A DC vs Capcom Fighting Game?

It’s been over 3 years since Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite came out. After that, it’s only been a few months more since Injustice 2 came out. This isn’t the worst time to talk about new games in either franchise, let alone a DC vs Capcom game.

Since then, we haven’t gotten more than a few hints of a new superhero fighting game. Most of the few we have gotten have been for Injustice 3.

Now, I love Injustice. It’s one of my favorite video game franchises, probably my favorite fighting game franchise the more I think about it.

At the same time, developer NetherRealm has been putting out a fighting game every two years like clockwork. One in Mortal Kombat, and then one in Injustice. They’re always good, always the best fighting games of the year, but I’m not opposed to them doing something new. That can be a new fighting game series, or a game in a different genre entirely. I just want to see them do something new, let them take a creative break.

I’m not saying that I don’t want an Injustice 3. I’m just not itching for that to be the next game NetherRealm makes right now. I’d be just as happy to see them make something else first.

Now with Marvel vs Capcom, I just want them to make an ultimate edition of Infinite that fixes its problems. Fixing the character designs and adding in the goddamn X-Men would be great. What would be even better, would be remaster Marvel vs Capcom 2, hell, I’d take even a port. 

Unlike Injustice, Marvel vs Capcom hasn’t been that great a series in almost ten years. That may sound crazy but Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 came out in 2011, yeah, almost ten years ago. 

So what’s my point? My point is that I think it’s time for a new superhero fighting game series. One that would let NetherRealm do something new, and get Capcom back into crossover fighting games. 

Capcom and Warner Bros should team up to make a DC vs Capcom game.

The Marvel Context

Now, I first want to say that I think there’s one really big reason Capcom and Warner Bros would want to make a DC vs Capcom game.

WB vs Disney.
Clash of the anamorphic titans!

To spite Marvel. Okay, not really, it would be for money, of course. It also helps the brands to stay on top of the fighting game genre. That would be a bonus too. But seriously though, spite and getting away from Marvel would make a lot of sense for Capcom.

Warner Bros is the closest thing to a direct competitor to Disney in the same way DC is to Marvel. This hierarchy of rivalries and competition can drive projects that wouldn’t originally make much sense. Saying that, I admit this, the main reason WB wouldn’t want to do this is because they would make less money licensing out characters than making the game wholly themselves.

But I think its possible they would consider this out of their rivalry for their competitors. This is less money than they’re usually making, but money their competitor won’t be. At the same time, it’s also a cheaper investment than making a whole game themselves.

It’s Capcom though whose reasons to spite Marvel are not only more interesting, but all around juicier. 

Marvel may have a better reputation in pop culture than DC thanks to their movies, but that does not extend to the video game industry. 

Dr Strange from Marvel vs Capcom 3, illuminating an issue that should lead to DC vs Capcom.
The arguments these hands have started.

Developers, including Capcom, who have made games with Marvel, have gone on record about how difficult they are to work with. As reported by SourceGaming’s April 6, 2018 article, “Marvel vs Capcom Infinite: What Went Wrong?” “Marvel vs. Capcom 3 producer Ryota Niitsuma cited difficulty in dealing with Marvel’s demands.” Apparently, Marvel was so uptight about how their characters were portrayed, they, and I quote, “meticulously stressed” over Dr. Strange’s hand movements.

Imagine that, how pretentious can you get? These guys have been making fighting games for decades. You can let them do their job to make a good game, they can animate hands.

Warner Bros and DC on the other hand, let NetherRealm make Superman evil. Marvel’s game division used to be so up its own butt they couldn’t trust Capcom to animate hands properly. That’s just one thing Marvel did to make life hard for Capcom’s development team.

During the development of MvC 3, Marvel also refused to allow popular characters like the Juggernaut to be added. Apparently, it was because they weren’t being pushed by Marvel itself at the time.

They made Capcom fight to include fan-favorites like Deadpool and X-23. They almost weren’t in the game because Marvel didn’t have enough corporate synergy around the characters. 

The Marvel Problem

This is the big problem with working with Marvel. They, at least when it comes to fighting games, haven’t always respected video games. They did right by Spider-Man PS4, but they have treated the Marvel vs Capcom games like a promotional tool to the detriment of the product. If you think they only did it once, you’re wrong.

The X-Men characters Marvel refused to give us. Now DC should give us all of their characters.
The greatest we once had with Marvel vs Capcom 2.

This is the reason there are no X-Men, fan-favorites of the video game series, in Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite.

Marvel forced Capcom to make what was a celebration of Marvel into a cheap commercial for the MCU. What we got was a bad single-player story, and a small, boring character list of only MCU and Spider-Man characters. 

Capcom ended up putting their reputation and finances on the line because of Marvel. This left the game’s producers to give stupid reasons to why the X-Men weren’t in the game.

