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Why isn't Virtua Fighter as popular as Tekken?

Soltype

Member
Up until around 2004 I played Tekken somewhat seriously (tournaments and events in and around Florida). I played strictly played VF after 2004 3d fighter wise, the biggest thing between the two games is how combos are handled. In VF especially 4:Evo there are so many variables that affect what combos you can do.You have to watch foot stance, you have to watch who you're playing against since everyone doesn't weigh the same.Bigger people don't launch as high so you combo less on them.You also have all the defensive options, you literally go through a flow chart every single time you meet somebody in the middle, couple with the fact the game is geared towards keeping you close together, you are literally making a hundred decisions all the time offensively and defensively. Tekken is not a more simple game, but the amount of decisions and inputs you have to make at the same are time are less.
 
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Azelover

Titanic was called the Ship of Dreams, and it was. It really was.
No offense intended, but the people saying Tekken is casual or easy to play do not know the game at all. If you want to be even a half-decent player who has proper movement, it is a very difficult game to learn.
I agree but VF is a lot deeper. In Tekken you can mash buttons and be successful, given the right situation. That's one of the reasons why it's so popular in my opinion (Beside the fact that it is a great game and graphically & artistically impressive).

In Virtua Fighter if you try to do that(mashing buttons), you're not gonna go particularly far...
 
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SF Kosmo

...please disperse...
I think the biggest reason is just platforms. VF made it's bones in the Saturn and DC era while Tekken was king from the early PS1 era through the PS2.

VF of course ended up on Sony and MS systems eventually but it didn't have the long running fan base Tekken had and it was also part of a much more crowded marketplace by then so it never had the chance to get really ingrained.
 

InfiniteCombo

Gold Member
Without Eddy Tekken has no ease of play advantage and even then that's just one character.

False. Other kick-based characters -- notably the Laws and the Taekwondo guys (Baek/Hwoarang )-- also had the same phenomenon: Mash the kick buttons and they would do... stuff. Lots of stuff.

EDIT: I would know -- it was pretty fun playing against mashing scrubs. In Tekken 3 even more so, as they gave more characters counters, and from what I remember King specifically got a counter against kick attacks, and the counter was fucking sweet. So I'd pull it off against the scrubs and they'd get salty all the time :messenger_tears_of_joy:
 
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Neff

Member
In Virtua Fighter if you try to do that(mashing buttons), you're not gonna go particularly far...

It's the same in Tekken. A good player is going to shut down a masher instantly.

I think the biggest reason is just platforms. VF made it's bones in the Saturn and DC era while Tekken was king from the early PS1 era through the PS2.

Absolutely. It has nothing to do with how accessible or technical either game is. Tekken and VF are more or less equally accessible, while offering limitless skill ceilings. Tekken was simply more popular because it was on PlayStation. Saturn was practically a niche platform in comparison.
 

Northeastmonk

Gold Member
It’s just like with Street Fighter II. You had a very diverse cast of characters. While Virtua Fighter had a diverse cast, Tekken catered to more of a mainstream audience. Sexy female characters (Nina and Anna Williams), a robot, a Bruce Lee type character, a Bear/Panda, a samurai type character who had crazy moves, different martial artist, DP moves, long command grabs with King, and a family plot with a lot of drama. Virtua Fighter didn’t have a son fighting his dad, fighting his grandfather. You had command moves that moved the left or right leg/hand.

Tekken has a lot of its core gameplay with stylish moves/combos. I remember playing Tekken 3 and Tag at the arcade. King had his long throws and you could do the Death Cradle or King’s Bridge. You could impress a whole crowd of people watching the game.

Virtua Fighter has an award from performing combos and incredible defensive techniques. It’s a technical marvel. The cabinets for it were really cool, but rare to see at the arcade. Midway and Capcom were dominating the arcade scene. I remember going from a time where Killer Instinct , Street Fighter II, and Mortal Kombat were the big arcade hits. Tekken 2 was good, but it took it to the next level when Tekken 3 came out. Tekken Tag Tournament was the high point for Tekken. It was the must play game at the arcade. This was when Soul Edge was shoved in the far back of the arcade and Soul Calibur was pretty popular. Tekken Tag was a dominating game. Tekken 3 ran perfectly on PlayStation 1 and you had a beautiful port of Tekken Tag Tournament on PS2 at the console’s launch.

