Simply put, Capcom has been on fire lately. Resident Evil VII brought the franchise back to its horror roots selling over 5 million copies in the process, Monster Hunter: World smashed all expectations and racked up over 10 million sales, becoming Capcom’s best selling game ever.
Then you have the successful return of Mega Man with Mega Man 11, the fantastic revival of Resident Evil 2, and the stunning comeback of Devil May Cry 5. It seems like Capcom can do no wrong lately, but with all of their biggest series back and better than ever, where do they go from here? Well, almost all of their biggest series; there’s one thing missing. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney.
The absurd courtroom drama series quickly worked its way into the hearts of visual novel fans in 2001, and Phoenix Wright himself has become a video game mascot since then, not to mention the meme-worthy status of “Objection!” The franchise has also sold nearly 7 million copies combined, certainly nothing to scoff at for a visual novel series.
Yet, for all this, it’s been three years since we’ve seen a proper Ace Attorney game, with the last one being Spirit of Justice on the 3DS in 2016. To add onto this, the West has still never gotten the two Dai Gyakuten Saiban games, Ace Attorney titles set in Meiji Period Japan.
It’s baffling that we don’t even know anything about Ace Attorney 7, since all indications seem like 2019 would be the perfect year for a new game. Last year at Tokyo Game Show, Capcom hosted an Ace Attorney panel that they called “unmissable,” building up many fans’ hopes for a new game.
What was announced there, however, was the Ace Attorney Trilogy and the fact that they’re making a new game, that’s it. No details, no artwork, no word on any kind of time frame or systems. Not quite unmissable, huh.
Now it’s great to see the Ace Attorney Trilogy be made available to more players through PS4, Xbox One, and Switch, and the release is right around the corner on April 9. However, it certainly seems like this remaster could be more effectively used to help hype up a new Ace Attorney game.
If Cacpom had an Ace Attorney 7 trailer or announcement to show alongside the trilogy, it would make the remaster all the more enticing, and give brand new fans something to look forward to. It’s a marketing opportunity Capcom simply won’t get again, unless, technically, they decide to release another remastered collection.
They could have even packaged in some kind of exclusive trailer or look at the next game with the trilogy. Again, a huge missed opportunity.
To add onto this, the Nintendo Switch is at the height of its popularity and momentum, with a flood of titles both new and old coming. Just earlier this year the system passed 32 million units sold and with games like Pokemon Sword and Shield, Animal Crossing, and Astral Chain coming, that number is only going to go up.
Now is the time to be releasing hot new games, and considering Phoenix Wright’s long history on Nintendo systems, that’s where the bulk of its sales are going to happen. Not only would a new Ace Attorney be super hot on Switch, but surely Nintendo would help market it themselves, like they’ve been doing with other third-party titles like Octopath Traveler, Fortnite, and Final Fantasy.
It’s also possible that Ace Attorney 7 could be a Switch exclusive, although that’s just speculation. In which case, it’d be even more important to get that on Switch owners’ radars while the momentum is strong.
No matter how you cut it, Capcom needed to have announced a new Ace Attorney, like, yesterday. The company is on a roll the likes of which is seldom seen in video games, and if they want to keep that momentum going they’ll need even more franchises to bring back in big ways.
Ace Attorney is popular, and one of the most charming franchises you can find. Considering the next entry won’t be resigned strictly to a handheld, the possibilities for what Capcom can do are exciting.
No doubt, this factors into why we haven’t seen or heard anything as well, but it’s important that Capcom keeps something new and exciting on their fan’s minds, thereby keeping the interest and momentum on themselves.
Resident Evil, Monster Hunter, and Devil May Cry 5 have all had their moment in the sun, and now it’s time for everyone’s favorite defense attorney to step up.