we were looking for. Nobodies suddenly become heroes, and having semi-respectable hosts that speak during tournaments gives it an air of professionalism.

    More sites like this one are always welcome because they each offer their own take on supporting the community. 2009 feels like 2000 with the amount of great fighting games we have again (even if KoFXII was d.o.a. for online gaming).

  5. Kareeem
    January 30th, 2010 at 08:49 | #5

    SF4 revived the scene but at the same time killed it imo. A lot of people are playing it because everyone else is playing it and it´s become mad hard to interest people in other SF games. And now there seems to be a general plan to phase out all the older games, that´s just silly and sad.

  6. jamheald
    January 30th, 2010 at 10:21 | #6

    Pretty much this game got me properly into fighters. Also this site got me into cyberbots to which I’m now addicted.

  7. Tarnish
    January 30th, 2010 at 11:14 | #7

    So what’s next, Maj?

  8. January 30th, 2010 at 11:59 | #8

    Tarnish: Next we all keep our fingers crossed for SSF4, hoping that it’s good and that whatever drew all these people to SF4, they find in SSF4 as well.

    Kareeem: Well, you have to pick your battles. For instance, now is a great time to get people into whatever classic game you want to teach. SF4 won’t be in the Evo lineup so you don’t have to worry about anyone stuck in “Evo-prep crunch time” right now. Everyone’s waiting on SSF4 which is supposed to come out on April 27th, so you have between now and then to convince SF4 players to try ST or CvS2 or MvC2 or whatever game you play. Speaking from personal experience, i found the fighting game community when CvS1 was released and i got into ST in the months before CvS2 came out.

  9. xXSkyscraperXx
    January 30th, 2010 at 13:21 | #9

    I like the idea of seeing this blog translated into Spanish. I’m from Buenos Aires Argentina and my English is not very good. Sometimes it is difficult to understand the terminology that you use because the language barrier. I enjoy you work anyways.

  10. Kareeem
    January 30th, 2010 at 13:43 | #10

    I hear you, we’ve been doing just that and it’s working a little. Our ST and 3S ranbats pull some numbers but there’s always this atmosphere being created by some of the players (even the so called OGs) that it’s just for shits and giggles. And regardless of those efforts when it comes to majors here in EU it’s all SF4. I dunno, it’s only inevitable that the new games will take over, I just wish those new games were actually worth a damn.

    I’m kinda salty today about SF2 being dropped from SVB, a EU major in London.

  11. jamheald
    January 30th, 2010 at 17:01 | #11

    The pc version also got quite a large community of hackers altering game moves and character costumes.

  12. January 31st, 2010 at 02:00 | #12

    It’s a bit late, but i added a snapshot from the Street Fighter 4 Guile combos video linked above. Initially i couldn’t decide what picture would fit this article, but gilley is one of my combo video heroes and SF4 is what got him to make another video since the Fighters.net era way back in 2002? Anyway i don’t know how much it means to everyone else but it was a big deal to me.

  13. Ryukenden
    January 31st, 2010 at 02:01 | #13

    After arrival of Street Fighter 4 on consoles and PC, dozens of youtube SFIV channels have appeared (approximately 3000)
    Street Fighter flash Collab recieved 1,482,954 views on Newgrounds.com.Flash collab simply promoted SFIV.

  14. Bob Sagat
    January 31st, 2010 at 09:49 | #14

    Kareeeeem, stop being so pessimistic. The real tutoring stage in ST has only just begun on the Dutch SF site and there are plenty people who get into SF with IV, then switch to/include either 3s or ST.

  15. Ryukenden
    July 21st, 2012 at 08:11 | #15

    lol I actually said there were around 3000 SF4 channels. Right now, there’s around 1700 in fighting game channels list.

  1. February 4th, 2010 at 12:07 | #1
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