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Virtua Fighter x eSports in Sega Sammy's FY'21 Winter Business Report

Discussion in 'News' started by MadeManG74, Dec 19, 2020.

By MadeManG74 on Dec 19, 2020 at 3:47 PM
  1. MadeManG74

    MadeManG74 Moderator Staff Member Tournament Manager Silver Supporter

    Virtua Fighter x eSports has been mentioned specifically as an initiative in Sega Sammy's latest business report. While details of the project are still scarce, the report mentions that

    As expected, we will have to keep waiting for more details to be revealed slowly over time.

    Virtua Fighter x eSports was listed as a latest topic for the report, alongside Persona 5: Royale's sales results, RE:Zero Smartphone game's launch and the release of a new pachislot machine.

    The full business report can be viewed here;

    VF x ESports Business Report.PNG
    Myke, SUGATA, NBDanTE and 3 others like this.


Discussion in 'News' started by MadeManG74, Dec 19, 2020.

    1. Terracrush
      While it might be good news, it sounds so corporate that I'm not hyped by this at all. Their insistence on rebranding an "E-sports" which could be applied to any fighting game concurrent or old doesn't help. Will wait on further news.
      MadeManG74 likes this.
    2. Tricky
      If they're serious about making it e-sports then they have to know that means making a new game with that ecosystem in mind. I'm hopeful for a new game
      MadeManG74 likes this.
    3. Unicorn
      Not necessary new game. Can be remaster (the ecosystem existed since VF4 on arcades. They can re-create it for consoles/PCs).

      Anyway, I am still kinda scared. eSports this days are heavily dependent upon "casual crowds" to support them. eSport-only Fighting Game will need to be innovative as hell... or will have damn hard time to work.
      MadeManG74 likes this.
    4. beanboy
      Oy! Thanks for the article MadeMan.


      From what I'm picking up on that "esports part," something tells me this game might be corporately nerfed, and very evo friendly in order to appeal to non VF players. I pray and hope that I am wrong. x_X

      I hope they release more info soon, and some gameplay clips and footage of people playing the game, so we can decide if this game is worth waiting for.
      Last edited: Dec 25, 2020
      MadeManG74 likes this.
    5. nou
      Hopefully the 'esports' push means and emphasis with online play, and the netcode being gdlk. and short time between Japan release and the rest of the world.

      Cathing tweets of Harada being rebuked against his insistence about rollback has been entertaining to say the least.
      Jotamide, Tricky and MadeManG74 like this.
    6. MadeManG74
      I think eSports is such a loose term, it could mean a lot of things. As @BLACKSTAR said before, Virtua Fighter might as well have always been 'eSports' since it had such a focus on multiplayer/vs mode.
      BLACKSTAR and Tricky like this.
    7. Terracrush
      When I read this it this article it seems to appeal and geared to an audience not necessary to players directly. Perhaps a new audience or shareholders. Whether you like the term e-sports or not, its a bit controversial within actual players circles. Also aren't their issues of licenses within Japan itself, the place with largest player base of VF? So you're telling me you are trying to expand your player base for a game with some of the most die hard under the term E-sports? Good luck with that.
      beanboy and MadeManG74 like this.
    8. MadeManG74
      This is a business report, so it's aimed at shareholders primarily and not gamers.
      I also believe Sega already joined the eSports federation thing in Japan a while ago.

      Regardless, based on the trailer and stuff, I think they're just using eSports as the term to link it to competitive gaming, which Virtua Fighter has always been about.
      Tricky likes this.
    9. Unicorn
      by complete accident, I run into this:

      I have no clue what is going on in the video, but it features VF2, mentions eSports in title and have Itazan. Any chance it is realed in any reasonable manner to the ongoing topic?
    10. Mister
      I'm failing to see Itazan, when does he appear in the video? I've just given a quick watch skipping minute to minute.
    11. Unicorn
      I will swear I saw him somewhere around 15 minutes mark but cant see him there so I was probably wrong o_O Sorry
    12. Ali
      Well, I am hoping for a new game, but a proper port of VF5FS for next gen with maybe a new user interface to refresh things would give me a smile.