IMO Tekken had style, sex appeal, drama, and it was more of a mechanical game to learn. Virtua Fighter takes some time and you don’t really get to see the full extent of its gameplay unless you really break it down. I feel like DOA suffers a fate worse than that. I think DOA is very technical, but it’s style is just fast reversals and easy combos. At least Virtua Fighter feels more advanced and there’s more of a reward to pulling off advanced moves.
 
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small_law

Member
it's a completely historic matter. Namco System 11 was beefed up PlayStation hardware for arcades, so the versions of Tekken on original PlayStation were mind-blowing. Back then, arcade ports to home consoles generally sucked. Tekken 2 was the first polygonal game I ever saw that ran damn near 1:1 on a console as it did in the arcade. it left a huge impression.
 
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small_law

Member
I always thought Soul Calibur was better than both. Not sure nowadays though kinda fell out of fighting games.
I go back and forth between Soul Calibur and Tekken. I don't think it's fair to regard them as rough equals, but I do because they came out of the same era, same developer. I've fallen off the wagon of fighting games too so I don't know where they're at right now, but I always liked them both and going back and forth between them was always fun.
 

TGO

Hype Train conductor. Works harder than it steams.
Tekken was tied to very successful console, followed by the best selling console of all time.
Virtual Fighter was not.
It's that simple
 

TGO

Hype Train conductor. Works harder than it steams.
ITT people who never played Tekken for more than 30 seconds in the 90s think it's a button masher.

SMH people, current Tekken is deeper than VF was. Go try some online ranked and see if you can mash buttons.
I do think it's easier to button mash VF then it is for Tekken.
Button mashing VF with one button guarantees a combo, Tekken? Not so much.
 

fart town usa

Gold Member
Didn't Tekken get it's start from using Sega's engine that ran VF? Pretty sure I saw that in a recent YouTube video from Matt McMuscles.

Tekken likely became more popular because it was a flagship series on PSX and PS2. Also, Sega is Sega so it's not surprising that a competing franchise became more popular then their efforts.

VF2 & Fighter's Megamix are still fun as hell though. I never really explored VF past those 2 games.

VF1 aged like cheese.
 
Tekken is fun for people mashing buttons. Virtua Fighter isn't.


Also the characters are way more fun in Tekken. Nothing against VF, but Tekken is more popular for those reasons. It was also a huge PlayStation franchise and has become a part of popular culture like Mortal Kombat.
 
Toshinden did just as much if not more with it's first 2 games.
Do you have data to prove this?

Virtua Fighter was the most popular fighting franchise in Japan during the 1994 - 2004 period, particularly thanks to the strong arcade scene. But since then I'd say Tekken and Street Fighter have reclaimed that spot; gradually because VF5 was still a thing, but since 2012 or so definitely, so that's roughly been for a about a decade.

As for why it wasn't a bigger seller in the West?

1: Often maligned to SEGA consoles that struggled for market share.​
2: Wasn't particularly glitzy in terms of flashy Special or Super moves, or character designs (up until arguably VF4 era)​
3: Generally bare-bones character personalities for a long while (if you wanted more story for them back in the day​
you needed the CG collection discs for Saturn which were Japan-only, otherwise not even Intro and Ending cutscenes)​
4: The home ports, up until VF4, were always bare-bones in comparison to home versions for other fighting games​
like Tekken (I mean literally compare the amount of content in PS1's Tekken 3 compared to Dreamcast's Virtua Fighter 3. The latter is extremely bare-bones when it comes to amount of content).​
5: Just lacking some of the "cool" factor of other series like Tekken, primarily since Virtua Fighter has traditionally not​
been a story-driven type of series. Usually the set-up provided the bare minimum of story context for characters to​
engage with. There's never really been a spiraling lore like with Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, or Tekken.​

Those are IMO the Top 5 reasons why. In terms of actual gameplay VF's actually easier to get into than Tekken, but tends to have a higher amount of depths (so lower floor/higher ceiling); VF3 for example was extremely technical when it came out and alienated a lot of Western players who found it too hard to master, but it was massive in Japan for exactly those same reasons. Maybe a better way to phrase it is Virtua Fighter's tended to have a higher amount of "natural depth" compared to series like Tekken, which have a lot of depth themselves, a lot of it "natural" but some of it superfluous in ways as well.