If you followed MvC: Infinite up to its release, you probably heard about Capcom’s Peter Rosas saying, “If you were to actually think about it, these characters are just functions,” implying that people like how Storm plays, not Storm, the character herself.

Well guess what? Because of all that bad surrounding the game, MvC: Infinite, at time of writing, as reported by EventHub’s Steven Chavez’s November 11, 2020 article, has only sold 1.6 million copies. 

In three years, a beloved fighting game franchise hasn’t even sold 2 million copies? I don’t blame Capcom for not trying to make another Marvel vs Capcom game. To have to deal with Marvel’s crap and only sell 2 million copies, I’d say screw it too.

That’s where DC comes in.

Replacing One with Another

Now DC, or more so Warner Bros honestly, doesn’t seem to have a problem with letting a video game developer do what they want with their characters. They actually, you know, trust video game developers to do their job. 

Batman is super dead, just like in Arkham Knight.
He’s super dead, like really, actually dead in Arkham Knight.

I mean, like I said before, they let NetherRealm make Superman and half of their heroes evil. Hell, they even let Rocksteady kill off Batman. Batman’s not in their Suicide Squad game because he died. They clearly don’t give a crap as long as the game is good. So for the sake of their sanity, Capcom shouldn’t have the same problems with WB and DC as they did Marvel. Obviously, this is only conjecture, maybe everything that could go wrong, would. At the same time, we’re talking about a metaphorical DC vs Capcom game, not one actually being planned.

But they should consider, for the same reason they consider anything, money. 

In the movies, Marvel is the money maker, but in video games, and other avenues, DC reigns supreme. Outside of Spider-Man PS4, Marvel games do not do as well as DC games. Marvel’s Avengers is sputtering out as people are ravenous for Gotham Knights and Suicide Squad Kills the Justice League. Injustice 3 sold more than twice MvC: Infinite when they came out in the same year. Even the Telltale Guardians of the Galaxy sputtered in irrelevance while their Batman series got a second season. 

Marvel has a head start on DC this generation with Spider-Man: Miles Morales, but this game can only be the start of a line of hits. This past generation, it’s only been Spiderman PS4 that’s been an undisputed hit, they haven’t earned gamer’s faith like DC. DC’s worst failure is the PC port of Arkham Knight. Other than that, it’s been hit after hit. Even the most criticized game in the Arkham trilogy has a better critical reception than Marvel’s best outing. That’s kind of funny to think about.

So Capcom can rest easy knowing that DC has a good track record with video games, and should sell. Not to mention, characters like Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Harley Quinn, can more than stand up to the most popular of Marvel characters. And through Injustice 2, DC has shown they have no problem letting in weird picks.

DC vs Capcom’s One Worry

And for those who think this is still impossible, know this, GamesRadar’s Kai Delmare in his November 2020 article, reported about a former Capcom artist detailing a potential DC fighting game, possibly DC vs Capcom. This means Warner Bros was at one point open to letting another publisher work with their characters. 

While this was in the 90s and many things have changed, this means there is some hope. What kept that game from being made was actually reservations on Capcom’s part. Plus, working with Marvel was financially worth the headache at the time.

Several in Capcom, along side the artist, felt that the game wouldn’t be viable because, and I quote, “the power gap between DC’s characters is way wider than Marvel’s, and secondly, aside from Batman, DC was floundering.” Again, this was the 90s, DC isn’t financially floundering anymore. Not to mention their movies are doing well again, their other games are doing well, and they’re dominating TV. 

If there’s still any worry about a power gap between character, they can see how Injustice worked around it. I.E, they ignored it because people don’t care, they just want to play the game. Sure, some people will complain about how Green Arrow can shoot an arrow at Superman. At the same time, just as many people said the same thing about Resident Evil’s Chris Redfield taking on the Hulk. 

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter, and Capcom’s previous worries are no longer a concern. So a DC vs Capcom, is viable, worthwhile, and a good idea, assuming Netherrealm isn’t actually making an Injustice 3.

I for one, wouldn’t mind getting a break from Injustice to get a DC vs Capcom game. I want the game Marvel vs Capcom Infinite should have been.

What match would you like to see if this game ever came about? Batman vs Albert Wesker? Wonder Woman vs Morrigan? Maybe Catwoman and Felicia have a cat fight?

I for one, think it would be funny to see Chris Redfield punch Superman like he does boulders.

Links for sources:

  1. https://www.gamesradar.com/former-capcom-artist-details-a-potential-dc-fighting-game/ 
  2. https://www.eventhubs.com/news/2020/nov/11/sf5-5-million-units-sold/ 
  3. https://sourcegaming.info/2018/04/06/marvel-vs-capcom-infinite-what-went-wrong/ 

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