Harada says revealing Tekken frame data is possible, but he wouldn't do it; feels doing so will impact the game's lifespan

Posted by Steven 'Dreamking23' Chavez • February 7, 2014 at 7:37 p.m. PST

Many modern day fighting titles have attack frame data floating around the internet, and some even have it openly available in-game. One company that has generally avoided revealing frame data to the masses is Namco Bandai.

Recently, a Twitter user asked Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada why it is that Tekken frame data is not displayed for players to study. Harada posted an extensive reply that discusses their decision to hold this information back, and gives a few examples to further explain.

"It is of course possible to display the frame data within the game but I wouldn't do it," Harada says. "Including the entire frame data (the time and range of an attack's data) into the game, there are things to consider when you give the player access to this data."

Hit the jump to read more.

The Tekken producer feels that divulging frame data will hurt the longevity of the game, and will not allow players to discover things on their own.

"If players could easily have access to such data within the game, it will allow players to uncover and find out the intricacies and details about characters and their moveset much faster which can lead to an impact on the game's lifespan."

He goes on to say that providing this information will also limit discussion among players who like to strategize. The debates people might have about certain attacks will no longer exist because frame data will serve as a definitive answer to those arguments. "If the frame data was displayed and freely available, every single player would easily have the 'answers' to moves and situations an opponent can throw at you basically," Harada says.

Additionally, the Namco representative points out that judging whether or not an attack is strong does not lie solely on the numerical data. Other factors come into play when looking at game balance. "When it comes to arguing the balance of the Tekken games, I don't consider players saying certain moves are bad only because of the frame data's numerical value," Harada explains. "Because as I mentioned earlier, there a lot more factors in moves to consider like the animation, range, reach, if your opponent is sharp enough to block it etc."

There is much more to Harada's response, so be sure to check out AvoidingThePuddle's post for the fully translated tweet, courtesy of Flying Wonkey. Image.


capra said on February 7, 2014 at 7:39 p.m.

(This user was banned.)

FightingGameLover90 said on February 7, 2014 at 7:45 p.m.

dead to some not to all

Sage_Liebert said on February 7, 2014 at 7:50 p.m.

Once you reveal data the players think they are all knowing and game developers themselves.

kdillon7323 said on February 7, 2014 at 7:51 p.m.

I bought the strategy guide for TTT2 and it had frame data in the back for everyone's moves....

Shajita said on February 7, 2014 at 7:59 p.m.

Of course. That's the masterplan. Selling the frames instead of just handing them out.

EnkiduV3 said on February 7, 2014 at 8:06 p.m.

Seems like you didn't read the reason that Evo gave for excluding Tekken this year.

Lainensis said on February 7, 2014 at 8:06 p.m.

It is pretty disappointing that the only statements we hear from Harada don't really go anywhere.

I know its been said before butt...

Cmon Harada TK X SF or T7 pls....


gigantor21 said on February 7, 2014 at 8:07 p.m.

Doesn't sound like he has much faith in the series as a competitive game, then.

Really don't get why withholding key info from the few who play these games seriously is a good idea. That kind of dedication should be encouraged.

Xykes said on February 7, 2014 at 8:13 p.m.

Do people really think this?

That if a game isn't in EVO it's "dead"?

The most entered games at EVO get, like, what? A 1000, 2000 entrants, tops? Most games get WAY fewer than that.


Most of the people who visit this site probably don't even go to EVO and never will. Why are you judging a game's popularity by one yearly tournament, lol. That's very short sighted.

Madenka said on February 7, 2014 at 8:17 p.m.

I don't know Mr Harada, whether or not we know the frame data shouldn't matter as much as you think. Street Fighter IV is a shining example. Frame data is certainly only a benefit to competitive players though if the game is good and has longevity it will stay strong.

HooliganComboFTW said on February 7, 2014 at 8:18 p.m.

This is a silly ideology especially since plenty of fighters have frame data in-game and the game life is not reacting negatively toward the data being available. This is more like hindering some of the players who want to make the most out of the game by casting an illusion of depth.

FlashAndBlood said on February 7, 2014 at 8:19 p.m.

I know Tekken Tag 2 is a dead horse because I play it. It's still fun to this day, but I'd rather be playing or watching KOF, Injustice or AE. Something in this game is seriously missing, Idk what.

Gotomaster said on February 7, 2014 at 8:32 p.m.

Meh, that wasn't a very good or genuine reason, honestly. There is no way a new Tekken game would be announced, then released within the span of now and Evo. MRWizard should have just came out and said the game is kinda dying, and not many are playing it.

xShonuffx said on February 7, 2014 at 8:43 p.m.

Tekken is a very casual fighter, by making all data available to them they would alienate them and only a hand full of people would still play. The hardcore are going to find the sites with frame data any ways.

