Sign in to follow this  
Athenayama

Less Sumo Games players?

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone,

I don't know if this subject has already been discussed as I can't find it so I'll just ask my questions here. Admin can redirect me or delete this thread if you think it's irrelevant.
From what I read here and there, it seems that there were many more players in the past. If this is a real fact, has this decrease in players been sudden or slow? Reasons must probably be various but,  apart from each one's motivations and interests in life, are there any main reasons that could explain this decrease in time?

I am really curious to know more about it.

Thanks for your feedback.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a good question. The number of participants peaked already in 2005, and has been on a decline ever since.

Factors that potentially moved up the number of international participants were: TV coverage on Eurosport (ended around 2005), and more international rikishi (for example, there was a huge influx of Bulgarian and Estonian players when Kotooshu and Baruto entered the scene), maybe also a polarizing figure like Asashoryu.

Factors that potentially reduced the number of players were: restrictions on foreign rikishi, several scandals.

I have compiled the number of players on each Kyushu Banzuke for nine sumo games since 2001. Here are the results:

Participants.jpg (909Ã549)

Some observations:

Most games peaked in 2005 or 2006. At the low point (2017), the number of players was effectively cut in half.

When games have maintenance problems (Oracle and Quadrumvirate in 2007), players will leave in spades.

The dwindling numbers are not an "international" phenomonon. Quite the opposite, in fact. Paper Oyakata is the only game that saw a decline for each year since 2005!

Little things can do wonders: when Kintamayama mentioned ISP in some of his videos, the game more than doubled its numbers of participants immediately (much to the chagrin of banzuke-maker Ganzohnesushi ;-))! Of course, many of them just checked ISP out and left shortly after. 

However, the ISP effect apparently spilled over to other sumo games, especially if they are similarly accessible (Chaingang being a prime example). But even games that require more time and investment (Bench, Sumo Game, GTB, Oracle, Quadrumvirate) also benefited from Kintamayama's advertising.

 

 

  • Like 6
  • Thanks 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm surprised there wasn't a noticeable change in the slope around 2011.  I was under the impression that a lot of people left due to the scandals, but maybe that was just for the one not-a-honbasho.  I guess maybe it gets a little steeper, but nothing that calls attention to itself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Athenayama said:

Reasons must probably be various 

Pandaazuma is the real reason (Laughing...)

I remember Gary Lineker in 2011 :

"Sumo games are games played between 100 and 200 players from all over the world to win the green Mawashi. And at the end, Pandaazuma always wins." (Yushowinner...)

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
39 minutes ago, Gurowake said:

I'm surprised there wasn't a noticeable change in the slope around 2011.  I was under the impression that a lot of people left due to the scandals, but maybe that was just for the one not-a-honbasho.  I guess maybe it gets a little steeper, but nothing that calls attention to itself.

I was actually made aware of sumo due to the scandals, and watched some of the bashos and finally saw every day of a basho for kyokutenhos yusho.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would guess other factors include "old/creaky websites" and "lack of advertising"---even having been here for several years, I mostly CBF figuring out a bunch of the games' rubbish interfaces, lack of posted rules, etc.   

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The social media boom after 2006 left the forum content behind with the past generation so much that the new generation is unaware of the forum format so i guess it had a part in the blame.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Joaoiyama said:

The social media boom after 2006 left the forum content behind with the past generation so much that the new generation is unaware of the forum format so i guess it had a part in the blame.

The forum wasn't really a significant factor yet back when the games peaked in participation. If anything, it has probably stalled the decline by providing a central place for all games talk. But it's true that the online sumo fandom has really splintered over the last while (but not since 2006, more the last five or six years), so there are a couple of generations of newer fans now who haven't taken the traditional routes where they would have encountered the games scene by default.

I like to think that Zenjimoto was a significant reason of that early-2000s boom phase, BTW, in part by creating the Seki games and (especially) the Superbanzuke, but even more importantly by promoting the games in an untold number of Japanophile places all over the internet for quite a while.

Anyway, I think a major share of the blame for the games' lower attractiveness these days has to go to Youtube etc. as well - the games used to be a big way for fans to "connect" with sumo beyond just following tournament results in text form (or teeny-tiny video clips you had to know where to find), but there are just so many more options to experience sumo and spend your available time now, both during and outside of tournaments. Following something like Terunofuji's path back to juryo via video was unthinkable 10 years ago. Jungyo videos, amasumo coverage, catching up on the careers of rikishi from past eras etc. etc..

Casually interested people who are happy just with random social media snippets were never going to get into the games, but more committed newer fans also largely don't seem to relish the idea of spending half an hour every day to make match predictions, and I think it's because they can do a lot of other "sumo stuff" in that half hour.

