Capcom Explains Why Ace Attorney 5 Is Digital Only

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Capcom Explains Why Ace Attorney 5 Is Digital Only

Ace Attorney 5 Screenshot

The publisher is adamant that an eShop-only release won't hurt the sales of the courtroom simulator.

If you're a fan of spiky-haired lawyer Phoenix Wright, you may have been excited by the news that the next installment of his courtroom escapades will be localized in English. You may have been less excited by the fact that the English localization will only be available as a Nintendo eShop digital download. When users took to Capcom's unity forms to ask why, Capcom pointed the finger at retailers. "Historically it's been tough to attract long term retail support for Ace Attorney titles ... With that in mind we have opted for a digital only release via the Nintendo 3DS eShop," said Capcom USA's Senior Vice-President Christian Svensson.

When users expressed concern that the eShop's horribly un-intuitive interface may make the game's sales suffer, Svensson told us to not underestimate the power of community. "I think you're selling yourself and the AA community short. I also think you underestimate our relationship with NOA and what I hope will be our ability to keep it surfaced for more than just a few weeks."

"I understand that this decision may upset fans who wanted to have a physical version of the title to add to their collection but we believe this direction is the best to take."

Svensson also talked about how retail margins for games in the West are not the same as in Japan. "Not every game is appropriate for both formats given the economics involved. This is similar to Darkstalkers Resurrection or RE4 HD or Okami HD being physical in Japan, but digital in the West." He also says that this move is a sign of the times that the games business is going increasingly digital.

Lastly, Svensson says that upset fans don't yet have the full story concerning Ace Attorney 5's English localization, and to just hold tight for more news. "More details will become clear in a few weeks and hopefully the method to our madness will become more clear," he writes.

The Ace Attorney series was a surprise hit in the West, with the first four installments selling quite well. Unfortunately, sales for the spin-off Ace Attorney Investigations fell short of expectations, leading to Ace Attorney Investigations 2 and the recent Professor Layton/Phoenix Wright crossover game not getting an English localization.

Sure, the Digital-only thing is a bit of a bummer, but it is better than nothing. As Svensson put it, "If we'd said 'no, it's not coming', it would have triggered the inevitable 'please bring it to eShop, at least' cries. Instead we shortcutted that and brought it straight to eShop."

Source: Capcom Unity Forums

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So what's exactly stopping them from releasing a pre-order only, highly limited edition with bonus shit like... say the orchestra and jazz CDs and maybe a soundtrack of the new game or maybe an adorable Phoenix figurine or an artbook?

You know, shit that is the wet dream of all Ace Attorney fans?

Or is it actually a way to screw over the 2nd-hand-market because the AA games are (in my experience) some of the most resold and rebought games on the market?

Fuck you Capcom, for every decent thing you do you cock up something else entirely...

I always feel bad for the Unity fellas. They really are just the messengers in situations like this and they're the ones in the line of fire... it must feel rotten for 'em. The Mega Man situation especially, they seemed as torn up about it as the fans, and they had to grin and report it to the community. Sucks.

Andy of Comix Inc:
I always feel bad for the Unity fellas. They really are just the messengers in situations like this and they're the ones in the line of fire... it must feel rotten for 'em. The Mega Man situation especially, they seemed as torn up about it as the fans, and they had to grin and report it to the community. Sucks.

Yeah they are messengers but this much sugarcoating often irks people . I know the companies perefer the round talk to avoid offending anyone but sometimes I wish they would just say "We don't think it is going to sell enough to really justify the retail so we only offer digital version. It would be more genuine than the sappy "We believe in our customers." and "Digital is the way to go"

Ya know, I kinda expected this to be something along the lines of region locking the game.
Anyways, bad move Capcom. You're already arguing with your customers.
Also, there's a saying that goes: If you're explaining, you're losing.
I think the problem is that they don't wanna send the hardcopies overseas after that whole "Cutting ties with the West" thing. Saying one of their best games isn't selling well over here will only drive their distorted logic further in that direction.

