If Saturn and PlayStation's popularity were reversed, would Virtua Fighter be bigger than Tekken?

Discussion in 'General' started by MadeManG74, Oct 2, 2019.


Would VF be as popular as Tekken if PS and Saturn's fate was reversed?

  1. Yes, it would be as big as Tekken

    6 vote(s)
  2. No, it would still be less popular that Tekken

    3 vote(s)
  1. MadeManG74

    MadeManG74 Moderator Staff Member Silver Supporter

    If the popularity/install base of Sega Saturn and PlayStation were reversed in the West, would Virtua Fighter be as big as Tekken 7 is now in the mainstream FGC?

    Food for thought, Virtua Fighter 2 sold about 1.7 million units in Japan on Saturn. Tekken 2 sold 'over a million' units according to Sony in Japan on PlayStation.

    VF2 JP.jpg TEkken 2 JP.jpg

    This is probably the most illustrative moment for me; in Japan, where Saturn was the most popular console, it seems that Virtua Fighter sold just as much or more than Tekken. I can't help but think that Tekken being on PlayStation is a huge factor in it's popularity in the west, perhaps the single most important factor. We've only ever been able to see Virtua Fighter in the West debut on a doomed platform, while Tekken was exclusive to the most popular console of all time.

    It's also worth noting that Sega never really had a breakthrough console again after Saturn in Japan but the continued popularity of arcades in Japan meant that Virtua Fighter was still relatively big over there. Considering Dreamcast wasn't very popular around the world (not as popular as Saturn in Japan for example, nor Mega Drive/Genesis in the West), Virtua Fighter 3 was still very successful for Sega thanks mostly to the arcade machine. When Virtua Fighter left Sega consoles and went to PlayStation 2, the series sold quite well also (Virtua Fighter 4 + Evo sold millions of copies).

    Would love to hear thoughts from people on this forum as to how big a factor the launch console was for the series future popularity. With all the discussion around fighting games and what you need to make a 'hit', I wonder how much of these game's success was tied to their platform?
  2. beanboy

    beanboy Well-Known Member

    This is coming from someone (me), who is not a console company fanboy, of Nintendo, Microsoft, Sega, and definitely not Sony etc.

    Okay. Concerning your interesting topic:
    I think there is a possibility, that if the situation was reversed, and sega marketed VF alot more, that VF might be probably equal to, or alot more popular than Tekken.

    I mean realistically speaking, alot of gamers seem to forget, that VF was back then, alot more popular, like way more popular than Tekken, in Japan back then. Like waaaaaay more popular. Literally. VF was like the number one, 3d fighting game series for them. And other gimmicky 3d fighting games, like Tekken etc, were more categorised, as the joke games. So the big question is, "What went wrong?"
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2019
  3. beanboy

    beanboy Well-Known Member

    That is very true. And even though I like dreamcast, I have to give saturn a big round of applause, for that achievement in Japan. And also, for being the first and only console, where a fighting game, was like the main selling point, system seller and reason, for buying a console. Not even Sony, or other console companies, have achieved that status, or been able to pull that off. Even Maximillian Dood brought up that point, a few times on his channel. Which means that sega and VF, always had the stuff to surpass and easily compete, with Sony and Tekken. And they did it in the past more than once. So it's not like sega has never been able to do so.

    I always had the belief, that if VF4 was released on dreamcast as it was originally intended, the dreamcast situation might have been reversed.

    I remember a dreamcast fan years ago, (apparently he lived in Japan,) who said that when VF4 was announced in Japan, for the dreamcast, it caught the attention of Japanese gamers. And then, when sega released VF4 on the PS2, fans were very disappointed. And unwillingly ditched the dreamcast, to buy a PS2 to play VF4.

    It makes you wonder, if VF4 did release on the dreamcast, could it have changed the dreamcast's fate? Ya gotta wonder sometimes.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2019
    MadeManG74 likes this.
  4. SSfox

    SSfox Well-Known Member

    Bigger than Tekken: Nope.
    Bigger than as it is now: Very likely yes.
  5. MadeManG74

    MadeManG74 Moderator Staff Member Silver Supporter

    Why don't you think it'd be bigger than Tekken? I think the primary reason for Tekken's popularity in the West is the fact that it was on by far the most popular console, and had very little competition.
  6. SSfox

    SSfox Well-Known Member

    Main reason i think VF could never be at the level in term of popularity of Tekken, SF, or MK, it's because it didn't have a proper Lore, story and deep backgroud. Also the characters design in VF have never been too catchy for the large audience tbh, tho i feel like since VF4 evo and post Sega started to implement more "catchy"ness in their brand new characters and even the veterans got a little buff in that aspect.
    gido and Thesch28 like this.
  7. beanboy

    beanboy Well-Known Member

    Yeah. I spoke about this in another topic.
    Here's a summary:

    Historically, Sony was like the big reason, Tekken became popular, because they/Sony, needed a 3d fighting game, to show off the capabilities and hardware of the PS1. And Sony and the press, even overhyped, exaggerated, and used alot of false advertising to a point, that people believed, that Tekken is the first 3d fighting game, and the most advanced, realistic fighting game, ever created. And unfortunately to this day, people still believe that Tekken, is the first 3d fighting game, and the most realistic and advanced fighting game, ever created.:p
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
  8. beanboy

    beanboy Well-Known Member

    I have heard gamers say that. Moreso, Tekken and Playstation gamers.