Edited by Asashosakari
  • Like 5
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Asashosakari said:

Casually interested people who are happy just with random social media snippets were never going to get into the games, but more committed newer fans also largely don't seem to relish the idea of spending half an hour every day to make match predictions, and I think it's because they can do a lot of other "sumo stuff" in that half hour.

It takes time to get into sumo and even more time to get into the games, these days every second amounts to a lot of information either through games, movies or videos so everyone has short attention span be it kid or the older generation who got into the internet late.

In my neighborhood and most neighborhoods in brazil there's old folks who watch soccer since Pelé and Garrincha through radio, followed news papers and frequented spots like bar corners that has (illegal)soccer betting place with rankings for the best players. Those bar betting corners are still full of people till this day with all ages playing and talking soccer like a real life underground forum, young kids who watch soccer since they were born bet too so i figure it's a matter of proximity, avaliability and dedication to the sport.

While the kids are playing fifa 2020 on the ps4 they are still betting on paper games for the fun of testing your skills in a long term game that is easy to find and play, sumo forum games are not so easy to find and have fun with it instantly like almost all other games today, with the rebirth of board/live RPG games and card games like Magic the Gathering i find my generation loving this concept of "offline" long term play so i dont see the forum games dying out but actually growing back up.

Before people connected through simple games because it was their only way of being closer to a sport they enjoy, now the world is literally in the palm of our hands so much that we got used to following people's lives on the daily basis like the SNS scandal. The sumo world is caught up right in the middle of the internet storm with it's cultural conflicts and old ways in the new world but always after the storm must come the calm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the way having to say soccer so i don't have to explain that i'm talking about actual football is one of the smallest things that pisses me off the most. >:-(

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Remember too many that back in the best days of game participation there were fewer games to play, so participation numbers per game were higher. Now we have many more choices. 

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

- hard to find

- visually outdated websites. The oldest looking sites i visit on a regular basis all are sumo games.

- parts of websites not even working correct, just have a look at Sekitoro-Toto. Is it really so hard to fix links leading into the void? Or  to maintain the banzuke?

- no connection to SMS

- no apps for smartphones, hard, sometimes almost impossible to access via mobile devices

- time consuming due to complex, unergonomic interfaces. For example i would really like to be able to see at least some personal ISP stats, like my basho/banzuke history, without having to hop through every single banzuke.

I know, many of the game masters put their life into those games and spend many, many hours calculating results and so on. But many things - like fixing links - need only some moments and spare players many moments of frustration. And use of modern code would not only massively enhance players experience, but could also spare gamemasters a significant part of their workload. On the other hand i understand that many probably are not willing to spend time learning new code. Or even coding for building a website in the first place. Using excel speadsheets is no coding.

I love the games i attend and i'm thankful for the gamemasters work, but sometimes it's really hard to find the motivation to spend time especially on the daily games. And under these circumstances i will not join any new games.

 

EDIT: Typo

Edited by Benihana
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Benihana said:

- hard to find

- visually outdated websites. The oldest looking sites i visit on a regular basis all are sumo games.

- parts of websites not even working correct, just have a look at Sekitoro-Toto. Is it really so hard to fix links leading into the void? Or  to maintain the banzuke?

- no connection to SMS

- no apps for smartphones, hard, sometimes almost impossible to access via mobile devices

- time consuming due to complex, unergonomic interfaces. For example i would really like to be able to see at least some personal stats, linke my basho/banzuke history, withou having to hop through every single banzuke.

I know, many of the game masters put their life into those games and spend many, many hours calculating results and so on. But many things - like fixing links - need only some moments and spare players many moments of frustration. And use of modern code would not only massively enhance players experience, but could also spare gamemasters a significant part of their workload. On the other hand i understand that many probably are not willing to spend time learning new code. Or even coding for building a website in the first place. Using excel speadsheets is no coding.

I love the games i attend and i'm thankful for the gamemasters work, but sometimes it's really hard to find the motivation to spend time especially on the daily games. And under these circumstances i will not join any new games.

I would love to jump in and work on the websites' design to make them more modern looking, fix various issues, etc., and I have no doubt that I could learn the skills necessary given my previous short excursions into writing code, but I don't know what it is that I would need to learn, nor do I have access to any of the assets.  Without the knowledge of what to do with them, asking for access to the assets feels stupid.  Without knowledge of how the assets are structured, I can't learn how to work with them.  So unless people beg me to take over and point me in the direction of what things I need to learn in order to do so, I can't really do anything.

