Rights and licenses can make buying games quite a nightmare sometimes. It’s almost always why Marvel games and titles with a lot of licensed music are pulled from downloadable services. Marvel vs. Capcom 2 is one of these Marvel titles that was pulled from digital marketplaces, despite its legendary impact on fighting games and the culture at large. And now fans are starting a campaign to make this ’90s classic playable on modern hardware.
#FREEMVC2 12 years since Marvel Vs. Capcom 2 was re-released & 7 years since it was pulled from stores & sent to digital jail. One of the most celebrated games of all time. Plz RT if you'd like MVC2 out of jail. @CapcomUSA_ @MarvelGames & @DigitalEclipse https://t.co/OPWf6YS5RD pic.twitter.com/Gdwkbdqtqq
— Maximilian Dood (@maximilian_) August 2, 2021
Fighting game YouTuber (and the 2013 Killer Instinct cinematics director) Maximilian Dood is spearheading the #FreeMvC2 hashtag that started picking up steam following a tweet in July from Digital Eclipse, a studio known for re-releasing old titles. Max laid it out in his latest video (which is at the bottom of the article) and spoke about how there are very few legal ways to play a copy of one of the most revered fighting games on the planet.
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Marvel vs. Capcom 2: New Age of Heroes originally released in early 2000 in arcades before making its way to the Dreamcast a few months later. PlayStation 2 and Xbox ports followed in 2002 and 2003, respectively. The game later saw an HD re-release on the PS3 and Xbox 360 in 2009 that even supported rollback netcode, a feature that allows for smoother online play and lets the community thrive and compete with fewer barriers.
While there are some slight differences between versions, the game was loved by many and continues to show up at tournaments to this day. It was even supposed to have an eight-player invitational at EVO 2020 before the event was canceled.
But that easily accessible HD release was taken off the PlayStation Store and Xbox Games Store in December 2013, just over four years after it had arrived in the high-definition era. This move has made it incredibly difficult (and often expensive) to play the fighting game and some of those routes are less than legal.
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There’s no special event spurring this call as the game is over a year and a half past its 20th anniversary. But given its role in the fighting game community, it’s odd that a game isn’t easily accessible and the aforementioned tweet from Digital Eclipse seemed to be enough to kickstart this initiative.
Players, Max included, are asking Digital Eclipse to port the game to the batch of current hardware. Digital Eclipse recently came into $6.6 million in funding and asked fans to request what games the team should go after. The replies are full of Capcom games, which makes sense since Digital Eclipse has re-released many Capcom games such as the Mega Man Legacy Collection, Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection, and, obviously, Marvel vs. Capcom 2.
Again, rights and licensing will likely complicate the process. But Max detailed how it could happen, citing the Capcom Home Arcade bundle that contained the rare arcade title Aliens vs. Predator. This unexpected release showed that Disney, Fox, and Capcom could all coordinate to release a game despite the setbacks. Digital Eclipse has also worked with Disney before as it put out Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King in 2019.