    And that is interesting. Because long before I knew what VF or Tekken was, I've always heard older gamers and much younger gamers say, the characters in Tekken, are over edgy as heck and cheesy. Fast forward many years later, and gamers are still saying the same thing.

    And besides the overly basic gameplay, and strange, wonky, weird combat fundamentals of Tekken, which was always the number 1 major reason, why alot of gamers still keep away from tekken, and find it very unappealing, those over edgy characters, bears and kangaroo's and later on, guest characters like Akuma, Geese Howard and even more stranger, Negan etc, were also literally, the other reasons why alot of gamers, still keep away from Tekken. But design wise, strangely enough, bears, over edgy characters, and characters with a cartoony character design, strangely enough, worked in Fighters Megamix. It is really interesting when you think about it.

    I kinda agree with you there. Even though I'd say, it goes long before that.

    But the interesting thing is, if the VF characters, were not as catchy enough, then why did Harada and the first Tekken director before him, rip off the designs, personalities and win poses of the VF characters for years? If the VF characters were not that catchy, they would not have done that. It's something I've always wondered.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2019
  9. Ali

    Ali Well-Known Member

    Its def teh success of the PS1 that brought Tekken to the spotlight... had it not for the loads of copies sold, they wouldn't have established teh large fanbase they have.

    Now, MK sales, have surpassed Tekken and its propably the best selling fighting series.

    Now going back to the topic, it has got nothing to do with the quality, VF is still ages ahead. It's not the comedic relief of Tekken ( it's so goofy it's disgusting. Actually, numbers wise, Teken isn't doing what it used to do anymore sales wise...

    So if I would have to reason it, it would be SEGA chickening out on releasing anotehr game when the market is in a serious need of a refined 3D fighter. Nobody buys the bullshit of VF is super technical and it's difficult to play, it's actually easier to pick up and play than Tekken on a superficial level and then goes deeper.

    2006-2007 were shitty years to release games, fighting game scene at the time was dying.... it came back with SF and MK post reboot and started to die out again and SEGA missed teh boat of coming back.
    beanboy likes this.
  10. beanboy

    beanboy Well-Known Member

    Right on!
    That quote was always silly trash talk, from 1994 up to 2019.

    And that silly, "VF is super technical and it's difficult to play," slogan, was actually always said to be, a marketing ploy slogan, by sony/gaming media, to get gamers to buy a playstation and tekken 1. And it's also quoted by gamers, pro gamers and youtubers, who suck at advanced fighting games, but who can only play, basic, risk reward level fighting games, with odd gaming fundamentals and mechanics.:p

    The same thing with the silly, crappy, sony fanboy slogan:
    "Tekken is da better game,..........miaaaaan!"
    25 years later and people still quote that and believe that to be true.:p

    I think alot of gamers, gaming journalists and tekken fans etc, have always known that. But because of fanboyism, want of scene queen popularity, and lack of skill, they like to pretend that VF is hard, and make excuses to cover up, their lack of skills etc.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2020
  11. Ali

    Ali Well-Known Member

    Around the time of Tekken 4, VF4 was actually having tons of spotlight that the local shops here would hang Brad and Goh VF4Evo posters all over. It had a certain vibe to it that never continued on with VF5 marketing. Now there is Def a bigger gap in the quality between VF4/Tekken 4 than VF5/Tekken5-6. But remember at the time also Tekken really slowed down considerably and Tekken 6 took long time to launch on consoles and it was very very rough. It wasn't until SF4 brought the attention back to fighting genre and we got lucky we got great games and eventually VF5FS in 2012.

    Now things slowed down in a sense that I don't think it will be easy. New consoles coming up as well so not really the best time.

    Going back to this topic ... I actually don't know... It's not the lore for sure... Cause I'll be mad if somebody cared about Tekken cast beyond the first 2 or 3 and most of the recognition is Mishimas. There were definitely some unique stuff like CGI endings ( again mostly cheesy and rather bland/forgetful that the series ended up getting rid of ), but could it have been these features ? Bigger roster ?

    I am a bit biased , but the art style of VF is sharper and more distinct than Tekken IMO.

    Well, if Sony marketed VF these days... It will be crazy :D
  12. gido

    gido Well-Known Member

    Its hard to say..too many factors that have to be determined. Yea Sega disegarded alot of their fighting game IPs. But would VF had been bigger than Tekken? Can't say really..

    I'd say they'd definitely be in competition as once a Tekken 4 would've finally announced they'd be under the same console. As you can see Tekken has alot more games, Tekken Tags etc etc. I don't feel like a console would've slowed down Tekken's run. Where as VF, graphically, it would've been great but content wise not so much..
    Tumbling Dice likes this.

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