Home > Uncategorized > Time for a Change?

Time for a Change?

I’ve played a steady role in producing combo videos for major FGC events almost every year since Evolution 2004. It’s been an awesome experience overall – with plenty of hard work, sleepless nights, close calls, and moments of genuine happiness along the way.

I’ll always be grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with so many talented combo makers on just about every video concept i could’ve imagined – but i think i’m done. After ten years, this seems like a good time to step away. I might still release short combovids on my own; but without the crazy stressful deadlines and sleep-deprived, near-death experiences of driving to Las Vegas at the last minute with 6-18 months of work on a USB drive in my pocket!

On a slightly gloomy note, i should probably mention that our last five collaborative combo videos have an average of barely 20,000 views (a huge drop from 140k in previous years).

ComboVid.com DAMAGE exhibition v.one (Evo2k11)

ComboVid.com DAMAGE exhibition v.two (SB6)

ComboVid.com Air Throw Exhibition v.one (Evo2k12)

ComboVid.com style exhibition v.two (TFC2k13)

ComboVid.com style exhibition v.three (Evo2k14)

I know better than to judge the success of a project based solely on view count. Plus i never monetize any of my videos, so views have no financial impact on my life whatsoever (and i still think trying to make money from playing video games is fool’s gold). And yet, it’s difficult to ignore the sense that people don’t seem to care as much about these combovids anymore.

In general, i think the youtube content model devalues investing a lot of time and effort on a single project. It’s better to make lots of stuff cheaply and quickly instead of spending months on any one video. Obviously i’m a perfectionist when it comes to this stuff, so that approach doesn’t sit well with me. Sadly, it’s getting harder to make a case for uncompromising quality when my friends and collaborators see those view numbers dropping.

Anyway i’m not unique in any sense. There are countless talented combo video makers in the fighting game community, so i’m optimistic that someone else will take my place and find a solution. The FGC is only getting stronger, so i can’t wait to see what the future holds.

And to the few hundred people who have always supported our projects with thoughtful feedback, thank you so much!

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  1. July 27th, 2014 at 23:37 | #1

    In case anyone actually cares about the numbers, for future reference:

    style v.one = 114,735 views
    Super Fireball Battle = 163,311
    average = 139,023 views

    DAMAGE v.one = 33,066 views
    DAMAGE v.two = 28,895
    Air Throw v.one = 21,984
    style v.two = 11,206
    style v.three = 10,272
    average = 21,085 views

    Although i think combo video view numbers have been dropping steadily since 2010 in general, with the exception of one or two channels that have a strong following outside the core FGC. But that’s a whole other discussion.

  2. darcontek
    August 9th, 2014 at 09:51 | #2

    Maj, I think fighting games has now become like wrestling. Sure, skill is needed to go out and compete in tournaments but being the best doesn’y necesarily seem to cut it anymore. It’s more about personality and marketability.

    I think combo vids are at but since there has been a saturation of them for the past 10 years that people arent into the big flashy novel combos as much as before. People want wrestling style personalities.

    Look at maximillian. He doesn’t even seem to be a highly skilled player but people love watching him play because he makes exaggerated faces all the time and people eat it up.

  3. August 19th, 2014 at 08:12 | #3

    Well yeah, people watch to be entertained. Knowing the personalities of top players helps spectators become invested in following tournaments. As long as the quality of matches remains high, i don’t see a problem. We should be grateful that casual and intermediate players try to follow the FGC and show up to majors at all.

    And there’s nothing wrong with Maximilian being crazy famous (by FGC small potatoes standards). He’s enthusiastic about fighting games and he put in the work to establish a u2b channel before anyone else. I just don’t think you can duplicate that formula, and even if you do, it won’t be enough to pay rent.

    I mean, desk is another example. He’s a very good combo maker, but does he deserve ten times the attention everyone else gets? No. The internet just picks someone in each hobby/field to be famous, and that person gets to operate in a different category. That’s just how the internet (and fame in general) works.

    Is there anything wrong with the internet choosing desk? No. But you’re gonna have a hell of a time taking his spot. And even if you succeed, you’ll just replace him as prom king. It’s not like you’ll change the way prom works.

  4. darcontek
    August 19th, 2014 at 19:18 | #4

    I think something where desk shines at is having combo videos that are at an appropriate length. In the prebroadband era, combo videos were only a minute or two long and combo video makers had to be very resourceful as to what combos they were going to put.

    After broadband started to become popular, many combo video makers became ambitious and started making 20+ min long videos. That’s actually when I stopped watching combo videos in general.

  5. darcontek
    August 24th, 2014 at 17:31 | #5

    My only gripe about max is that he seems to have a good number of clickbait videos as of late, especially ones pertaining to Smash Bros.

  6. August 31st, 2014 at 20:44 | #6

    That’s the trouble with trying to make a living off this stuff. You can’t stay focused on a game you love after its popularity wanes. You have to constantly transition onto the hottest new games in the genre, and sometimes that means covering whatever scraps of news you can find.

    Otherwise, what’s there to talk about right now? USF4 wasn’t as big a hit as everyone hoped, and it’s not like adding two KI characters is gonna turn the world upside-down next month. Not to mention, Double Helix was located an hour away from Maximilian in SoCal, whereas Iron Galaxy is in Chicago.

    As for short combo videos, that’s the u2b effect and everyone’s affected by it. There’s no incentive to concentrate 20 minutes of content into one video. It’s much better to make 10 short videos and get almost 10 times the views. Those 20+ min long videos are raaaare nowadays.

  7. Bob Sagat
    September 1st, 2014 at 09:50 | #7

    Thanks for all the vids, Maj!
    Been a pleasure to have been involved in some of these projects.

  8. darcontek
    September 9th, 2014 at 15:10 | #8

    I still miss the old days of the arcades. Winner stays, loser pays was the purest form of gaming that existed.

  9. AngelFreak
    November 5th, 2014 at 12:14 | #9

    Wow, Maj. It’s been a while since I’m not around and look what I come to find. I’m surely will miss your frequent participation and all of the crazy stuff you always come up with. You have always been a reference when it comes to CMVs as your reputation precedes you.

    I hope you are ok and well, and I wish you nothing but the best in your future endeavours. I have also stopped making CMVs for a while, and so have more people I used to be in contact with. I still maintain contact with some of them via Facebook and Skype. Give a holla or ring me whenever you’re around. It’d be nice to catch up.

    Cheers, mate!

  10. November 30th, 2014 at 18:55 | #10

    Bob Sagat: Likewise sir, it was a pleasure collaborating with you.

    darcontek: I miss it too. There’s no single reason why those days ended, but lots of little reasons that added up over time. Ah well, what can you do?

    AngelFreak: Thanks for the kind words. I’m doing okay – no complaints. Still trying to see where the game industry takes me.

    I might release a couple of smaller combovids on my own at some point in the future. There are a few unfinished projects that i’d like to wrap up, but work certainly keeps me busy. We’ll see, i guess.

    Anyway, hope you’re doing well and thanks again for stopping by.

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