Grevier said on February 7, 2014 at 8:53 p.m.

That's why he said that, letting the players finding out frame datas makes the lifespan of the game longer, make sense...

TrueGamingGuru said on February 7, 2014 at 8:53 p.m.

Some of the things Harada mentions is just pitiful, & pretty sad.

Because I think frame data is starting to become a thing when it comes to the hardcore, competitive players and I bet they would use the frame data to their advantage when it comes to Tournament Play or giving players the knowledge of what is the best use for that certain character or counter that certain character.

I don't think sharing frame data to players would ever hurt the games lifespan, sometimes uncovering & finding out the character's movelist data can actually help out the new players. (like Command Training would teach me every character on the list & sometimes would use the examples that shows off how to use the attack buttons)

Sometimes if you let players figure stuff out themselves & not give them a type of lesson or at least detail information that shows off what that character/move does in-game, the Tekken series lifespan would be going way down hill, and rival series/companies can easily out shine the Tekken series if Harada doesn't do much for its passionate players.

I don't want the Tekken series to go downhill, but if Harada intends to not offer frame data or even make improvements to rival other games. You might as well let your community just abandon the game that you have been involved for many years, and have players lose interest with the Tekken series. I do worry for the future of Tekken.

bigjbilly said on February 7, 2014 at 8:59 p.m.

SC5 had known frame data. What does it matter about longevity if you put out a new tekken every few years? Everyone knows SF frame data, and it seems like itll be around for quite awhile. This is kind of a bullish!t statement.

xShonuffx said on February 7, 2014 at 9:28 p.m.

Indeed. It's not like back in the 90s where ii internet was niche and there was no YouTube. You had to find the secrets on your own. No wiki no combo vids. Made games last longer. Now a fighter be out no longer than 10 min and people are making combo videos, unblockables, and finding glitches. I kind of understand Haradas hesitancy.

Eternal said on February 7, 2014 at 9:42 p.m.

Really? Is that way SF2 is still consistently played to this day 20+ years later despite being a game that the frame data has been known and available for well over a decade?

Perhaps it has to do more with the depth of a game.

Frame data isn't everything. It doesn't tell you every possible situation or interaction between two moves. It doesn't tell you when the opponent is going to do a move or what their mindset is or how to properly react. It's just data.

Frame data is the rules of the game. Imagine playing football (gridiron for those non-americans) and you don't get to know where the end zone is. You just have to run until you feel you've made a touchdown.

Grevier said on February 7, 2014 at 10:49 p.m.

Tekken is a game where a Character have 100+ moves, so a player have to look at every move and check Startup, Active, Recovery, Advantage...

it's long to explain what comes after but I guess you got the point...

- - -

Still I forgot to say that I DO NOT agree with Harada, the lifespan of Tekken comes from the fact that Tekken is a game open to everyone, I got friend that cannot play any Fighting Game but Tekken.
Spamming, of course, but it's the only game they enjoy, and that's a GOOD PRO when you want to increase playerbase and other factors...

fusion said on February 7, 2014 at 11:55 p.m.

Its because harada likes that scrubby play like that AK guy can be used at top level. Pretty sure hes mentioned it before that he prefers that 'any one can win'

I don't think hed want people who study the game and practice like the top sf4 guys to consistently win almost everytime.

What a joke.
Maybe next time hopkicks can be low and high crush and track both ways too. Some more auto juggles would be fantastic to make the game more user friendly.

FlynnChop said on February 8, 2014 at 12:05 a.m.

It pains me to say it, but my guess is Harada is going to stay as far away from TKxSF as possible for as long as possible. He needs to let the FGC cool down a little after the absolute snowballing hate-train that became of SFxT.

This community absolutely slaughtered that game, and chances are they'll be ever-more critical of any title with a similar name regardless of developer.

Rational thought doesn't enter into it, and no company wants the community so viciously angry at them.

BallTapper said on February 8, 2014 at 12:12 a.m.

maybe im not understanding the first few lines of the article "Many modern day fighting titles have attack frame data floating around the internet, and some even have it openly available in-game. One company that has generally avoided revealing frame data to the masses is Namco Bandai." i then proceed to type "Tekken Tag 2 Frame Data" into google and click on the first 2 sites and there is frame data at my finger tips, i must have the will of a warrior to spend hours searching for frame data. people in the comments are making it sound like its a month long task for casual players to try and find frame data. please dont even bring up the frame data in the prima guide it is so wrong i think they mixed up the TTT2 frame data with the pokemon silver frame data

TagAnarchy said on February 8, 2014 at 12:16 a.m.

Players of an amount akin to capcom fighters would be one thing.

GreenWithEnvy said on February 8, 2014 at 12:19 a.m.

..Which waaasss?

