The recent news that Capcom is “for sale” after losing its buy protection has left gamers stunned. This is a company with a 30-year history in the gaming world going all the way back to the NES. Their library of games rivals Nintendo and Sega in size, popularity, and notoriety. Now, much like Rareware in the early 2000s, Capcom or its intellectual properties could be purchased by the highest bidder. What will its future be? Nobody knows.
This may not be a bad thing, though. Barring the entire company getting bought, here are the developers I think should purchase Capcom’s many properties.
The Blue Bomber is practically Capcom’s mascot. He was a staple of both the NES and SNES. He single-handedly put Capcom on the map. Yet the company has all but ignored him for years. MegaMan Universe was canceled, a game that was supposed to celebrate his 25th anniversary, in favor of funding the fan-made game Street Fighter x MegaMan. He was snubbed for Marvel vs. Capcom 3, but (sorta) appeared in Street Fighter x Tekken. Then Nintendo throws MegaMan into the next Super Smash Bros. and reminds everyone why he’s cool.
It’s settled. Nintendo should buy MegaMan; they treat him with respect. They have a history of creating amazing platformers and 3D action/adventure titles full of heart and excitement. Nintendo is the Pixar of video games, after all. But it shouldn’t stop there—Nintendo should grab Capcom’s other classic titles like Ghosts and Goblins and Commando for that reason. Capcom’s more off-kilter games like Ace Attorney and RPGs like Breath of Fire would be well-suited for Nintendo, too.
In the mid-2000s, Capcom was host to Clover Studio, a team of game developers known for quirky games that oozed cool. These included the Viewtiful Joe series, Okami, and God Hand. Eventually, though, Clover was disbanded. Since then, the team has gone independent and renamed itself several times. Currently, they are Platinum Games, who made the hit game Bayonetta.
This is a prime opportunity for them to reacquire what was originally theirs and revive them. Capcom has done little with any of Clover’s characters except feature them in Marvel vs. Capcom 3. Platinum could finally make a third Viewtiful Joe game and complete the story, among other things.
Darkstalkers was Street Fighter for goths. The series was steeped in horror tropes and featured characters who were re-imaginings of classic Universal monsters like Frankenstein and the Wolfman. While a few of its characters—most notably the succubus Morrigan—have appeared in other games, the series has been largely ignored (noticing a pattern here?).
Arc System Works, which created Guilty Gear and BlazBlue, should buy this series. Those games have similar sensibilities and Arc has a great track record at making hyperactive, story-driven, and bizarre fighting games. Plus, there were rumors a decade ago of a crossover game between Darkstalkers and Guilty Gear. If Arc buys Darkstalkers, this crossover could become a reality!
This is a no-brainer. Ninja Theory already rebooted Capcom’s action/horror series in 2013. While that game annoyed some of the series’ hardcore fans, it was a successful re-launch. Ninja Theory could continue this new “alternate reality” series and make a fifth game for the original.
Again, another no-brainer, but for different reasons. Sengoku Basara is Capcom’s version of Koei’s long-running Dynasty Warriors hack-and-slash games. In fact, Sengoku features some of the same characters, albeit with different designs. Since the two are pretty much the same game, Koei would be remiss not to buy it, if for no other reason than to eliminate competition. A better thing Koei could do would be to have a weird crossover game involving inter-dimensional travel.
Street Fighter, Final Fight, Resident Evil, and a host of other games belong at Sony (assuming they don’t buy all of Capcom). Why? For the simple reason that the majority of Capcom’s fanbase plays Sony’s consoles. Xbox, despite its impressive specs, isn’t nearly as popular in Japan. Nintendo’s consoles have lacked top-of-the-line hardware and have become less appealing to hardcore gamers. Sony, however, has neither of those issues. Plus, Capcom recently announced it is making an exclusive game for the PS4.
With the right teams, Sony could maintain the momentum of Street Fighter and reinvigorate the faltering Resident Evil. Plus, the companies have a past relationship. Sony was Capcom’s company of choice in the late ‘90s and early 2000s, creating many exclusive titles for the PS1 and PS2. Sony knows better than to ruin Capcom like Microsoft did with Rareware.
What do you think? Should Capcom’s games be bought piecemeal or as a whole? Who should buy them?