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[ Writer ] = BAD
[ 08/09/07 ] = It's All Coming Back

Back in the day of 16 and 32-bit gaming, fans dreamt of Capcom and Midway getting together to do a Street Fighter VS Mortal Kombat game. Everyone wanted nothing more than to see their favorite Street Fighters go up against their favorite Kombatants in a fight to the death. Some fans even sent humorous letter art (like Reptile eating The New Challengers of SSFII) to magazines like EGM and GamePro. And for the most part, the whole idea of a Capcom VS Midway crossover game died out with the coming of the 128-bit systems (PS2, GC, and XB). But recently, I have seen some things that have made me reconsider the possibility that a Capcom and Midway crossover game (or other collaborative effort) could become reality. Some of you are heading for the door already, but just hear me out. I don't care if this is the most worn-out, overplayed, most talked-about topic ever; I'm not afraid to say that recent events point to possibilities. Fuck it.

Fantasized by fans and casual players alike since the infancy of both series, SF VS MK is a topic of ridicule that has given birth to feelings of disgust and irritation in many. But this article is not just another bullshit list of reasons why there won't ever be an SFVSMK game, or what "should" be in an SFVSMK game. In other words, this is not a wish list. This intention of this article is not to "beat a dead horse" as they say, but to shed some light on recent changes in the relationship between Capcom and Midway. Capcom and Midway have always been pretty far from each other (distant rivals, both pulling weight in their respective circles), but things have changed some, and after all these years the two have somehow inched closer. The impossible, and the unthinkable, has happened. This article is a brief exploration of the possibilities that could make the longtime fantasy a reality. Could we be in for a Capcom and Midway crossover game or another collaborative effort? The stars for such a possibility have never been aligned as they are now...

Capcom has worked with a number of other companies in the past (SNK, Bandai, and Spike, to name a few), but the most surprising is probably their recent joint venture with Midway. It happened in 2005 and went under the radar, completely unnoticed. Somehow, after all these years, Capcom and Midway sat down, met, and talked business. The result was the Capcom-branded release of Psi-Ops in Japan. I couldn't believe my eyes when I first saw it, but there was no denying that the two had come together; the Capcom and Midway logos were side-by-side on the case, and Shinkiro artwork was the backdrop. It must have been somewhat important, because not only did Capcom bring the game to Japan, but they even had the critically-acclaimed Shinkiro do the artwork for it. Capcom published Tomb Raider, One, and a handful of other action games from Western developers, but I don't remember any of them getting special treatment from any of Capcom's artists. To me, this shows that Capcom took care in their handling of the release. Sure, the release of Psi-Ops could have been just a one-time thing, but it could also be a precursor to something bigger. If not a precursor, then at the very least the start of something new.

The second big thing that prompted me to write this article is an interview with Mortal Kombat creator Ed Boon. The interview was interesting because when asked how he felt about Capcom and the Street Fighter series, he stated his fondness for the series, and said that he himself would "love to see" a crossover game between the two series. Contrary to what some might expect after years and years of rivalry since the 16-bit era, Boon had nothing bad to say about Capcom, and I thought that was noble. He could have said a lot of shit (like Tecmo's frontman on Tekken 4), but he didn't. Considering Boon's position at Midway, as well as his production history, this spoke volumes about what is possible in the future. If his portfolio is able to impress Capcom, talks could be a possibility. His most recent efforts alone are polished enough to speak for themselves.

Beyond those reasons, both companies even use the same hardware for the majority of their 3-D games (most notably PS2), and the "realistic" versus "cartoon" barriers have been broken. The MK characters have come to look more like comic book characters over the past few years, so it may now be easier to pair them with the characters of Capcom's 3-D franchises. A happy design and animation medium between the two companies would have to be reached, and the right characters would have to be carefully chosen, but maybe it could work. True, an MKVSSF game might not do too well in Japan, but with good design and marketing, something of the sort could be a success (in arcades and at home). We never thought Capcom VS SNK would become a reality (simply because the two companies were rivals), but relationships shift and change, and strange things happen in the blink of an eye. There is no better time for a collaborative effort from Capcom and Midway. Could something like SFVSMK soon be a reality?

[ Extra ] = Features
[ 1 ] = Capcom
[ 2 ] = Psi-Ops Official Site
[ 3 ] = Midway