In recent years, Capcom has courted negative attention from pretty much everywhere. Whether its because they abuse DLC, or because they cancelled Mega Man Legends 3, or because they redesigned Dante for DmC: Devil May Cry (which was released this year). Whatever the reasons, a lot of people hate Capcom nowadays.
Capcom has fallen very far from its glory days in the 80’s and 90’s, when they made good games. However, I think they can dig themselves out of the mess they’re in, and there are a few simple things they can do to get their reputation back.
1. Make new Mega Man games
Since 2011, there have been no new Mega Man games. Series creator Keiji Inafune left Capcom in 2010, and selfishly left behind millions of Mega Man fans. As a result, Mega Man Universe and Mega Man Legends 3 were cancelled within 2011.
Now, Keiji Inafune is working on an extremely similar game called “Mighty No. 9”, which I think is a good idea, but it’s still a bit of an excuse to not make a new Mega Man game.
I think that Capcom should treat the Mega Man franchise with more respect than it has given it in recent years. Mega Man being a playable character in the new Super Smash Bros game is an excellent start, but I think they should go further. They should continue the franchise without Keiji Inafune.
Think about it. It’s pretty obvious that Inafune isn’t coming back. And besides, to my knowledge, Capcom still owns the rights to the franchise, so they could technically make a new one, which the fans want. Also, what if Mighty No. 9 becomes a success? Capcom would need to compete.
2. Stop milking DLC
A big part of why Capcom is hated today is because of how blatantly greedy they are. This is nothing new. When they were among the kings of arcade games, they would make games that were deliberately hard in order to grab as much quarters as possible.
This was true for many arcade games, but back then, gamers accepted this as the norm. They didn’t like it, but still, back in the 80’s, greed was “good”. But we’re three decades past that, and now, gamers hate it when game companies behave like EA does today.
I say enough is enough. If Capcom wants people to love them again, then what they obviously should put a stop to is the rampant greed and abusing of DLC. Games don’t have to have DLC. Rayman Origins had no DLC, and that was a modern classic.
I’m honestly surprised that Capcom hasn’t spammed the dreaded micro-transactions yet.
3. Stop copying Western games
Recently, Capcom has been making games that are disturbingly out of line with Japanese gaming principles. For instance, they made Dark Void, which looks and feels like a typical American third-person shooter.
Not only that, but it seems that Dark Void was trying to be like a Hollywood movie. I played that game, and it sucked. It’s basically a by-the-numbers third-person shooter with the gimmick of being able to fly on rocket packs.
Then there’s also Dragon’s Dogma, which tries to be a Western-style fantasy game, complete with Skyrim-esque gameplay and a distinctly Western art direction. This is also true for the eerily similar upcoming PS4 game Deep Down.
There’s also the awful remake of Bionic Commando (released in 2009), which tried ever so hard to be more like a Hollywood blockbuster instead of being an enjoyable game. Remember Me, a recently released action game with stylistic similarities to EA’s Mirror’s Edge.
When will they stop abandoning the style that made their old games great? Just because Western games are selling well, doesn’t mean they should be copied.
4. Listen to the fans
Any good business would listen to its fans. But many corporations in the field of entertainment fail to do even that. Instead of listening to what we want, they’re telling us what they think we want, and apparently game companies are no exception.
Part of the reason why fans of Capcom are p*ssed off is because they feel that Capcom is ignoring them. If Capcom wants to get its reputation back in shape, they should listen to their fans.
In a way, #1 and #4 on this list actually work well together, because the fans want more Mega Man games. Nintendo treats their fans all the time with Mario and Pokémon spin-offs, so let’s see some more from Capcom.
5. Stop double-dipping
This is not a new practice. About 20 years ago, Capcom released four different “revisions” of Street Fighter II. For God’s sake, if we already bought Street Fighter II, why the hell would we buy the other versions?
They repeated this cash-grabbing technique with Street Fighter III and IV, and Marvel vs. Capcom 3, where we got Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, which got released just 9 months after the original game. Everything in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 could easily have been split into DLC packs for the original game.
This is what we in the entertainment business call “double-dipping”, the practice of releasing multiple editions of the same product at different times (sometimes at the same time) in order to get people to buy more than one edition. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Either way, it’s just lazy.
Overall, Capcom really needs to get its affairs in order, otherwise it’ll become more reviled than EA, Activision, Comcast, or even the Fox Network.