If SEGA does a Virtua Fighter 6 (and I think it's happening), the main thing they need to work on is the story and character personality elements, because those have traditionally been the series' weakest spots. Actual character designs have gotten stronger particularly with VF4 and VF4: Evolution and onward, but the games should be more story-driven with more character and maybe a bit more flash here and there. Personally I'd also like if they went back to the OST and UI-like design of VF4: Evo which some consider the best in the series in those regards (and for a few others, also the best in terms of gameplay and content).

If they can do that combined with the refined gameplay the series has always been known for, with a decent marketing push and solid netcode I think it could finally have a true breakthrough in the Western gaming markets. Thankfully they have RGG handling Ultimate Showdown so if any team there's a good fit to bring in those story and character elements, it would be them.

Didn't Tekken get it's start from using Sega's engine that ran VF? Pretty sure I saw that in a recent YouTube video from Matt McMuscles.

No, that was Dead or Alive.
 
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stn

Member
You can mash buttons in Tekken just as you can in any fighter. You'll beat novice players and you may even get lucky once in a while against a decent player. But good players will push your shit in if your whole strategy is based on mashing. I've been trying to become decent at Tekken and even basic movement, which sounds easy on paper, is actually hard. Can't tell you how many times my hands wanted to fall off from grinding the Korean Backdash in training mode.
 

Alexios

Cores, shaders and BIOS oh my!
You can mash buttons in Tekken just as you can in any fighter. You'll beat novice players and you may even get lucky once in a while against a decent player. But good players will push your shit in if your whole strategy is based on mashing. I've been trying to become decent at Tekken and even basic movement, which sounds easy on paper, is actually hard. Can't tell you how many times my hands wanted to fall off from grinding the Korean Backdash in training mode.
People aren't talking about pitting button mashers against pros, just the impression the game leaves at first for those unwilling to grasp how its mechanics work. Ie, a dude earlier in this very thread was saying VF2 (!) sucked and wasn't as popular because among other things he couldn't complete the arcade mode and the AI later opponents trashed him even on easy mode (and it's not super cheap AI like SNK/Capcom bosses or anything, it even has an expert mode that isn't the hardest but rather has the AI learn from how you play so it can eventually defend against/employ your own combos and juggles, that was pretty rad and gave you ever evolving opponents even if you mastered the game if you played enough expert matches for it to get better). While in Tekken 3 (which btw was years later, both the arcade game and the home port, VF2 actually released before Tekken 2 and still looks on par with 3 in all its high res glory - on the home ports that is, the arcade VF2 is miles better than any version of Tekken 3 - it just doesn't have flashy sparks on hits) he could complete a bunch of modes and unlock shit and repeat the process to no end without having to get good. Never mind VF was back then (until 4/5 Quest modes) barebones so all you had was the actual gameplay, fighter vs fighter, so even if he could beat the AI with button mashing he'd just give up on the game thinking there's nothing else to do after he "beat" it, without getting any kind of CG ending or unlocks at that, lol). And to those that say people who say VF is deeper haven't played Tekken a lot, lol. Tekken was obviously still the popular go to game and the one everyone could play vs, compete in local tourneys, set records among friends in things like the survival mode (in 3 I got to around 60something wins with Xiaoyu without cheesing it so I wasn't a pro or anything but still knew the game well enough to gauge, though good Dr. B. players always pwned me I never got the hang of his moveset), etc., so yeah VF fans played it too. My local arcades only got the likes of Daytona USA from sega and Sega Rally 2 later on, also Virtua Cop (I forget 1 or 2) alongside Point Blank and Time Crisis, for fighting games they mostly had 2D stuff, Tekken 3, Soul Edge of all things, much later Tekken Tag and Soul Calibur and that was about it sadly (then they died off).
 
