Why is the Dead or Alive series of fighting games not respected or played/enjoyed as much as other more popular ones?

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Topcyclist

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#1  Edited By Topcyclist

Please answer outside of the point that it has fan service.

Personally, I enjoy DOA a lot more than most fighters due to the smooth transition of what I input to what happens on screen along with the flashy moves and overall feel. The story isn't as good as the others, nor is the extras. The games fell over due to milking costumes and their fans and trying to double down on fads aka the fan service. But now that DOA is reaching 20+ years and I don't see a sequel in sight, I question why it's so disliked.

Personally, I find the game fighting mechanics fun, the counter system is great, the out of ring continue fighting is nice though underutilized, and the characters mostly fight differently. The graphics are good, decent by today's standards sadly. And the story is fine. Obviously, MK is way more fun storyline-wise, I mean it has a successful movie franchise for goodness sake, but I don't enjoy the stutter-stop attacks (at least as a new player) of those games. You have to really know what you're doing to feel like combos flow in MK and even then I feel like they don't look like they do as much as DOA. The MK fatalities are admittedly a way better thing than out of ring. Smash bros is less of a party game than people think once you play with try-hards that say no items etc. Street Fighter IMO was fine in 1, but really got good due to 3 where the combos were fluid, maybe I just like that style XD. It's obviously a better game for most. Then there is Tekken that by 8 just made DOA irrelevant so maybe I answered my question though they can still try. It's fluid and strict, has all the things in other fighters and more. Lastly the others like Marvel vs Capcom, and the indies like skull girls both good, etc...overall there's still space for DOA, but people don't care for it.

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ZombiePie

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#2  Edited By ZombiePie

The DLC situation for Dead or Alive 5 Last Round and Dead or Alive 6 absolutely did this franchise zero favors, especially when it came to its critics. 6's DLC basically split the community up and made it immediately unviable for most tournament circuits.

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Topcyclist

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@zombiepie: Agreed. Im not a huge fighting guy. I like them but im not like tournament level. I wondered if im missing something and the gameplay of DOA is just actually bad in comparison to street fighter tekken smash capcom etc the mains (MK or injustice). The money grub is definitely a hit and i think the look of the characters as it's less accepted today to sell on such things. Look at the uproar about say stellar blade. Overall im not certain but i see your point holds water sadly.

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sombre

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It got popular due to those weirdo anime pervs, and we grew up as a society

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judaspete

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#5  Edited By judaspete

I like DOA and think it deserves more credit for actually being fun. But there is no getting around the fact it was marketed as a boob physics simulator first and foremost, especially once the Extreme spinoffs came about. At that point, saying you liked it for the fighting was like saying you had a Playboy subscription for the articles. It might have been true (Playboys used to have an unexpectedly large number of words in them) but no one was ever going to take you seriously.

That said, there is no denying Virtua Fighter is more technical and was taken more seriously by the FG community, and that series had an even earlier death than DoA. So while I don't have any answers, I suspect it was more than just boobs holding the series back. Perhaps being exclusive to Xbox during a formative time for fighting game e-sports was another problem? Japanese players are big chunk of this group.

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bigsocrates

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Everyone has reasons that seem plausible but what if we approach it from the other direction; why SHOULD Dead or Alive have survived?

Tekken is basically the only classic 3D fighter series that's still popular. Everything else, including Virtua Figther, Soul Calibur, and Bloody Roar seems to be niche at best. I was a huge DOA fan but it just seems like 3D fighters aren't popular outside of Tekken. The fighting scene is basically Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Tekken, a bunch of anime fighters of various flavors, and indies. SNK keeps trying to revive its properties like KOF and Samurai Shodown without a ton of attention.

The fighting game market has consolidated and DOA is marginal, like most franchises, because it's not one of the big ones.

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ZombiePie

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@zombiepie: Agreed. Im not a huge fighting guy. I like them but im not like tournament level. I wondered if im missing something and the gameplay of DOA is just actually bad in comparison to street fighter tekken smash capcom etc the mains (MK or injustice). The money grub is definitely a hit and i think the look of the characters as it's less accepted today to sell on such things. Look at the uproar about say stellar blade. Overall im not certain but i see your point holds water sadly.

Everyone has reasons that seem plausible but what if we approach it from the other direction; why SHOULD Dead or Alive have survived?

Tekken is basically the only classic 3D fighter series that's still popular. Everything else, including Virtua Figther, Soul Calibur, and Bloody Roar seems to be niche at best. I was a huge DOA fan but it just seems like 3D fighters aren't popular outside of Tekken. The fighting scene is basically Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, Tekken, a bunch of anime fighters of various flavors, and indies. SNK keeps trying to revive its properties like KOF and Samurai Shodown without a ton of attention.

The fighting game market has consolidated and DOA is marginal, like most franchises, because it's not one of the big ones.

With a moderate budget, there's always room for B-tier fighting games. Also, the lifespan of these games stiff makes them enticing business propositions. Whenever a game announces it gets netcode rollback, there's an immediate re-injection of interest. Despite stiff competition, all signs point to Sega working on another Virtua Fighter.

There's another element to the current state of DOA that can't be ignored. Team Ninja has seen a ton of turnover and likely has moved on from fighting games. Since Nioh, it just seems like ARPGs are their current crease and they possibly don't have the warm bodies or staff to go back and have a go at righting the ship, and possibly, no one is interested in doing that in the first place.

