Did you know: Marvel vs. Capcom was originally conceived because Marvel wanted to get exposure for their characters to people in Japan

How times have changed

Posted by John 'Velociraptor' Guerrero • November 12, 2017 at 3:24 p.m. PST

It all started 21 years ago in 1996 when X-Men vs. Street Fighter hit arcades.

Comic characters didn't have nearly the public acknowledgement they do today, and Marvel wasn't the media powerhouse it would eventually grow into. Fighting games, on the other hand, had recently become all the rage.

Games like Street Fighter 2 and Moral Kombat had players taking extra trips to convenience stores and laundromats if they weren't close enough to a legitimate arcade, and home consoles had others inviting friends over for more domestic bouts.

Street Fighter and X-Men though? Sure, it's cool, but why? In reading through Capcom's latest Development Report, we get our answer.

"The first time Capcom and Marvel came together to pit our characters against each other in a fighting game was twenty-one years ago," reads page six.

"This was a matter of strategic alignment, as Marvel wanted to introduce their characters to more Japanese fans and Capcom sought greater expansion in the global market, particularly North America."

An interesting concept, though at the time, surely no one realized it had the potential to become the franchise of status that it is here in 2017.

Allure of iconic characters in fantasy bouts brought players in, and high octane, huge hitting, flashy combos encouraged them to insert quarter after quarter. One year later in 1997, Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter brought more Marvel fighters into the fray along with the assist mechanic.

The trend continued in 1998 with Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes, a game which brought other Capcom characters (such as Mega Man, Morrigan, and Strider Hiryu) into the fold.

2000 brought with it the title that would cement itself into the fighting game community's history books with more fervor than any of its predecessors: Marvel vs. Capcom 2. And then, a drought. As arcade culture waned, the Versus series would have to wait eleven years before Marvel vs. Capcom 3 would drop.

Six years later, we're now delving into Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, where the Marvel franchise has exploded in popularity, and the X-Men characters integral to the start of the series are nowhere to be found.

"First, we launched an arcade game together, which would become the series archetype. From there we continued the partnership, learning from each other and being mindful to respect each other’s IP, eventually growing Marvel vs. Capcom into a cumulative 7.5 million unit-selling series (as of June 30 , 2017)," states the Report.

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