Things Street Fighter IV Has Done for Our Community
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.