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2017 has come and gone! Was it really ‘The Year of Tekken’?

At EVO 2016, Harada and Michael Murray made a bold proclamation.

Remember when Harada-san told us that 2017 was going to be the year of Tekken? He wasn’t wrong!

For the past few years, Tekken has taken a backseat. Of course the game was always up there as one of the greatest fighting games of all time, with an outstanding legacy. But that’s exactly my point, the game wasn’t current anymore, it felt like a ‘has been’, and the scene wasn’t exactly thriving.

Tekken 7 was officially released in Japan in 2015, however it wasn’t until 2017 that Tekken really began to take centre stage once again. The game was finally released on console in June, not quite early 2017, but Harada-san and Bandai Namco worked hard to put Tekken back in the spotlight.

One of the main highlights, which I’m sure you will all agree with, was the incredible Tekken World Tour. The tour seen participants from across the globe battle it out in regional qualifiers to win their share of a staggering $200,000 prize pot. The finals took place in November 2017 in San Francisco with players from South Korea, USA, Italy, Denmark, France, UK, Republic of Ireland, and Japan.

EVO 2017 also seen a total of 1286 entrants, which is a huge improvement from 2016’s event which had just 549 entrants. An interesting thing to note is there was a significant decrease in players signing up for SFV and Super Smash Bros in 2017 compared to 2016.

The game also surpassed 2.5 million sales, as well as being the ‘most tweeted’ game with approximately 1.9 million tweets! Tekken 7 was also nominated for ‘best fighting game’ award by both IGN and The Game Awards.

Tekken’s international community is continuing to grow which is only a sign of things to come. Looking forward to the year ahead, Tekken certainly doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

In 2018 alone we have multiple events to look forward to which include, EVO Japan, Final Round XXI, Combo Breaker, and EVO 2018. There’s expected to be an even bigger turnout for Tekken 7 at this year’s EVO. Could they break the 2000 entry mark? It’s certainly not out of reach judging by how things are going.

We can also expect the Tekken World Tour to be even bigger this year. The event was a huge success last year with huge sponsors such as Twitch and Nissin Cup Noodles. The TWT 2018 will probably draw in even bigger sponsors this year, which could mean a bigger prize pool.

Moving away from the competitive scene, we also have the third DLC pack to look forward to. This will include guest character Noctis from Final Fantasy, as well as a new stage. This announcement was definitely met with excitement and anticipation, especially as hardly anyone saw it coming. It seems pretty obvious now though when you think about how Nissin Cup Noodles were the main sponsor of the TWT finals, where Noctis was announced!

Back in 2016 I wrote an article asking if Tekken 7 could ever dominate esports. The game has already had a majorly successful year when it comes to esports, and now looking forward I’m certain the game can become a dominant player in the scene. After an incredible 2017, and with 2018 set to be even bigger and better, it finally feels like Tekken is back.

Advocate of the Tekken community and self-proclaimed Queen of the Iron Fist Tournament, gaming has been a main hobby of Zoë's since she was a kid. Her favorite genres are fighting and action/adventure. Her other passions include football (soccer - Liverpool FC to be exact!), fashion, music, and eating far too much pizza! Lastly, one name for you - Nina Williams.

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