|This actually sums it up nicely|
I love fighting games, I started with Street Fighter 2 on the Genesis and I played the hell out of that game as a kid. At the same time I started to play Mortal Kombat and basically any fighting game I could get my hands on. In those days fighting games felt fresh and unique, they didn't try to cater to a audience that wouldn't care for them. They had a focus with who they would market they're games to and it worked, that was apparent with the success of Street Fighter 2 in the arcades. That's where it all started the arcade's, people waited up for hours just to play one more match against the computer or that guy who was just too good. People genuinely had skill and the game rewarded you with how skilful you were. This trend continued for some time as fighters jumped into 3d and some stayed on the 2d realm and all seemed fine, sure we were being thrown so many fighters (some good, some bad) but all found their own niches and struck gold there. Then we hit the year 2000 and the next few years would see a draught of fighters on the market, Guilty Gear and BlazBlue came out in this time period and these games were reminiscent of some of the best and hardest fighters of the past. Now that isn't entirely true; Viruta Fighter, Dead or Alive, Tekken, and soul Calibur all came out with more games in this time frame and they built on their respective fan bases. Then Capcom released its behemoth Street Fighter 4 which went on to sell a butt load of copies, which was followed by two more sequels that added various tweaks and characters to the roster. Then Capcom did something that actually blew my mind in the wrong way. They released Marvel vs Capcom 3 which was to be honest just a average fighter, now where near the level it should have been, and then they release Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 eight months after the original release. Capcom has stated many times that they want to start making their games appeal to the "casual" audience to try and drive up sales, but what they don't understand is when they make games to appeal to those people I find that it can sometimes hinder the game. But what is a casual audience? Is it people who play the game less then five hours a week, or people that don't go to tournaments for it? Could I be a casual play, I mean I have played over 40 hours of Soul Calibur 5 and probably that much time or more on other fighters. Does that mean I'm not a casual player? The answer is unclear but what it seems like is that game studies would rather spend less time on tightening their game and more time adding stuff to bring in the casual market. I'm not saying all companies are doing or going to do this in the future, but we are getting to that point like we did in the late 90's where we have some many fighters being released that it is going to oversaturate the market again. My only real stance on the matter is find a game you like and stick with it, if your good try a tournament all I know is thank god I'm done this post so I can go back to Soul Calibur V.
Fighters Coming this year:
Street Fighter X Tekken
Tekken Tag Tournament 2
Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown