Sifu Trophy Data Proves Why Accessibility Options Are Important

Sifu is approaching the one-week mark of its early access release, recently celebrating its 500,000 players on PS4, PS5, and PC. Many are enjoying the difficult martial arts game, if they can that is. Sifu is notoriously difficult, and its trophy data even reflects this. nevertheless, as Sifu dev Sloclap announced it was working on difficulty modes and accessibility options, there was a sad if predictable backlash.

“Difficulty discourse” is nothing new in video games and represents the same tired arguments going in circles, as many often refuse to consider the other side. The defense of Sifu‘s difficulty is particularly odd, given how few have actually beaten it (via the aforementioned Trophy data). Many enjoy the challenge, and if they can, they absolutely should—this isn’t to say that, at its core, it is too difficult for everyone, but it is too difficult for some. But accessibility IS for everyone, and denying that to one person is denying that to everyone.


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Sifu’s Trophy Data – Beat The Game?

sifu john wick keanu reeves mod

Sifu‘s Trophy data, nearly a week in and gathered by PushSquare, highlights how many players received trophies for beating certain levels. According to it, 97% of players have beaten the prologue and 80% of players have beaten the First Boss. From there, it steeply declines—only 27% of folks have beaten the second boss of Sifu, Sean the Fighter. Only 11% have defeated the third boss, Kurok, and the final two levels (fourth and fifth) have been cleared by 7% and 3%, respectively.

Furthermore, the Platinum Trophy have been achieved by 0.3% of players, 1% have beaten it at age 50 or less, and 0.6% have beaten it at 25% of less. This is interesting because of how much this contradicts the ongoing discourse around Sifu.

“Sifu is like 2-hours long,” says those who haven’t likely played it. If that’s the case, the number of PlayStation players who have beaten the game would be higher than 3%. Ultimately, using the 500,000 player number from before (that combines PS4, PS5, and PC—so this isn’t entirely reflective but should give a number higher than just the PlayStation network), the biggest number possible for those who have beaten the game at all on PlayStation is 15,000 (3% of 500,000). Again, this isn’t exact, but it is generous based on these numbers.

Saying a game is challenging is one thing, but vehemently denying players easy mode is another. At the same time, Sifu also mentioned adding an even more difficult option—just like Metroid Dread did with Rookie and Dread Mode. If players want a challenge, they have it in the base game; if they want it even harder, they’ll have that option too; but if they want it easier and more accessible, it’s something criticized.

RELATED: Sifu Studio Confirms Post-Launch DLC, No Plans for Multiplayer

Quick Analysis of Sifu Difficulty Speech

sifu squats locked doors

As arguments around this are likely to continue through Sifu‘s ongoing support, it seems wise to address some surrounding criticisms against difficulty in Sifu or video games at large. Obviously, these counter-arguments aren’t infallible, but there are some arguments repeated time and again that don’t add up.

Sifu’s difficulty is the vision of its developers!” – If every video game at launch lived up to the full “vision” of its developers, Cyberpunk 2077 wouldn’t have been released in the state that it did, Warzone wouldn’t be in the state that it’s in, and updates and patches would not be so commonplace in the industry. Definitely, the developers’ wishes should be understood (and necessarily expressed), but nowhere have the devs explained how much easier the difficulty would be or anything like that. It’s being pushed alongside other accessibility options, and it’s not the fault of any “vision” to assist those who want to play the game but perhaps can’t. Ultimately, it’s hard to imagine that Sifu dev Sloclap wants only 3% of its players/consumers to finish its game.

You’ve got to Git Gud at Sifu” – Sure, okay, but there are people who can’t. Denying them access to the game helps no one, and granting them accessibility in some form doesn’t harm someone’s experiences. Round and round this goes, but gaming can have a communal experience and a personal experience. Denying someone the latter doesn’t invalidate someone’s own or the community’s.

Sifu/Soulslike Games shouldn’t have easy mode” – no real argument presented. For many, it seems to be a pride thing. That beating Sifu, as is, becomes a prideful, prestigious moment, like Soulslike games. Sure, this 3% are “elite” in that sense, but this standpoint is entirely egomaniacal and narcissistic. Putting one’s own pride in front of someone else’s own enjoyment is not a good thing. It doesn’t invalidate anyone’s experience on the “core” gameplay design if someone else has choices to make that design more fitting for them.

Again, Sifu is reportedly adding an easier mode and a harder mode—even though few have beaten the main game already, they can go for the more “prideful” harder mode if they so choose. No one will fault them for it.

Sifu is available on PC, PS4, and PS5.

MORE: Sifu: How Long to Beat

Source: PushSquare

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