  • Thanks 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually first found the games around early '03 and though I was new to Sumo and disappeared quickly, I found the variety and the elegance of the fantasy games available to be quite impressive. The game concepts and the idea of a Superbanzuke are still super fun and hold up well, but after getting back into Sumo recently, I only found them because I was searching for them specifically, and even then, it was with some difficulty. And most of the sites still look the same as I remember them!

Anyway, I think the current number of players in most games is enough to sustain a quality ecosystem for competition, but I love the games and would love to see more people find them.  I'll try to naturally work in plugs for the games on other forums where I can, and hopefully I can get a friend to at least try Sumo Game, but he hasn't bitten yet. I doubt my actions will amount to much, but every little bit helps, right?

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Other than Banzuke updating, I don't see any problems. At the very top of this part of the forum, there are direct links to all game entries.Most of them work. You don't need an ultra flashy webpage for any game. You need an entry page and a rule page. most of them do. Don't go to the  sites-go to the links that Exil painstakingly gets ready for us every basho. They work from mobiles too. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Kintamayama said:

Other than Banzuke updating, I don't see any problems. At the very top of this part of the forum, there are direct links to all game entries.Most of them work. You don't need an ultra flashy webpage for any game. You need an entry page and a rule page. most of them do. Don't go to the  sites-go to the links that Exil painstakingly gets ready for us every basho. They work from mobiles too. 

Very well said. The point would be to get new people to read Exil's mail though.  ;-)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alternatively, there is the Superbanzuke main page which provides access to all Superbanzuke games. Links on that page should be working, as I tend to update them every basho. 
http://99998271.com/sb/

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Kintamayama said:

Other than Banzuke updating, I don't see any problems. At the very top of this part of the forum, there are direct links to all game entries.Most of them work. You don't need an ultra flashy webpage for any game. You need an entry page and a rule page. most of them do. Don't go to the  sites-go to the links that Exil painstakingly gets ready for us every basho. They work from mobiles too. 

Well written Kinta.
And one more thing, that everything is in English, should not be a hindrance. For example: I hardly speak English but since 2003 I play all the games without problems (Google Translation ;-))

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Athenayama said:

Very well said. The point would be to get new people to read Exil's mail though.  ;-)

It’s pinned to the top of the Games part of the forum, where I would suspect anyone wanting to play games would go to first..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's be honest anyway, if there were thousands of players it would be hard for even very good players to consistently yusho in a game every basho.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Kintamayama said:

It’s pinned to the top of the Games part of the forum, where I would suspect anyone wanting to play games would go to first..

A lot of sumo fans don't know there's a sumo forum and don't even know what sumo games are until you see them and talking from personal experience it took me a couple years to get over this forum format of games to get into it.

While every platform is evolving by the day the games are still with the same interface for years which doesn't catch the eye unlike the hi-tech world we live today. While games have evolved into virtual reality the forum games are still the same, it does not have anything wrong with it's format and i get more fun from sumo games than most of today's games.

To close out my point, forum games attract a very specific public and it demands a lot of effort with little instant return while the internet world is the opposite, anyone wanting to play games wouldn't dig far enough to reach us down here unless they already know the forum, they'll probably look for a casual game app on their phone like Sumo Roll which i play too. Expecting the sumo games to fit in today's standars is the same as expecting sumo to become a worldwide sport, both had to adapt to the new world but are attached to an old culture, both seem fine as they are.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Tsuchinoninjin said:

Let's be honest anyway, if there were thousands of players it would be hard for even very good players to consistently yusho in a game every basho.

Yeah, I really would hate to see what the Master Series would be like if there were thousands of entries each game with the current rules.  We'd definitely have to give points much further down.  And with as few people that we have we can keep banzuke making very similar to sekitori in Ozumo, instead of the need to create an ad hoc system of movement like there is in the lower divisions similar to what's used in Paper Oyakata (though that's mainly because they don't divisionalize their results; instead, an 8-7 is treated as an MK near the top).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Randomitsuki said:

Alternatively, there is the Superbanzuke main page which provides access to all Superbanzuke games. Links on that page should be working, as I tend to update them every basho. 
http://99998271.com/sb/

I took me about 10 minutes though to find that site when I learned that there was such a thing some time ago - the game deadlines page from Exil still has an old obsolete link to the Superbanzuke.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All those mild complaints suggest the conclusion that sumo games are reflecting Ozumo perfectly:

difficult to get into: check
appears outdated: check
painful to execute: check
limited presence on social media: check
catering to a hardcore audience: check

Remember, success in sumo comes through hardship and not on a silver platter. B-)

  • Like 5
  • Haha 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this