TagAnarchy said on February 8, 2014 at 12:23 a.m.

"Mr. Wizard stated that after EVO 2013, Tekken has dropped off a bit. With this year being the game's 20th anniversary, the EVO team didn't want to risk having a new version of Tekken be released, while an outdated version is on the game line up, so the franchise was omitted this year."

TL;DR Just read the freaking paragraph. it's not that hard.

FalsoL said on February 8, 2014 at 1:17 a.m.

Harada not disagree with view the frame data, only with put it inside the game. Everybody can go to the internet and consult it in two seconds. Few time ago no game has frame data inside the game and nobody was crying in the street about that. I can't see what is exactly the problem

Skode said on February 8, 2014 at 2:15 a.m.

No one gives a crap about Frame Data but the hardcore. Here on Event Hubs people will cry foul at Harada but largely everywhere else and i include the majority of Tekken fans in this people will generally not care less either way.

Hell the more casual market is where they make their money anyway - on TTT2 release people were far more discussive over how they would be able to access the DLC bikini outfits than they were a lack of frame date in game... i personally think thats kinda telling but thats just me, im one of those who aint seeing the big problem if Harada feels he wants to keep that side of the game under wraps.

Otter_of_Death said on February 8, 2014 at 2:42 a.m.

You're coming at the issue from the wrong angle. If frame data is only an issue in the most niche part of the fanbase, then why keep it under wraps? Harada isn't helping ANYONE by not releasing frame data. If the frame data is released, the people who play the game casually get to keep playing the game casually. All Harada is doing is inconveniencing the tournament players, and he's doing so because of arbitrary non-sensical bull****.

Zenman said on February 8, 2014 at 2:47 a.m.

Doesn't the official guide have frame data?

Professionail said on February 8, 2014 at 3:17 a.m.

Makes sense.

alfarin said on February 8, 2014 at 4:03 a.m.

Because it's not like the two most popular games in the FGC< SFIV and Marvel 3 don't have their frame data readily available online or in a handy bradygames printed guidebook

....wait a minute

Xatsuna said on February 8, 2014 at 4:32 a.m.

Tekken are a casual game. There are more casual players on Tekken games.

Tekken revolution having 2 million downloads just proves that Tekken is more popular than Street Fighter


Just because Tekken aren't played much by competitive players does not mean the game is dead. It just means the game are more popular among the casual players.

This stupid logic has to die. Just because a game is not played competitive does not mean the game is dead. Stupid logic. Get some brains men.

You cant compare a tournament with 2000 entrants against 2 million players across the globe. If Street Fighter really was that popular then there should have been at least 1 million people signed up for the tournament.

Kenmasters101 said on February 8, 2014 at 4:39 a.m.

@33 ill on downloads because it's free, anyone would try something free, F 2P SF4 would have 4 mil easy

SidewayShift said on February 8, 2014 at 4:47 a.m.

Sometimes there are some things u have to learn from personal experience to even get a understanding. So Harada is definitely not just talking about basic frame-data as the whole subject.

I think the people and the "community" who actually had the time and brains to dig into Tekken that deep knows where Harada is getting at.

It's the kind of thing that every video game can relate to, Tekken just has it's own thing.

I_Are_RaBBiT said on February 8, 2014 at 5:04 a.m.

I like this view! It's true that you will have to work harder to get to know your character and what works/doesn't work! It's an interesting way to keep players searching? Nice!

ShadowGeno said on February 8, 2014 at 5:13 a.m.

Harada is right as Tekken games do tend to last at least 3 years minimum as opposed to the constant updates to SF4 (SSFIV, SSFIVAE, SSFIVAE 2012) and he gives the game time to breathe so you have the time to figure out new tech that you weren´t aware of.

McAl said on February 8, 2014 at 5:40 a.m.

Frame data is not exactly an easy concept to understand. The players who understand frame data; the advanced ones; make up a very small percentage of the people who purchase fighting games and attend tournaments. Casual players just want to press some buttons, do a few cool looking combos...

I understand what Harada is afraid of though. Frame data being applied to the game in a cold scientific manner, killing off the possibilities of exploration. hence the quicker need for a new version of the game since all avenues have been explored. That would be a legitimate concern if frame data could be taken at a glance. Why are you able to punish Dictator's slide sometimes and then sometimes you can't?

Basketweiner said on February 8, 2014 at 6:05 a.m.

