Here’s why Dragon Ball FighterZ got dropped from Evo 2024

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EVO officially announced the game lineup for EVO 2024 and one notable absence is the Arc System Works-developed Dragon Ball FighterZ.

Dragon Ball FigherZ has been a staple of the Evolution Championship Series since its release in 2018. The tournament will return in 2024, and the lineup of games that will be present in EVO 2024 was revealed to fans. While several games in the 2023 tournament are returning, one game stands out for being absent from the lineup.

Dragon Ball FighterZ will not be part of EVO 2024. With the hype for the upcoming Dragon Ball: Sparking ZERO rising and a major update for FighterZ on the horizon, dropping the game now seems like a questionable move to many.

Will Dragon Ball FighterZ be at EVO 2024?

According to the official EVO game announcement, Dragon Ball FighterZ will not be at Evo 2024.

Bandai Namco, Arc System Works, and EVO haven’t officially commented on this. Although Dragon Ball FighterZ was released in 2018, it hasn’t been present in every EVO tournament. Dragon Ball FighterZ has been a staple of the main EVO tournaments, but hasn’t been uniformly adopted. The game was left out of EVO Online in 2021 and has only ever had side-tournament status in EVO Japan. 

The game being a staple of the main tournament in recent years and enjoying decent turnout into 2023 makes its omission a surprising one. There are a few possible explanations.

Why isn’t Dragon Ball FighterZ in EVO 2024?

No official reason was given for why Dragon Ball FighterZ was left out of EVO 2024. There are a few possible explanations for this, with the most likely being that the Sony-owned EVO doesn’t see value in doing so.

Though EVO is a monolith in competitive gaming and fighting games, it’s now effectively a marketing arm for PlayStation. Though the game is set to ship a rollback netcode update, it’s no longer releasing paid DLC. If it had been kept, it would have been the oldest game on the lineup by a few years.

Though DBFZ turnout wasn’t the worst at Evo 2023, it wasn’t strong enough to otherwise make up for this. Despite a record-breaking turnout, Dragon Ball FighterZ’s tournament had 838 participants, the third-worst at the event. King of Fighter 15 had 666, but also continues to ship updates and DLC into 2024.

While Dragon Ball: Sparking ZERO already has fans waiting for its release, the Budokai Tenkaichi fighting style might be too different from the games EVO usually focuses on. With the upcoming Sparking ZERO potentially not having offline multiplayer, it’s unknown if the Dragon Ball series will return to EVO in the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, this means that the beloved Cell Yell is likely dead.

The 2024 EVO games lineup revealed

The EVO 2024 game lineup includes the latest releases from most major fighting game series, as well as a returning favorite.

The EVO 2024 game lineup includes the following games:

  • Street Fighter 6
  • Tekken 8
  • Mortal Kombat 1
  • Guilty Gear Strive
  • King of Fighters 15
  • Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising
  • Under Night In-Birth 2 [Sys:Celes]
  • Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike

Alongside Dragon Ball FighterZ, Melty Blood: Type Lumina is being dropped from the EVO lineup in 2024. Melty Blood saw the second-worst participation at EVO 2023. Taking their spots are Under Night In-Birth 2 [Sys:Celes] and Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising. All of these games will be played on PlayStation 5 consoles, with the notable exception of Street Fighter 3.

Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 returned at EVO 2023 as a special attraction but wound up with the fourth-most entrants of any tournament at the event. Now it seems that bringing back past staples will be the norm for EVO moving forward. Street Fighter 3: 3rd Strike will be at the event, playable on arcade hardware.

Tekken 8, Mortal Kombat 2, Granblue Fantasy Versus: Rising, and Under Night In-Birth 2 [Sys:Celes] will debut in this year’s EVO. Street Fighter 6 will return after becoming the most-entered tournament in EVO history, and will look to break the record here once again.

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Written by Hannan Mundia

Hannan Mundia has been playing video games since he was just three years old. He loves everything about gaming, from RPGs to first-person shooters. He has sunk countless hours into Bethesda's popular RPGs, but his favorite game remains Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. His writing has also been featured on Fandom Spot, and you can follow him on Twitter / X at @zombiezomz.

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