‘Chiu on This’ is a short and regular opinion blast
The EVO 2017 registration numbers were released. SRK did a tweet with the reg numbers from this year and the previous years you can see here. The most surprising drop off was in SF5 which had gone from 5102 to 2622, though anecdotally a lot of the people that registered didn’t show up last yer. It’s still larger than the number of players playing SF4 in 2015, but the question is why the drop off? If I had to guess, it’s because SF5 was made to draw in casuals and casuals by their very nature switch games, so the only ones who stuck around were the more hardcore players.
Melee and Smash 4 seem to have dropped in registration, though I can’t tell if it’s the more insular nature of the community or an actual drop off of interest in the game.
Unsurprisingly, Tekken 7 had the biggest increase as the game finally came out on home consoles and PC.
Although a lot of people want to blame the bad game design for SF5’s lowered registration numbers, there are too many factors at play. Last year’s EVO was the first to be in the Mandalay Bay, and it was televised on ESPN2. Game releases have a wide effect. Or it could be Capcom’s own casual oriented scheme biting them back as very few casual gamers stick around paying for extra content on top of the console game price (whereas in LoL/Dota it’s FTP).
I think the biggest thing to look at is reg. numbers for the Major tournaments for the FGC games as well as viewer numbers. It could be that the games are turning more into a spectacle rather than the old school grass roots tournaments where everyone played.