Ace Attorney fans outside of Japan have waited some time for the return of the series to their shores. The announcement of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies arriving in Europe and North America this fall brought out the confetti for the faithful, but concerns arose when it was also revealed the title would come only through digital download. What did this mean for Capcom’s confidence in the game’s sales and the future of the series in the West?
Capcom USA Senior VP Christian Svensson openly addressed the questions of fans in a thread on Capcom Unity, offering information and perspective from his position in the company.
Svensson, who initially predicted “aggressive” sales of Dual Destinies, said he didn’t think he was worried that the digital-only format would turn away too many consumers:
If fans really love the series and want to play the game in English, we're expecting them to be there. If they're not, well, that tells us something too. I'm betting on you guys.
However, Svensson added that the decisions of the game’s format and what would constitute enough of a success to bring further games in the series overseas — including the skipped-over Ace Attorney Investigations 2 — are not up to him:
The reality is, there are no assurances I can make. It isn't up to me or anyone else at Capcom USA on whether or not something ultimately comes to us. I get to put up forecasts for what I think we can plausibly sell and the producer has to see if there's localization and dev resources available, costs need to be evaluated and we have to see if it makes sense. In this case, after the AAI2 miss, I'm hoping/anticipating/counting on fans to be extra motivated to show support given the fact they didn't have the opportunity to do so the last time around.
Although Svensson says he continues to bring up the possibility of localizing Ace Attorney Investigations 2 to his superiors, the concentration of work resources is on Dual Destinies, and its performance has the potential to help or hinder the cause:
As it is, all dev and localization focus has been on AA5 and the last data point we have to work from was Ace Attorney Investigations, which as I've shared in the past, was poor at best. If AA5 hits its forecast, we'll have a different data point to show from a different distribution mechanism. At minimum, there will be info to evaluate, one way or the other after AA5.
A fan expressed the frustrations of English-speaking fans who “are being asked to show a lot of faith and patience” after being denied Ace Attorney Investigations for the past couple of years. Svensson offered a potentially more positive way of looking at the current situation:
I understand your point... on the flip side, by bringing AA5 to the West (which is a sizable commitment between localization, PD and marketing), I would say, Capcom is also showing a lot of faith in you.
Do Svensson’s comments add to or detract from your hopes of a longer future for Ace Attorney overseas? Let us know below.