Tekken 8 devs talk about creating the first console-focused installment.

Tekken 8 devs talk about creating the first console-focused installment.

Tekken 8: Facing the Challenge of Success

Bandai Namco’s Tekken franchise has been punching its way to the top of the fighting game world for years, leaving a trail of knocked-out opponents and ecstatic fans in its wake. And with the release of Tekken 7 eight years ago, the series reached new heights of popularity. But how does the team behind such a hit game tackle the daunting task of creating a sequel? We sat down with Tekken creator Katsuhiro Harada and producer Michael Murray to get the inside scoop on Tekken 8 and their thoughts on the state of the fighting game genre.

Tekken 8 - Kazuya Gameplay Reveal Trailer

The Challenge of Success

Making a new game when the previous one was a massive success is no easy feat. With Tekken 8 on the horizon, Harada and Murray are faced with the task of building on the triumphs of Tekken 7. The shift from releasing the game first on arcade to a simultaneous console release presents a unique challenge for the team. However, this change benefits players worldwide, ensuring that everyone can join the Tekken party at the same time.

From Arcade to Console

Tekken has a rich history, with arcade releases preceding console versions. The move to console gaming brought not only the core battle gameplay but also a plethora of additional content. Tekken was a pioneer in introducing modes like story, Tekken Force, and even bowling, making it enjoyable for both seasoned fighters and casual players. Now, with the console and arcade versions integrated into one, the team faces the intense task of creating a comprehensive experience from the get-go.

Farewell to Arcades?

The decline of arcades is a reflection of changing times and lifestyles. People now spend more time glued to their phones or binge-watching Netflix. However, Harada and his team are committed to addressing the needs of the current generation of gamers within Tekken 8. While details haven’t been announced, they are focused on creating an experience that caters to the evolving preferences of players.

Balancing Act

In the past, location tests in arcades were crucial for gathering feedback and fine-tuning the game. Now, with online tests and hands-on opportunities, the team collects valuable data from the gaming community. Early testing ensures that functionality works flawlessly in the online realm. However, Harada mentions that income generated during location tests mainly determines purchase decisions by arcade owners, and there isn’t much time to implement major changes before release.

Timing is Everything

Given the ongoing success of Tekken 7, deciding when to release Tekken 8 is a delicate balancing act. While players continue to invest time and money in Tekken 7, there is a demand for more content within the current game. Responding to fan feedback, the team has catered to this desire as much as possible. However, eventually, the craving for a brand-new experience becomes inevitable, and the team closely monitors the shifting tides of player preferences.

The Future of Fighting Games

Fighting games have weathered their fair share of ups and downs, but Harada believes that the genre is here to stay. Just like skiing, which maintains a dedicated fanbase and presence in the Olympics despite occasional fluctuations in popularity, fighting games have endured for over a quarter-century. Tekken stands out in the 3D fighting game realm, continuously delivering updates and new installments, ensuring the health and longevity of the genre.

Responsibility and Expertise

As custodians of Tekken and SoulCalibur, two of the biggest 3D fighting game franchises, the team doesn’t feel an explicit responsibility to keep the genre alive. However, they acknowledge the challenges that come with creating 3D fighting games and the technical expertise required. While they strive to fulfill the desires of Tekken fans, their focus remains on the unique identity and success of the Tekken series.

So, get ready to enter the ring again with Tekken 8, where the creators are determined to build upon the triumphs of the past while embracing the evolving needs of players. The ongoing success of Tekken 7 and the team’s commitment to creating an exceptional experience bode well for the future of the franchise. The fighting game genre may have its ebbs and flows, but Tekken is here to stay, delivering hard-hitting action and thrilling competition for years to come.