The lively community surrounding fighting games is no stranger to keeping dated titles alive. Tournament play has allowed games like Super Smash Bros. Melee and Street Fighter III to maintain their popularity for more than a decade. However, few games in any genre can compete with the following enjoyed by Marvel vs. Capcom.
Getting underway in the 1990s, the Marvel vs. Capcom series is one of the all-time great video game crossovers. After experimenting with a fighting game pitting Street Fighter combatants against the X-Men, developer Capcom soon set about creating a title that covered a greater breadth of both its own roster and the bevy of superheroes belonging to Marvel.
The series arguably hit its peak with 2000’s Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes — and promptly went silent for a decade. Fans were delighted when it was announced that Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds would release in 2011, but since then it’s become increasingly clear that the franchise was once again on hiatus.
However, Marvel Games vice president Jay Ong made comments that seemed to suggest otherwise when grilled on the subject by Polygon. Ong noted that the company is aware that fans have a hunger for Marvel vs. Capcom, and while he stated outright that he had nothing to announce, he did comment, “who knows what the future holds?”
That being said, we know that the relationship between Marvel and Capcom that prompted Fate of Two Worlds has ended. In 2014, Peter “ComboFiend” Rosas stated in a post on the Capcom Unity forum that the contract between the two companies had come to an end.
Despite Ong’s eagerness to please fans, the outlook for Marvel vs. Capcom looks bleak. Street Fighter V has demonstrated that even firmly established fighting games can struggle to find an audience — and the Marvel Cinematic Universe has made the superhero side of the game’s roster more in demand than ever before.
A fourth Marvel vs. Capcom title may not be an outright impossibility, but there are certainly several major obstacles in its path.