Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds is a crossover fighting game in development by Capcom. It will feature Capcom's own characters and characters from American comic book company Marvel Comics. It is the fifth installment of the Marvel vs. Capcom franchise, the eighth installment in the Vs. series, the first to be exclusive to consoles, and the second in the Vs. series to use three-dimensional graphics on a two-dimensional battle area. The game is produced and directed by Ryota Niitsuma, who had previously worked on Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, and features the same fast-paced, over-the-top fighting mechanics as earlier games in the series, along with new methods of play designed to make the game more accessible to new players. Capcom has promised three-on-three tag team fighting gameplay and a robust plot. The game is tentatively set for release for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 consoles in Spring 2011.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is a fighting game where up to two players compete in battle using characters with their own unique fighting styles and special attacks. The game features the same tag-based team feature as previous installments of the series, where each player chooses three characters that can be swapped at any point during a match, and utilizes an order selection called "Evolved Vs. Fighting System", a modified version of earlier systems seen in other Marvel/Capcom and Capcom vs. SNK crossover games. It is the first game in the franchise to feature three-dimensional character models as opposed to two-dimensional sprites, though gameplay remains restricted to two-dimensions, allowing characters to move only backward, forward, or straight up into the air. Unlike Marvel vs. Capcom 2, which featured four attack buttons separated as two pairs of low and high-strength punches and kicks, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 uses a simplified, three-button control scheme of undefined low, medium, and high attacks modeled after Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, which Capcom believes will "knock down the wall of complicated controls and open up the field of strategic fighting to all comers", as well as a new "Exchange" button used to launch opponents into the air, switch characters while performing a combo, and slam the opponent into the ground when used by certain characters. Players can use each button to string together combination attacks, as well as perform special moves using a combination of button presses and joystick movement. As characters attack, their Special Gauge fills with energy which can be expended by the player to execute powerful Hyper Combos and Team Combos that involve multiple characters.
The game features a single-player story mode that is more robust than its predecessors, with unique endings for each character. Marvel has stated that Marvel vs. Capcom 3 is "all about fan service", and plan to work with Capcom to include dialogue quips and mid-match events between the company's characters that reference past Marvel Comics storylines. Marvel vs. Capcom 3 will include an online play mode using Microsoft's Xbox Live and Sony's PlayStation Network services.
Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was first announced at Capcom's Captivate press show in Hawaii in April 2010, with the game's public reveal following one week later after the company's imposed information embargo. The game was revealed to have been in development since the summer of 2008 when Capcom re-acquired the Marvel license after a period of legal issues that placed the series on hiatus for nearly a decade. Ryota Niitsuma, who had previously headed production on Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, signed on as director and producer of the new project, which was green-lit after "years and years of unrelenting fan demand". Niitsuma stated that they built the game from the ground up using the same MT Framework game engine seen in Resident Evil 5 and Lost Planet 2, which he describes as "the biggest engine that a fighting game has ever had under the hood". Capcom's design philosophy for Marvel vs. Capcom 3 was to make a game that would reach out to those who have been long-time fans of the series, but at the same time expand their user base to those who may be familiar with the characters represented but not with fighting games in general. In particular, company president Keiji Inafune expressed a desire to appeal to a worldwide audience. Unlike previous titles in the series, Capcom currently has no plans for an arcade release, and will initially focus only on console versions for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, and has expected to sell 2 millions units of Marvel vs. Capcom 3 worldwide across both platforms.
In addition to the complete transition to 3D models, several characters also sport updated designs. Iron Man now sports his Extremis armor as opposed to the Modular Armor he wore in the previous titles, and Wolverine now wears his John Cassaday-designed costume from the more recent Astonishing X-Men rather than his '90s era costume. Employees from Marvel have been working closely with Capcom's art design team to ensure that each character from their company is properly represented. Both Marvel and Capcom have discussed the possibility of a comic book adaptation of the game by UDON, which project manager Jim Zubkavich stated would most likely be in the form of a four to twelve issue mini-series.