CAPCOM has pulled down Ultimate Marvel VS CAPCOM 3 and MvC2 from the PSN and XBLA. No real reason has been given, but we all know it by heart already; CAPCOM doesn’t have the money to pay the license fees anymore. The good question, which will most likely be left unanswered for all time, is that how high were the licensing fees in the end?
Since MvC3 was released in 2011, and even before it, Marvel has been making their fair share of dosh with their movie franchise and licensing fees next to them. As such, I can see a possibility where the fees got more expensive. I don’t believe it was just about the rights to use Marvel license in a game, as Marvel VS Origins is still staying online. Marvel’s coming out with the Guardians of the Galaxy movie too, and it might be that somebody wanted exclusive rights to all of its characters, including Rocket Rackoon.
Then again, you have companies trying to find out better sources of revenue all the time, and MvC3 has outlived its hype and usability as a steady source of income. Of course, CAPCOM botched the whole thing by announcing the Ultimate version three months after the initial release of the vanilla version, so that was a loads of shitting in the customers’ soup there already. That, and not adding Mega Man X as a playable character even thou he was the most voted character in a fan-poll, from which other characters managed to get in.
As MvC3 dropped itself from the radar, Marvel most likely just wanted to move on to better projects and I can see CAPCOM doing the same thing. There’s no use in updating and patching a game that only a small community within a small community uses. Now, here’s something no fan wants to hear, but somebody needs to say it aloud; fighting games are a small thing and the amount of people who are playing them are miniscule in numbers compared to the games that actually pull good profits. Balancing between games with insane amount of technicalities and simple ones is no easy deal, and I have no qualms with CAPCOM in stopping the MvC3 support, as I do understand any companies’ need to make profit and stay afloat, but I don’t necessarily like the things they do… like with Mega Man Legends 3.
However, this causes an issue. If you didn’t buy the DLC before the date it all was pulled down, you’re never going to get them from anywhere, anymore, ever. They’re gone to bitspace, and we need to wait for hackers to find more reliable ways in modifying the consoles and their firmwares in order to inject these DLCs back, or as it was with SFxT, unlock the on-disc DLC. This is a huge problem that we have witnessed before, where elements of games are just put away because there is no more ways to get them because they’re digital or tied to a service. Same goes with digital-only games, as they just vanish if somebody somewhere didn’t manage to save them. The download System for Super Famicom in Japan saw some games that are in digital form only, and we’re never going to see these games in any other form because of the fact that only handful of people have their service carts saved up with that particular games, but even then when the battery dies on those cartridges, only dumped ROMs exist and the actual game ceases to be.
I own a copy of MvC2 for the Dreamcast, and it’s the Japanese version. People who know of it most likely wondered aloud Why the fuck you bought the Japanese version? The reason for this is that the game uses point based system, where you gain points and use them to buy characters. There’s three types of points; D-Points that are racked up by playing the game on the Dreamcast, the N-Points that were gained from Online play, and the V-Points which were garnered from arcade machine with your Dreamcast’s VMU plugged in. As such, some character require N- and V-Points to be unlocked, which is impossibility without the online and arcade machine. For this game I got myself a third-party VMU that allowed me to download and upload saves.
The problem is, that if I ever lose that particular save and its many copies I have on my fifteen different VMUs, I can’t unlock those characters anymore without making a special kind of effort that I shouldn’t be doing in the first place. MvC2’s online service has been long dead with SEGA’s online service, and finding MvC2 machine with the VMU slot can be a challenge. The program I used to use to transfer saves between my computer and the VMU unit is also far too old to run on old computer and it needs a printer port too. Even in 2008 I had to use my mother’s older computer from her garage to transfer few special saves I found flying online, because things just went by the DC and its technology.
It would have been very sporting of CAPCOM to put all the DLC free for the last two days rather than just lower their prices. I admit, I got the Jill Valentine and Shuma-Gorath DLC because I want to have the access to these characters. But all the extra colours and such were the worst kind of stuff they can do; worthless extra pieces of a whole puzzle. You have the complete puzzle already, why you need to new pieces to make it larger? Why couldn’t these pieces already be part of the puzzle?
I am disappointed how companies run their digital business and how they can say when they pull shit down without a moment’s notice. I don’t know anybody who wants to give the controls of their games, movies, films and whatever to the people they bought the stuff from, but I do know far too many who willingly ignore the fact that these companies are essentially controlling everything they have bought digitally, like Valve does.
The question we need to ask is how much are you willing to let the companies decide over the stuff you own? I say none, but too many don’t want to even hear the question, let alone answer it.