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Gamer Tuesday

Gamer Tuesday Special: The Disney/Marvel/Capcom Connection

Last week, my buddy and fellow Days of the Week writer Erik Anderson wrote about Captain America for Who’s Who Wednesday, a Marvel character that is technicality a Disney character now. After reading it, I was struck by inspiration with an idea so wild and crazy only I could come up with!

And the idea was this!

…Did you know that Disney, Marvel and the video game company Capcom are tied to each other in many ways?

Before we move forth, let’s get to know each company…

 

THE PLAYERS

The Walt Disney Company: The raison d'être for many of us on this site. Founded by Walt Disney, it all started out with a couple of silent cartoons about a little girl named Alice. Then as technology kept advancing throughout the ages, Disney’s ideas knew no limit, soon creating elaborate motion pictures, intriguing theme park attractions and just about everything you could imagine! Thus gave birth to the Walt Disney Company, one of the biggest media conglomerates in the world.

Marvel Entertainment: The company started out by producing comics in the 1930s under the name of Timely Comics. Soon, Marvel would create some of the most groundbreaking heroes and stories ever seen in comics. This lead to the appearance of characters like Captain America, the X-Men, The Incredible Hulk, Spider-Man and countless others. The media empire expanded onto films and television, which includes this year’s well received crop of Marvel movies such as Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger as well as several shows on Disney XD.

Capcom: A Japanese video game development company established in 1983 in Osaka, they are known for some of the most popular franchises around. Some of these include “Mega Man,” “Resident Evil,” “Devil May Cry,” and “Street Fighter”.

 

THE CONNECTION

This is where things get a little wacky, so hold on tight!

In hopes of expanding their empire further, Disney looked onto a very popular and growing form of entertainment: video games. While they released a couple of Atari games and Nintendo released various Disney themed Game and Watch units, Disney’s presence in video games wouldn’t take off until a Japanese company published in North America a Japanese Mickey Mouse game for the Nintendo Entertainment System. That company happened to be…

 

Despite the lukewarm acceptance of “Mickey Mousecapades,” it was successful enough that it inspired a very famous lineup of Disney themed games that would be hailed as some of the best licensed games ever made. The partnership between the two companies, however, started to fade in the mid-90s, producing sparse content afterwards. But by this time, Capcom had established itself as a powerhouse in the video game industry. This caught the attention of a very popular company. That company turned out to be…

 

In 1994, Capcom released to the arcades “X-Men: Children of the Atom,” a colorful 2D fighting game inspired by the company’s own Street Fighter series. Starring the X-Men, “Children of the Atom” was very fast, easy to get into and lots of fun. The partnership with Marvel extended to see the release of Marvel Super Heroes, another fighting game, this time starring characters from across multiple Marvel series. Capcom then had a brilliant idea; they decided to crossover their own properties with the Marvel franchise. And thus “X-Men vs. Street Fighter” was born; the first in Capcom’s popular versus series. Easily the most popular game in the series was “Marvel vs. Capcom." It was successful enough that it inspired three sequels.

Soon after the release of "Marvel vs. Capcom 2," Capcom didn't make any Marvel themed fighting games. Players itching to play as their favorite super heroes would have to look towards Electronic Arts and Activision as they were the ones making the games throughout the 00s, such as Marvel Ultimate Alliance.

Speaking of Marvel, the company made history when in 2009, they announced that another media conglomerate had bought them out. That company was…

 

The House of Mouse paid over 4 billion dollars to own the rights to nearly all of Marvel’s assets, which includes stories, characters, franchises and more. So far, due to Marvel still having rights with other companies, Disney has yet to fully make use of them.

Around the same time, Marvel announced that both a classic Marvel game would me making its return alongside an update sequel. The company in charge of that was…

CAPCOM!

After nearly a decade of fans wishing for the next installment in the Marvel vs. Capcom series, 2009 was the rebirth of the game. The original “Marvel vs. Capcom 2” was re-released as a downloadable game for the Xbox Live Marketplace and PlayStation Network. Later in the year, “Marvel vs. Capcom 3” was finally announced, featuring updated graphics, online play and a new cast of characters. The game finally saw release in early 2011.

At Comic-Con 2011, Capcom announced an update to the game, now called “Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.” The upgrade includes even more characters and refined game mechanics.

And there you have it, folks. Three completely different companies would end up forever linked in a partnership that yielded some of the best products in the market.

With the whole Disney buyout of Marvel, many questions remain. Who will produce the Marvel themed games? My guess is that Disney Interactive and its development teams will work on them. If Capcom, however, were to produce a Marvel fighting game, it is likely that Disney Interactive would oversee its production.

The other question would be, is the Marvel deal big enough to attract Capcom to make Disney based games once more? That’s another question that remains without an answer.

Thus ends today’s Gamer Tuesday article. As the deal with Marvel comes into fruition, expect me to write about some Marvel games you should take a look at. They are Disney now, so they still count.

 

 

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