      I believe Satomi mentioned quickly it was a new game/title right after the reveal trailer.

      As for people afraid of the gameplay getting watered down, I guess thats always a possibility regardless of it being eSport oriented or not. I am personally not worried as VF has nothing but it's tight gameplay. People play VF only for the gameplay. There is no other gimmicks in here. I think SEGA would think tons before they drastically make big changes including making it more casual.

      I am not worried.
      MadeManG74 and Tricky like this.
    13. Tricky
      I agree with Ali 100%
    14. Superspacehero
      I belive it will be a straight port, with support of 4k , and wild cards would be new costumes and improved dojo.

      I would also like improved ai, but that may be hoping for a little too much
      MadeManG74 likes this.
    15. erdraug
      It can be argued that VF is already "watered down" compared to other fighting games, 3D or not: no super meters, no rage comeback mechanics, no throw clashing (think throws in SF)/throws eating up attacks depending on frame advantage (think tekken, or at least the tekken versions I used to play a decade ago), no 8-way run, no verticality (think KoF's multiple jump arcs or MvCs airdash madness) etc etc. It's really a series of rapidfire Rock-Paper-Scissors with the occasional knowledge test/execution barrier thrown in.

      Of course one might argue that VF is not "watered down", that instead VF is "pure".

      Regardless of how you want to call it, "watered down" or "pure", VF being streamlined should have made it an easy-going spectator sport. Notice that "should" was in italics. There are still some vestigial elements preventing VF from becoming an approachable game.

      Overall for something to be turned into a sport (elecronic or regular one) it needs to have enough competitors AND enough spectators. So I tried compiling a list of VF issues either preventing the competitor base from increasing, or lowering spectator appeal. Please feel free to contribute to the list.

      Spectator-related shortcomings:

      • There is no spectator/commentator mode (think observer mode in Starcraft 2: you can see the units, map and stats) [6_] Easy first step: allow spectators to see frames
      • The sideturned game is still obscure [6_] It's a recent addition, so either simplify it or integrate specific discernible sideblock animations so viewers can actually see that something is different and commentators will have the opportunity to raise the point. Alternatively, if there is a specific spectator/caster mode (see above), then have the word "sideblock" popup next to the frames.

      Competitor-related shortcomings:
      • Execution barrier [6_] The combos don't get flashier so the uninitiated spectators cannot realize that an Akira combo with knee/Jacky combo with Iageri//Vanessa death scythe combo with stance switch required the player to spend hours in the dojo to be able to pull it off. Contrast this with the "Daigo parry" (it has a wikipedia page FFS) even the uninitiated realize it's something special because the word "tech Bonus" pops up a bunch of times. [6_] Potential solution: Have a discrete visual indicator highlight when something involving difficult execution happens. Or maybe an audio cue (think Killer Instinct).
      • Knowledge checks [6_] True, every fighting game tends to have those, but few to the extend that VF does. In most fighting games it is sufficient to know your own character's frames & eventually your opponent's frame trap. In VF however there is a plethora of defensive options available to the opponent that depending on the frames of their blocked attack; not knowing for example that something is fuzzy safe means that your attempts to apply nitaku are in vain. [6_] The aforementioned option to show frames would again solve this issue. This frame data "training wheels" can be available to the lower ranks of online and, let's say, once the player is out of the Kyu's they will no longer be available, to simulate a competitive environment. Offline viewing frame data outside of the dojo can be left to the players' discretion.
      • Combo damage being affected by weight [6_] this creates a barrier to entry for new players, driving them away. "Why practice 15 different combo enders for one launcher in VF, when I can practice ALL of Ken's combos in SF for the same time invstment?" VF will never reach the same number of player count if this remains. [6_] I don't have a solution to fix this without alienating "hardcore" VFers who think that this is actually a good thing. But at least the fighter's height and weight could appear in the loading screen, giving commentators an opportunity to highlght their importance.
      • Alternating foot stance [6_] i know this is heresy so I kept this for last. It's a vestigial element from 20 years ago. Yes I know that SF has this too, with the 2P side being a mirrored 1P side - however in SF it doesn't affect gameplay! In VF this doubles the (already high due to weight differentiation, see previous item in this same list) number of combos to ludicrous levels: we literally need a spreadsheet to keep track of it! So VF, instead of being considered a "pure" fighter (see my previous arguments) it is instead being grouped alongside obfuscated ones such as GG or MVC2 e.g. this random reddit thread that showed up when I googled "hardest fighting games"). [6_] I don't even want to get into the argument that it's not realistic (although it could deter some spectators). It just adds complexity without any significant benefit. I say drop this altogether.