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I'll be honest, i'm not very familiar with Virtua Fighter. Does it have that "i win" button like tekken 7 has? essentially takes half of your health if landed? MK added something similar but it's not as OP as tekken 7 imo and is only annoying cause you have to watch the same cutscene every time.
 
Because it requires a higher level of execution.

First post nails it and it's end of story. Simply put, I loved Tekken as a kid and the idea of having each face button match one of your limbs made life so much better when it came to playing Tekken. Learning to play the game was just so much easier so I didn't bother as much with VF.
 
Do you have data to prove this?

You're joking right? Toshinden 1 did 1.2 million with the first game alone, the 2nd did 582,000 that's 1.8 million on the PS1 alone. That's not including sales of the Saturn versions or Toshinden 3. So for the first two games each they are pretty even.

Virtua Fighter sold 3 million across 4 games, VF1, VF2, VF1 remix, VF kids. I wouldn't be surprised if Toshinden ended up the same or close by with it's 4 games on just Playstation.

Despite these higher sales than the average 3D PS1 fighter, it still never sold anywhere near Tekken 2. So this throws the it's on Playstation excuse for Tekken right in the dumpster.
 

Alexios

Cores, shaders and BIOS oh my!
Why isn't VF as popular? Because it doesn't sell as much, because other games sell more! Genius! Should have seen it coming seeing the rest of your posts, but damn, that's mind blowing insight showing your in depth knowledge far surpasses everybody else's! Pack it up everyone, /thread :messenger_tears_of_joy:
 
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Why isn't VF as popular? Because it doesn't sell as much, because other games sell more! Genius! Should have seen it coming seeing the rest of your posts, but damn, that's mind blowing insight showing your in depth knowledge far surpasses everybody else's! Pack it up everyone, /thread :messenger_tears_of_joy:

Seems we have a reading comprehension failure here.

Also ignoring the more popular games that sold less than VF.
 

NT80

Member
Tekken was on PlayStation. Slicker presentation. More content.





This is a myth. VF is easier to play than Tekken.



Precisely.
VF used to be harder than Tekken but it's gotten a lot easier especially in the latest version and that's something nobody outside of the dedicated long term players actually realizes. The hardcore players in Japan never liked the watered down VF5 FS and it gradually lost it's popularity there where the series had once been the number 1 in the arcades. Tekken has gotten easier as well but not the extent that VF has and it's to the point that Tekken is probably the harder game now. Tekken is really complicated in comparison.
 

NT80

Member
I agree.

Tekken to me always seemed more fun and for casuals to goof around with because it looked better, had bone crunching hits, and I played Tekken Force too (and sucked at it when on paper it should be easy!?!?).

I'd say Tekken is a much deeper game. More characters, more moves, and a hell a lot more unpredictable since there's so many kinds of fighting styles and attacks that can come your way.

VF games seem to have hardly any moves. And boring as shit.

Personally, I dont think there is one thing VF is better at over Tekken aside from someone preferring more grounded graphics as opposed to Tekken's crazy cast with exploding fist sparks.
What do you mean hardly any moves? The characters have large movesets especially characters like Vanessa, Shun Di and Lei Fei. If you want to complain about small movesets look at Street Fighter.
 
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Neff

Member
VF used to be harder than Tekken but it's gotten a lot easier

I feel like this is symptomatic of most series which were part of the early fighting game gravy train. Early Tekken was also notoriously rigid with very strict timing and inputs compared to 3 onwards.

VF games seem to have hardly any moves.

There's typically less signature moves per character than Tekken, but zillions of variations of punches, kicks and short strings. That's the real meat of VF, it's not as combo-centric as Tekken is, it's more a battle of wits than a battle of practiced setplay because trades are short, quick and potentially deadly.
 
