7 things Tekken 7 can do to revitalize the franchise

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At finals day of the 2014 Evolution Championship Series, or Evo 2014, Tekken franchise producer Katsuhiro Harada officially unveiled Tekken 7, the latest numbered installment in the series.

Despite the game being leaked earlier that day, the Tekken 7 announcement no doubt got many fans of the franchise excited. While details were sparse, Harada confirmed that game is in development for current-generation consoles using Unreal Engine 4.

Tekken is no doubt one of the most prominent fighting game franchises on the planet and is often cited as the best-selling fighting game franchise of all time with over 40 million copies sold worldwide.

Despite this success, the Tekken franchise has lost some momentum recently. The latest commercial entry in the series Tekken Tag Tournament 2 only sold 1.3 million copies in its first nine months of sale. It has been unable to top Arcadia Magazine’s list of top 10 Japanese arcade fighting games where as its predecessor, Tekken 6, held the number one spot for all arcade games for nearly two years. The free-to-play nature of Tekken Revolution makes it difficult to analyze how successful the game has been for Bandai Namco.

Tekken Tag 2 also has not been played nearly as much at a competitive level. At Evo, arguably the largest fighting game tournament, Tekken Tag 2 had 355 entrants in 2013 and 257 in 2014, the smallest number entrants for any game that year.

Regardless, Bandai Namco has obviously not abandoned the Tekken series. Tekken 7 has the opportunity to turn things around. Here are seven ways Tekken 7 can revitalize the heavyweight champion of the fighting game genre:

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Are Pro Gamers Athletes?

Esports vs Sports

There is no doubt about it — eSports is exploding.

The fastest growing entertainment medium has also led to the rise of one the fastest growing industries in the world. eSports events now have prize pools of millions of dollars, events are watched by millions online and top players earn hundreds of thousands of dollars from sponsorships and competing in tournaments.

This Zerg rush of success has definitely not gone unnoticed. The U.S. government now grants international League of Legends players athletic visas and, more recently, Robert Morris University has begun offering athletic scholarships to League of Legends players. Former top NBA player Rick Fox, recently appeared on The View where he recognized pro gamers as “digital athletes.”

During this particular segment, Fox was expectedly met with differing opinions from the hosts, some who literally laughed at the idea of a video game player being an athlete. This is not unusual as there has always been debate about whether pro gamers are indeed athletes. Players of games that are not physically intensive in general, like chess or poker, still have trouble being recognized as athletes.

So are professional gamers actually athletes? Continue reading