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This week, Capcom’s shareholders announced that they’ll no longer deny a takeover of the company and if the price is right Capcom can become someone else’s. This of course has created a rampant amount of speculation and so we must ask: Since Nintendo also announced that they’re open to acquisitions, should they buy Capcom?
The Shorthand Answer: OH GOD YES.
Nintendo buying Capcom would turn everyone’s heads much like when they locked down Bayonetta 2’s exclusivity, but hundred times more intense because it locks down dozens of popular franchises for Nintendo, many of them convincing enough to make a Wii U and 3DS must-owns.
On a more depressing note, Capcom hasn’t really wowed anyone in years. They were one of the biggest publishers out there redefining genres and topping NPD charts in the process. They also helped make the generation of hardware they supported what they were thanks to a variety of games like from Mega Man and Ghouls and Ghosts to Street Fighter II and Mega Man X to Resident Evil and Marvel vs. Capcom to Resident Evil 4 and Devil May Cry to Dead Rising and Lost Planet. Having a new owner wouldn’t whore out their franchises per se, but will make their name gain a bit more weight.
Resident Evil Exclusivity
Resident Evil was one of the biggest franchises of the last generation to the point that Resident Evil 5 was Capcom’s most successful game in their over thirty-year history. Much like Bayonetta, Nintendo controlling Resident Evil will turn those heads, especially with a Wii U-exclusive Resident Evil 7.
And Nintendo fans will like it too since the franchise has history on them since Resident Evil 2 on the Nintendo 64. Since then, Capcom remade the first Resident Evil, gave them the exclusive prequel Resident Evil Zero, ported Resident Evil 2, 3 and Code Veronica X and launched Resident Evil 4 first all on GameCube. That wasn’t all since Wii, DS, 3DS and Wii U all got games in the series as well, so it isn’t as foreign to the Nintendo universe.
Street Fighter Exclusivity
See this? If Nintendo bought Capcom, these eyes from here on out would have to be glued to Wii U’s. That’s a big deal.
Street Fighter is one of the biggest fighters out there, and this generation Capcom has been making the game more public. Big tournaments on Twitch have been gluing more eyes to the fighter and making a ton of people addicted to playing it, even if they’ve rehashed Street Fighter IV several times.
The thing with having Street Fighter means that Nintendo would have two big fighters under their belt (Smash Bros. being the other), and it will make every other fighter have to make a Wii U version. Having Street Fighter V only on Wii U will lead to Wii U versions of Tekkens, Soul Caliburs, Mortal Kombats, etc. The publisher couldn’t afford to NOT make a Wii U version.
Monster Hunter Exclusivity
Nintendo is enjoying the success of Capcom’s Monster Hunter 4 in Japan and next year, we’ll all see the Ultimate version of the game. Monster Hunter is an amazingly large franchise in the country and having it switch from Sony to Nintendo platforms was a massive shift. The series has started to gain traction in America since that shift as well with Monster Hunter 3 on Wii and Monster Hunter 3: Ultimate on Nintendo 3DS being the two most successful games in the series over here. If Nintendo controlled Monster Hunter, that shift won’t shift back, and Nintendo will have another amazingly big franchise for their platforms.
Future Support on Current and Dormant Franchises
Yes, Nintendo making a Mega Man would be nice, since they’ve treated the blue bomber with a ton of respect on both Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS and the rereleases on the eShop. After Nintendo adoring him and the Mighty No. 9’s success, it’s hard pressed that Capcom is leaving him alone, but fans believe that Nintendo would do a better job publishing one.
Many of Capcom’s other franchises MAY get new installments under Nintendo, like Breath of Fire, Viewtiful Joe, Okami, Ace Attorney, Sengoku BASARA, Ghouls and Ghosts, etc., but don’t expect that Nintendo (or any buyer) to just unleash the floodgates. But if Nintendo had those franchises, they could have other developers make them, like the former Capcom devs at Platinum. Platinum were former Clover devs who made Okami, Viewtiful Joe and God Hand, and some of them made Resident Evil 2 and Devil May Cry before that. They’ve been open on making new installments, but Capcom won’t work with them. Nintendo could change that.
Out of all of Capcom’s franchises, the ones I have the least confidence that Nintendo would continue would be some of their modern franchises like Dead Rising and Lost Planet. Dead Rising 3 was one of the most popular Xbox One launch games and Lost Planet’s pretty dead with each new game being worse than the last, but these seem least as home to the platform than anything else.
Gaining Their Investment Back Fast
So Nintendo would have to dump a ton of cash on this buyout and risk another year in the red due to that purchase, but Nintendo could capitalize and get some of that investment instantly returned by piecemealing the company and put it for sale, much like how publishers ate up all of THQ’s properties last year (something Nintendo did). Nintendo should keep what will make them stronger and sell the rest.
I just stated that Nintendo wouldn’t go far with Dead Rising and Lost Planet but Microsoft loves them (or at least one of them), so the best move is to sell the IP, in addition to the devs Capcom Vancouver, to the company. Nintendo and Microsoft did this before with Rare, so it can’t be impossible. That way no one gets laid off either, since Nintendo would have to take on a ton of new employees as well, so selling them off to respectable publishers or helping them go indie would be a proper and classy way to deal with that burden. Though most of Capcom’s execs, administrative and possibly their Capcom Unity sector (if they can’t utilize them as well since they have the Treehouse) have little chance of being recycled in an established corporation.
Out of all the publishers out there, I can only see Capcom with Nintendo. The company has been on Sega, Sony and Microsoft platforms too, but they can be well utilized being a part of Nintendo and has had the most history with them. For a time where the Wii U isn’t doing as hot as it should be, this will really make people pay attention to it and the 3DS.