Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite still has potential for a major update; we examine why

Could we see an 'Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite' by next year?

Posted by Steven 'Dreamking23' Chavez • May 14, 2018 at 8:50 p.m. PDT

It's really hard not to wonder what's going on with Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite right now. The latest entry in the beloved Marvel vs. Capcom fighting game series has been out of the spotlight for months now in terms of continued support and even word from the developers.

At this point in time fans and players alike have pretty much written the game off as dead. Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite still has a fan-base and competitive following, but the prospect of seeing more content or improvements feels like wishful thinking.

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite features fast-paced and enjoyable combat, with its "free-form" tag system allowing players to bring their partner into battle at almost any time. Though this facet is generally appreciated within the fighting game community, the game's lackluster character roster and poor visuals struck a negative chord with fans and led to a seeming decline in interest and low sales.

All of that having been said, there still may be hope for a major update.

Traditionally, Capcom has been known to deliver updates to their fighting titles. We've seen it numerous times over the years, and each update often adds an updated UI, more characters, content, and balance adjustments -- the most recent example being Capcom's free Street Fighter 5: Arcade Edition update.

While that doesn't automatically mean that Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite will be given the same treatment, if we see an update to the 2v2 fighter it will likely be in the form of an "Ultimate" or similarly named entry that aims to right the wrongs of its predecessor.

The characters (or lack thereof) and visuals are easily the two areas of Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite that need addressing most -- the latter being of larger concern -- and it's not really Capcom's style to simply release a graphical overhaul without it being under the umbrella of a larger update.

What's interesting is that the Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite section over on the Steam database has seen several updates over the past 25 days. We can't say for certain what's going on here, but we do know that something involving the "release candidate" -- which is the final stage of a game's development -- is being adjusted here.

This could simply be a situation where Capcom is making fixes behind the scenes in anticipation of their licensing with Marvel expiring, though this seems odd as there aren't any glaring, game breaking bugs present in the current build of the game (that we are aware of).

Another possibility is that Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite is receiving updates and is currently being tested. Contributing to this theory is the fact that other Capcom fighting titles that are no longer seeing updates, such as Street Fighter X Tekken, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, and Ultra Street Fighter 4, do not have similar release client updates currently listed on the Steam database.

"We've made [Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite] with our continued support of eSports in mind, and moving ahead we eagerly anticipate players from the different segments bringing their enthusiasm and energy both as participants and as spectators."
— Capcom's Yoshinori Ono.

Whatever the case may be, there seems to be some sort of activity involving the game on Steam.

We recently learned that Capcom aims to release two major titles before April 2019, according to their latest Investor Relations report. Given the success of Marvel movies such as Avengers: Infinity War and its sequel slated for a May 2019 release, it would make sense to make one of the two major titles a large-scale Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite update.

Releasing two "major titles" in a ten month span would be a tight window for many development companies, but this burden would be considerably lighter if one of those was an update to an existing franchise, e.g. a re-release of Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite.

It is no secret that Capcom intended for Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite to have a healthy lifespan. Before the game's release, Capcom's own Yoshinori Ono said in an interview that the Versus series fighting title was developed with "continued support of eSports in mind," yet all we've seen so far of the game was the fairly short Battle For The Stones tournament circuit that concluded in December of last year.

"On [Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite], we have pursued a satisfying competitive experience for core users, while providing less experienced users with a way to casually enjoy fighting games," Ono said. "We've made it with our continued support of eSports in mind, and moving ahead we eagerly anticipate players from the different segments bringing their enthusiasm and energy both as participants and as spectators."

Capcom is making a large push into the world of eSports this year. The company recently enlisted two corporate officers (Shigenori Araki and Jun Akanuma) to their eSports division, and stated that they aim to make 2018 their "eSports year one."

The Capcom Pro Tour is the company's well established tournament circuit focused on Street Fighter 5, and if Capcom wants to grow their eSports presence even further it feels like they'd want to do so with another major title. We will be seeing a tournament series for the Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection this year, though it will run for only three events. Adding a revamped MvCI to the CPT would be a quick way for Capcom to bolster its eSports efforts.

Back in 2011, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 saw its Ultimate update a mere nine months after launch -- initially releasing in February 2011 with the updated title following in November. Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 introduced 12 new characters, an updated UI, and balance changes.

Though it can't help but feel like a long shot to see Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite receive a similar update, due to both Marvel and Capcom's current silence, it's worth noting that much of the community never expected a new Marvel vs. Capcom game in this day and age to begin with. Rumblings about a "Marvel vs. Capcom 4" were heard leading up to the PlayStation Experience in December 2016, and against all odds it turned out to be a real title.

One thing's for certain, Capcom doesn't like to give up on its franchises that quickly. Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite would mark the first major Capcom fighting title to not receive a major update in recent years.

If we're going to see any news on this front, the next big opportunity for a reveal is E3 2018 in June.

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