Tuesday, February 7th, 2023

Arika to Assist Bandai Namco for TEKKEN 8 Netcode and TEKKEN 7 Online Improvements


During the TEKKEN 8 presentation over the weekend, Producer Michael Murray mentioned Fighting EX Layer developer Arika, along with Arika president Akira Nishitani (original designer of Street Fighter II and Final Fight), will be assisting Bandai Namco in working on TEKKEN 8's netcode as well as upcoming TEKKEN 7 updates moving forward. During the presentation, Producer Katsuhiro Harada also confirmed TEKKEN 7's development is still ongoing (which is pretty amazing, considering the earliest arcade version of the game is nearly 8 years old now, with the console version selling over 10 million copies).

Arika updated their 2D fighting game Fighting EX Layer (2018) with a rollback netcode enhancement a couple years after the game's PC launch, with positive results overall. It's not known to what extent they'll be helping out with TEKKEN 7's and TEKKEN 8's online structure moving forward, but the recent press release by Arika provides all the known details so far. Basically, Bandai Namco will continue to focus on character and game balance in TEKKEN, with Arika now working on "software improvements, bug fixes, and usability improvements for online matches".
While TEKKEN 7 already uses rollback netcode... and 1000's of concurrent online players would tell you that online matches, at high level, are (overall) very playable and stable (especially on PC) following the most recent online improvement updates released by Bandai Namco... that's not to say there isn't still plenty of room for improvements to the current rollback implementation. It's a testament to how many players still enjoy playing TEKKEN 7 online that its online community is still this populated even after nearly 6 years since its console release (June 2nd, 2017).
being a dynamic 3D fighting game makes it more difficult to implement "perfect" rollback netcode when compared to a linear 2D game, but Arika will now be looking into improving the online experience for TEKKEN players in the future.
Arika previously worked on the expansive and feature-filled online modes for multiplayer titles like Tetris 99, Super Mario Bros. 35 and Pac-Man 99 (which they also worked with Bandai Namco on) in recent years. These online modes are notable for being innovative and creative, so this is probably a very good sign for TEKKEN 8's online experience being more than simply "fighting other random opponents". This is one area where TEKKEN's online experience could definitely be improved.
During the most recent Fighting Games Roundtable stream (#3), Akira Nishitani described their rollback update to Fighting EX Layer: Another Dash for Nintendo Switch as "the next generation of netcode". Bandai Namco was also present at the 3rd Fighting Games Roundtable meet-up, which could be part of the reason they got Arika's assistance for TEKKEN's future online development.
Let's not get too ahead of ourselves... but could Arika working with Bandai Namco on TEKKEN 8 and TEKKEN 7 potentially create the "possibility" of an Arika guest character showing up in a TEKKEN game in some form? At this point... it's all in the realm of possibility, especially considering Arika's Fighting EX Layer received its own SNK guest character, Terry Bogard, while Geese Howard and his awesome stage appears in TEKKEN 7.
It's certainly an interesting connection that both companies share, each having an SNK guest character playable in their fighting games. At the very least, "guest characters" are a thing that both companies are very familiar with... so who knows what could happen in the future! Stay tuned for more TEKKEN 8 news.
~TFG Webmaster, Frank Joseph | @Fighters_Gen


 Source: Arika (Press Release)             Related Tweet: @Fighters_Gen

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