Capcom is by and far one of the most recognizable Japanese developers/publishers in the gaming industry. They're a fairly prestigious company who have created some of the most recognizable characters in the industry; ranging from the likes of Mega Man to popular current characters like Phoenix Wright. Over the years I've become quite fond of the company and their games, some of which I still follow today. If it isn't already clear from prior posts, I'm a very big fan of the Resident Evil series and the genre of survival horror that it created back in the days of the original Playstation. Recent dealings with Capcom however have left me a little jaded in regards to my feelings on the company as a whole.
Being a long time gamer and knowing the trends of Capcom's business dealings, I've come to expect certain things from them. In a sense I think we all have. Capcom is very much known for creating top notch titles, and then continuously improving upon them. My problem with these improvements? The way they have evolved into what amount to cash-grabs rather than true improvements. Last year Capcom released Marvel vs Capcom 3 to great fanfare. I reviewed the game here on the blog and to be honest I absolutely loved it. I had a certain level of expectations based on my nostalgia for Marvel vs Capcom 2 and it was beaten out with a tightly produced game. And well I have much respect to Capcom for that. I even loved that for a brief time after the release of the game they supported it with downloadable content in the form of two new characters, a costume pack, and the shadow player packs with the A.I tendencies of producers and top players.
Fast forward a couple months though and Capcom announces a new version of Marvel vs Capcom 3. You'll probably say to yourself, "What's the big deal? They do this all the time." You would be correct in this assessment. Even dating back to the days of the Super Nintendo, Capcom has had a habit of releasing expanded versions of games that are usually packed with extra characters, stages, levels, etc. We all remember Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo right? I know I do. I spent a ton of time playing it as a kid and it was fantastic. The thing is it took a while before Turbo(as I'll refer to it in short) was actually ported to the Super Nintendo after its predecessor. What miffed me about the announcement of Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 was the fact that it was announced and released no more than 8 months after the arrival of the original Marvel vs Capcom 3.
Considering the original MvC3 was released in both a standard and collector's edition it sort of seemed like a slap in the face to release the Ultimate edition in the same year. It's not like we didn't know there would eventually be a beefed up product released at some point. Most fans knew it would happen. You would never anticipate that it would all be in the same year. As someone who purchased the collector's edition at the time of release I just felt kind of cheated. It's okay though, I got over it. Again, Capcom's known for this sort of thing and while I was annoyed, I still respect the company and understand it's a business.
|Still love ya Mega Man, even if Capcom doesn't.|
However after the most recent reveal of Resident Evil 6 and the announcement that early access to the demo would be tethered to a purchase of their upcoming game, Dragon's Dogma; I once again find myself questioning their tactics. Again, I'm a big fan of the Resident Evil series and I was super excited when I saw the trailer. Go back a page or so and you'll my breakdown of the reveal trailer. But back to the matter at hand; the packing of the demo with Dragon's Dogma. Major problem? Not really but it seems odd to package access to a demo for what will be a highly anticipated game this year with a game that's essentially been flying under the radar for the last 6 months. It comes off solely as a marketing ploy to me to sell a couple extra copies of Dragon's Dogma. I'm not sure about you but that doesn't really bode well for a new franchise.
Or maybe I just think it's kinda weird because on some level I just really appreciate product synergy. Capcom has a spin off Resident Evil game coming out in March called Operation Raccoon City. Why not package the early access to the demo with another Resident Evil game? You already have a fan base that will more than likely be buying the product(and it does look pretty interesting to say the least). While I understand the need to promote new franchises and expose audiences to them, it seems a little silly in my mind. I'm not saying that Dragon's Dogma might be a bad game. Frankly I haven't seen or heard enough about it to even make a prediction on how it'll fare once it's released. And that's my point. You're already attaching an incentive to buy on a game that's still largely mysterious. And for a highly anticipated title at that. Granted no one is being forced to it. I just think if it was coming out with something more established, more people would be inclined to do so.
Still, I'll give Capcom the benefit of the doubt. For as many times as they have annoyed the hell out of me they go on to redeem themselves in some way later down the road. For example, while I'm still annoyed about the Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 fiasco, the fact that they brought back my favorite character in the game goes a long way towards me actually picking it up at some point down the line. That is if they don't announce a super ultimate edition before I get the chance.