Last night on NeoGAF, user Ryce offered up a rumor for the final roster in Capcom's upcoming Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. I'm covering this because Ryce has been correct with his MvC rumors before, noting the reveal of a fourth Marvel vs. Capcom for PSX 2016. The poster also correctly revealed the simplified move inputs for the game prior to press previews going live with the same information. They have a solid track record.
Here's their purported roster of characters:
Ryce noted that the Capcom side is missing a character, who they believe is Frank West. In addition, they said that Venom is planned as a DLC character.
That means we're looking at a launch roster of 28 characters, putting Infinite below the starting roster of 36 characters for Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and 56 characters for Marvel vs. Capcom 2. There are no X-Men or Fantastic Four characters in the line-up, disappointing fans of series mainstays like Wolverine and Doctor Doom. Hell, there are only four female characters on the roster at all.
Avid fans of the Marvel vs. Capcom series will note that many of those characters are actually transplants from the previous game in the series, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3. The all-new characters include X, Jedah, Monster Hunter, Ant-Man, Gamora, Thanos, and Ultron. I'd hazard a guess that a lot of the asset and animation reuse is a cost-cutting measure: By reusing the previous character work with some tweaks and improvements, you're saving development effort.
From the few gameplay trailers we have, Iron Man, Ryu, Morrigan, Captain America, Hulk, and Strider Hiryu share a lot of their animations from Ultimate MvC3. This is isn't really new for the series or for Capcom, as Marvel vs. Capcom 2 reused a ton of earlier spritework and Street Fighter x Tekken pulled art and animations from Street Fighter IV. The difference is that saved effort in MvC2's case was put into delivering a much larger roster than players had seen before.
We're just not seeing that in this rumored list. If Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite reused most of the characters from Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, with a host of new faces, that'd be one thing. But we're not getting that. Instead, there are a smaller number of older characters with some new looks and tweaks, and six new characters adding up to a pretty meager launch team.
It's clear Capcom wants MvC: Infinite to be a service game like Street Fighter V, meaning a number of potential characters are likely being saved for DLC. Capcom is already pushing the 2017 Character Pass with Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, offering six additional characters to bring the total roster to 34. Sigma has been revealed as the first character already. We don't have a price for the 2017 Character Pass yet, but the Deluxe Edition of Infinite costs $89.99, the Season 1 Character Pass for SFV cost $19.99 and the 2017 Character Pass costs $29.99. $20-30 sounds about right.
In reality, to get close to the launch roster of Marvel vs. Capcom 3, you'll probably have to spend $90.
It feels like the company is falling behind in the fighting game space. Tekken 7 is launching with 38 playable characters this week. King of Fighters XIV launched with 50 goddamn characters, and recently added another 4.
Character count isn't everything though. Injustice 2 only has 28 fighters, but it comes with a host of playable content and one of the best story modes in any fighter. If Capcom can match that, there's hope. Given the launch of Street Fighter V and how Capcom has stumbled and struggled to provide sufficient content for that community, I'm not feeling particularly emboldened by the rumored roster or gameplay options.
I want Capcom to stick the landing here. I don't particularly have a problem with character reuse. I'm fine with the simplified inputs. But what's been lost doesn't appear to have been replaced with something newer, bigger, and better. Capcom had issues with Street Fighter V and I'm just worried if they don't get it together, they'll have the same problems with Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite.
Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on September 19, 2017.