When’s Mahvel? Digital Extremes’ Mike Mika Talks MVC2 Re-Release

by in Fighting Games | Sep, 1st 2021

I recently had a chance to interview Mike Mika of Digital Eclipse about an MVC2 Re-Release and “Free Marvel”. The “Free Marvel” movement is still going strong. Maximilian has not given up on his love of MVC2, and neither have we. Not everyone feels it needs to come back, but it does have a very powerful, loving community. I have loved MVC2 since the days when my hometown had a pair of places to play at. While no, not all of the cast is great, you can make some ridiculous teams with a bit of patience and practice. The Digital Eclipse version of MVC2 was the very last iteration and has been long since removed from the digital marketplaces. I’m grateful to Maximillian for starting the #FreeMarvel trend. So many people have spoken up about wanting the classic back.

Now, if you want MVC2, you have to potentially pay a serious amount of money, or already have had purchased it digitally somewhere. We have no idea when we’ll see another Marvel vs. Capcom game, but there’s still so much to love about MVC2. We have to make our voices heard, to make sure both Marvel and Capcom know that we as a community want this beloved game back. There are changes that could come to the game, but are they feasible? Well, that’s one of the things I chatted with Mike Mika about, concerning the future of an MVC2 re-release. The fight’s not over. If you want it, make videos, tweet about it, do whatever you can to share your love of the series.

Jason vs. Mike Mika 2: New Age of Re-Releases:

Jason: “Free Marvel” is a trend started by well-known/beloved FGC content creator, Maximilian. What brought the movement to your attention?

Mike: I frequent Twitter and we (Digital Eclipse) just recently had some success raising money to bring back classic game franchises. The two things go intertwined at some point and I was suddenly inundated with calls to #FREEMVC2.

Jason: How does it feel to know you produced the last digital release of MVC2, back in theBackbone days?

Mike: Weird? I think? If you had asked me when the last release was, I would have guessed much more recently than the version we worked on.

Jason: In your time with Backbone, are there any mistakes made in the development of MVC2 that you would address in a Re-Release?

Mike: I’d revisit the online support and make sure it is up to date, and I’d love to look into how we could include the training mode and character shop that was in the Dreamcast version of the game.

Jason: Is there real hope of us seeing a re-release of Marvel vs. Capcom 2 in the future, developed by Digital Eclipse?

Mike: We’ve made some inroads – but honestly, it really comes down to letting Marvel and Capcom know you want it. The louder you are, naturally, the more they hear it. Any chance of this game happening starts there. It got us excited, and it really helps in getting the other two parties engaged.

Mike Mika (@MikeJMika) | Twitter
Mike discusses the possibility of re-releasing Marvel vs Capcom 2 (credit Mike Mika)

Jason: Were there any reasons other than licensing for MVC2’s pull from digital storefronts?

Mike: I’m not privy to that information. I can only speculate that it’s probably related to that.

Jason: If you did have your say when it comes to MVC2’s potential revival, which netcode would you use?

Mike: GGPO based rollback with user-customized tuning for the experience. Games like this are never going to be perfect, but people prefer to control how it handles latency, etc.

Jason: One of the complaints that people have about MVC2 is that there is a very strict tier list of the “best” characters. A solution some people have made is “Low Tier/Point Value” rules. Would it be within the realm of the possibility of adding features like this to MVC2?

Mike: I think features like this could work. It will be hard to add any new content, but tuning and scoring changes are a possibility. The reason we really couldn’t add much more new stuff is that would require a lot more approvals, and if through some miracle this happens, we’d need to reduce the number of approvals we’d need from everyone involved.

Jason: If you could add features to bring features to the game to pull new and experienced eyes to Marvel vs. Capcom 2, what would they be?

Mike:  Training mode, if it can be possible. I think that plus a series of training videos from key members of the FGC to help guide new players.

Jason: In your ideal MVC2, would there be updated graphics/music?

Mike: Yes, but again, this would require a lot more effort from many parties that would likely make it harder for Marvel and Capcom to come along “for the ride.”

Marvel vs Capcom 2 and FreeMVC2, Explained | CBR
MvC2 remains incredibly popular amongst the fighting game community (credit CBR.com)

Jason: Are there any thoughts on providing the option for players to decide between unlocking everything or having to earn it?

Mike: As a general rule, we prefer to unlock everything for games like this. With online mode, it’d have to be unlocked anyway. But I haven’t given that too much thought.

Jason: Do you have a favorite team in the game, and why does it include Dan Hibiki?

Mike: Why wouldn’t it include Dan Hibiki? This is some kind of trap, isn’t it? If I HAD to use Dan, I don’t know. Maybe Roll, Captain Commando, or Mega Man would be there, too. I still think this is some kind of trap question.

Jason: If you kept up with the classic MVC2 scene, do you have a favorite character?

Mike: It’s been a while. I used to play Magneto and Psylocke a lot, IIRC.

Jason: We have to ask – Have there been any actual talks, official or otherwise, about a re-release of MVC2 from your studio?

Mike: We’ve had some talks. Nothing to report yet. It’s going to be an uphill battle, but if this happens, with us or not, it’ll be because of the outreach of fans. It really hinges on that.

Jason: When’s Mahvel?

Mike: If it were up to me, it’d be right now, baybee. Do you have fond memories of MVC2, and want to see a re-release for it? Make your voice heard on social media! Use the hashtag #FreeMarvel, upload matches you’ve participated in or other content you’ve created for MVC2, and in general, make some noise! Don’t harass Marvel or Capcom about it, but do make sure your voice is heard if you want a classic arcade game to be more accessible.


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