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TheInfamousKira

Reseterror Resettler
Another vote for more interesting roster here. Tekken 3/TTT were the first fighting games/arcade games I ever played, and quite honestly the last ones. But all these years later I still remember King, Jack, Yoshimitsu, Kunimitsu, Nina, Anna, Eddie, Paul, Forest, Kazuya, Jin, Jun, Heihachi, Ogre. Just a very aescethically striking, memorable cast. I can't say anything about the merits or deficiencies of the game play, I have no clue how either franchise evolved over the years, but there you go.
 

SkylineRKR

Member
People aren't talking about pitting button mashers against pros, just the impression the game leaves at first for those unwilling to grasp how its mechanics work. Ie, a dude earlier in this very thread was saying VF2 (!) sucked and wasn't as popular because among other things he couldn't complete the arcade mode and the AI later opponents trashed him even on easy mode (and it's not super cheap AI like SNK/Capcom bosses or anything, it even has an expert mode that isn't the hardest but rather has the AI learn from how you play so it can eventually defend against/employ your own combos and juggles, that was pretty rad and gave you ever evolving opponents even if you mastered the game if you played enough expert matches for it to get better). While in Tekken 3 (which btw was years later, both the arcade game and the home port, VF2 actually released before Tekken 2 and still looks on par with 3 in all its high res glory - on the home ports that is, the arcade VF2 is miles better than any version of Tekken 3 - it just doesn't have flashy sparks on hits) he could complete a bunch of modes and unlock shit and repeat the process to no end without having to get good. Never mind VF was back then (until 4/5 Quest modes) barebones so all you had was the actual gameplay, fighter vs fighter, so even if he could beat the AI with button mashing he'd just give up on the game thinking there's nothing else to do after he "beat" it, without getting any kind of CG ending or unlocks at that, lol). And to those that say people who say VF is deeper haven't played Tekken a lot, lol. Tekken was obviously still the popular go to game and the one everyone could play vs, compete in local tourneys, set records among friends in things like the survival mode (in 3 I got to around 60something wins with Xiaoyu without cheesing it so I wasn't a pro or anything but still knew the game well enough to gauge, though good Dr. B. players always pwned me I never got the hang of his moveset), etc., so yeah VF fans played it too. My local arcades only got the likes of Daytona USA from sega and Sega Rally 2 later on, also Virtua Cop (I forget 1 or 2) alongside Point Blank and Time Crisis, for fighting games they mostly had 2D stuff, Tekken 3, Soul Edge of all things, much later Tekken Tag and Soul Calibur and that was about it sadly (then they died off).

I don't think anyone really said VF2 sucked and that it was impossible to beat, let alone even on easy mode. Can't find it at least. I had the kage mother is dural video, I forgot how you unlocked it but it was either beating expert or hardest. Doesn't make the game particularly fun to play against the AI. Jeffry does seem to cheat his grapples and so on. To me it does feel like SNK AI, it reads your inputs. Good AI is different. Its like the AI used in Quest mode VF4, or Soul Calibur VI on the highest setting, that AI doesn't always punish and sometimes drops combos. Its really great. But SF2 arcade AI wasn't fun either, let alone MK. It wasn't out of the ordinary back then.

For the rest you perfectly describe why Tekken was more popular, the fact it appeared on Playstation aside. Tekken constantly rewarded players, newbies and seasoned, with content. And you still had to get good though, because there were many people playing Tekken 3. Both on console and in the arcade I spent lots of hours on it against good players. Eddy LK mashing didn't work out against these guys, because it got predictable. There was this one guy with a godly King, he knew all command throws and punished everything. Didn't know what I saw. The guy didn't even have a console, he was 100% arcade player. Those inputs are hard to memorize.

Its been said numerous times; Tekken is deeper in terms of moveset, abilities etc. But easier to get into. If you both haven't got the hang of any mechanics you can still do well in Tekken and make it look fun, because Hwoarang, Law, Baek, Bryan etc can do some cool looking shit without effort. Amateur VF matches don't look nearly as good. On the other hand, you can just do some shit and beat the AI which was perfect for the mass crowd. though on harder settings this didn't always work.
 
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VF is too hardcore and as far as I recall even button mashing doesn't work there.
Not to mention - lack of colorful characters. Too ground to earth.
 
