When it comes to beloved arcade games, few rank higher than X-Men and The Simpsons. Released by Konami back in the early '90s, the two games remain arcade favorites, after all these years. While X-Men and The Simpsons were re-released on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 back in 2010 and 2012 respectively, it's been quite some time since either game has been made available on any console. Both franchises are now owned by Disney, and have seen significant pushes over the last few years. As such, there has never been a better time for new audiences to discover the two arcade brawlers, perhaps under the Disney Classic Games banner.
Last year saw the release of Disney Classic Games: Aladdin and The Lion King, a compilation title from Nighthawk Interactive. The compilation featured a number of extras, including behind-the-scenes footage, a rewind option, and multiple versions of the two games. X-Men and The Simpsons would be a perfect fit under that same umbrella. While the two titles might seem like an unusual pair to put together in one compilation, there are multiple reasons it could work.
As far as existing fans are concerned, nostalgic gamers have a lot of fondness for both X-Men and The Simpsons. The two titles initially released in arcades within one year of one another (The Simpsons in 1991 and X-Men in 1992). Gamers that spent a lot of time in arcades during that era tend to lump the two together, since both featured options for multiple players to participate, and both shared similar gameplay. There's actually a lot of connective tissue between the two games!
The two titles also represent brands that Disney is currently working to sell to new audiences. In the case of the X-Men, the characters have received a smaller spotlight over the last decade, as Disney has focused more on the Avengers brand. Following the purchase of Fox, Disney has been slowly increasing the amount of X-Men merchandise available, and the return of a beloved game would make sense. In the case of The Simpsons, the series has appeared prominently in advertising related to the Disney+ streaming service, and Disney even included a Simpsons short before the theatrical release of Onward. Clearly, Disney sees these two brands as an important part of its future.
While Konami's focus seems to have shifted away from video game development over the last few years, the company continues to release compilations and remasters of its existing catalog. Notably, Castlevania Anniversary Collection and Contra Anniversary Collection both released last year. Re-releases for licensed games are always a bit trickier, but with both X-Men and The Simpsons now owned by the same company, there are fewer hurdles to deal with. A combined release would also make for a more substantial physical version that Disney and Konami could release in stores.
Given the high regard gamers have for X-Men and The Simpsons, it seems that a Disney Classic Games compilation would be the kind of thing that fans new and old would flock to. For Disney, it could also help solidify X-Men and The Simpsons as Disney brands, and introduce a new generation of fans to a pair of the best arcade games that have ever been released.
Would you like to see an X-Men and The Simpsons arcade compilation? Are you a fan of the arcade originals? Let us know in the comments or share your thoughts directly on Twitter at @Marcdachamp to talk about all things gaming!