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#8  Edited By AV_Gamer

As someone who follows the FGC, the DOA games have always been as popular as Tekken and Virtual Fighter. The difference is that Tekken is at the top of the mountain in terms of tournament backing and prize money, so the game has gotten a lot more attention. Namco like Capcom has fully invested in the whole e-sports world tour, where players compete for huge cash prizes. Meanwhile, Tecmo /Team Ninja was banned from EVO because of the display that happened in 2018 during their event. Prior to this, DOA was one of the top 3D fighting games you'd see at tournaments. Just because you don't see the gaming being hyped like Tekken on social media, doesn't mean a lot of people around the world aren't still playing it. Virtual Fighter is also not hyped like Tekken is right now, but has a huge following of people playing the game around the world.

I'm not going to get into the so-called sexy factor, because it's irrelevant. DOA has always been a solid 3D fighting game series, and this is why the series has lasted through the years. Not because people get off on seeing Kasumi, Ayane, etc.

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bigsocrates

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@zombiepie: Is there room for these games though? Arc makes a lot of fighting games, primarily its two big franchises and licenses, and SNK keeps doing its Saudi-backed thing, but I have no idea if these games actually do well. Arc does well enough to stay in business I guess. The fact that we haven't seen a new Soul Calibur in so long and talk about how 6 did makes it seem like that franchise is at least moribund. And Sega may be trying to revive Virtua Fighter but it's also trying to revive Crazy Taxi and Golden Axe. Sega is on a nostalgia kick. The fact that it's been stuck on 5 for well over a decade despite the fact that 5 is a very good game suggests that they haven't seen a burning need to put out more in that franchise.

I just have no idea whether being outside the top tier in fighting is actually profitable at this point.

@av_gamer: People may be playing DOA but are people BUYING DOA? The competitive scene is a tiny sliver of the purchasing public and it's not where the profit is. Companies support the competitive scene to draw in the casuals. The very top games seem to sell well enough but the stats I've seen on the smaller games haven't tended to be good. The sexy thing matters because I think the DOA team believes that "whaling" is the more viable path forward (or was when DOA 6 came out) than trying to sell broadly.

Even the big games are riddled with DLC in an attempt to extract more money from a potentially smaller audience. Street Fighter 6 was very well received critically and sold decently, but as far as I know didn't shift huge numbers.

From what I've gleaned it seems like the fighting game buying community is large enough to support the big games (and casuals will buy Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter and Tekken) but I'm not actually sure it's big enough to support the second tier, outside of the aforementioned Arc, which has its own fanbase.

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#10  Edited By cikame

Hi, it's me, i've defended DOA a lot on this forum before so i won't go crazy this time.

Despite fighting games being bigger than ever before it's still only really the most popular games that can maintain a healthy player count, so many millions play FPS that if you wanted to dedicate yourself to a less popular option with only a few thousand players you can, but it's harder for everyone from casual to pro to justify putting time into a fighter that only has a few hundred.

I think DOA does sell pretty well, there must be a reason why we're up to number 6, but despite its very good gameplay, presentation and decent enough netcode in the latest entry people still fall back to the thriving communities of Street Fighter and Tekken, it's where all the fighting game content creators and tournaments are so i can't blame them for wanting to be involved and included.

What would another franchise have to do in order to overthrow the Pepsi and Cola of the genre? One way is wait for them to change their receipe and anger their customers, for the longest time the biggest games at EVO were Marvel and Street Fighter (and i guess Smash but... you know), when SF5 arrived with a solid presentation and not a lot else fans started looking at other options, Marvel Infinite disappointed the next year and cemented the idea the Capcom had lost their way, at the same time Tekken 7 came and took all of that thunder propelling the franchise to the main stage at EVO. I don't know if DOA has the receipe to compete if a moment like that were to happen again, and it's obviously not something you can predict, but hopefully it can continue to exist with a casual audience and maybe see some growth if people start looking for something different.

Here, courtesy of me and some free video editing software enjoy the DOA2 intro, my entry to the franchise, i even learned this song on guitar :D.

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I wanted to come in and make a joke about the OP wanting us to exclude the two biggest glaring bouncing reasons why DOA isn't taken seriously, but honestly, thinking about it, I'm kinda bummed about this whole series' direction. The fighting mechanics are so damn good but it refuses to evolve beyond a frat boy mentality, and throwing unchecked greed behind that in its DLC situation soured me compleely on the games.

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@bigsocrates: You are probably right. DOA is the butt of some jokes, but it lasted longer than most other 3D fighters in the end. Something about side-stepping turns a lot of folks off I guess. Tekken is basically the last one standing, perhaps because 7 nerfed the effectiveness of side-stepping.

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i haven't played 6 but since 3 i've always enjoyed them personally , and as a straight chick the fan service does nothing for me its just there. i only ever play fighters solo tho not online or anything and the couple times i did play doa3 back in the day multiplayer i found it to be alot more beginer friendly vs say a street fighter. that said i used to enjoy all the unlocables and since those are a thing of the past i don't care to play as much vs something with a proper story-mode

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#14  Edited By poses

Failed story mode, graphics are lousy, I have the impression of playing 5 but a little prettier (one x). I really like the series, but I have to admit that this one is the worst.

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