Capcom, it’s time for a new Power Stone to save the fighting genre
After Street Fighter V’s poor sales, Tekken’s long abscence and Mortal Kombat’s lull, it’s time for Capcom to once again reinvigorate the fighting genre by creating a new Power Stone.
It’s been a while since the last one, with the original and sequel appearing on the ill-fated Dreamcast way back at the turn of the century. The four-player co-op brawler allowed you to fight normally, throw all sorts of boxes, chairs and light furnishings at your opponent, and all while trying to keep up with the moving stage which was a danger in itself. Throw in the fact that the first to collect three power stones went ‘super’ and transformed into a terrifying demon-like creature with a huge amount of power, and you get a fighting game that is chaotic, fun and – most importantly – unlike anything else.
Recently released Lastfight made an attempt at being the new Power Stone earlier this year, but it’s not the Power Stone 3 a number of Dreamcast fans have been waiting for, despite a valiant effort.
“… a new Power Stone may be able to bridge the gap between hardcore and casual fighting game fans”
The recent decline of the fighting genre amongst less hardcore players has been a long and painful one to watch, all culminating in Street Fighter V’s poor sales earlier in the year. With the famous fighter missing its 2 million sales target for May by 600,000 copies, selling just 1.4 million in its first three months on sale. Unfortunately for Capcom, this figure failed to increase much by the time October rolled around. Despite having a strong and passionate player base, it’s one that is becoming increasingly frustrated by a lack of worthwhile additions to a game that Capcom initially described as a “platform” for the series moving forward.
Poor sales after Street Fighter V’s botched launch means that it’s managed to alienate those who aren’t into the fighting genre or watch big tournaments like EVO. Despite struggling to appeal to those who aren’t as passionate about fighting games and being a disappointingly received game in general, Street Fighter V has still somehow managed to worm its way onto Geoff Keighly’s Video Game Award show, as a nominee for the fighting category. A category that is only able to garner four nominations out of a possible five.
The fighting genre can’t even muster up enough nominees to fill out its category this year, although there has been a late call for Nitroplus Blasterz by more esteemed media from the games press this week, following an empty nomination slot.
Nevertheless, the fighting game genre is in a bit of a lull right now. Its biggest game is in a bit of a rut and hardcore fighting game players (who are absolutely insane to watch at times) are alienating newcomers from giving it a go. So, how do you fix a problem like the fighting game genre right now?
There’s no easy answer, but for Capcom, a new Power Stone may be able to bridge the gap between hardcore and casual fighting game fans and there’s no better time to do it.
Nostalgia may be taking over my mind here, but playing Power Stone with four friends was such a blast, and despite our varying skill levels, we all knew that there was a 75% chance we could lose the next fight.
For those of us not in the hardcore scene, it’s daunting going online to pick up yet another defeat. The idea of pick up and play fighting games has been dwindling for a number of years now, to the point where even the once beginner friendly Mortal Kombat has shifted ever so slightly in order to pick up competitive tournament players.
Fighting games are in a unique position and are unlike any other genre. Stuck between the professionals and casuals, developers and publishers want to appeal to both at the same time. But perhaps instead of doing that, they should focus on the fun aspect of fighting games. Bring back co-op play, bring back that crazy guy in the red suit, the lady with purple trousers, and the guy who turns into a rock, Capcom, it’s time to make a new Power Stone for everyone to enjoy fighting games again.