"We want to stop people talking about fighting games as separate from everything else."
-Yosuke Hayashi, Team Ninja head, explaining to Gamasutra about how Team Ninja is working to avoid getting caught up in a possible fighting game bust.
It's no secret that the fighting game genre has seen a revival in recent years. Capcom kicked it off with Street Fighter IV
in 2008 after a genre-wide drought, and since then we've seen veteran devs and upstart indies further grow the genre. But the original fighting game boom was gutted by an oversaturated market and too-steep learning curves. How can fighting game developers avoid the mistakes of the past?
Hayashi's response is to avoid the categorization of "fighting game" altogether. "We're trying to create a system that evolves the game and the genre," he told me, "And when we get questions like this, we're being put back into the fighting game box we're trying to break out of."
But while Team Ninja and Tecmo Koel can call Dead or Alive
whatever they like, the game still has two players facing off in an arena, with two health bars and a timer floating above. If it looks like a fighting game, plays like a fighting game, and quacks like a fighting game, it's probably a fighting game.