When you put the time and effort into creating something, you tend to be very protective of it – This is to be expected. After all, it’s your creation, your idea made into reality. No one will understand it as well as you do. It’s for this reason why crossovers in gaming are so rare, because it requires one company trusting their creation- their intellectual property – in the hands of another company, and there are many different ways that can be unsettling and potentially harmful. When it does work, it can be a great thing and thankfully, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is proof that the gaming crossover is still possible, adding 12 new characters representing both sides. Yet there was one Marvel character who apparently had a difficult time getting put into the game.
The Sorcerer Supreme Dr. Strange, who recently got to show off in a few gameplay videos, makes his first appearance in the update to Marvel vs. Capcom 3. While the addition of Strange isn’t that… strange considering his boost in popularity resulting from Marvel Studios expressing interest in adapting a feature film for the character, it’ is odd that it took so long because two villains that he faced a number of times, Shuma-Gorath and The Dread Dormmamu, appeared in the series before he did. Why include the villains but not the hero? Well, from the looks of things, Marvel is more than a bit protective of the good doctor.
According to the producer of Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom 3, one Ryota Niitsuma, when they got the OK to include Dr. Strange, Marvel had a lot of demands that needed to be met and this was unusual because Marvel was actually fairly lax with how the characters were in Capcom games in the past. Capcom had to include certain moves that Marvel wanted them to include, down to Strange’s hand gestures, and they even got illustrations from the comic’s publisher to get a better idea.
Niitsuma said that in some cases they had to try and compromise with what Marvel wanted, due to various issues. They actually got into an argument with Marvel over whether or not Strange should float in the air, due to so many characters floating already. Marvel eventually got their way in that regard.
So the question is, why? Why go through all the effort to make sure one of the characters is done right? Again, this is likely due to Marvel attempting to introduce the character in the appropriate manner that syncs up with their plans for the aforementioned Dr. Strange movie. Niitsuma had no comments on the subject.
If this is the reason it took so long for Strange to be included in one of these games, there may be stories behind other much-desired faces, such as Ghost Rider. Maybe it was more than just programming issues that kept Frank West or Phoenix Wright from appearing before now? What do you think?
Ultimate Marvel VS Capcom 3 arrives this November for the Xbox 360 and PS3.