I bought SFxT when it first came out on Steam, but due to the poor matchmaking system where I felt like I had to wait 5 minutes just to find anyone (and that was near the launch) and I'd get repeatedly told I have found a room which I cannot join, I kinda quit and haven't touched the game since.
Lately, I've decided to pick it back up, and although a lot of issues seem to have been addressed (not getting much lag, sound problem fixed, matchmaking happens fast when there are people), the game just doesn't seem to be that populated.
I'd often still be waiting around 5 minutes per match, but now it's not because of Capcom's poor netcode, rather there just seems to be hardly anyone playing. Sometimes I'd get matched up quickly but I find it's the same 2 people getting matched with me over and over again. And then sometimes I'd get into a match only to have the game tell me I have to return to the lobby because the other guy left the room. This happens often during the character/stage selection but once in a while when the match starts, and I'm not sure if it's because the other guy dced or he just didn't want to play me again, as these are usually rubber matches.
I mean, now that I've actually sat down with the game and no longer have to deal with as many frustrating bugs, I'm finding it kind of fun, and the gem system seems really deep with a lot of variations I'd like to explore. But it's really disappointing that almost nobody is playing the game.
For me, who plays a lot of online games, I consider any multiplayer focused game which doesn't have at least 500+ people playing online at any given time to be pretty much dead. Now I know fighting games have a niche market to begin with so I can maybe drop that number down to 100+, but even then it feels like there's barely a handful of active SFxT players. I don't know if that's just the PC community, or if the PC community is further fractured between Steam and non-Steam users, but it is a really paltry lot nonetheless.
So am I correct in my assessment? Is this game basically dead online? Or is there something I'm not doing right, somewhere I'm not looking? Is there a time of day specifically when most of the active gamers come out? TBH at this point I'm kind of discouraged to get back into this game if it's going to be a chore just to find people to play with. No, I don't want to have to post on the forums everytime I want to find a match, and no, the single player mode is not worth my time, that's not what competitive gamers like myself buy fighting games for.