      In addition to these, I have attempted to compile a list of features an e-sport version of VF5FS could easily integrate without the need for a gameplay overhaul. It is a worthwhile thread to (re)read before we start repeating ourselves over here.

      Finally, and speaking of repeating ourselves, I would like to point out that it's been more than a decade we have been brainstorming ideas to increase the game's popularity. And the fourth post of the linked thread implies that this had been going on for another decade. So maybe we should just resign ourselves and accept that this franchise probably won't ever reach its full potential.

      PS: Hmm, Reno makes a good point in the second page, trimming the movelist would probably help as well. Not just by lowering the barrier to entry for new competitors (which was the gist of Reno's argument) but because it would make the game easier to spectate & easier for the developers to maintain and balance (think Tekken's seasons). But some of the counterarguments are good as well... damnit I have to read the entire thread now :(

      PPS: yeah, it's a worthwhile read. @Xzyx987X has a point: SEGA might include the "VF e-sports initiative" in its annual report but until there's some actual corporate restructuring we shouldn't get our hopes up.
      Last edited: May 18, 2021
    16. Ali
      Very interesting reply that I will go through deeper in a later point, but one thing caught my eye is the super meters and especially the rage mode. They aren't as universally loved as you might made it sound. In fact And depending which community you talk to, there are remarks on them being a bit more of gimmicky that making the gameplay deeper. Needless to say, it really depends on who you are talking to.

      Making shorter combos or even cutting combos is basically what we generally mean by watering down here (at least to my understanding) and I have been talking though infrequently with the SF community and they consider SF5 to be very watered down or tuned down compared to earlier titles.

      I don't think in the case of VF that cutting down combos would help. An average player might use like 10-30% of the movesets and the very hardcore moves are usually only seen in practice demos than true competitive matches. I personally like the balance that VF has. You can execute flashy combos. The pro VF player has the knowledge of when and how to counter these.

      I think the daigo parry is only a shadow of its former self and there has been many videos that demonstrate that it's very watered down and isn't considered a hardcore thing anymore.

      I don't think VF lacks those hype moments, in fact in the tournies, we see tons of great escapes, counters and wall flips/combos. We see tons of come backs that beat anything rage mode related.

      I think VF should stay pure. It has a much smaller community compared to the rest of the fighters that's for sure, but personally I think it kept its quality and stayed loyal to its roots much more than any other fighters.
      beanboy and MadeManG74 like this.
    17. erdraug
      It's been more than a month and all is quiet on the VF Front :zzz:

      Given that the last time the "Virtua Fighter x SOMETHING" tagline was used it was to announce a "Virtua Fighter x Fist of the North Star LEGENDS ReVIVE Collaboration", I'm beginning to think that Kenshiro exploded Akira's head for good and SEGA is organising a World Tournement to find a new posterboy.

      Omae Wa Mou Shindeiru :ninja:
    18. beanboy
      Limited/less moves, would make VF boring, and turn VF into a game, that is a boring repetitive loop, of the same moves and combos, being used over and over and over in matches, and that bores alot of people, myself included. Sega tried to do something like that with VF5 FS, and people didn't like it. Eg. Goh had over 50 throws in VF4 Evo, and seeing Goh popping out a ton of throws out of nowhere, was always exciting to watch. In VF5 FS, he has less throws and because of that, it's always the same throws being used over and over in matches. Vanessa is another character that lost alot of cool moves and throws, which is why alot of her fans, found her a bit boring in Final Showdown.
      Last edited: Feb 1, 2021
    19. Sonic The Fighters
      Sonic The Fighters
      So remake the VF4 FT gameplay with 2021 animations for the next VF game, and we are good !
      Last edited: Feb 3, 2021
      beanboy likes this.

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