There have been a lot of fighting games that have been released in the past. And one of the most revered of them all would be Capcom’s Vs. series. The franchise started out innocuously when they made X-Men: Children of the Atom and snuck in Akuma as a secret character. Then Capcom made Marvel Super Heroes, which was good as well. Things really became crazy with X-Men vs. Street Fighter as this was totally something we never thought we would see! Street Fighter characters like Ryu, Charlie Nash and Chun-Li duking it out with the likes of Wolverine, Gambit and Cyclops in a tag team battle, no less! This, for me, started a very fruitful partnership between the folks of Marvel and Capcom as they kept the crossover bandwagon moving.
Things did reach a head when Capcom developed and released probably one of the most outrageous crossover games ever made, Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Herores. This was unlike any other game in the Vs. series as you now had three characters per team, assists and an insane number of characters from both Marvel and Capcom. Marvel vs. Capcom 2, or MvC2 for short, became a fighting game staple and has influenced games like Dragon Ball FighterZ.
However, it has become virtually impossible to play the game legitimately because of licensing issues. Which is why there has been a grassroots campaign spearheaded by Maximilian Dood, a kind of figurehead in the fighting game community, to allow Capcom to reacquire the license for the Marvel characters so they can re-release Marvel vs. Capcom 2, essentially freeing MvC2 from its imaginary jail cell.
In all honesty, I am all for this. A game with as much history as Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes deserves to not be a historical footnote and unplayable via legitimate means. And right now, the company that has the power to allow this to happen is Disney as they hold the licensing rights to the Marvel characters. If, however, Disney doesn’t see a good reason to release the Marvel characters to Capcom to essentially #freeMvC2, well, I hope I can help be the voice of reason to make them think twice.
First of all, Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes is an extremely popular game. How popular is it? Well, it’s still one of those games that will still make it to various fighting game tournaments even after its release more than two decades ago. It’s still being played competitively up to now, with some of the most hype moments. In fact, the mere announcement of Marvel vs. Capcom 2 making it to EVO was super big news as, not only was it totally unexpected (it is a 20 year old game, after all) but it was supposed to bring together the biggest and best MvC2 players into one tournament. You can tell by Maximilian Dood’s mixed reaction of disbelief and excitement that this was really big news! Sadly, the tournament never happened as there was no EVO due to the world getting all crazy in 2020. But the mere thought got a lot of fans excited.
So what does that do for Disney, though? How would allowing MvC2 benefit the House of Mouse? Well, it immediately generates a lot of goodwill for them. And, honestly, they kind of need it because of Scarlett Johannson suing them for the entire Black Widow debacle. They need some outpouring of love from some fans and making a beloved game available once again would be one way to do it.
There’s also the fact that they got a lot of flak from Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite for various reasons. As good as the game played, Capcom cut out a lot of stuff that made MvC2 to the marvelous game it was. It wasn’t 3-on-3 anymore with one of the Infinity Stones taking the slot of the third player. The graphics looked very plain when compared to even the 2D hand-drawn sprites of MvC2 and the cel-shaded designs of Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
But probably the biggest sacrilege that Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite committed was they removed all of the X-Men and Fantastic Four from the roster. The game was made before Disney absorbed 20th Century Fox, who owned the movie license of most of the mutant characters as well as the Fantastic Four heroes and villains. This led a lot of fans thinking that Disney ordered Capcom to intentionally leave of mainstays like Wolverine, Storm, Doctor Doom and Magneto, some of the most popular Marvel characters in the game. What further infuriated fans was the explanation that characters were merely “functions” because no one picks characters in a fighting game because we just plain like them, right?
The elimination of the X-Men characters, who built the very foundation the Vs. series stands on today, from Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite because an incredible sore spot for fans. It looked like Disney was selfishly locking these favorite characters away because there would be no benefit for them to promote another movie studio’s licensed characters. Well, this isn’t a problem anymore now, is it? With Disney outright buying 20th Century Fox, including their Marvel character licenses, they should be advertising all the Marvel characters they have. And what better way to do so but with a beloved game like MvC2?
I’m really glad Maximilian Dood brought this to the attention of a lot of fighting game fans. Marvel vs. Capcom 2 has been part of the fighting game community. It does kind of boggle the mind that, in this era when video games are remastered or re-released to commemorate some milestone or to simply relive a happier time in our lives, a game as influential as Marvel vs. Capcom 2 cannot be played on modern systems. I honestly do hope the entire #freeMvC2 movement goes somewhere and Disney does free the game from metaphorical jail. Hey, I may not be good at it but I still want to play it.
Do you think the entire #freeMvC2 movement will amount to something? Do you think Disney will to the right thing and let the game be re-released on modern systems? Let me know in the comments section below!