For better or worse, it seems Marvel is much more involved in the making of Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite than past entries in the fighting series. Previously, Capcom kind of did their own thing, using whatever characters they thought best-suited the game, but this time around, Marvel Studios seems to be calling the shots, with characters important to their cinematic universe getting priority.
Fox has the movie rights to the X-Men franchise, and it's pretty clear Marvel is bitter about that – Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite could have X-Men characters, it isn't strictly based on the MCU, but it seems like it won't. We've seen a couple leaked character lists for Infinite, neither of which feature any X-Men, and in a recent interview with GameSpot, Capcom producers Pete Rosas and Michael Evans didn't deny the mutant shunning. In fact, they tried to justify the lack of X-Men in a rather puzzling way.
"We talked with Marvel very closely about their future roadmap, about what's gonna be happening. Your modern Marvel fan, maybe they don't even remember some of the X-Men characters, but they know some of the Guardians characters or Black Panther. You know what I mean? Captain Marvel may seem like a strange pick, but she's fantastic. She fits the gameplay. She fits the story, and they're gonna be really pushing her as a strong female lead all the way up into the movie. We're trying to take everything into account and choose the best characters."
I'm pretty sure Marvel fans still remember who the X-Men are. Does Capcom think the people who watch the Avengers and Captain America movies are completely separate from the people who watched Deadpool and Logan? I can assure you, they're not.
But hey, it's not like characters actually matter anyways. It's all about playstyles…
"If you were to actually think about it, these characters are just functions. They're just doing things. Magneto, case and point, is a favorite because he has eight-way dash and he's really fast, right? So, our more technical players, all they want to do is triangle jump and that kind of stuff. Well guess what, Nova can do the same thing, Captain Marvel can do the same thing. Ultron can do the same thing. Go ahead and try them out."
Hoo boy. Listen, I don't expect Capcom to come out and say, "we don't have X-Men this time because Marvel is cranky about Fox owning the movie rights," but maybe a simple "no comment" would have been better than these ham-handed explanations.
The mutant-free Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite rumbles onto PC, Xbox One, and PS4 on September 19.