Discussions and debates about the state of the scene are constant in the ever-changing landscape of the Fighting Game Community (FGC). Recently, a discourse was ignited on Twitter by none other than the prominent Content Creator Jiyuna, a key figure who bridges the gap between Japan and non-Japanese speakers in the FGC, particularly within the Anime Fighting game scene.
Jiyuna’s tweet read: “CR Cup destroying Western FGC viewership once again. And this is only on Twitch. #SF6.” The CR Cup, short for Crazy Raccoon Cup, is a series of show matches featuring games like Fortnite, Apex Legends, and the highly anticipated Street Fighter 6. Organized by Crazy Raccoon, these matches showcase notable players, streamers, Vtubers and have gained immense popularity. They’ve even collaborated with the Tokyo Game Show, solidifying their presence in the gaming world.
The discourse continued as Majin Obama, another prominent Anime Fighter content creator, chimed in. He questioned whether the Western FGC’s approach to content creation was somewhat static and complacent when it came to attracting new players to their games. Are they making the most of the current moment?
Notably, one of the world’s best Fighting Game players, Punk, pushed back against these assertions, suggesting that Jiyuna and Majin Obama might be overly enamored with Japan and dismissive of the rest of the world. He argued that it’s not just their love for Japan that drives viewership but also the involvement of big companies like Crazy Raccoon.
So, where does that leave us in assessing the state of Western FGC content?
Firstly, it’s essential to acknowledge that fighting game events have always been niche at the competitive level. While they might look cool and exciting, the experience of watching them competitively versus casually is vastly different. Casualizing the viewing experience to attract a wider audience can be challenging, making it difficult to reach 500k viewers consistently.
However, Japan seems to excel in this regard, and the key might lie in the personalities presenting the content. Japanese FGC content tends to be high-energy and flashy, which compensates for the complexities of explaining fighting games to viewers. Moreover, they are unafraid to experiment with various formats to enhance the casual viewing experience. For example, the Hololive tournament appeals to multiple audiences, from dedicated Hololive fans to casual gamers, thanks to its mix of VTubers and pro players. This willingness to embrace diverse ideas has undoubtedly contributed to their larger viewership.
So, what’s the solution for Western content creators looking to boost their viewership?
The clear answer is a greater willingness to experiment. Western content often caters primarily to high-skill level players, relying on personalities to carry the content. While this approach works to some extent, it has its limitations. To expand their reach, content creators could consider different leagues for various skill levels. This inclusivity could attract a broader audience and elevate Western FGC content to new heights.