Internet fisticuffs have never been more important
Perhaps no genre of gaming has been scuppered worse by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic than fighting games. 2020 saw practically an entire year of tournaments and events canceled on local, national, and international levels. Once the honeymoon period is over, fighting games essentially live or die by their competitive scenes, and the FGC thrives on the myriad of meet-ups that take place, whether for specific titles or the genre as a whole.
But with a year of canceled tournaments -and with 2021 already looking extremely fragile – the scene’s only course of action has been to rely on that shakiest of competitive platforms, Online Vs. As such, it has become vital for the life-force of every fighting game that its online stability is as tight as possible, improving matchmaking, reducing lag, and keeping the online community populated and engaged.
Speaking in an interview with Bandai Namco’s 876TV, Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada spoke of the necessary lean toward online play in these socially difficult times, noting that his team is still committed to improving Tekken 7‘s online play in order to deliver a sharp, reliable experience.
“With the rise of eSports, COVID-19 shifted player attention toward the online aspect of the game,” said Harada. “I think players weren’t necessarily forced to move to online play, but rather is just something that comes naturally with the frequency of eSports done online. Which is why we are currently working on an update to improve the online experience, and liven up the scene in a different way than usual.”
Despite now being in its fourth year of home release, (and sixth year since its arcade debut) Tekken 7 remains one of the strongest titles on the market. Harada and his team continue to support the 3D fighter, adding new fighters, moves, mechanics, modes, and rounds of balance tweaks in order to keep Law, Kazuya, Paul Phoenix and yes, even Lucky Chloe popular and relevant as the fighting game genre faces what looks set to be another difficult year.