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You're joking right? Toshinden 1 did 1.2 million with the first game alone, the 2nd did 582,000 that's 1.8 million on the PS1 alone. That's not including sales of the Saturn versions or Toshinden 3. So for the first two games each they are pretty even.

Virtua Fighter sold 3 million across 4 games, VF1, VF2, VF1 remix, VF kids. I wouldn't be surprised if Toshinden ended up the same or close by with it's 4 games on just Playstation.

Despite these higher sales than the average 3D PS1 fighter, it still never sold anywhere near Tekken 2. So this throws the it's on Playstation excuse for Tekken right in the dumpster.
Okay now your biases are starting to show through; was your question in the OP a genuine one out curiousness or one so you could find excuses to try trashing on valid answers throughout the thread to affirm your own preconceived notions? All I did was ask a simple question; "do you have sources", because I was genuinely curious, and all you had to do was provide the numbers and a source link if able. That's it.

In any case, sales for a series like Virtua Fighter don't say much about its overall revenue stream, because it's mainly in arcades where it drew a lot of its revenue for the first few releases, mainly thanks to the Japan and other Asian regions during the '90s and early '00s. I'm only speculating here, but if you took it's arcade revenue along with the revenue generated from home version sales on consoles it's likely a much bigger franchise revenue-wise than Toshinden ever was.

Also FWIW the Toshinden games were generally considered all flash and no substance even from the 1st iteration, that's a reason why the sequels had a hard time afterwards: the substance never really improved. In a way Tekken started off similarly (VF1 holds up much better than Tekken 1), but Tekken 2 improved the actual gameplay a lot and by Tekken 3 it was a very solid and technical fighter. Toshinden never got there hence why it just faded out with the PS1 era by the time Tekken 3 came along (the anime OVA series is pretty neat tho; not as good as the Fatal Fury anime films but arguably better than the Tekken anime flick).

If you're looking for other reasons to answer your question in the OP, just read my first post in this thread, and I'm sure there are other posts throughout that give valid reasons. The question is if you're in enough of a neutral headspace to accept those logical answers or not.
 
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junguler

Banned
it had less interesting characters and the fighting moves and combos weren't as flashy or good looking as tekken's, nothing against this franchise tho, i really liked the ones i've played.
 

Faithless83

Banned
Which one is the one that you can play mashing buttons with Eddie?
That's the popular one.

Why is DB Fighterz the popular Arc system game?
It has auto combos.

That's why devs are trying so hard to lower the bar for newer players.
People want to look cool mashing a button or two.

This won't happen with VF and that's fine.

Why aren't Soulsborne games more popular?
 
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anthony2690

Member
I think the main issue is, it was released only on Sega systems till the ps2.

& 3d fighting games popularity had waned a bit by then.

Tekken 3 for instance sold like 8 million units, tekken 7 hasn't achieved that despite being on more platforms than ever before.

Also it probably doesn't help that the home ports didn't add much from the arcade release, where as tekken had loads of unlockables etc.

I personally love the vf series.

Plus Virtua Fighter 2 sold insanely well in Japan, 1.7 million units on a system that sold under 6 million units in Japan, roughly 30% attach ratio

And when I was younger I felt like the only kid who had a saturn with vf2 (blew me away back then, honestly thought games would never look better back then) :p
 

anthony2690

Member
Which one is the one that you can play mashing buttons with Eddie?
That's the popular one.

Why is DB Fighterz the popular Arc system game?
It has auto combos.

That's why devs are trying so hard to lower the bar for newer players.
People want to look cool mashing a button or two.

This won't happen with VF and that's fine.

Why aren't Soulsborne games more popular?
Lol it has nothing to do with the auto combos, as blazblue, guilty gear, persona and gbvs have had auto combos and easy inputs in their games before.

It's because dbz is mega popular franchise worldwide & this looked like the first actual decent dbz fighting game.

Also the dark souls series has sold over 27 million units, over 10 million units alone from dark souls 3, they are MEGA popular games, so not sure what you're getting at with your soulsbourne statement.

They are fantastic games and lots of people love them....
 
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