Capcom is notorious for frequently turning around upgraded re-releases of its games. This is the company that published Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition ver. 2012, and two versions of Dead Rising 2, after all. But Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3's quick release, coming less than a year after its predecessor, is due to licensing issues.
"Marvel is a big company that has their own schedule of licenses with windows," Capcom's Seth Killian told Eurogamer. "We have the license for this specific game, but other companies outside of Capcom have licenses for other Marvel games that impinge. So we have to find specific times where we're able to release products. It's on the Capcom side and the Marvel side."
Killian says he's not asking for sympathy, but just to understand the "corporate realities and legal contracts" that impact business decisions.
As for why the game is being released as a full disc instead of downloadable content, Killian says that it's due to Japan's hesitance to embrace DLC. He says the company has "different schools of thought internally" and has tried various methods like the Street Fighter 4 Arcade Edition. Having an all DLC release in Japan would be considered "odd," and he stresses that the Marvel and Street Fighter teams are separate, so they may have different ideas on how to handle extra content. "It's a developing process for Capcom," said Killian.
Steve Watts posted a new article, Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 timing due to licensing.
Capcom says that the upcoming Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 is following on the heels of the standard version quickly because of the short release windows for the Marvel license.
Meanwhile, you have Activision pumping out James Bond and X-Men SKUs for the sake of holding on to those licenses, while RockSteady has put out two GOTY candidate Batman games spaced two years apart, helped by the fact that Warner Brothers owns both RockSteady and the DC Comics IP. Of course, ownership alone doesn't guarantee greatness; DC Universr Online has cooled to the point they have to go freemium.
Games made on IP license contracts are a trap, especially with the "you must pump out a SKU every year" part. I avoid games based on external IP as much as I avoid movies based on video game IP, with very few exceptions (Riddick:EFBB back in 2003 was awesome, better than the movie).
It strikes me as odd that a dev is admitting a market's reluctance on DLC adoption is altering policy or approach - sort expect them to worry about putting folks off buying. I would be intrgued to read more on Japan's DLC adoption. Do users typically join PSN or Live for their console at all? If they do, do they buy? Points or with Cards? Also do they play online? I have bought a fair bit but am disappointed when when content doesn't carry over into, or progress isnt rewarded in, an alternate or ++ version.