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Tekken producer says younger players prefer team-based games to one-on-one fighting games because they can shift the blame when they lose

Tekken series producer Katsuhiro Harada recently appeared on the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences’ Game Maker’s Notebook podcast when the conversation shifted towards the Tekken series, its popularity and how the fighting game genre can evolve for younger players in the future.

Harada believes that for the genre to continue to evolve it will have to integrate more team-based components, as it’s his contention that younger players prefer team-based games to one-on-one fighting games because they can shift the blame when they lose.

“It seems to me that the way fighting games are played has evolved over time, with the generations,” Harada told PlayStation‘s Shuhei Yoshida.

Harada went on to explain the innate competitive nature of his generation towards gaming and life in general compared to today’s youth.

“In Japan, and probably in most of the world, my generation is a big one. It makes up a good chunk of the population. That made our society a competitive one.

Tekken 8/Bandai Namco

“If you applied to a school or for a job, there was always a lot of competition. Because of this, people in my generation prefer definitive outcomes, a clear winner and loser. This applies to folks in and around their 50s.

“But most young people nowadays are the opposite. They’re rarely eager to engage in one-on-one showdowns. Plus, because fighting games pit you by yourself against a single opponent, you have to accept all the responsibility if you lose. You can’t blame anyone else.

“In team-based shooters, when players win, they can say that they won because of their own contributions, but when they lose, it’s because they got matched with a lousy team.”

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Harada believes that some of these multiplayer elements which make team-based games such as League of Legends, Dota, Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto V so popular have to be integrated into the fighting game genre for it to further grow and appeal to the younger generation of gamers.

“I’m not saying we should suddenly turn a fighting game into a puzzle game, or a real-time strategy game,” Harada continued. “I still think there’s demand for games like this, this sort of hand-to-hand fighting

“But maybe we could include other ways of competing, outside of the main game. For example, maybe they don’t always have to fight one-on-one. They could opt for team battles, such as 3-on-3 matches.

Activision Blizzard

“I think we may want to incorporate this into the online mode’s official rankings. Maybe team matches could have positions within a team, something like the order of teammates in judo matches.

“Right now, in Tekken’s online mode, each player fights alone, battle after battle, just trying to climb the rankings. Maybe with more varied modes based on things like teams or regions, it could add more meta-gaming as well.”

Do you agree with the Tekken series producer that younger players prefer team-based games to one-on-one fighting games because they can shift the blame when they lose? Which generation of gaming are you from? Let us know in the comments.

Written By

Ninja Gaiden was my rite of passage at an early age. After finally beating that game (and narrowly dodging carpal tunnel) I decided to write about my gaming exploits. These days I enjoy roguelikes and anything Pokemon but I'll always dust off Super Mario RPG, Donkey Kong Country and StarFox 64 from time to time to bask in their glory.

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