So basically, not gonna buy it. With so little effort being put out the promote it in a positive light, couldn't honestly say that I could suggest anyone else to buy it either.

Also, being quiet playing on my handheld with my headphones on is kinda pointless and embarrassing when every 10min or so I have to randomly yell out "OBJECTION!!!1!" at my screen to play the game. I suggest they fix that.

Just be happy you got the game. When you like a really niche series, be satisfied with any game you get brought over.

We're getting it,I'm happy for that. That's all I have to say,sorry if this counts as a low content.

Good news: New Ace Attorney, also availeble in the west despite their previous stance on breaking ties with the west altogether.

Worst case scenario: Capcom DLC shenanigans. Pay for alternate/true endings, trials that enrich the plot etc.

And despite this, it'll be full price. Because 40 for a digital-only title is reasonable...Right?

It'sa good to see a new AA game coming out, but frankly I don't even know where the 3Ds eShop is or how to acsses it, so... yeah. Just release Wright VS Layton over here.

Fingers crossed it's less than full price to account for the lack of choice. The normal 40 pricepoint is hilariously optimistic considering all the downsides of digital in general and the eshop specifically. Call it 25? That's about what it would cost in the shops and would give you a similar return.

So who pays who to put games in retail chains?

When users expressed concern that the eShop's horribly un-intuitive interface may make the game's sales suffer, Svensson told us to not underestimate the power of community.

Yeah, they're just going to pirate it.

Gormech:

I think the problem is that they don't wanna send the hardcopies overseas after that whole "Cutting ties with the West" thing. Saying one of their best games isn't selling well over here will only drive their distorted logic further in that direction.

If that was the case and they were trying to make it seem its unprofitable here, they would have done what i call the ninja release, not announce it was getting a release, release it on one a difficult to use system (okay theve got one down), and then announce a week afterwords that its unprofitable and unpopular and it wont be coming here again due to that.

Nice. Now, hopefully we can get this thing enough sale for Capcom to see that we love Ace Attorney, and they'll localize AAI 2 and Layton vs. Ace Attorney.

I agree with this move. Honestly NO ONE has ever looked at an AA title on the shelf and thought to themselves that they'll give it a try. You find out somewhere, and you either love the idea and pick it up or don't think twice. The Layton series should go the same way tbh.

You were either gunna buy it anyway, or you don't even register that it's on that shelf. That's how these titles are.

As someone with over 100 steam games, I'm struggling to see what the big deal is. The game is getting localized. That's good, right? Is the problem the eShop?

Mcoffey:
As someone with over 100 steam games, I'm struggling to see what the big deal is. The game is getting localized. That's good, right? Is the problem the eShop?

Seems a lot of it is to do with general malice towards Capcom from what I've read. Is there no way of backing up an e-shop purcahse? Because I can understand that being a bit of a deal breaker for me.

OT: Never really dug the AA series but it's cool that they're at least extending some sort of olive branch to the US fans.

Mcoffey:
As someone with over 100 steam games, I'm struggling to see what the big deal is. The game is getting localized. That's good, right? Is the problem the eShop?

The thing is the way Nintendo handles the eShop is very different than say steam or xbox/ps3 only they can transfer games and you will have to send in both systems to get the games off the old one and on the new system which make take a considerable amount of time and this

When users expressed concern that the eShop's horribly un-intuitive interface may make the game's sales suffer, Svensson told us to not underestimate the power of community.

Capcom:
You know what would be great for a series that got overseas due to physical imports and no regional lock restrictions? Digital sales and cartridge regional lockout!

I'm officially coining a new term: it's called "subtarded". Now, you may think I'm being offensive to mentally retarded people, but allow me to explain: See, mentally retarded people can't help being retarded. They're born that way, and they have no choice, no decision. For that we can only accept them and love them as they are. But when you see people that aren't retarded, people that do have a choice in the matter acting as stupid as this without a choice, they're beneath retarded people, thus, subtarded. Because they had a choice and decided to act this way anyway. So with that said, allow me to say the following:

Capcom is a load of fucking subtarded fucks who know how to make great games but don't know shit about how to run a business.

