The MarkMan, The Myth, The Legend - FGC Vet Talks Tekken & Soul Calibur VI

Jason Fanelli,

March 26, 2018 6:40 AM

Twin Galaxies got the chance to speak with FGC mainstay and EVO Global Business Development Mark "MarkMan" Julio, who gave some interesting insight to the community and a few of the games that currently represent it.

“It’s an exciting time to be a fighting game fan.”

Mark “MarkMan” Julio ought to know; he’s been working in and around the fighting game scene for over a decade. He’s worked with Mad Catz, was a selectable character in DiveKick, and now works with EVO as Global Business Development and Bandai Namco’s “Tekken Project” team on all things Tekken. To say that this man knows the fighting game scene is an understatement, and Twin Galaxies got a chance to talk with him at Final Round 21.

Working with multiple companies at once might be difficult for most folks, but Markman seems to thrive on it. For him the confidence stems from after his departure from Mad Catz, when he started to work for himself. “After I got laid off [from Mad Catz] I started doing my own thing, working with a lot of different companies and I quickly found they still wanted to work with me and maintain that relationship,” MarkMan tells us. “I’ve been helping with a lot of fighting game activations for different companies and of course the biggest open gaming tournament in the world in Evo. I’ve really found my calling here, as I’m always been a proponent in growing the fighting game scene, so it’s been fun.”

Soul Calibur VI looks to make its mark on the FGC later this year. 

One of those new fighting games is Soul Calibur VI, which burst onto the scene back in December and has tantalized fans ever since. MarkMan sense that excitement, but acknowledges that this new game almost wasn’t to be. “Soul Calibur VI almost didn’t even happen; there was an opportunity to bring back the franchise but the previous team Project Soul was disbanded,” he recalls, “so this was really a last-ditch effort to see whether or not people would still have interest in the game.”

Did that gamble pay off? Judging by player reactions to the trailers and the hands-on demo at Final Round, the team has its vote of confidence. What is it that has the fans so giddy with excitement? Markman thinks its the game’s “back to basics” approach. As he puts it, “luckily this announcement has been pretty well-received from the fans, they’re really happy with what they see. It’s sort of a return to roots for this type of game, a lot of the classic gameplay and older characters have returned.”

When we asked about the new character Groh and where he fits into to all of this, MarkMan didn’t want to give too much away. “The way that SCVI works, it’s taking different elements from the entire course of the franchise’s history, so you’ll see older iterations of a lot of the characters like Mitsurugi, Sophitia, and Xianghua,” he explains. “Groh is actually a very mysterious character, it’s interesting to see how he fits into the overall storyline. Once more information about the story is revealed I’m sure people will understand, but Groh is certainly a mystery in terms of fitting into the entire universe.”

Lest we forget Bandai Namco’s current in-house powerhouse, we asked MarkMan about Tekken 7’s newest fighter Noctis and his impact on the overall story of the game. The short answer? There’s nothing to talk about. “He’s just a guest character,” MarkMan clarifies. “It was stated in the early trailer that he’s not really in the story mode at all.” That doesn’t mean the Crown Prince of Lucis isn’t going to have an impact on the game, however, as he’s a totally unique character to Tekken 7 all the same.

Noctis Lucis Caelum is the latest character in Tekken 7...but is he the last?

“There’s not a single character that plays like Noctis, so I hope that people pay attention to the character design and the archetype we’re trying to create with this character. He very much plays like he did in his game. If you’ve played Final Fantasy XV then you’re familiar with how Noctis moves and all of the different Royal Arms, and it’s really unique to see that represented in Tekken 7.” Amazingly, while the Tekken team worked with Square Enix on getting the finer details down, MarkMan revealed that “all of the assets were created by Project Tekken completely from scratch working directly with Square Enix, they didn’t borrow any of the assets from SE, they made them all on their own.” Overall MarkMan is proud of the job Tekken Project did in porting him over, and that “I hope that makes more people excited for Noctis and more stuff from the team as the game progresses.”

Overall there’s a lot to be excited about on the fighting game front, and for MarkMan that was plenty visible during the Final Round 21 festivities. “I’ve been going to Final Round for over ten years now, this is the 21st annual Final Round so Final Round has been around for a while now,” he says. “Usually it’s the start of the new season of fighting game competition, and this year was no different. This was the first stop on the Capcom Pro Tour and the second major tournament for Dragon Ball FighterZ. I wanted to see how the competition is going to play out for all of those games, and it’s nice to see so many people here for so many different games.”

The competition in the fighting game scene is certainly the fiercest it’s ever been, and we will be keeping a close eye on all of it as it progress. MarkMan, meanwhile, will continue to work behind the scenes to keep the competition going, and the entire FGC will be better for it.


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