I think we have all felt it at one point or another: Capcom hates us. We try our very hardest to portray just how much we love them and their franchises, and in return we are greeted with vague comments, shut down projects, and ultimately heartbreak. As I sit and reorganize my (emotional) thoughts, I have found five ways Capcom can make us love them again. Not just episodic love, either. I’m talking full-fledged, unconditional love.
I’ve been a fan of Capcom since the original Mega Man, and thought for sure that I would be an ‘until I die’ fan. As I watch, however, as fans beg for Capcom to just listen for a few moments and make a game that we actually want to see, I get discouraged that we may not ever have a voice, and that we will forever be at the mercy of all of these new titles currently. Without further ado, here are my top five ways Capcom can make us love them again:
5. Never drop a subsidiary company again.
Ever. Seriously Capcom, you guys dropped the ball on this one. Cutting Clover Studios from your wing was probably one of the most foolish things you could have done. With titles as unique and fresh as Okami, Viewtiful Joe, and God Hand, how on Earth could you possibly let that go?! I could understand if the games were a flop, or weren’t fun, but they were excellent! So you cut them out of the industry, they go on to make Platinum Games, which has now become so successful that my head is spinning. I knew from the moment I heard of PG’s development that this was going to be excellent news. There are some great minds in that studio, and you LET THEM GO.
4. Put the “survival horror” back in Resident Evil.
For Pete’s sake (literally), do you remember the days when Resident Evil was actually scary? When you compare the old games to what we have now, we’ve went from that edge-of-your-seat terror to a run-and-gun not highly unlike Gears of War. In fact, I likened some of the newer campaigns in RE6 (a la Chris Redfield and Piers Nivans) to a third person Call of Duty. I’m not saying go back to the old style of gameplay. It has been heard loud and clear that the third person, over the shoulder camera is definitely the way to go. But what made survival horror so hard back then? When you actually had to SURVIVE. Limited resources not only put us at edge, but made us consider our actions considerably before we chose any one path. Now? We roll in a situation packing as much heat as we can fit in our inventory that LOOKS small (but is really quite comfortable), and just go guns ablazin’. Need more bullets? Pick it up off all of the dead zombies you just sprayed all over the floor. Since when do zombies carry bullets anyway? They don’t plan on fighting back with them. Even if they were, what are they going to do, throw them? Let’s be serious here. I let the whole Ganados bit slide, but this is just getting ridiculous now.
3. Continue to let fan projects surface.
This is one thing that Capcom is doing right, I just want to make sure that it is heard that we appreciate it, and don’t want you to stop it anytime soon. I’ve seen quite a few fan projects see ‘Cease and Desist’ orders come through, whereas we sit wondering why something like this never saw the same treatment. Most folks speculate that the reason for a ‘cease and desist’ on an IP is so that we don’t tarnish the brand. I guess that doesn’t apply to PETA. So thank you, Capcom, for letting fans create games and allow us to play them. I mean, hell, if you aren’t going to make the games, someone might as well, right?
2. A new Breath of Fire is long overdue.
It’s been, what, a decade, since the industry saw Dragon Quarter come to life, and we’ve been dry ever since. You can’t tell me turn-based RPGs are not popular, because I can name quite a few titles that are still very successful. If you’re not concerned about changing up the formula some, then why not give the battle system a bit of an overhaul to a more action oriented system? The possibilities are endless, but right now, I just want to see another title. This franchise is one that will forever be iconic to your brand. Why would you give that up? Also, if Dragon’s Dogma was intended to be a ‘spiritual successor’ to Breath of Fire, then this is one of those points where rebranding the name when it came to the west would have been a wise marketing idea.
1. Utilize Your Franchises — Specifically Mega Man.
This comes in three parts — Stop making those crummy ass Battle Network Games, take a chance on MML3, and what the hell happened to Mega Man Universe/FPS Mega Man?? You have a franchise in your possession that carries around so much weight, and you guys are doing the exact OPPOSITE of Nintendo. Whereas Nintendo abuses their franchises (specifically, Mario), you don’t utilize yours enough.
Are you noticing a common theme here? You need to start to listen to your fans! Seek to understand, not be understood. If there are better reasons for not hitting these old IPs, why not tell us why it isn’t feasible? At least then we’d have some closure for never seeing them again in any format. I’m not saying their newer titles are bad, as the numbers will show that Monster Hunter is wildly successful. It still doesn’t change the fact that a large chunk of the fans feel alienated because of the lack of enthusiasm and response we receive from Capcom. We miss you, Capcom. Please come back to us.
Thoughts from the readers? I know this might be a little driven by emotion, but surely I can’t be the ONLY one who has these thoughts. Do you agree or disagree, and why?
Make sure you check out our tribute to Mega Man during our month of music over at GameOn here!