News Article

Capcom USA Senior VP Responds to Ace Attorney Concerns

Posted by Tim Latshaw

Future unclear, but sales could prove a factor

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.


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User Comments (49)



moroboshi said:

It's disappointing that this now a niche series which is difficult to sell in the West, but then again, so is Fire Emblem, and that did well recently, so there may yet be hope.

The digital release thing is fine with me, as I only buy 3DS games digitally anyway. I've left physical media behind, and am glad to see the back of it. It's not just the extra convenience, but it sends a strong environmental message too.



Spoony_Tech said:

I might take this chance to jump back into this series. Only played the first game but really want the Ace Layton game even more!



Bass_X0 said:

Downloading it on day one. No risk is too great to finally be able to play the next Phoenix Wright game.



TwilightV said:

"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."

Yeah. It'll tell me they're outright disgusted by the way they've been treated these last two years.



Pokefanmum82 said:

he's right though. if you're a fan of the series you should want to play it whether it's just digital only or not. Ultimately it's up to the individual if they want to download or not. But if you want them to bring more of these games out west then you should buy this game. Just my opinion and people are free to disagree.



MrGawain said:

This and Ducktales for the Wii U will be the first games I have ever downloaded. I don't intend on making a habit of it, but I see these two worthy purchases.



Placlu said:

So... I guess Level 5 will be localising PLxPW?
We want that game too...



belmont said:

I want to buy the game but I won't since Nintendo doesn't publish prepaid cards where I live.



Yai said:

I guess it is understandable if the previous games sold that badly.. I'm getting this day one most likely as I love the series. If it means other games in the series could be brought over that haven't then I hope that this game sells well. Phoenix Wright is a really unique game but insanely compelling. xD



DualWielding said:

Please Please, buy the game even if you are mad its online only, or we won't get future Ace Attorney Titles localized



belmont said:

@Rei7 I thought that UK or Germany codes don't work on the stores of other EU territories. Anyway I don't have a credit card but I could ask a friend abroad to buy me one.



onex said:

I will probably purchase this one, but my priority is getting a new 3DS. Having a broken R button is fine for a game like FE:A, but it is virtually impossible to play Luigi's Mansion without the vaccuum. lol

So I can only imagine what a pain it would be for Ace Attorney and Animal Crossing!



fishman100 said:

I hope AA5 will do well enough so that they can localize AAI2! Regardless, AA5 is a day-one buy for me.



Dpullam said:

I can understand and respect his reasoning for making this game digital only in the west. This game does seem pretty interesting so I might end up supporting this series once it is released.



Beta said:

Well, maybe if enough people buy it they will release future titles in retail instead of digital. Anyone that likes the series should get this, it won't affect the experience or gameplay of how it is physical or not. Please, guys, understand and support this beauty!



Nintendo-64 said:

I want the game in german. I can speak english fairly well but to enjoy it in your native language is a much more enjoyable way to play the game.



LordsOfSkulls said:

I be honest. That BS no physical copy. >.> I own ever copy and i love that i have every one of them in physical copy.

That way it doesnt take up space on my SD card... which they need to realize we only have between 2-4GB.... i rather have that space for DLC/Patches/Saves than be storing Video Games on my 3DS.



Mr_Vengeance said:

I'd much rather a physical copy of this, and will probably overlook buying it because its a digital-only release.

I won't spend more than ten euro on any digital game as I just don't feel like its "mine" when its stored on an SD card along with demos, patches, videos, etc. I also enjoy the art work on the cover of a phyisical game and I like displaying my collection. For me, digital games feel very disposable. If you are spending a sizable chunk of change, you want to feel like you have something in your hand, not just a file on a memory card! Having said that, it is nice to have the convenience of digital of course, and I have a couple of digital titles on my 3DS to play around with every now and then.



Daggo said:

I'm still worried that Shu Takumi isn't involved this time, while I loved AAI, the writing was a mess...

Anyway, if I get a 3DS on time for the release I'm sure I'll buy the game. But, we know it is going to be digital-only, so let's expect the game price reflect that!



pariah164 said:

Love how Capcom's not taking any fault and telling us we have to show with our wallets if we want AAI2.

We would have IF YOU RELEASED IT.

All that said, despite all my bitterness towards the company, I will buy AA5, day one.



Morpheel said:

There you have, download haters.

Buy it or never see a new Ace Attorney here again.



Bass_X0 said:

I've seen people here say that they would prefer nobody outside of Japan was able to play AA5 in english if the alternative was download only.

Thats the sort of people we are dealing with here.



placidcasual said:

I'm fine with having this as a download, not a problem for me. Sure I like a box on my shelf but the convenience of downloads is a decent trade off. Got 5 3ds games on download so far (hell of a lot more boxed ones) including code of princess which is d/l only and I wanted to support.

On a seperate note I'd hope this comes in at around £20-25 that'd be a smart move on capcom's part...



Fillytase said:

Also, I've said this elsewhere and I'll say it again: there's no reason they couldn't have given this a limited print run AND digital release, like Fire Emblem: Awakening (to which many people have compared the Ace Attorney series). That would have satisfied collectors and "hardcore" fans as well as people who want to be able to find the game after the limited print run sells out. Small companies like XSEED can afford to give their "niche" games physical releases and even include collectible goodies with them, yet the publishing giant Capcom wants us to believe they can't afford to even give their beloved series a limited print run? They're just making up excuses to give this series a half-assed treatment and to circumvent second-hand sales. This is NOT about accessibility, or they would have done it the way described above.



Jukilum said:

@LordsOfSkulls You realize you can buy a bigger SD card, right?

