I Wanna Take You For Ride…
One of the biggest and most popular fighting games of all time, Marvel vs Capcom 2, is finally being released via Arcade1Up. The game hasn’t been available to consumers in any form since the digital port on the PS3 & Xbox 360 Arcade via Digital Eclipse in February of 2002 (The game was delisted in 2017). The only way to currently play the game is on an older console like PS2 or Dreamcast, or by plugging in your old PS3 and Xbox 360 and playing it there.
Fighting game enthusiast were ecstatic at EVO 2022 when Arcade1Up announced that Marvel vs Capcom 2 would be the next big holiday release for the arcade company. Pre-orders went live this week and they instantly sold out on Arcade1Up’s website directly, soon following 3rd party retailers like GameStop, Target, & Best Buy. Pre-orders flooded eBay soon after with scalpers trying to sell the cabinet pre-orders, which MSRPs for 599.99 USD, for upwards of 1,500 to even 4,000 USD. Many fans were left in the dust as pre-orders sold out in minutes, with many gamers blaming bots gobbling up all the inventory. Fans vented their frustration on social media, claiming that the whole point of “pre-orders” is to know how many you need to make. So why does this Arcade1Up cabinet seem so limited?
While I don’t know personally how many the Arcade company was allowed or contracted to make in the first wave, I can guarantee it was a larger amount than previously released cabinets in their library. There are of course other factors as well. I can only speculate based off information available to me and my knowledge of licensing, business and disturbing. Below are some reasons the MvC2 cabinet may have come up in short supply.
Arcade1Up May Have Only Been Allowed to Make So Many
When working with IP you don’t own, you’re at the mercy of the original IP holder in this case Disney & Capcom. Sometimes in negotiations an IP holder will only allow you make so many units before wanting to re-negotiate a new contact. This could’ve one of the reasons the cabinet felt like it was in short supply for customers.
Retail & Warehouse Space Is A Huge Factor
When you make a physical product, you must have store space to display it or a warehouse big enough to house the items if you’re a fulfillment center like Amazon, Target, or Wal-Mart. Arcade1Up’s cabinets maybe ¾ in size compared to the original thing, but they still take up a large amount of space. A lot of retailers still have inventory from pervious Arcade1Up machines, some of which didn’t sell well. Leaving retailers in a situation where they must go on sale at a discounted price in order to free up space for new inventory. The Simpsons Arcade1Up cabinet is a dream come true for me but based on how it’s going on sale at 30-40% off, it’s safe to say it didn’t sell as well as hoped. Now, with Arcade1Up trying to sell 3rd party retailers on a brand new cabinet in time for the holidays (albeit a MEGA popular one) some of these retailers could have been hesitant to order a lot of them if current inventory from Arcade1Up isn’t moving well in their stores. Now, gamers of the 90s’ like me, know the popularity and cultural impact of MvC2, but a business suit working for Wal-Mart might not, they just see the units (like Mrs. Pac-Man) sit in their stores and warehouses the last 18 months that have remain unsold. So, in theory big box stores might have ordered less than pervious titles from Arcade1Up directly.
Why Doesn’t Arcade1Up Just Release The Game Digitally?
This is a pretty complicated question. In a recent interview I did with the President of Digital Eclipse, Mike Mika (who were the last people to touch the retro arcade title) he goes into detail about how a game this old may have weird stipulations, which is likely why we will never get a remake or a remaster of MvC2 (not to be confused with a re-release). Mike Mika goes into great detail about working with older games and MvC2, which is attached to some of the biggest IP in the entrainment industry, Marvel. It’s sometimes not up to just 1 or 2 companies, but some artwork, characters or 3rd party estates can clog up the whole process of approval and licensing. While this certainly does put a damper on seeing a digital release, it’s not out of the question. See the Full Interview with Mike Mika below.
If You Missed Out, Don’t Panic
While Arcade1Up has said this MvC2 cab would be in “limited quantities’ this is most likely a Wave 1 release. I encourage gamers that really want this cabinet to hang in there and sign up for email alert list via Arcade1Up, Best Buy & Gamestop as they have been slowly putting up more pre-orders for customers these past few days. Arcade1Up knows how popular this game is & I’d find it very unlikely they’ll only do one wave of release (Just look at how many different Pac-Man and Street Fighter cabs they’ve released) Wave 2 I’m sure will come, although you might have to wait till after the 2022 holiday, but until then , keep your ear to the ground and your phones handy, if you really want one this holiday. For more gaming news check out www.shacknews.com!