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Capcom’s Ono teased Darkstalkers 4 at SDCC 2012

Darkstalkers should be huge in 2012. It’s the fighting game equivalent of the modern romance novel. There are sexy vampires, sexy succubi (succubuses?), tortured immortals, topless werewolves with abs, rock and roll zombies, and an Uzi-toting Little Red Riding Hood. The cast list alone would make a Hollywood executive salivate. It’s also a spectacular fighting game series. The third entry in the series, Vampire Savior, was the perfect balance between Street Fighter Alpha’s accessible strategy and Marvel vs. Capcom’s hyperactive insanity. That game came out 14 years ago though, and the series has been dormant since. What’s the hold up Capcom? Don’t you want some of that sweet Anita Blake/Twilight/Walking Dead money?

Maybe Capcom does know about the untapped gold mine of Darkstalkers. Yoshinori Ono, the face of Capcom’s reborn fighting game empire, has said in the years since Street Fighter IV’s release that his great hope is to make Darkstalkers 4. Convincing Capcom that there’s demand for a game about sexy vampires punching rock and roll zombies has been tricky though. At the 2011 San Diego Comic Con, Ono told fans at a Street Fighter panel to hold up $5 and $10 bills so he could photograph them and show Capcom execs that the fans are ready to buy the game.

This year? Ono told SDCC attendees that they don’t need to hold up money to show support for Darkstalkers 4. “This year, you don’t have to do that, and it’s not necessarily bad news!” The playful producer then said he couldn’t give details lest he get in trouble.

This is the second piece of promising news this year that Darkstalkers 4 is indeed in production. Venture Beat reported on Mar. 3 that the sequel is being made. Some were expecting the game to debut at either Capcom’s annual spring event Captivate or at E3 2012, but the game never materialized.

There were mitigating factors that may have delayed a 2012 debut for Darkstalkers 4 though. The first was Street Fighter X Tekken’s disappointing sales on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, as well as the mass fan outcry over the inclusion of paid DLC content on the game disk. The second was Yoshinori Ono’s falling ill at the end of March. The producer collapsed while promoting Street Fighter X Tekken and needed to be hospitalized, putting the future of Capcom’s fighting game business in question. Ono’s back in the saddle though and Capcom’s said in multiple statements that it has reconsidered its DLC policies. Brings on the topless werewolves!