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Player laments the fall of Soulcalibur, Tekken director Harada responds with a literal essay about it: 'I don't think the fire of Project Soul has been extinguished'

Soulcalibur 6 released in 2018 to a decent reception, though it's fair to say it didn't set the world alight. The best thing about it was a ludicrously impressive character creator, though on PC even further treats would await thanks to modders: how about a fight to the finish between Bernie Sanders and Geralt?

Things have gone quiet on the Soulcalibur front since then, while stablemate Tekken's star has continued to rise. Bandai Namco has developed these two very different flavours of fighting game simultaneously since the late 1990s, but with no new entry seemingly even planned some fans are beginning to worry that the success of Tekken will see Soulcalibur fade away.

«Where are those arcade titles that we were so crazy about? Where did that fighting game franchise with those great mechanics go?»

A series fan posted a long thread outlining the reasons they felt Soulcalibur was in the doldrums, including the claim that it lacked a strong focal point like Tekken chief Katsuhiro Harada, and some spitballing about various game mechanics. Just another day on the gaming internet, but this sparked a remarkably long response from Katsuhiro Harada himself, who clearly had something to get off his chest.

Harada's missive is detailed and somewhat brutal about what goes on behind-the-scenes at a giant publisher like Bandai Namco, and what it takes to keep pushing forward a massive brand like Soulcalibur or Tekken. 

Harada begins by addressing the idea that various game mechanics affect a series' survival or otherwise: «things are not that simple.» He points out that these games began in the heyday of arcades (the first Soulcalibur, Soul Edge, was an arcade cabinet before home conversions followed) where people could experiment more with games, and move between favourites, but in the home market your players have already purchased the game.

He calls this a «paradigm shift» in how games are marketed and sold, and for «historical video game franchises» this can be a big

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