It’s time for my Capcom Kick-In-The-Face.
For years, I’d been a fierce, shameless Capcom champion. This was in stark contrast to the attitude of many of my friends, many of which are Megaman aficionados. For many of them, Capcom’s cancellation of Megaman Legends 3 was the last straw. Legends 3, the long-awaited sequel to the reasonably-popular spin-off Megaman series, was evidently close to completion. A demo version of Legends 3 was released on the Nintendo eShop in 2011. Oddly enough, the demo cost $2.50. This was the first I’d ever heard of a company charging money for an incomplete demo. I’d always been of the opinion that Megaman never generated enough revenue in a modern era to justify creating new titles in the series, so the paid demo didn’t particularly surprise me. I’d thought that Capcom was simply trying to raise a bit more money to fund what might potentially be a bad investment.
Then Capcom cancelled Legends 3.
Cancelled games aren’t particularly surprising. Video game developers cancel titles on a regular basis, whether due to legal issues or financial difficulties. In the case of Megaman Legends 3, I believed it was because Capcom decided that completing Legends 3 simply wasn’t worth their time or money. That might have been true, or it might have been a foolish decision. There are a large group of dedicated Megaman fans, but those numbers pale in comparison to Monster Hunter, Resident Evil, or Street Fighter fans. Capcom probably decided their time and money was better spent on another one of those titles.
One of my Megaman-loving friends decided to begin a personal Capcom embargo. He hasn’t purchased a single Capcom title since they cancelled Legends 3. His restraint has been admirable, but I doubt they’re missing his business much. I thought his outrage was exaggerated. Admittedly, my primary motivation for defending Capcom was because they owned two of my favorite intellectual properties: Dead Rising, and Resident Evil.
My love of Capcom was probably misplaced. On some level, I understood where my friend was coming from. Unlike the vast majority of gamers, I absolutely despised Resident Evil 4. I blame that particular game for ushering in a new era of mediocre shooters, and more importantly, for ruining my favorite horror franchise. Resident Evil 4 was particularly offensive to me because I’d seen the original build for the game-now dubbed Resident Evil 3.5. Originally, RE4 was meant to be quite similar to the original Resident Evil style, with fixed camera angles and an emphasis on horror and exploration. Instead, Resident Evil 4 came out as a third-person, watered-down shooter featuring enemies I could only describe as being zombies ironically. At least I got a mediocre replacement for what I wanted. Megaman fans were left in the dark.
But I didn’t care. Although I did like Megaman, I wasn’t fond enough of the Blue Bomber for me to be insulted by Legends 3’s cancellation. I was too busy being excited for Dead Rising 2, Case Zero and later, Case West.
While Capcom had, and remains to have, a reputation for squeezing money out of gamers with downloadable content, I was pleasantly surprised by Case Zero and Case West. Both games did extremely well on the Xbox Live Marketplace. I didn’t feel that Capcom had ripped me off. In a similar manner, I really enjoyed the Lost in Nightmares campaign for Resident Evil 5. The fact that the Versus Mode DLC was already on the disc didn’t particularly bother me; I’m of the opinion that Resident Evil games shouldn’t be competitive. On some level, I didn’t approve of Capcom’s business practices, but at that point, I still wasn’t effected enough to really voice an opinion on it.
By the time Capcom had announced Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, I was more than willing to buy the game just at face value. I’d been a huge fan of MVC2, and I was even more excited when I found out that some of my favorite Capcom heroes would be included in the latest installment of the cross-over fighting game. I loved seeing Dante and Albert Wesker on screen together. Throughout my anticipation before the release of the title, I secretly wished that Frank West would also make an appearance. I was disappointed.
I later discovered that West had been included in the game originally, but had been removed at the last minute due to some technical difficulties. I wasn’t particularly amused, but I understood that they had to get the game out the door in a reasonable amount of time. It was then that Capcom announced Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3.
In an extremely short amount of time, Capcom decided that they’d rerelease MVC3, but with several new characters. Included, of course, was Frank West. I was annoyed to discover that not only would the new characters not be offered as downloadable content, but that UMVC3 was being treated as an entirely new game just months after the original release.
The next nail in the coffin came in the form of Dead Rising 2: Off The Record. I wasn’t pleased with Capcom’s decision to replace Frank West with Chuck Greene in Dead Rising 2, a decision which I compared to Raiden’s introduction in the Metal Gear Solid series. Although I was pleased to see Frank West make a return to the series, I wasn’t impressed that Capcom was basically trying to reissue Dead Rising 2, with Frank West, a few new characters and a small amusement park. It was hardly enough to justify a new purchase.
As gameplay videos roll off the Capcom production line, it would appear that Resident Evil 6 is becoming an action-oriented third person shooter. The enemies, which I can only refer to as being zombies ironically, seem to be intelligent enough to operate automatic firearms.
Needless to say, I’m not amused. What are they doing to my favorite franchise?
It would appear that after years of ruining everyone else’s favorite IPs, Capcom was finally getting around to taking down the ones that were important to me. I can’t say I blame my friends for saying “I told you so.” They certainly did tell me so, and for years, I ignored the warning signs. It’s time for me to take my licks, and I’m not going to like it.