Eurogamer: Tell me about the meetings you had with Marvel to discuss which characters would be in the game. Did Marvel dictate to you which were to be included?
Ryota Niitsuma: When selecting for characters Capcom and Marvel both have different priorities. Capcom's priority is all about playability as a fighting game. So, no matter what the character looks like or what the character is, if the character doesn't fit in this fighting genre platform, we don't want it. That's our stance.
For Marvel, it's all about popularity. They want their prime characters to appear and boast their popularity even more than they have at the moment. So, we would have our wish-list, mainly for technical reasons, and Marvel would have their wish-list, with the exposure.
Those two lists will clash. There were a lot of discussions going on between them. Sometimes Capcom has to categorise all the characters into different play style. We categorised Marvel vs. Capcom 3 characters into four. One is a speed type, technical type, power type and standard type.
We tried to slot them into these and balance them out so we don't have too many of one, because then the game becomes a bit lopsided. Also, we had to take into account gender, because we don't want too many male characters or too many female characters.
We had a lot of factors we had to take into consideration as well as Marvel's wishes and Capcom's wishes. There's a lot of coordination going on and we had to be very diplomatic as well.
Eurogamer: Were there any Marvel characters they wanted in the game that you said no way to?
Ryota Niitsuma: In general Marvel was never top down. There were never times when Marvel said this had to be in the game. They were always up for a proper discussion before getting to any decision. It was often where Capcom suggested some characters and then they would counter suggest, and then we would counter suggest those suggestions.
One character we had to reject due to fundamental problems of the character's abilities. There was a Marvel character that controls time. If that character were to be in the game it would destroy the whole game.
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Tableaus of famous faces from both licenses battling each other. Each appears to be winning. Tremendous.
Eurogamer: Which character was that?
Ryota Niitsuma: I'd rather not say. That would mess up the whole balance of the game. Also, there were some characters that Marvel wanted, but we couldn't really approve because of overlap in types. There's a character in Fantastic Four called Thing. He is basically another Hulk to our eyes when it comes to this game, so we couldn't really have both of them in it. Also, Punisher overlapped with Chris in terms of their role and the atmosphere.
Because Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is all about variety, be it characters, effects, moves, we didn't want to have something that was too similar. For those reasons some characters couldn't quite make it into the game.
Eurogamer: You plan to release Jill Valentine and Shuma Gorath as downloadable content. Do you plan to add more characters as DLC? More costumes, new stages?
Ryota Niitsuma: We haven't made plans for future downloadable content.
Eurogamer: If there are two players, one who is a newcomer to fighting games and one who is experienced, which team of three characters would you recommend to both?
Ryota Niitsuma: For beginners, they would have to be non-technical. So, Dante, Super Skrull and Mega Man Zero. They're quite direct characters. You just input commands and they do things. They don't have things they could do or they might do.
As for experts, it's probably all of them. If you're an expert you probably know better than I do about what combination of what characters are the best. So even Dante, Super Skrull and Zero can be used in a different way when played by an expert. All the characters, I presume.
Eurogamer: Okay, then which team do you favour?
Ryota Niitsuma: My favourite team is Ameterasu, Dante and Wolverine. They're all speed types, and when you play these speed type characters a lot of things go on on the screen, and it makes me look really good, like a pro.
Ryota Niistuma is director and producer of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 at Capcom.