TXSF is in the works. Harada just wants to test the integration of sf characters into the tekken system first to make sure it doesn't flop. That's what tekken Revolution is (well aside from him testing the F2P model). Every character has been given and invincible "get off me move" that are extremely punishable and the most recent character added to the game has low, blockable fireballs, that do chip if you block them (very new to tekken). So yeah, it's in the works. My only complaint about the BETA aka.tekken revolution, is the ease at which some characters can do their invincible moves. I think any invincible move should come off a forward roll or a forward forward action, or any other action that may leave them vulnerable at some point before the invincible start up. That's the beauty of a dragon punch is that if you want to use it, there is a risk whether it be a walk up or whatever. Currently, in tekken rev, many characters can do their invincible move with a "back function. Like lili's back 1+2 or laws back 3+4, I think you miss the mark on the dragon punch by allowing someone to hold back and just press two buttons at the same time in order to get their dragon punch on, and the online def shows it. There are pleanty of players, ESP around the middle of the pack, who are using these moves like it's the only thing in their move list. Because they can go right from blocking to good damage off invincibility. Fix that, and I think TXsf might be the best tekken yet. Esp if bound system is gone, the combo system in tekken revolution is perfect.

xShonuffx said on February 8, 2014 at 6:22 a.m.

Your football analogy is a bit misplaced. Frame data has nothing to do with the rules of the game, it is just the numbers that formulate the animation of a move so that it functions in code. The rules of a fighting game at its core is simple; get the opponents health to 0 to win a match best 2 out of 3.

Street Fighter 2 may still be played but only by a very, very small few players that grew up with the game and are very hardcore. SF2 is not making them money anymore unlike SF4. And the frame date STILL is not in the games training mode even after all this time, so my point still stands.

If a casual player wants to truly learn the games and become vested, they will surf the web and forums where discussions are being had and find the data and information they need.

Harada is not against players learning frame data, he just wants you to go look for it yourself, that's all. It creates discussion, community and tournaments thus breathing life in the game. In a post internet world where information is everywhere they need to reserve some secrets in these games to create curiosity.

BoozerX said on February 8, 2014 at 6:53 a.m.

(This user was banned.)

DangerousBacon said on February 8, 2014 at 7:39 a.m.

Please don't talk about matters that you clearly know nothing about. Not only that, your reasoning is flawed. You said that Street Fighter should have at least a million entrants if it was popular. By that logic, Tekken should have had at least 2 million entrants since you consider it to be "more popular."

Are you really comparing 2 million free downloads(people who don't come out for tournaments) to 2000 ACTUAL tournament entrants? The tournament turnout for TTT2 is abysmal. You need to use your brain for once.

Eternal said on February 8, 2014 at 7:50 a.m.

Football is really simple. Just score more points than the other team.

No, frame data IS the rules of the game. It states how things are allowed to function and under what circumstances.

They don't need to reserve secrets. SF4 frame data is incredibly well documented AND the very inner workings of the game at its core is known thanks to people reverse engineering some of the files.

Guess what? People STILL find new stuff in training mode. People STILL figure out ways moves interact in surprising ways. Remember just recently how proximity block OS was discovered 4+ years into the life of the franchise (it exists in vanilla SF4 too!) despite having the frame data not only given out via guide books (english and japanese) but also having it well documented since then and available for everyone. There are also frame data apps for phones.

The only place it ISN'T available is in-game. Yet it doesn't hurt the exploration of that game whatsoever.

Skullgirls frame data is right there in-game along with tons of other useful information such as hitboxes. That game has the best training mode bar none and people USE it.

As for people still play SF2 are old? How about the fact that there wouldn't even BE a SF4 if SF2HDR hadn't sold very well. You know Snakeeyez started playing SF with HDR and then went to ST and SF4.

Tournament of Legends will return to EVO this year.

Super Turbo is at EVO still. But of course, no one plays it or has interest in it.

KTProsper said on February 8, 2014 at 8:25 a.m.

There's meta game in learning frame data as well.. Displaying it will still lead to much discussion.

TheLaw said on February 8, 2014 at 9:26 a.m.

I disagree with Harada. Having frame data built into the game will encourage players to learn it even more. And it rewards players who WANT to learn the game, and how it should be properly played. In DOA5U, if im getting beat out by something and im not sure if it's + or not, instead of looking online AND trying to find the move, i can just look in the game without the extra hassle. As i said before, having frame data built into the game rewards players for wanting to learn, and i don't know why its not built-in in TTT2. It would help me learn it alot better, since i am learning it right now.

RedRapperSux said on February 8, 2014 at 10:47 a.m.

I still want to invest time into Tekken eventually but I am probably like everyone else. Don't want to go through a period of time where I am constantly getting my ass kicked.

LAU said on February 8, 2014 at 5:38 p.m.

As an ex tekken/soul calibur player who jumped ship and is pretty much playing only sf4....

I stopped playing tekken because the game was not as fun and stopped playing soul calibur because nobody was playing it anymore.... If one thing kept me interested in the game it really is studying the frame data and building strategies around it...

Gladspencer said on February 8, 2014 at 5:57 p.m.

(This user was banned.)


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