Growing a fighting game scene is the responsibility of each player. Not much is needed to do your part, simply showing up to events or posting online can help. The low commitment of actions like these is vital, but some members in a community take it a step further and attempt to gather a bigger crowd. In an attempt to increase their reach as a community, community leaders sometimes take unique approaches to accomplish this.
The King of Fighters community, specifically with the support of MadManCafe, is holding a survey in an attempt to gather information, targeted at increasing the range of community content and tournament organizer support. Giving a voice and hard numbers to the fan base has all sorts of useful benefits, which survey runners reiki_kito and Fata_Con are trying to put to good use. They are raffling off free copies of KOF XIV to participants each month, to add some incentive for more people to aid in their community building.
The survey so far has over 1000 participants, with a Japanese survey netting nearly 300 and a Korean survey managing to break 100. The results of the English survey so far are detailed here, with some interesting revelations, but this isn’t the first community survey. Back in 2012, a similar survey was held by the same people, though that survey didn’t manage to break 500 entries. Even still, looking at the data from then until now is interesting. Out of the people surveyed, a majority expressed interest in casual events like locals, good commentary, and they leaned towards watching streams to learn more about their game than most other sources.
Comparing this to today’s survey, there are some interesting differences. The majority still prioritizes casual events (63%), but more players lean towards more streams (50%), more information databases (56%), and better netcode (56%) as reasons to get them excited about the game. In 2012 commentary was prioritized, but today it’s tied with combo and tech videos (59%), with streams trailing just behind (53%). The last comparison to make to the 2012 survey is on where the surveyed players are getting their content from; four years ago they prioritized streams, but today players are much more likely to look towards community sites like Dreamcancel, Orochinagi, and our very own Shoryuken for their content (81%). In this area, places players are looking for content, people are actually using Facebook as a tool a lot more (60%), in addition to the traditional streams and tech videos(54%).
These three topics aren’t the only things being polled, of course. The response to age showed that the majority of participants are between 25-34 (59%), with the combined total of players between 18 and 34 making the vast majority of players (88%). While that stat isn’t too surprising, it’s interesting to see how much crossover there is with other games. The overwhelming majority of KOF players have dabbled in Street Fighter (95%), with a good number having played Tekken (72%) and others. One of the more interesting stats is what those surveyed responded as what could entice them to show up to local events; a supportive community (54%) and casual setups (49%) are ranked the highest in what could help players turn up offline, which I think helps people turn up for a lot of communities, not just KOF.
There is a lot more data that I’m not touching on here, so be sure to thumb through the survey results yourself. It’s great to have solid data to look at for these kinds of topics, which again is linked here.