Cognition Dissemination: Capcom’s Odd Relationship with Nintendo Switch

When the first Switch games were unveiled in January, there was a little promise that Capcom would support the system with new software. That Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers was the only early title wasn’t immediately encouraging, but they were big supporters of the 3DS throughout its run. Their latest, and perhaps last, title for Nintendo’s handheld is The Great Ace Attorney 2, which released in Japan on Thursday.

Interestingly, they haven’t dedicated the same level of support to Switch thus far. USFII was their only upcoming game for the system for a while, until Monster Hunter XX Nintendo Switch Ver. was announced around the time of that title’s release. There’s a reason why both their efforts are ports thus far, as Capcom is simply testing the audience to determine their reception towards certain titles, and they don’t want to spend many resources to find out. The company as a whole also isn’t spending as much on producing new games, thanks to several of their recent titles selling below expectations. But their lineup was still subpar.

The most peculiar development here was how Capcom was announcing games that could have found an audience on Switch, but were skipping the platform. The Disney Afternoon Collection seemed like a prime candidate for a good early digital game, as it collected titles originally released on Nintendo’s first console, and DuckTales: Remastered released on Wii U. But the collection was only released on PS4, XB1, and PC, and Capcom never explained why it skipped the platform. The same applies to Mega Man Legacy Collection 2, which releases this week, despite the first Mega Man Legacy Collection receiving a 3DS release. By skipping the opportunity to release easy and logical ports, it appeared they were intentionally shunning the system.

But this could be changing. It seems current owners passed the test by purchasing USFII, as Capcom mentioned in their newest earnings report that it exceeded their sales forecast, though sales numbers weren’t provided. It received some criticism due to most of its content being recycled from both the original Super Street Fighter II Turbo and its HD Remix version, outside some remixes and new themes. But it was able to capitalize by releasing within Switch’s launch window, where it didn’t have much competition. In response, the company claimed they’re in the midst of preparing multiple versions of Switch titles.

It was following the report that Capcom quickly announced the next ports: Resident Evil Revelations 1 + 2. Resident Evil Revelations joined the two ports above in how the Switch was peculiarly left out when it was confirmed for PS4 and XB1 earlier in the year. This was despite how it first released on 3DS back in 2012, while the previous remastered release also hit Wii U. Meanwhile, this will mark the first time Revelations 2 will hit a Nintendo platform, which previously hit several last-gen and current-gen platforms, including PlayStation Vita. The port of the first Revelations will arrive on PS4 and XB1 on August 29th, but the dual pack for Switch will release sometime later this year. The physical dual pack will only include the first game on its game card, with the second game sadly being on a digital code.

Capcom may be slowly becoming more committed to releasing games on Switch, but the ports above suggest that they’re still in the testing phase, as if they’re hesitant to dip their entire leg into the tub for fear of getting burned. The Switch’s superlative early sales caught many third-party publishers off guard, and Nintendo is still having trouble keeping the system in stock at stores worldwide. But the amount of software coming to the system is still low, so it would be good to capitalize on this with new software for those who want more games to play.

Those new initiatives could be coming soon. Though Monster Hunter: World is making its way to current-gen consoles and PC next year and is skipping Switch, there’s a good chance Capcom is planning a new game for the platform, given its handheld nature. While the latest Ace Attorney games haven’t sold quite as well as some of their predecessors, it’s still popular enough for the series to continue and migrate over to Switch.

Capcom has been deathly afraid of taking even the slightest risk in the last few years, which explains why they currently don’t have many upcoming games. But in addition to the franchise migrations mentioned in the above paragraph, at least the Switch could get more ports. With Unreal Engine 4’s scaling abilities, for instance, Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite could run on the system. There’s no chance of it releasing alongside the console and PC versions next month, but an updated version that includes some downloadable content could be ported in the future.

If more ports don’t come, though, perhaps Nintendo should give them a call.

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