Avalanche91:
Good news: New Ace Attorney, also availeble in the west despite their previous stance on breaking ties with the west altogether.

Worst case scenario: Capcom DLC shenanigans. Pay for alternate/true endings, trials that enrich the plot etc.

Nonexistent-Case Scenario: Capcom releases full-fledged DLC chapters that are independent of the main storyline in addition to a full-fledged game, and they localize Layton vs Phoenix Wright. And bring back Mega Man.

popa_qwerty:

Mcoffey:
As someone with over 100 steam games, I'm struggling to see what the big deal is. The game is getting localized. That's good, right? Is the problem the eShop?

The thing is the way Nintendo handles the eShop is very different than say steam or xbox/ps3 only they can transfer games and you will have to send in both systems to get the games off the old one and on the new system which make take a considerable amount of time and this

When users expressed concern that the eShop's horribly un-intuitive interface may make the game's sales suffer, Svensson told us to not underestimate the power of community.

Yeesh. That is pretty damn awful. Why would they make such an unintuitive system? I can see why people might be displeased with that being the only option.
God. That baffles me. It's 2013 Nintendo! Valve's been doing this for ten years. Apple's been doing it for twelve! How is this difficult?

... Am I the only one who doesn't mind the eShop? Yeah, it's no Steam, but its about as good as PSN, IMO, and I still use it.
Anyway, just glad we're getting a new one. A less-than-retail pricing would be appreciated, though, because it only makes sense for the digital-only to cost less than the physical copy.

They should do some leg work and release the games on Steam or Gog or some other digital distribution system. Plenty of niche games get great sales that way and Ace Attorny has some name recognition.

Gormech:
Also, being quiet playing on my handheld with my headphones on is kinda pointless and embarrassing when every 10min or so I have to randomly yell out "OBJECTION!!!1!" at my screen to play the game. I suggest they fix that.

You can use the buttons instead. You can play the entire game without using the stylus at all.

This kinda sucks for me becuase my internet connection is slow. Downloading a game is pretty much impossible unless it's available via torrent.

Svensson's last comment says it all really; Better digital than not at all, i only hope we get it in europe too, Nintendo has a pretty decent record for euro releases so fingers crossed.

Gormech:

I think the problem is that they don't wanna send the hardcopies overseas after that whole "Cutting ties with the West" thing. Saying one of their best games isn't selling well over here will only drive their distorted logic further.

Wait, what? They're seriously gonna stop bringing games to the West? That's just... Extremely stupid.

I think, regardless of the motivations behind the fan furor, that it will ultimately lead to zero future games, considering that this is their baby step to attempt to re-enter the market. I guess that's what people want, right?

That being said, I still have old grudges to grind with Capcom, so I'm not getting involved anyway.

Gormech:
Also, being quiet playing on my handheld with my headphones on is kinda pointless and embarrassing when every 10min or so I have to randomly yell out "OBJECTION!!!1!" at my screen to play the game. I suggest they fix that.

You never have to shout Objection(other than the very ending of *I think* the first game). Just blow into the mic and it'll work. Or you can use the touchscreen, or you can use the X button. It was never mandatory to shout out.

I'm not happy about it, but I'll be getting it, regardless.

My biggest fear about this, is it's an excuse to say the game's not selling well, because digital copies aren't considered sales. And if it winds up being a shoddy title, this could all be a setup to kill the franchise. But now I'm getting into conspiracy theory territory and I probably shouldn't.

Exius Xavarus:

My biggest fear about this, is it's an excuse to say the game's not selling well, because digital copies aren't considered sales. And if it winds up being a shoddy title, this could all be a setup to kill the franchise. But now I'm getting into conspiracy theory territory and I probably shouldn't.

A setup to kill the franchise??? WHAT??
Why does it need a setup? They could just, you know, NOT MAKE ANY MORE in the franchise if they wanted to kill it, and that option is FREE.

I really only mind this because Nintendo's eshop is terrible. If I didn't have to worry about losing the game if I trade in my 3DS for a new model (you need both systems to make the transfer, so the only way this works is if you buy a new one at full price and sell the old one later), or if my current one breaks, then I would feel 100% okay with it.