@onex I don't recall ever needing the R button in the AA games. I usually just used the touch screen controls.



Macattack said:

Is it just me, or do his 'answers' sound more like threats? This is just another way a company like Capcom is trying to force download-only gaming to its customers. WE'RE the ones who should be offended here, yet Capcom would have you believe it the other way around.
I'm quite frankly ticked off that Capcom would threaten me as a fan in this way, especially when I own every game in the franchise. As far as I'm concerned, Capcom can keep their Dual Destinies, and any other they happen to release as download-only. Besides how they've pleaded with me while spitting in my face, I hated the fact that they moved from the memorable and classy 2D artwork to an awkward, step-down 3D experience. Not cool, Capcom. -_-
I don't know about everyone else here, but I will not forced to buy their game for my own good, just because I happen to like the series... a lot...



Zombie_Barioth said:

"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."

Holding your game for ransom isn't cool, I really don't like Capcom's attitude about this. At least when a small company like XSEED does it they level with their fans, although they also know their fans are more likely to import.

What bugs me about this, aside from what @Fillytase said, is that they certainly didn't have any problems localizing most of the Monster Hunter games despite being really niche up until now. They also localized most of the Ace Attorney games so they know the fanbase is there, and games like 999 or Virtue's Last Reward prove theres a market out there for these kind of games.



BrightBeing said:

I fell in love with these games playing them on WiiWare as ports. AA5 is one of my most anticipated games this year!



shonenjump86 said:

I have no problem with Ace Attorney 5 being digital only. I will get this game day 1. I still want Investigation 2, Capcom needs to bring that over here as well.



Lunapplebloom said:

Honestly, It sounds like a bunch of stupidity that it's our fault for this happening. I said it before, but they could easily pull off a limited run of physical copies, then not sell anymore that way and only have it on the Eshop for the people who are willing to go download only. Until they announce something like that, I'm not going to support this game, and this is coming from someone who owns all the previous ones in the series that made it boxed to the west.

@theblackdragon I seem to recall having my wallet spitting out money for AAI so we could get the sequel as well...



Leon_Pryde said:

I for certain am not buying this on day one. The only reason is because I haven't played any of them since the first one and I want to do them in order.

I kinda hope they localize the collection.



theblackdragon said:

y'know, a kickstarter for a physical copy of this game is something i would be very interested in seeing happening. people want it and are willing to pay for it, let a kickstarter prove it to you, Capcom. If it doesn't work, you won't be losing money on it and at that point absolutely no one can blame you for having gone digital-only because you wouldn't have been able to cover the costs.



LordGeovanni said:

I am a bit upset about the comment, however I understand what he meant. I tried to get AAI(1),... I just couldn't find it anywhere. That is what ticked me off. Then that they were not bringing AAI2 was a huge anger-point for me. The follow-up of Ace Attorney VS Layton and Capcom refusing to bring it over was also an anger-point.

Aside that, I REALLY hate the download system on Nintendo. I am still willing to buy/download this. They will just take it as a single sale, but, from me, download is a big commitment.



rockman_zero said:

Crapcoms USA excuse to make sure this game fails so they can kill off another series over here by makin it digital if its not street fighter or resident evil they don't care



Fillytase said:

@theblackdragon My gut reaction to the desire for a crowd-funded retail release for AA5 is agreement... until I remember that sites like kickstarter were intended for indie and small developers who actually can't afford to make something on their own. Capcom can afford it, they just don't feel like it.



DarkKirby said:

Like how you said great Darkstalker Resurrection digital sales would increase the likelihood of a sequel? Screw you Capcom. You'll say anything if you think it would increase profits.

If games like Zero Escape: Virtue's Last Reward can make a profit with a physical release claiming Phoenix Wright games are an extreme risk and would be a loss to you is horse crap.



theblackdragon said:

@Fillytase: you speak truth... it was just an idea that popped into my head. idk, i guess with the way things are nowadays and kickstarter's apparent popularity i'm kinda waiting to see a big-name publisher or dev decide to use crowdfunding to bring a 'risky' project to fans in a format or on a console they desire, lol. not saying that i'm going to enjoy that day very much, but i'm still kinda expecting it to happen eventually



MeloMan said:

Betting on us huh? I don't really recall the world screaming collectively for a 4th Streetfighter but that didn't stop Capcom from giving it to us. I know business changes all the time, but if you as a company are TRYING to provide US with a nice library of your company's games, then you'd give it to us and satisfy however few of us that DO support the AA series. But whatever... demand drives supply, right Capcom? All I'll say is you got my $$.$$ for AA5 cause I'm a fan, but if you don't turn a profit, thanks for letting me know I'll be screwed as a fan of the series. Games industry, circa 2013...



RadioShadow said:

I'm just glad the European release data is going to be released around the same time as the American release.

At the end of the day, it's getting an English translation. Can't complain too much!



Nekketsu3D said:

capcom again proving he has no idea of what they want their products ... Phoenix Wright 5 digital, ruining many who wanted to if or physical as their previous releases. what a shame that they do not understand.



SuperCharlie78 said:

"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."
Sorry but NO.
It's me who was expecting something from Capcom, since I bought all the previous games. Actually I bought them twice in some cases, in fact I own both japanese and european versions of Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney and Justice for All, the US version of Trials & Tribulations, and the european versions of Apollo Justice and ME Investigations.
So my dear Svensson, I think I am a HUGE fan of the series, but don't expect me to be anywhere, because there's no way I'd buy a digital version of this game, not with Nintendo's non-account eShop policy, not at the price you decide.
If you don't care about your customers, then I don't care about you.

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