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Capcom vs. SNK 3 was once in development before being cancelled due to SNK's bankruptcy

Posted by Justin 'AdaptiveTrigger' Gordon • January 14, 2021 at 12:37 p.m. PST • Comments: 48

Back in 2018, we received word that Capcom vs. SNK 3 might've been in development at one point. "Right before Fighting All Stars got started, there was another fighting game that got stopped during development..." said former King of Fighters series director Toyohisa Tanabe during an interview with Takayuki Nakayama on Capcom's Shadaloo C.R.I. website.

"Ah, that would be ****** ** *** *!" responded Nakayama. Indeed, "Capcom vs. SNK 3" fits perfectly into this censored quote. In a recent Polygon article, we received confirmation from Hideaki Itsuno, the director for Capcom vs. SNK 2, that Capcom vs. SNK 3 was in fact in development, but was cancelled.

"Shortly after we finished Capcom vs. SNK 2, we started working on a 3D version of Capcom vs. SNK 3 for the PlayStation 2," stated Itsuno. "Capcom vs. SNK 3 was meant to be the last [2D fighting game], but then it ended up becoming a 3D game along the way, and then SNK folded and that project got canceled too."

Since Capcom acted as the developer and publisher for Capcom vs. SNK and Capcom vs. SNK 2, it was agreed that most of the profits would go to them rather than SNK.

Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium 2001 was released for the Sega Dreamcast and PlayStation 2 in 2001. It seems that development had begun for Capcom vs. SNK 3, but this game never became a reality as SNK began having financial difficulties in 2001.

"Shortly after we finished Capcom vs. SNK 2, we started working on a 3D version of Capcom vs. SNK 3 for the PlayStation 2. Capcom vs. SNK 3 was meant to be the last [2D fighting game], but then it ended up becoming a 3D game along the way, and then SNK folded and that project got canceled too." - Hideaki Itsuno

On October 22, 2001, SNK was forced to file for bankruptcy. Even company founder Eikichi Kawasaki was not confident in SNK's future and left to start a new company, Playmore.

Playmore ended up purchasing SNK's intellectual property rights on October 30, 2001. The company would eventually be known as "SNK Playmore" before eventually dropping "Playmore" from the name.

Needless to say, it's easy to see how development of Capcom vs. SNK 3 became virtually impossible with these conditions, especially when it started as a 2D fighting game before transitioning into a 3D fighting game.

Perhaps Capcom vs. SNK 3 will get revived someday. It seems that Hideaki Itsuno is still hopeful about leading development for something like this in the future.

"I haven't retired just yet!" exlaimed Itsuno. "There is definitely a part of me that's like, I would love to eventually make Capcom vs. SNK 3."

But it appears that Itsuno has plenty of other ideas besides Capcom vs. SNK 3 too.

"I actually have two ideas for one-on-one fighting games still lingering in my mind. It's more of just a matter of having the opportunity to do so, so if there's anyone that's willing to give me a development team and a nice budget, I'm more than willing to listen," said a laughing Itsuno.

Of course, it's worth mentioning that that last fighting game that Itsuno worked as a director for was Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium 2001, though he also acted as a consultant for Capcom Fighting Evolution in 2004. These days, Itsuno is mostly known for his work in the Devil May Cry and Dogma series.

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