While exciting, not all franchise crossovers actually happen. Here are some crossovers that fans almost got to see but didn’t.
When brands come together, it always feels like a big deal. The Marvel heroes went up against Street Fighter. At the Olympics, Mario took on Sonic. Then Project X Zone 2 was made, which was a mix of games like Tekken, Resident Evil, Yakuza, Sakura Wars, Ace Attorney, Fire Emblem, and more. Just in case the different mixes in Super Smash Bros. didn’t sound loud enough.
But all of these crossovers are the result of long talks between companies in their boardrooms. Everything must be fair and agreed upon. Anything can stop the process, like a change of heart, a competing deal, or a lawyer who sees someone trying to cheat. Because of these and other things, these crossovers almost happened but never did.
Capcom Vs SNK 3
Capcom and SNK are getting along much better these days. This might be because they have shared a lot of employees over the years. Characters from Street Fighter 5 made it into King of Fighters: All Star, and at Evo 2022, they gave each other congratulations art. It wasn’t always like that, though. After Capcom Vs. SNK 2 did well, the company was ready to try something new in 3D.
In 2001, SNK had a lot of money problems, and the deal with Capcom didn’t help them enough to get out of the red. If anything, asking them for CvS3 was like asking a friend who had just moved out for a favor. Instead, SNK Playmore got back together and made SNK Vs. Capcom Chaos in 2003, which got mixed reviews.
Capcom Fighting All-Stars
Capcom would benefit from SNK’s demise because they would use CvS3’s assets to make Capcom Fighting All-Stars, where characters from the same company fight each other. It was run by Toyohisa Tanabe, who used to be the director of KOF, and a few people who used to work for SNK. With its directional inputs and big story about “Code Holders” DD, Luke (not that Luke), and Ingrid trying to stop a terrorist attack on Metro City, the SNK impact was clear.
It was able to test locations, but the results weren’t good. This, along with the fact that Tanabe and Capcom had trouble getting along, led to the project being canceled. No one but the people involved knows how bad things got, but the fact that Eggy Car had to look through their old 2D games for sprites instead of using the assets from All-Stars says that there is still some bad blood.
Mega Man Universe
By the end of the decade, things would only get worse for Capcom. Even though Street Fighter 4 was a hit, their efforts to directly appeal to the West with the Bionic Commando reboot and Spyborgs didn’t work out as well as they should have. Then there were their Mega Man projects, like the long-awaited Mega Man Legends 3 and Mega Man Universe, a 2.5D shooter.
It would have let people make their own levels and design their own Mega Man, like LittleBigPlanet. They could play as Mega Man with a Western look, the original Japanese Rockman, and Bad Box Art Mega Man. They could also play as Ryu from Street Fighter, Arthur from Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins, and a number of DLC characters. When Keiji Inafune, who was in charge of Mega Man, left Capcom, both projects were canceled. This left the Mega Man brand without a leader for the better part of a decade.
Fire Emblem X Pokemon
Technically, the worlds of Fire Emblem and Pokemon have been in conflict since Super Smash Bros. Melee, when Marth and Roy first appeared in Smash. But in 2011, Nintendo director Kaori Ando thought that the two titles could work well enough together as RPGs to make a fun game. The Big N and Atlus would have worked together on it.
Unfortunately, the Pokemon Company had already chosen to work with Koei-Tecmo on Pokemon Conquest, which is a crossover with the Nobunaga’s Ambition series. Atlus also had problems at the time, which slowed down the start of other projects. After two years, they had a chance to make their own idea, which they called Fire Emblem X Shin Megami Tensei. This would be the Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE for the year 2015.
Mario X Rabbids
So, this really did happen. Just not in the way that was planned at first. In Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, Mario and his friends played a turn-based strategy game with Ubisoft’s lagomorphs. It was fun to play, and in late 2022, Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope came out as a sequel. But it was supposed to be a Wii platform game that was self-aware.
As the crazy bunnies took over the whole Mushroom Kingdom, Mario would have to save the Princess, the Toads, and even Bowser. But even though Ubisoft paid for artwork to show Nintendo, they weren’t interested. Instead, the company had to wait until 2014 for them to say yes to what became Kingdom Battle.
Marvel Vs Nintendo
During the Wii era, Activision’s bad pitch for a crossover might have made Nintendo less interested in the idea of crossovers. When they were making the Wii port of Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. They thought it would be cool if Link from Legend of Zelda and Samus Aran from Metroid could be played as characters.
It wouldn’t be impossible, since the two have been in games like SoulCalibur 2 and Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate that aren’t made by Nintendo. The creators showed Nintendo a demo of how the two games would work to sell the idea to Nintendo. They did it with the PS2 version, which is too bad. Whether or not this was a demonstration, it was enough to make Nintendo angry enough to turn down Activision’s request and demand that Link and Samus be removed right away.
Marvel Vs DC (& Mortal Kombat)
Back in the day, Marvel did better when they worked with Osaka-based Capcom, but they didn’t have to. They talked to NetherRealm Studios a few times between 2021 and 2022. Which led to reports that they were making a fighting game based on the World War Hulk story. Then, since Warner Bros owns NetherRealm, fans thought it might lead to a Marvel vs. DC game.
This made-up game might have even had characters from the Mortal Kombat series. Since Scorpion, Sub-Zero, and Raiden were in the Injustice games. What they talked about doesn’t seem to have led anywhere, since the company is now making Mortal Kombat 1. Then again, DC was able to fight Hellboy and the Ninja Turtles in Injustice 2. So it might be too soon to rule anything out just yet.
Street Fighter Vs Mortal Kombat
Street Fighter vs. Mortal Kombat would be one of the biggest dream crossovers. During the early 1990s, these two games kept the arcades going and fueled the battle between the SNES and the Genesis. Ed Boon, who helped make MK, even asked Capcom to let an SF character into the game. He said Ryu would be his dream guest character.
Yoshinori Ono, a former SF producer, stated that this pitch was made and that it was turned down. He said that there were a lot of Capcom directors who didn’t like the series. Because they didn’t think the characters fit. Mortal Kombat is much more popular in the West than in the East. Japan banned Mortal Kombat 11 because it was too violent. So, fans are less likely to see SF vs MK 2 than Street Fighter X Tekken 2.
Tekken X Angry Birds & Colonel Sanders
In the last few years, the Tekken series has become very fond of special characters. What started as a fling with Gon in Tekken 3 turned into a who’s who of famous people in Tekken 7. Akuma from SF, Noctis from FF15, Geese Howard from FF, and Negan from The Walking Dead all got their hands, feet, and guns on Jin, Kazuya, Paul, Nina, and the rest. Even though they are strange, it could have been even stranger.
On his show, director and producer Katsuhiro Harada talked about a meeting where both the Angry Birds and Colonel Sanders from KFC were suggested as guest characters. Harada tried to contact the fast-food company, but that didn’t work. In an interview with Xiaomist, Harada said that he still hoped Sanders would make it one day and that if it were possible. He would add Captain Price from Call of Duty, Deadpool, and John Wick to the series.