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[Guilty Gear Esports] Guilty Gear Strive Esports Future Viability?

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Guilty Gear Strive Esports Future Viability?

[Image: guilty_gear_strive-1.jpg]
Figure 1. Guilty Gear Strive


First of all, we need to acknowledge the sheer impact Guilty Gear Strive has had on the esports scene and the series in general. For before it stole the center stage from Tekken and Streetfighter, they were heralded as the greatest fighting games ever, and while yes games like the Guilty Gears and Melty Blood had dedicated fanbases they lacked the mainstream presence the prior mentioned games had. With due reason, both are made and supported by SEGA and Capcom two of the biggest game developers in the world with multiple other series under their belt. Whereas Guilty Gear was created by a small studio as a passion project, or so was the case at the start. At the time of Strive's release Arcs Systems Work had cultivated a name for itself as the best fighting game developer with acclaimed titles such as Dragon Ball FighterZ and Guity Gear Xrd Revelator. So using the skills they gained from developing those games they created what many think of today as the greatest stylized fighting game ever. 

Strive also gained a lot of praise from the esports community due to its highly optimized net code and well-balanced combat that made sure one character couldn’t solo everyone with a simple combo move. This praise also resulted in it being featured the same year of its release in the EVO Championship, one of the biggest fighting game tournaments ever. Not as a side game mind you, but as the main event. It also paved the way for older, but more developed games to get the spot such as Melty Blood and Under/Night. Overall since its release, it has had a great run with 2 whole seasons which introduced new characters and new stories to play in single-player. Arcs also announced that the game now has over 2.5 million players worldwide.

[Image: guilty_gear_strive-gameplay-2.jpg]
Figure 2. Guilty Gear Strive Gameplay

All of this would mean that the future of the game is set in stone as it is getting praise from all around, and it also just recently launched season 3 of the game. But it is not all it seems, as many are already starting to lose interest in the game as can be shown with online Twitch viewers. Competitions have also started to decrease the importance given to tournaments and while there are many different reasons why this is happening. The 2 main ones are the current release of Street Fighter 6 and the upcoming Tekken 8. This makes sense as the Strive came out at a time when players were fed up with the clunky mechanics of Street Fighter 5 and Tekken 7, to them Strive provided the right amount of old-school familiarity with innovations to make it fun. Plus if you add the fact that Street Fighter and Tekken are known worldwide to nearly all gamers, it would make sense to the weaning popularity of the game.

Figure 3. Guilty Gear Strive EVO 2023

From recent reveals, I am sure Arcs is aware of this as the game is now getting content more regularly and the new characters are some of the most requested characters from the fans. This might result in Strive surviving the next few years, but the signs are on the wall, and it's not like it’s a bad thing. Guilty Gear has never been a series with a single mainline entry for multiple years. It has grown alongside the fans and I believe it will be the same case with Strive, as Arcs will innovate upon it more and take the series to heights never seen before. Alongside that, the esports scene is abound to follow.

[Image: guilty_gear_strive-character-1.jpg]
Figure 4. Guilty Gear Strive New Character Johnny


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