In an interesting (and massive) new interview with Gamasutra, Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada opened up about the series beginnings, the 90s fighting game boom, competition, and Tekken‘s segmented audience. At one point, he discussed how the series managed to attain the top spot in the fighting genre but still fights to “overcome the shadow of Street Fighter” due to people’s perceptions. He said:
We are always challenging ourselves. Not only in the number of copies sold or other financial records, but other objective data will attest that we have attained the top position in the genre, but data doesn’t necessarily overwrite the recollection or perception of people (even when many people see the numbers and still refuse to acknowledge this fact out of personal emotions… I have seen this often).
We realized this soon after we gained the top share according to sales figures. Some people never change their opinion no matter how much data you show them. That’s why we still fight to overcome the shadow of Street Fighter, the legendary game that started the genre. And also fight to surpass the specter of Virtua Fighter, another legendary series with many fans who love it.
Harada says that Tekken was neither affected by the fighting game boom of the 90s nor impacted by the genre’s recent revival. According to him, the series has continued to appeal to a wide and segmented audience, which is why it finds itself in the top position.
We didn’t make our game because the genre was popular, or there was a revival. We decided more than 20 years ago that we wanted to create a game that is relevant, and that can maintain its relevance with its fan-base, so that’s why we chased our rivals and worked so hard for so long. That is what Tekken is about.
The full interview is an interesting read so make sure to head over to Gamasutra for more.