Atmos Duality:

Exius Xavarus:

My biggest fear about this, is it's an excuse to say the game's not selling well, because digital copies aren't considered sales. And if it winds up being a shoddy title, this could all be a setup to kill the franchise. But now I'm getting into conspiracy theory territory and I probably shouldn't.

A setup to kill the franchise??? WHAT??
Why does it need a setup? They could just, you know, NOT MAKE ANY MORE in the franchise if they wanted to kill it, and that option is FREE.

They're going to piss off a LOT of people if they just up and quit making Ace Attorney titles. If the latest game is trash, Capcom would have an excuse to say they're not worth making anymore, since the last game bombed so hard.

They'd have an excuse, the customers would be more upset that the last title sucked than that they weren't making anymore, Capcom wouldn't have to bother with the series anymore. Capcom also said they were "cutting ties with the west," so it could *also* give them an excuse to say that we Americans don't like the Ace Attorney games, and they no longer deem it worth the time to localize them.

Deciding to up and stop developing the Ace Attorney series out of the blue for no reason is just a bit of a stupid idea.

Exius Xavarus:

They're going to piss off a LOT of people if they just up and quit making Ace Attorney titles. If the latest game is trash, Capcom would have an excuse to say they're not worth making anymore, since the last game bombed so hard.

They'd have an excuse, the customers would be more upset that the last title sucked than that they weren't making anymore, Capcom wouldn't have to bother with the series anymore. Capcom also said they were "cutting ties with the west," so it could *also* give them an excuse to say that we Americans don't like the Ace Attorney games, and they no longer deem it worth the time to localize them.

Deciding to up and stop developing the Ace Attorney series out of the blue for no reason is just a bit of a stupid idea.

Why do they need an excuse? Bad news is going to be bad news no matter how it goes down.
There is literally no rational reason to produce an excuse, let alone a bad game as an excuse.

The cheapest and most sane option is always going to be "ignore them".
They can't lose business they aren't doing after all.

Atmos Duality:
The cheapest and most sane option is always going to be "ignore them".
They can't lose business they aren't doing after all.

That's...a really, really stupid idea. It's better to try and fail, than not try at all. Also, completely ignoring a good portion of your fan base, as I said earlier, is a really, really stupid idea. It makes them look worse than if their game bombed.

Exius Xavarus:

That's...a really, really stupid idea. It's better to try and fail, than not try at all. Also, completely ignoring a good portion of your fan base, as I said earlier, is a really, really stupid idea. It makes them look worse than if their game bombed.

That makes no sense. At all.
Plus, I'm damn pretty sure that open contempt looks a lot worse than disinterest, especially for PR.

Atmos Duality:

Exius Xavarus:

That's...a really, really stupid idea. It's better to try and fail, than not try at all. Also, completely ignoring a good portion of your fan base, as I said earlier, is a really, really stupid idea. It makes them look worse than if their game bombed.

That makes no sense. At all.
Plus, I'm damn pretty sure that open contempt looks a lot worse than disinterest, especially for PR.

Open contempt. Uh huh. That's the whole point of the setup. So it's not in the open.

Whatever you say, pal. Neither of us are going to convince the other of anything, so I'm stopping here. Good day, sir.

Exius Xavarus:

Open contempt. Uh huh. That's the whole point of the setup. So it's not in the open.

Whatever you say, pal. Neither of us are going to convince the other of anything, so I'm stopping here. Good day, sir.

If a franchise isn't selling well, the owner shelves it until someone else generates enough interest for them to reboot/reinvent it (as EA did with Syndicate), or sell the IP to someone else (like how Microsoft did with FASA's old properties Shadowrun/Mechwarrior. Or how Activision did with Tribes).

They DO NOT squeeze out a turd of a game, then point to it to go "OH LOOK! NOBODY LIKES OUR SHIT! IT MUST BE THE FRANCHISE! KILL IT!" because that's fucking insane.

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