Over the course of the holiday weekend, a new buzz began to stir about the possibility of another sequel in the Marvel vs. Capcom fighting game series. Fans of the first three have been asking for it the past few years. Could the Marvel and Capcom agreement be renewed? Could we finally be getting a new installment for the new generation of gaming consoles in 2017? Take the following with a grain of salt as it’s still only rumor, but one that’s quickly gaining reputable echoes.
A few days ago, Ryota Niitsuma, producer on the Marvel vs. Capcom series, said he’d “love to make #MVC4,” but “nothing was happening on that front.” While it could certainly be a swerve in order to prevent news about the game from leaking as it did over the course of Stree Fighter V production.
Capcom’s original licensing deal with Marvel expired in 2013 as Disney moved viable properties to their own publishing arm. One of those casualties was seeing Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 removed from digital game platforms like PlayStation Network and Xbox Live. Only in recent years has the decision been reached by Disney to no longer self-publish licensed games. Sure Telltale and Insomniac have, as a result, announced partnerships with Marvel to produce games based on Spider-Man and possibly Guardians of the Galaxy respectively. However, those games have been in primary development focus for more than a year. While Capcom only released Street Fighter V early in 2016 and have said they will be supporting it through 2020. Now that doesn’t mean a new game will have to wait, it only says resources stretched thin and lots of outsourcing would have to be done as it is on many games.
Where the rumors build steam is on the NeoGAF forums where many game announcements have been beaten to the punch. Several with inside sources have claimed to been told the game is already in development and set to go into testing soon. Today, sources told Polygon that not only is the fourth game in the series coming for 2017, but it will focus primarily on Marvel characters from the MCU. We could get Rocket Raccoon and Groot, Ant-Man, Black Widow, Howard the Duck is technically an MCU character now as well. The focus on MCU characters, fully under Marvel’s ownership, would mean characters from Fantastic Four and X-Men franchises would take a backseat, possibly be left out altogether. If this is the case then it marks a big departure for a series that began with X-Men: Children of the Atom and X-Men vs. Street Fighter games.
At some point, we WILL see the fourth entry in the Marvel Vs. Capcom series, both parties would be foolish not to pursue the agreement they once struck. All the games in the series have been a commercial and critical success remaining one of Capcom’s most cherished endeavors. It’s not out of the realm of possibility for the game to have been in development, Capcom certainly has enough teams to carry multiple projects in the fighting realm.
Capcom will hold their Capcom Cup tournament at this weekend’s PlayStation event and last year the publisher made an appearance to announce Street Fighter V character and date news at the event’s keynote. This year it’s almost certain they’ll have another announcement. If Capcom and Marvel/Disney have indeed reached a new agreement, it would make more sense that the first thing out of the gate to capitalize be the return of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 to the digital storefronts or some sort of remastered collection of the first three games. The longshot would be the return of all three previous games and the new fourth chapter in 2017. While the images that have surfaced online do look very convincing, no worldwide conglomerate in a deal with another would allow a trailer’s phrasing to allow vague wording such as “Celebrating Almost”.
Ah screw it! I’ll get my hopes up for Marvel vs. Capcom 4, August 2017.
We won’t have to wait long to see if fantasy warfare indeed comes back to Capcom or if this will become the new bigfoot of video games. Notable events with lots of eyes and announcements are happening this week with The Game Awards and PlayStation Experience so keep an eye open and those arcade fighting controllers clean.