BANDAI NAMCO'S Dragon Ball FighterZ, the fighting game based on the popular tri-canon of anime series Dragon Ball, Dragon Ball Z, and Dragon Ball Super, surpassed 5 million copies sold earlier this week. Since its release in January 2018, DBFZ has become a success both in the upper echelon of the competitive Fighting Game Community as well as casual gamers who are fans of the IP.
Dragon Ball FighterZ's recent milestone was certainly boosted by the release of hyped new downloadable content in Ultra Instinct Goku as a playable character, but to accredit all of the game's success to a single new character would be a failure to acknowledge the organic growth of the community at all levels of play. DBFZ isn't just a game for fans; it's a full-fledged FGC title that legends like Dominique "SonicFox" McLean have elevated their careers through competing.
Despite many video game titles based around the Dragon Ball mythos being released for over two decades, Dragon Ball FighterZ is the first to properly marry canonical accuracy for the superfans with top-notch fighting game engineering. DBFZ has become a mainstay in the FGC and the size of its community is not only due to the audience it attracts, but its ability to crossover both the American and Japanese fighting game communities on a larger scale than seen with similar titles prior.
In an interview with Inven Global, FGC commentator and host Steve "Tasty Steve" Scott explained how Dragon Ball FighterZ has been a unifying force: "DBFZ definitely does a great job of also attracting people who are like, 'Man, I don't care about about fighting games, but I for damn sure love Dragon Ball!' It's a good example of taking an IP that is not too standard to fighting games, and may not have had a game that appeals to the competitive FGC players.
It's definitely the game I look to now, and even with all the patches and things they've changed since its release, I've only fallen more in love with the game."
Fighting game tournaments has been halted for a majority of the world due to the increased difficulty of planning events during the COVID-19 pandemic, but once things are back to normal, expect to see Dragon Ball FighterZ remain as one of the premiere competitive FGC titles.